New Laptop

rwmidlrwmidl CISSP, CISM, MCSE, MCSA, MCPxAlotWorldwide AvailabilityMember Posts: 807 ■■■■■■□□□□
So I'm starting to consider getting a new laptop. I currently have a Dell Studio 1535 - it's about 3 years old. It's more or less still going strong, but the battery is dead (about $100 to replace) and the cd/dvd slot drive has been acting strange (a few months ago when I was going through the process of ripping all of my cd's to aac/mp3 format it was only reading at 1x, whereas my wifes Dell - Studio 1537 - was reading at 12x-14x). But I digress....

I'm kind of torn as to what to get. I'd really like to get a MacBook Pro - but I'm kind of against paying the Apple tax. Plus with a Mac to use all of my Windows software (Photoshop, Acrobat - the pro version not the reader - Office 2010, etc) I'd have to run Windows in a VM. No biggie, I have a copy of 7 Ultimate. But in a way it seems kind of a waste to buy a Mac just to run Windows in a VM. The other part of me is do I want to spend the extra money to jump up to the Pro 15" just so I could get the dedicated video card (13" Pro's use the the Intel integrated video - not a big deal since I don't game but I do like the idea of offloading the video from the processor to a dedicated video card). Plus no Blu-Ray - not a deal breaker but I would like to rip my dvd/Blu-Ray collection.

I've kind of been eyeing the Dell XPS 15. Price isn't bad and they come with most everything I want. However, they only have HDMI video ports so I'd have to buy a convert so I could plug it in to my monitor (VGA). Plus if I ever do a dual monitor set up I'll have to get a splitter or something for HDMI.

I've also looked at the HP Envy series. They are nice, pricier than the XPS 15 but not as bad as the MacBook Pro. But I'm really mixed on HP. You have to make your own recovery disc apparently (unless you pay extra to have them ship you the OS cd) - not a big issue since I'd probably nuke it right out of the box with my copy of Win 7 to get rid of the crapware. I've also had and read mixed results when it comes to HP consumer products.

Any thoughts?
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