Was wondering if I could get some feedback or help with this dilemma I'm in as I consider a new laptop for my senior year of college.
Here's a bit of background to help put things in context: I want a laptop that has above average horsepower/technology, good to great battery life, doesn't weigh a ton and is thin enough to fit in my backpack comfortably and not feel like two textbooks.
I would occasionally play video games on it-- probably SC2, maybe WoW and some others. Primary use will be school work, internet browsing, and watching movies and videos besides the gaming.
I am stuck between a Dell Studio XPS 16 and a Macbook Pro 15": the specs I considered for each are as follows
Dell Studio XPS 16:
CPU: Intel Core i7-720QM Quad 1.6GHz, 6MB cache, 2.8GHz turbo mode
RAM: 6GB DDR3 shared dual channel 1333MHz
GFX: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 - 1GB
STORAGE: 500GB 7200 RPM SATA
CD/DVD ROM: 8x Slot load CD/DVD burner (dual layer DVD +/-R drive)
DISPLAY: Edge-to-edge FHD widescreen 15.6" WLED LCD (1920x1080i native) with 2.0mp webcam.
SOUND: Soundblaster X-Fi hi-def audio
WI-FI: Intel Centrino Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250
BATTERY: 85 WHr 9-cell lithium ion (Dell claims 4 hours 51 min on this, but it sounds dubious)
WEIGHT: 6.3lbs++ minimum
Price: $1,424.99 before taxes and shipping, includes $263 instant rebate
MacBook Pro 15"
CPU: Intel Core i5 2.53GHz 3MB L3 cache(Apple doesn't seem to reveal which variant: update found out its Core i5-540M (3.06GHz with turbo boost)
RAM: 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz
GFX: NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M - 256MB
STORAGE: 500GB 7200 RPM SATA
CD/DVD ROM: 8x Slot load CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-R DL)
DISPLAY: 15.4" Hi-res Glossy Widescreen display (1680x1050 native)
SOUND: Not specified, so probably on-board audio
WI-FI: AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n capable)
BATTERY: 77.5 WHr lithium polymer battery (Apple claims 8-9 hours, good enough even if it's less than that)
WEIGHT: 5.6 lbs
Price: $1,984.00 before taxes, free shipping, includes $150 student discount
Conclusions: Obviously the Dell is more powerful, and is much cheaper for all that superior power. However, I am "paying the price" in terms of battery life, which will probably be closer 3.5hrs on powersave, and in terms of weight/bulk. It's quite a bit heavier and dimensions wise, I've heard it isn't very portable. I don't need a desktop replacement, since I have a very powerful desktop already - I just need something capable for when I'm at school so I don't have to bring the desktop back and forth. I've also heard there are some heat issues with the Dell and they don't offer RGBLED anymore to my dismay. The ability for me to take this all around campus with me is extremely important and can perhaps trump power which leads me to the MBP-->
I really dislike Apple, but the MBP is a very well-constructed laptop despite the "apple tax" in price. I would use Windows 7 Pro 64bit with the MBP anyway and I already have a copy of it unused so that cost shouldn't factor into total cost. The cost is obviously the biggest negative here but I feel like I am paying for excellent battery life, portability, and design/heat management. I also don't know much in the way of the i5 processor since they don't reveal the variant (I plan to find out in person tomorrow at a store --edit: Core i5-540M). Since I already own an unused Windows copy, I also will effectively have two OS's with the MBP but MacOS is like computer training-wheels so I wouldn't use it much. The portability is very important to me to take around campus.
As for money? I'm pretty strapped right now. I would have to finance the MBP over 12 months but could definitely pay it off before then. The Dell I could probably pay in full right now. $2000 is my limit.
Thoughts? Thanks in advance guys, I know it's a long read.
Edited by Novaprospekt, 23 July 2010 - 03:20 PM.