04-03-2012 03:43 PM
Would it be considered advertising to let everyone know I will be selling an unopened W520? Lenovo will be shipping a second replacement in the coming days, but I just got my Dell Precision M4600 and I won't be going back. I do plan on posting the machine on eBay, etc but I thought some people here might be interested.
04-03-2012 07:21 PM
2nd replacement, and selling. How's the new camp (the Dell camp) treating you?
I originally thought about switching over to the M4600 when I was having one hell of a headache with the W510...LCC then insisted that I should try the W520 as a replacement. Guess I was lucky that my W520 turns out ok so far.
I would interested in knowing your experience with the M4600, and do you see any improvement of it over the W520.
04-04-2012 09:09 PM
Dell is treating me pretty well actually. I really like the build quality (lots of exterior metal) and I happened to get a screen upgrade from my W520 config so that's good too. The processor is slightly better (2760 on the W520, 2860 on 4600) but the graphics card is the same (1000M). No boot issues on this machine, and Dell's BIOS is top-notch compared to Lenovo's. It's actually a nice, higher-res design and is operable with a mouse, not just the keyboard.
I purchased a Samsung SSD - originally for the W520 but now inside the Dell - and it works great. I've installed Windows on it, although Dell didn't send me a drivers disc so I had to manually install those and that's been a pain.
I miss the textured touchpad (Dell's is smooth like the rest of the palmrest area) but it's no biggie. I disabled the touchpad anyway, in favor of the trackpoint (or track stick as Dell calls it). Dell has a sixth button on the bottom of the touchpad assembly, and all the buttons are very quiet to the touch. My W520 middle click/scroll button was particularly noisy. The keyboard keys are all really quiet and the backlit keyboard is nice, it even times out in a nice fade when unused. I do miss the ThinkLight though. I also miss the enlarged Escape and Delete keys.
The power adapter is 180W but the plug does not have the key-fit-orientation thing the W520 does. It's just a circular port, like the W510 so that's nice. I never did like the W520's change in that respect.
The machine is about the same thickness but sits a bit higher due to the feet being longer for airflow. The exterior case is nice but gets fingerprints a bit moreso than the W520. The ports are well-placed though, and they look good the way Dell has put them there, piercing the metal skin and set back a bit inside. The machine has two fans as well and so heat will likely never be an issue (hasn't yet anyway).
I do not have a color calibrator on this machine, but I truly never used the one on my W510. Not sure I'll miss it.
Dell's drivers are better-integrated than Lenovo's, and I haven't had any issues beyond installing them. Lenovo's **bleep** was always dragging me down, failing to work randomly on reboot or not working at all. I had particular trouble with the display brightness thing on my W510, it would stop working guaranteed every couple of weeks. Dell's software is superior without question.
Overall, I lost some very small features in the transition, but gained a faster, better, more reliable, and stronger machine. If I think of anything else that's a big difference as I continue to evaluate, I'll respond here.
04-05-2012 07:58 AM - edited 04-05-2012 08:10 AM
Ive have owned 3 and purchased over 200 dell laptops over the last 7 years, before I switched to the W520 because Dell didnt offer the spec at the time.
The biggest change for me was the dell NBD support, which is far far superior to Lenovo's in every way - its just not funny. The drivers are second - dell laptops come out with a technology later than everyone else, but when they do, its stable - it just works. You almost never have to update anything - not bios nor drivers.
The last thing is the mic and speakers. Every dell I have used, from the business class to the cheap home machines make great skype conference machines with a room full of people. The W520 is unusable with skype without a headset and mic.
Of course the W520 does have some good points - the black finish, the screen (looks like an IPS one), and the support for 2 30" displays which I use.
04-05-2012 05:15 PM
04-09-2012 08:47 AM
I'm rubbing it in because the M4600 is what the W520 could have been if it wasn't ruined by terrible QC. I would have never left the W520 if I wasn't forced to with two faulty brand-new machines
I agree - I miss the easiness of the Lenovo Community Forums. Truthfully though I discovered so much about Windows 7 and Optimus, etc from here that I don't really have any unanswered mysteries about the M4600. So I guess my time with the W-series wasn't a complete loss, although it was close.