I'm looking for another laptop for IT support. Most of what I do with it is develop ERP and web software, run many operating systems on it through VMware desktop and ESXi, and it's always with me wherever I go. In my world, cores, threads, memory, and disk space are the main requirements. I buy right when I buy because it takes ~80 hours to move to a new machine, which is more expensive than the computer is. I'm currently on a Inspiron 9400 that comes with me on multiple times a day on customer visits and has been on almost 24 X 7 since 2006. I can't stay on 32 bit and XP forever. I don't have time to be a gamer. It would be nice to watch TV on it while I'm running on the treadmill, and 3D would be a nice, but actually a touch screen would have more wow factor.
Questions: 1. People pay a lot more money extra for Quadro, starting at $300 - $740.00, and from what people say, end up with less performance than the base FirePro 8900, and pay up to $1,640.00 extra to beat the low end card by 5%-15%. It seems like CAD is where the most significant advantages are. nVidia has the advantage of Optimus to save battery life, but laptops are plugged in most of the time anyway. What other reasons do people have to pay the extra money?
2. Is there any way the M6600 can do 3D like the XPS 17 3D?
3. Is there any way the M6600 can do TV like the XPS 17 3D?
4. Can I put in a $100 Blu-Ray online instead of the $400 Blu-Ray option that Dell sells? It looks like a generic flat-bezel drive in the M6600 photos.
5. Any reason not to start out with a refurb with a touch panel, buy a new 1080 B173HW01 V5 17.3'' LCD for $100, and install it behind a Touch panel? OR how about an IPS panel behind the touch screen? Do you know the make and model of the touch panel that Dell uses? I think it's odd that Dell doesn't have the camera and mic on the touch panel machines. I really don’t want to give up getting the touch panel.
6. It seems like buying the XPS 17 3D makes a lot of sense too. It's ~$750 to $1000 cheaper for the same setup, and it will do TV and 3D right out of the box. In the future, the parts will be more plentiful when you need a part off eBay due to its higher volume. It seems like it has fewer proprietary parts. Why I'm better off with an M6600 other than the XPS 17 3D other than doesn't have a touch screen or IPS panels available.