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Message 1 of 6 (409 Views)

Another Darned Which Laptop Thread

409 Views, 5 Replies
04-06-2011 09:53 PM
Looking at a laptop to run Autocad 2011. I am usually generating rather simple electronic and electrical wiring diagrams in 2d with a few architectural plan, section and an occasional 3d view. Nothing fancy, that kind of work is done by others in the organization. I usually am working docked and will run a larger monitor. I do spend a fair amount of time in the field where a 15" screen pays dividends in portability. Is this configuration overkill? Can I back off in any category without too much compromise? DELL PRECISION M4500 BASE Precision M4500, Fast Track C1 PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i5-560M Dual Core 2.66GHz 3MB VIDEO CARD NVIDIA® Quadro FX 880M Graphics with 1GB dedicated memory MEMORY 4.0GB, DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM, 2 DIMMS LCD 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Wide View Anti-Glare LED Display with Premium Panel Guarantee HARD DRIVE 320GB 7200rpm Hard Drive Thanks in advance for your kind advice.
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Message 2 of 6 (373 Views)

Re: Another Darned Which Laptop Thread

04-07-2011 06:55 AM in reply to: Videoeng

Looks pretty nice to me. I don't have experience with that specific video card but other mobile Qaudro FX cards I've used have worked well.

Mike Robertson
FL. Dept. of Transportation
CADD Applications Developer
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Message 3 of 6 (353 Views)

Re: Another Darned Which Laptop Thread

04-07-2011 02:00 PM in reply to: Videoeng

I have a Dell M4400, and I have been really disappointed with the quality. The hardware itself has been reliable and performed well, but the case is really junk. The paint is peeling off the speaker grills, the screen bezel flexes like a pop can, the keys are wearing out. The outer case and hinges are solid, but the parts you touch are really disappointing.


Here is what I am comparing it against: I have used several HP and Think Pad laptops at work over the years. I put a lot more hours on them and I didn't have any problems like this. My wife's ~7 year old Inspiron has held up better, and it has seen a lot of (ab)use- my daughter has used it since she was kindergartner, we have taken it on road trips, camping, etc. Even the cheap netbooks my kids take to school have better cases. 


Part of the reason I bought a Dell is because I was impressed by the way my wife's laptop has held up. I wouldn't be as concerned if it was a $500 laptop, but I expect a lot more for mobile workstation money. I don't know if the newer models are better, but I doubt if I will buy another Dell.


To sum it up, they saved a few bucks on the case and I am giving them bad word-of-mouth advertising in return. On the plus side, I do a lot of volunteer work in schools and I use it as an example of the importance of perceived value.


Inventor 2011 Pro
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Message 4 of 6 (351 Views)

Re: Another Darned Which Laptop Thread

04-07-2011 02:28 PM in reply to: Videoeng

Do you need 10 key input?


In the field, wil you do anything but zoom & pan?


Sorry to harp on this, but with the menu structure adsk has gone to, if you want to SEE any part of your drawings, you really need a 17" screen as a bare MINIMUM.  If your just going to use it as a device to hook up to a projector, or a plotter for presentations,  you might get away with 15".



Homebuilt box: I5-2500k, MSI P67A-GD65, 12gig DDR3 1600 ram, ASUS ENGTX460 Video card, WD Velociraptor WD4500HLHX HD, Win 7 64 pro.
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Message 5 of 6 (347 Views)

Re: Another Darned Which Laptop Thread

04-07-2011 09:10 PM in reply to: Videoeng

Keep an eye out for the M4600 which is about to hit the market any time now:



Latest generation intel cpu, nvidia graphics, and led display, I would suggest waiting just that little bit longer before you buy.

Posts: 249
Registered: ‎06-07-2010
Message 6 of 6 (343 Views)

Re: Another Darned Which Laptop Thread

04-08-2011 04:56 AM in reply to: OMCUSNR

The resolution on this 15.6" is the same as most 17" screens. The menus will thereby occupy the same percentage of screen space... however I don't think my eyes can see that tight a pixel spacing with the resultant miniscule fonts. As to its being a Dell therein lies an issue I can't accept. Dell's quality and customer support have fallen so badly that I would never consider them an option. And paying the premium price for a quadro videocard for the described usage? Give me a break!


As for numeric keypad, that for me is a must. My HP 15.6" has one, this one doesn't, unless it is an upgrade option. I don't use the numeric keypad for numbers, but as preprogrammed quick-keys.

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