Which high-end laptop should I choose, Dell Precision M6500, Lenovo Thinkpad W701, or Asus G73Jh?

Tilman September 4, 2010
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I am buying a new laptop for myself and I need help choosing the best possible model. I have three definite requirements: best possible quality, 17 inch screen, and two physically separate hard drives inside, though one can be significantly smaller than the other, which is the case with the Asus model.

I have found three models which seem to fulfill all my requirements, but now I have difficulties choosing. Which should I pick? Dell Precision M6500, Lenovo Thinkpad W701, or Asus G73Jh?

For your information, I need the computer for heavy photoshopping and for running a lot of different programs at the same time, but I do not play games. If you have any other models in mind that you would recommend, please keep in mind that I am located in Europe.

What’s your opinion/advice/recommendation? Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. zhanbi
    April 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    i got dell M6500 to sell. price about SGD 3,000. but only sell in Singapore. please visit zhanbipcoutlet.blog.com. thanks

  2. Vinnie
    March 14, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    I have all DELL computers/laptops in my company and haven't got any hardware problems unless they physically breaking it by accidental, such as someone got mad and punch the screen, stuff laying on top of the laptop and someone thinks it's just a pile of books and start putting weights on it. since I have a DELL rep. he gives me a good price quote with a minimum of 3 -6 years warranty, they do have the accidental warranty if you're clumsy or smart to think about getting it because you never know what's going to happen. They'll literally have a DELL Tech come to you the next day to replace whichever is broken at no cost to you if you have that warranty. what's cool about the M6500 is you can run 3 monitors at once and it extends out the picture across the 3 screen making it so easy to work with when you're doing CAD/etc. I think DELL has the best support in software/driver, they have online chat which I love to since I dont like to talk on the phone or be on hold. you can litterally talk to a dell tech online within less than a minute, very easy website to navigate things such as support/warranty info./etc. they keep a chat log of everything you type during the chat and send it to your email. OVERALL, I'm paying for is customer service who takes care of the company. I need a tech to come next day if anything goes wrong with the system. I had broken screen issues and dead board caused by wine spill, we didn't have to pay a penny for these service due to our warranty that covers it, make sure you have accidental warranty if you to protect your asset.

    • Aibek
      March 15, 2011 at 8:37 am

      thanks for the detailed input

  3. Monaclej
    September 11, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Since your main need for a powerful laptop is for "Photoshopping" the graphics card and CPU would be the deciding factor. Which one supports the most up to date standards(DX11, etc...) or future proof hardware (are the CPU, ram, graphics user upgradeable later on) and will be able to run upcoming versions of your preffered software.

  4. WayneHO50
    September 11, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I have the Asus G73J and i looked into many. As a software developer that beats the crap out of my machines often processing tens of millions of transactions daily with 10-20 different development environments this machine rocks. I carved off a 2.5 GB ram drive and still had 5.5GB left so i can now do 5-10x the amount of work and testing in the same time. it's quiet, fast and more.

    What i learned over the years was many other manufacturers say 2.8 or 2.4 processor but then the components are sub-standard so you get junk. This laptop has 2 7200 RMP drives that can easily be upgraded and may also be upgradeable to 16GB

    One last point they provided a 2 year warranty with accident protection on the one i bought.

  5. Tilman
    September 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Aibek, thanks, but as you can see in my original question, raw performance of the laptop is indeed not my primary concern (as I "only" do Photoshopping but nothing else that needs a strong CPU). However, screen size and quality is my concern. And as far as I know, the Sony Vaio is not available as a 17 inch version, right?

    For that reason, these three models are the only ones where I have found my normally-not-so-demanding requirements to be met. I realize that these models have way too much power for my needs BUT they are the only models that I have found which indeed cover all my requirements. Interestingly enough, the seemingly simple requirements of having a 17 inch screen with 1200 pixels vertically and having two separate harddrives inside mean that I have to pay for a laptop so much :( On the other hand, I guess you can never really have too much power :P

    Thanks, again, for the review links you gave but the thousands of reviews that I have read do not really help me because none of them is a comparative review. They only talk how good each model is but this does not help me to decide...

    Tina said that she doesn't like Lenovo and now you don't like Dell! Could you guys give me some arguments, please? In any case I won't decide this question quite yet, so please don't wait for an answer to the final question for quite some time yet :)

    • Tina
      September 9, 2010 at 5:07 pm

      Sorry Tilman, forgot to explain my aversion against Lenovo. However, it's really nothing that should have a major impact on your decision!

      All the IBM / Lenovo laptop models I reviewed in the past were just plain ugly on top of being way overpriced. Even student prices were more expensive than comparable models without special discounts. Plus some IBM / Lenovo guys I interviewed about the models they were presenting on the campus didn't have any good arguments to defend the prices. So overall, it has left a bitter taste.

      I have only had HP laptops so far and am quite satisfied. Dell laptops have had issues in the past. But from what I hear they have improved.

      • cbcg.Seg_Fault
        September 9, 2010 at 7:31 pm

        IBM laptops tend to look "ugly" because they don't conform to the visual aesthetics that hipsters desire. Instead, they focus solely on providing the user with reliable hardware, new and emerging technologies, and customization of windows features (for instance, Lenovo will provide you with their custom power savings setting for windows, whereas HP provides you with a laughable "HP Recommended" power setting - which will hurt performance more than help) These are reasons why you should consider IBM/Lenovo over Dell or Hp, or any other company that makes computers for mainstream consumers. BTW, let's not forget that Lenovo designed an innovative reservoir underneath their laptop keyboards, so if you were to accidentally spill something on your keyboard, it will drain out the side of the laptop, leaving the components unharmed. Let's see a pavilion do that :)

        But in all seriousness, as a computer scientist and hardware enthusiast, I would rate those laptops in this order: Lenovo - Asus - Dell.

        • Tilman
          September 9, 2010 at 10:53 pm

          cbcg.Seg_Fault, wow, that's a nerdy name :D No idea what it means, though, but it surely made you credible and trustworthy ;)

          I must say, I am a bit shocked that you rate Dell last because the M6500 is currently my first choice :( I certainly do agree that I for sure won't take an HP! But why not Dell? The Asus model is just for gamers and I am not a gamer. And the Lenovo is more expensive than the M6500 minimally configured. With the Thinkpad W701 I would pay for features that I personally would never use (like fingerprint readers, card readers, and whatever else)! I like that with Dell I can opt out of all the features that I don't actually need and hence put the price down as low as possible...

          About spilling something on the keyboard: I have had a private policy for years that NOBODY is allowed to come closer than 5 meters to my computer if the person has something liquid or some food in the hands =) I never drink or eat at the computer. Hence, that "innovative reservoir" is not really an argument for me that would influence my decision...

          Anyway, thanks for your feedback! Looking forward to reading here even more suggestions/opinions/ideas/critcisms/etc... =)

    • Aibek
      September 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm

      The reason I don't like Dell is because I had couple of friend who
      used Dell laptops. Each had some issues with it. That being said, you
      looking at Dell's one of the premium models so things are likely to be
      better with it. I have a good feeling about Lenovo but experience shows
      their systems are often overpriced. When it comes to Asus I think it has
      a very strong brand especially as a motherboard maker. So, I am pretty
      sure they know how to make good hardware. You should also take into
      account the physical look of the each model. I have one of the newer
      Sony Vaio models and one of the main reasons why I like it is because it
      looks fantastic. Looks are important too! :-)

  6. Aibek
    September 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Tilman,

    I have a pretty decent Sony Vaio system but it doesn't come even close to any of these three models you have mentioned. that being said, I often run many resource extensive programs at the same time and have never really noticed major slow downs. So, I think you will find any of those systems sufficient. So, if I were you I would go for a cheaper one. I personally, don't like Dell for some reason, not sure about Lenovo but positive about Asus.

    Here are some reviews, you might want to check out:

    - Asus G73Jh

    * http://reviews.cnet.com/1770-5_7-0.html?query=Asus+G73Jh&tag=srch
    * http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=5571&review=asus+g73+g73jh

    - Lenovo ThinkPad W701

    * http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/laptops-portable-pcs/laptops-and-netbooks/lenovo-thinkpad-w701-692759/review

    - Dell Precision M6500

    * http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/reviews/index.cfm?reviewId=3209185
    * http://www.infoworld.com/d/hardware/infoworld-review-dell-precision-m6500-true-workstation-in-notebook-970

    Let us know which one you choose :-)

  7. Tilman
    September 6, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Hi Tina! Thanks for your helpful reply :)

    What are your personal reasons for not buying a Lenovo?

    I have tried to see the models physically but NONE of them have I been able to find in shops!!! You see, I am in Finland and here all retailers say that these models can only be ordered because it does not make sense for a shop to keep so expensive models on the shelve! :( That's why I have to rely on forums like this one to help me decide, as even the reviews are not too helpful. They are all very positive and do not uncover any major problems. I have not been able to find any comparisons of the three (or even two out of the three) models.

    About the price, my budget ends approximately at the cheapest configurations of each model. I.e. I could buy any of the models but not with the best configuration.

    So, does maybe anybody else know anything about these models? :)

    Cheers,

    Tilman

  8. Tina
    September 6, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Hi Tilman,

    it's pretty difficult for someone else to make a recommendation unless they own one of the devices and know something about the other two.

    I have none of these laptops, but for personal reasons I would not buy an IBM / Lenovo laptop. Other than that I can only provide you some more mental tools to make the decision yourself.

    Did you check the reviews for these laptops? Maybe there are known problems that you could not tolerate.

    How about the price range, is there any notable difference there?

    Finally, did you see and use all three models personally? You may find that you like the keyboard of one better than the other. Maybe the screens are significantly different, which could make the decision. Where are the USB ports and power connector? Maybe you have preferences. Does the surface / keyboard turn hot under a heavy load and could you still work with the laptop under that condition? Into which direction does the fan blow? Could be the wrong side if you are left-handed and work with a mouse. There are tons of little things that you will only notice once you work with the device.

    Let us know how you decide!

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