I run the smaller (15") version of the HP at work. Been happy with it so far, the Quadro solution means it’ll be certified for any CAD apps you need to run.
Build quality is pretty good, though the keyboard on mine is a little chintzy and sags in one corner.
The 1920x1200 resolution is great - gives you a huge amount of real estate for CAD windows. That alone would sell me on one over the other. But I’ve used Dell laptops for years and have never had any hardware issues that made me unhappy, we simply switched from Dells to HP’s at work so thats why I migrated.
running hp 8710w quadro 3600m T8300 (2.4 GHz) 4 gb ram with solidworks 07 and aliasstudio 08. happy with it so far, though i haven’t rendered any photoworks/maxwell or animation in alias. alias real time shade seems to work fine.
but battery life is about 1.5 hours if i’m doing cad. and the ac/dc adapter is big and heavy but not too hot. cooling fan works quietly and occasionally, not continuously. keyboard feel is on the spongy side when keys are pushed, but screen hinge, trackpad, buttons, ports all seem to be top quality. hd failed when machine was three days old but i can’t blame hp for that.
also dell quadro 1600m is only 256 mb video memory, hp 1600m has 512 mb. both give you 512 mb if you get the 3600m chip but that is really pricey and sucks mucho power.
Don’t go crazy for resolutions…you want to buy a nice 20" screen or even 24" right away with the laptop…same for keyboard.
This laptiops are not really mobile, so adjust a nice working space with keyboard, mosuse and screen