Choosing between HP Envy 15 and Lenovo Thinkpad w520 (see specs in details)

  shiasan 21:28 13 Apr 2012

Hi, I'm having some trouble choosing between the afore mentioned laptops, and I do need some opinions and advice quickly since they are both on a promotion period. I apologize in advance if this is the wrong area to post, or that I might seem 'noob' and naive, but I'm not into technology and well...just have a look please :)

Lenovo ThinkPad W520: RRP SGD$4,299; Promotion price SGD$2,031 (so 53% off)

Intel Core i7-2760QM processor (Quad-Core, 2.40GHz - 3.50Ghz , 6MB Cache)

Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 bit)

Mobile Intel QM67 Express Chipset

4GB PC3-10600 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM (Up to 16GB RAM)

500GB SATA HDD (7200rpm)

DVD Super Multi Double Layer Drive(DVDRW)

NVIDIA Quadro® 1000M Optimus 2GB DDR3

15.6" HD (1366x768) LED backlight

6-cell Li-ion Battery (Up to 6.5 hours)

2.4kg (With optional weight saver)

4-year International Onsite Warranty

Comes free with the following 5 items: (1) USB 500GB HDD; (2) Notebook Lock; (3) Headset with Mic; (4) USB Mouse; (5) 6 month Coverage of Thinkpad Insurance

HP ENVY15-3021TX Notebook PC: RRP SGD$2,398; Promotion price SGD$1,749 (so 27% off)

Intel® CoreTMi7-2670QM* Processor (2.2GHz with Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz)

Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium#

4GB 1333MHz DDR3 RAM

750GB 7200RPM HDD

ATI RadeonTM HD 7690M Graphics with 1024MB GDDR5 dedicated

SuperMulti 8X DVD±RW with Double Layer Support

Intel 3x3 802.11a/b/g/n WLAN with Integrated Bluetooth® 2.1

15.6” Diagonal HD Anti Glare HP BrightView LED Display (1366 x 768)

Full-sized Radiance backlit Keyboard and HP Imagepad with On/Off button

HP TrueVision HD webcam, 720p HD video streaming of webcam supports Skype

Beats AudioTM, HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer

Weighs 2.63kg with 8-cell

8-Cell 72WHr Lithium-Ion HP Long Life Battery (Up to 8 hours)

3 Years Next Business Day On-Site Warranty, One Year Warranty on Battery

I know this looks like a long post, but the above have been mainly specifications and if you've made it this far, I assume you're willing and ready to help and advise me in my decision. I know people will be asking me what I intend to use these computers for, so here goes:

(1) I intend for them to be stationed at home, for I won't really take them out except for emergencies.

(2) I like listening to music and watching movies with good audio, but I would say about 50% of the time I use headphones, the other 50% I just use the laptop's speakers.

(3) I Skype with people at least once to thrice a day (specs for the Thinkpad forgot to include 720p webcam, I do not have more information on this)

(4) The main few windows which are almost always open/running on my desktop/in the background are: MSN Messenger, Skype, Google Chrome (averaging 15 to 20 tabs, with Youtube, forums and various search engines), uTorrent, Microsoft Word (2 to 3 windows), PDF, VLC/iTunes, gMail updater...might have missed a few here and there, but this is the bulk.

(5) I would like to use this laptop also for gaming. I would like to be able to run games like Skyrim and Assassin's Creed (the latest) on it smoothly (I assume both machines are perfectly capable of doing so), but I've read several reviews saying that the HP in question will run it on Medium settings only, while the Thinkpad can run it on High. However, will the free 8GB Ram upgrade for HP overtake Thinkpad's graphic capabilities? I also would like playing online MMORPGs like Dragona, Aion etc.

(6) I'm looking for something that would last me quite long term. I've never used HP before, but I have used Lenovo before and my father used Thinkpad before IBM was bought over by Lenovo. He doesn't exactly agree with Thinkpad, since he did not have a particularly good experience with it, but my Lenovo lasted me around 3 years despite being a very cheap, low end laptop, and it has recently died on me. I've been told that Thinkpads are the Nokias of the laptop world, so any opinions on this generally would be welcome.

I understand if many of you think I should just go to the store and 'try' both laptops out myself, but that's not possible because I'm not in the country with the ongoing promotion. I have also watched and read around 5 reviews on each laptop, both from Youtube reviewers (also viewed similar games being run on both laptops) and websites like and, but I simply cannot make up my mind because simply put, I'm technologically challenged. If there is anything particular about each laptop which 'beats' the other one, please let me know as well.

  KRONOS the First 03:04 14 Apr 2012

This is is purely a personal experience but I found that when I had a problem with a HP printer that their customer service was one of the worst I have ever come across. So much so that it was simpler to replace the printer and buy another brand. Unfortunately I have no experience of Lenovo.

Not much help in your dilemma I know but in my case customer service is very important and my experience does not seem to be unusual. Not good.

  lotvic 15:56 14 Apr 2012

SGD$ Singapore? "If you're ordering goods from abroad, or buying and sending to the UK goods from abroad for personal use, you may have to pay Customs Duty, Excise Duty or import VAT. What's due, if anything, depends on the type of goods and where they come from." ClickHere

  shiasan 16:22 14 Apr 2012

@Chronus: Had a look at the link there in your comment, but I also compared it to Lenovo's customer service and both of them didn't look too good! I suppose I'm not too fussed about customer service because frankly speaking, I rarely need/use their services. And come to think of it, it seems that alot of brands' customer services are always complained about! But your comment got me thinking and I did some random general research and it seems that people complain a lot more about HP having lousy motherboard systems and what not, while Lenovo has a more reliable, steadfast and long lasting system. Someone even commented that he went through 3 HP laptops in the span of 3 years! Not very encouraging comment, but I didn't see such negative ones about Lenovo's Thinkpads.

@Lotvic: Thanks for the heads up, but I'm not actually having it sent to the UK. Heaven forbid it gets lost or broken or god knows what, and the postage would cost a bomb. I've arranged for someone to buy it for me during the promotion period and I am only going back in a few months time from London to pick it up from him in person when I'm there on holidays (:

  Woolwell 16:59 14 Apr 2012

You may find that you are still caught by Customs on arrival back from holiday. Check out whether there is a worldwide warranty. Which version of W7?

  Chinoy 05:46 21 Apr 2012

I am in the same boat as you, in Singapore looking to buy the w520 Where did u get such a sweet deal from Pls email me on ronchinoy at

  Chinoy 05:47 21 Apr 2012

I am in the same boat as you, in Singapore looking to buy the w520 Where did u get such a sweet deal from Pls email me on ronchinoy at

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

OnePlus 5T review

How to draw a mandala

iPhone X review

Les meilleures enceintes Bluetooth à moins de 150 euros