Which dell notebook to buy

Alex Angus
Alex Angus used Ask the Experts™
I have a Toshiba Notebook that is about 5 years old and need to replace it.

I would like to buy Dell and it seems my two choices are
1. Dell Vostro 3550 NBDEV35502775063W7P. It has 2.7Ghz i7 and 4Gb mem., or
2. Dell XPS 14Z NBDEX14Z750813W7P with 2.8Ghz i7 and 8Gb mem.
The Vostro has 3G but that is not critical.
I am a business consultant working mainly with SQL applications, web based applications and spreadsheets. So performance in these and screen size are high on the needs list.

I was spoilt with the Toshiba 17" and numeric keypad. I use a desktop at the office with high performance drives, so this notebook is mainly when I go to clients to consult or demo. Use a projector for demo so again the screen size is not a problem, just the performance.

What should I buy?
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My personaly opinion is that XPS is better but the price make the difference because the size and wheigt but my experience tell me that your main concern in lower price it will be the memory size.


Dell Vostro 3550

The diferences about Vostro and XPS:

Vostro vs. XPS
Vostro are designed to deliver an outstanding computing experience for small businesses - offering performance, serviceability and security. XPS are built around the latest in high performance technologies and offer expanded services with an unrelenting focus on innovation, design, extreme gaming and exhilarating entertainment. XPS is the pinnacle of Dell technology, design and innovation.
Éric MoreauSenior .Net Consultant
Top Expert 2016

With Windows 8 final coming soon, my choice is http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/thinkpad/xtablet-series/x220-tablet/. I have one (with a SSD) since December and truely love it.
Speed54Sales Representative
I'm confused as you say screen size is high on the needs list, but then say screen size is not a problem. I'd suggest it depends on the screen size you want and the purpose you want it for. The vostro has a 15.6" screen and so will probably have a numeric keypad,  while the xps is only 14", and  with portability in mind, it will be lighter. The xps with a slightly faster cpu & more RAM in my opinion would be the better machine for doing your presentations and visiting clients with.
Anyone of those computers will perform hugely better than your 5 years old last computer. The difference between both will be far less noticeable than the difference you'll notice between them and your old laptop.

So... go for the lighter/cheaper one except if there is some conectivity/usability differences that matters for your business use (number of USB ports, screen maximum resolution, battery life expectance, etc...).
Alex AngusDirector


Thanks everyone.
Answering the comments from the top.
The prices of both are within 10% of each other.
Yes I would have like SSD but then the price more than doubles.
Yes screen size is important but I should have clarified, not at 60% higher price.
You right, sadly anything better than my "old faithful". The Toshiba replecement also just too expensive at double the DELL XPS price.

So it looks like between these two the XPS with double the memory and slightly faster CPU would be the right choice. I get that feeling as well with memory hungry SQL.
Thanks to everyone.

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