Want to buy new laptop: Dell XPS15 i5-6300HQ vs Asus N551VW i7-6700HQ? Thoughts please!

Dell XPS15 i5-6300HQ vs. Asus N551VW i7-6700HQ

  • Dell XPS 15

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Asus N551VW

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
  • Poll closed .

SYAS

Novice Member
Hi,

I am deciding between a Dell XPS15 i5-6300HQ and an Asus N551VW i7-6700HQ. I was originally set on the Dell XPS 15 but some research made stumble upon the Asus which seems better in many ways, as well cheaper!

Dell XPS 15 - 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-6300HQ Quad Core (6M Cache, up to 3.2 GHz)
(£1,099): XPS 15


Asus N551VW 15.6-Inch Notebook (Black) - (Intel Core i7-6700HQ, 16 GB RAM, 2 TB Plus 128 GB SSD, NVIDIA GTX960M, 2 GB Integrated Graphics, Bluetooth, Webcam, DVDRW, Windows 10)
(£915): Asus N551VW 15.6-Inch Notebook (Black) - (Intel Core i7-6700HQ, 16 GB RAM, 2 TB Plus 128 GB SSD, NVIDIA GTX960M, 2 GB Integrated Graphics, Bluetooth, Webcam, DVDRW, Windows 10): Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

On paper, the Asus seems like it would have a better performance compared to the Dell XPS 15 I listed above? AND its cheaper!?

Any reason for this price discrepancy? I mean according to the numbers/stats, it beats the XPS on all counts right? i7-6700HQ beats i5 6300HQ and it has more storage and RAM? Is it just the brand name that makes the Dell more expensive? Or am I genuinely getting a better product (the Asus) for a cheaper price than the Dell? Or is there something not as good about the Asus as it first might seem? Like maybe it wont last as many years, or is battery life an issue? Or does it not feel as good as the XPS to type/work on? What would be your advice/recommendation?


What I will use my new laptop for:

1. Microsoft Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint; this seems basic but I work with very large spreadsheets (im talking like 20 sheets each with 10,000 rows and 100's of columns of data) and very large PowerPoint presentations (with lots of images/graphics/colours etc), and I will have multiple of these excel and powerpoints open at any one time, as well as Outlook running the whole time. Don't really use Word that much but do on occasion; but Word docs will not be that big usually.

2. Factset - a data and research application (http://www.factset.com/) - I dont think its too processing heavy but on my work station at work I do notice that this can be a little slow/laggy if I have loads of excels and powerpoints running (which I almost always do)

3. Other things include like (a) hectic browsing of the internet (eg 2 chromes up with 20 tabs loaded on each + 1 internet explorer up with a few tabs open + 1 mozilla up with a few tabs open) and (b) having iTunes/Windows Media Player up

TO BE CLEAR: All the above needs to happen concurrently; so I need a laptop that is super quick whilst running ALL of the above AT THE SAME TIME.

In terms of the other particular specs that I want:

1. I want at least 500GB hardrive, but the more the better and am happy to pay extra for extra space
2. At least 8GB of RAM, but again the more the better and am happy to pay extra for extra RAM
3. Atleast 2 USB ports (preferably 3.0)
4. An HDMI port
5. Dont care about a graphics card or memory card or DVD drive
6. I want an HD display but dont need (or in fact want) a 4K

So that you know, I plan on hooking the laptop up to 2 24" screens so whatever other specs I need from the laptop to allow me to do this, I also need (but I think I would only need USB ports and HDMI port for this?).

I think the Dell XPS
range of laptops is what I want (although am happy to hear other suggestions if there is something more suited to my needs), I dont want to spend too much more than £1000, but my main question is, for what I want to use the laptop for, should I go for a 6th Gen core i5 or core i7? What is better for my performance needs? I wont be playing games on it, just intensely using Excel/Powerpoint etc with some heavy use of Chrome (ie. multiple heavy data sites open at the same time).

Please let me know what is best for me.

Thanks!
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
The XPS 15 is a piece of cutting edge technology while the Asus is more pedestrian so a lot of the difference in price will be down to the form factor. For example, the N551 is a good 50% heavier (2.7kg vs. 1.8kg).

For two screens you'll want either two video outputs (DisplayPort or HDMI). If they're sufficiently low resolution ([email protected] or below) then a single DisplayPort output an an MST hub would work too.

USB external graphics card are available, but they're not as good as proper video outputs due to the much lower bandwidth of USB.

If you want a responsive system then an SSD is essential so I'd discount the MSI and Dell in those configurations unless you already own one you're planning to fit. Will the 128GB be enough for all the programs and documents that need to respond quickly? It's well worth looking at slightly cheaper laptops instead so you can have everything on an SSD.
 

SYAS

Novice Member
The XPS 15 is a piece of cutting edge technology while the Asus is more pedestrian so a lot of the difference in price will be down to the form factor. For example, the N551 is a good 50% heavier (2.7kg vs. 1.8kg).

For two screens you'll want either two video outputs (DisplayPort or HDMI). If they're sufficiently low resolution ([email protected] or below) then a single DisplayPort output an an MST hub would work too.

USB external graphics card are available, but they're not as good as proper video outputs due to the much lower bandwidth of USB.

If you want a responsive system then an SSD is essential so I'd discount the MSI and Dell in those configurations unless you already own one you're planning to fit. Will the 128GB be enough for all the programs and documents that need to respond quickly? It's well worth looking at slightly cheaper laptops instead so you can have everything on an SSD.

Many thanks for your reply! The Dell XPS 15 that I am looking at (the one above) has:
1TB 5400RPM Hard Drive + 32GB Solid State Drive

So that should be enough right? Other than this point, would you say the Dell XPS 15 is a better laptop than the others?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Many thanks for your reply! The Dell XPS 15 that I am looking at (the one above) has:
1TB 5400RPM Hard Drive + 32GB Solid State Drive

So that should be enough right?

Enough capacity certainly, but it's only a hard drive. You want an SSD for maximum responsiveness. One big enough to install stuff onto, not just a tiny one that's used as a cache like that setup.

would you say the Dell XPS 15 is a better laptop than the others?

You've given us your computing requirements so we know what computing components are appropriate but you've said little about your portability requirements.

The XPS is a better laptop if you're going to be carrying it around for hours because it's much lighter and available with a bigger capacity battery. If you're not then it may be a worse laptop because you're wasting money on functionality you don't need.

The Dell equivalent of the N551 is probably something like the Inspiron 15 7000.
 

humanfish

Well-known Member
I've been weighing up the XPS 15 range since its release. Part of me wants to wait and see what Apple announce (in March I assume) with regards to a long overdue MBP overhaul and redesign.

In truth, I don't really need that industry level quality.

So I was weighing up the £1,299 XPS config with i7, 16GB, 512 SSD, but just the 1080 panel as I am not sure I really need the 4K screen. I'd rather save a bit of money and get a better battery.

I will only be doing hobbyist Photoshop/Illustrator/Lightroom. And I've been getting on fine using my 6 year old Dell Studio for that!!
 

SYAS

Novice Member
I've been weighing up the XPS 15 range since its release. Part of me wants to wait and see what Apple announce (in March I assume) with regards to a long overdue MBP overhaul and redesign.

In truth, I don't really need that industry level quality.

So I was weighing up the £1,299 XPS config with i7, 16GB, 512 SSD, but just the 1080 panel as I am not sure I really need the 4K screen. I'd rather save a bit of money and get a better battery.

I will only be doing hobbyist Photoshop/Illustrator/Lightroom. And I've been getting on fine using my 6 year old Dell Studio for that!!

Agreed, I dont need the 4K screen either, its totally not worth the money unless you need that much detail for a professional function.

What is your argument as to why this laptop is not better than the Dell XPS 15: N551VW-FW238T, ASUS N551VW-FW238T, 6850752 - Save on Laptops

I am seriously considering not buying the XPS 15 in favour of this ^ what are your thoughts on this?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Personally I'm not even going to consider not going for a double DPI screen when I replace my monitor in a year or two's time. I'm fed up of the lousy text rendering of normal monitors.

The battery life tradeoff on a laptop is a fair enough reason to go for a lower resolution screen though.
 

humanfish

Well-known Member
I am seriously considering not buying the XPS 15 in favour of this ^ what are your thoughts on this?

My choice is more driven by aesthetics and the overall package rather than purely price and value.

I like the premium build quality (am / was considering a MacBook Pro) and the small form factor but also it is very well specced. Going 1080p will provide better battery life, even if I will most likely end up using the machine on my lap or on a desk at home. If need be, I can use he saving to by a 4K monitor:
 

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