Looking at 2 laptops one HP and one Dell

I spec'd out a Dell laptop, then got spec's on an HP laptop. The laptops seem pretty similiar, I'm looking for a little guidance as far as which one to go with. We are going to purchase about 48 of them, I have copied the spec's below:

HP Probook 6550b Notebook PC with Intel®HD Graphics
Operating system - Windows XP Professional
Intel® Core™ i5-520M Processor (2.40GHz, 3 MB L3 cache, 1066 MHz FSB) Up-to 2.93 GHz
with Intel Turbo Boost Technology
Intel® vPro Technology - No Intel® vProTM Technology
15.6-inch diagonal LED-backlit HD anti-glare(1366 x 768)
Video/graphics - Intel® HD Graphics
4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM (2D)
Internal Storage - 160GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
DVD±RW SuperMulti DL LightScribe Drive
TouchPad Keyboard with Number Keypad
Wireless LAN - Intel Centrino® Advanced-N 6200 (2x2)
HP Integrated Module with Bluetooth® 2.1 Wireless Technology
56K v.92 High Speed Modem
Adapter - 65W Hardware Kit US
HP 9-Cell 93 Wh Li-Ion Battery

Latitude E6500 Intel® Core 2 Duo P9700 with VT (2.80GHz, 6M L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
Operating Systems Genuine Windows® 7 Professional, 64-bit
Memory 4.0GB, DDR2-800 SDRAM, 2 DIMMS
Internal Keyboard Internal English Keyboard
Graphics NVIDIA Quadro NVS 160M
Primary Storage 250GB Hard Drive, 7200RPM with Free Fall Sensor
LCDs 15.4” UltraSharp™ Wide WXGA+ (1440x900) LED Display-Regal Red
AC Adapter 90W A/C Adapter (3-pin)
Primary Optical Device 8X DVD+/-RW
Camera / Microphone Digital Microphone
Wireless LAN (802.11) Intel® WiFi Link 5100 802.11a/g/n Draft Mini Card
No Intel vPro™ Technology’s advanced management features
9 Cell Battery

Thank you for your help!
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The OS is deffinitely a concern.  Yes, I'm deploying Win7, but in steps, so as to control user experience.  Questions for your question include:

 - Who is going to support the OS?  Are they trained/experienced in Win7?
 - Do all the users know Win7 already?  Do they need training / or are you ready for additional support calls?
 - As mentioned above, do all your apps run on Win7.  I'm facing issues with a CAD design tool and our accounting system clients, which both don't support it.

Next Concern - H/W Maintenance & Support:
 - What is the maintenance/service with these?
I would highly recommend next-day onsite service for 3 years.  This will save you countless headaches.  NOTE: in Asia, Dell's onsite support is outstanding.  I don't know about HP's onsite support.

 - 9 cell battery = weight.  Most users will complain that the machine is too heavy (no matter what you pick), so going with a 6 cell batter will save some weight & cost, and very few users will ever notice a time-usage difference.
 - The 4 GB of RAM will only be seen if you are running 64 bit (i.e. HP needs WinXP 64bit).  32 bit OS can only see/use up to 3 GB.
 - For AutoCAD, I would pump up the Dell with DDR3 and a higher spec video adapter (they are available).

Bottom Line:  Unless you have some real specific needs, like high-end graphics CAD/CAM design, either machine should work.  You just need to get all your edges planned, and anticipate support requirements.
Tell us what you want to do with thoses laptop. Word, Outlook, internet? Or CPU consumming applications?
What are the criters you would choose first.
Power? Portability?

Are your corporate applications tested and compatible with Windows 7 OS?
DELL is more a multimedia choice thanks to a good video card and more hard drive spaces.
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From a corporate point of view I would go with HP laptops from my experience thay have a good support for enterprise.
As the OS is Windows XP you will not has any trouble with your internal application not being compatible with Windows 7.

Hope this help.
The experience I have had with Dell laptops (not desktops) have not been good. My company got rid of Dell ages ago. We then had HP which turned out to be pretty good followed by IBM/Lenovo. Now they turned out to be very good business laptops.
Currently have a Toshiba Tecra and no problems as yet.

From the two you listed above, HP would be a better choice but have a look at Lenovo's. They are good business laptops.

The other thing, my company leases laptops. Because technology changes rapidly it turned out to be more economic to lease rather than keep on buying new every 3 years.
Dell wins in almost every way. Intel video vs. Nvidia? No contest, Nvidia Quadro should have dedicated memory. The Dell is much better and if it's the same price or even 20-30% more it's a no brainer.

Bonus help:
Windows 7 Pro tacks something like $200 to the price, so if you get bulk licensing in your organization and image your OS you may want to skip the Windows 7 Pro license and save $200x48 ... can I have some of that?
@ rockiroads - We currently run Lenovo Thinkpads, and I'm looking to move to either Dell or HP.

Issues with Lenovo Thinkpads include:
 - Too many heavy Lenovo tools running in the background.
 - Lenovo brag to a business laptop, but all these tools can not be controlled from a central location.
 - No model supports truly high-end graphics, so CAD/CAM users always complain.
 - Various issues with hardware & support.
 - Now that it is no longer IBM, top management (and ideas) are all in China (a less mature service market).

In the US, Lenovo has slid to something like #6 or #8.

they do have a couple pros (but not much):
 - Corporate look.
 - ThinkVantage button enables quick system restores.

Sorry to rant, but they are not what I would recomend.
jared, does your company not create their own image? mine does. each laptop we get a image containing company licenced software plus other things is installed. Whatever the agreement is, it does not affect the warranty.
For the business needs, there was never a need for high end graphics. Lenovo was one the best laptops we had but recent change was to Toshiba probably due to costs.
I guess like the problems we had with Dell, it goes to show different models seem to behave differently for different people.
heydudeAuthor Commented:
The laptops are actually going to be used by students. We are removing computers in the classrooms so these are replacing them, plus they will be used by teachers. The specs may seem a little high, but have to get what I can get while the budget is there, and they are going to be with us for some time. We use office 2007/2010 applications, plus Smart Notebook, and some other apps. Nothing to graphic intensive, or processor intensive.  The Dell's are what we spec'd the Hp spec's came along afterward. We have support for them, the OS, etc... the question is, out of the 2, which one is the best choice?
Well you had people suggest things. I vote for HP because I found a better experience using HP rather than Dell. I dont think there is much between the two for your needs so maybe toss a coin or buy half and half
dell, big time... however, I work at a school too. Giving students laptops is much less cost effective than providing good labs. Easily twice the cost and a support nightmare compared to fixed workstations.
would of thought more chances of theft with laptops as well unless of course you lock them down
heydudeAuthor Commented:
The laptops are in mobile carts that are locked with a combo lock. Only 3 of us know the combo so we are the only one's that unlock the cart before it is moved to a classroom. The cart is locked back up when the laptops are done being used before bringing the cart back. We have been doing it for about 6 year's and knock on wood, haven't lost one yet.
wow, sounds like a PITA to me. Move the kids to the computers, they already have legs. Geesh. You must be at a posh school!
Hello Heydude,

For this kind of usage, as I said earlier you would better go with the HP laptops:
- good PC
- good support
- good OS for you
- sufficient hardware capacity for your need (and a futur OS upgrade if needed)
You have the right two to consider for the application- Dell and HP.  I would vote towards Dell only because they standardize their equipment better than HP.  When you are talking about mass deployments, standardization between machines is key.
I would get one of each for evaluation.
test the apps, and also such things as ghosting/imaging/ restores.

One may work better than the other.
heydudeAuthor Commented:
We are standardized on Dell for everything, so we will more than likely stick with Dell. It was something that came up with the HP laptops, and I wanted to see if the HP laptops specs were that much better than the Dell specs. I made a mistake on the OS option I listed for the Dell. The Dell is Windows XP Pro 64bit  through the Windows 7 downgrade option.
if your going all out on a nicely spec pc, doesn't it make sense to have the latest o/s?
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