I've been running SW-Prem and Sim-Pro on my W701 for about a year now. Its fairly decked out, i7 Q820, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA 3800M, 1920x1200 display... It works great, could be faster I guess, but then it could 'always' be faster. I use it mostly for reverse engineering existing mechanical systems, so a fair bit of 200+ component assy's, kinematics, and FEA. I also use photoreal a fair bit for presentations.
Having been the first mechanical engineer in this company for 20 years, I've stuck my nose into many issues and uncovered a mountain of work. So I recently got the go ahead for 2 more mechanicals, who I plan to outfit with SW and mobile work stations (we do a lot of onsite 'reverse engineering' since some equipment is too big to move... and is in remote areas).
So here in lies my problem. I went onto the Lenovo website to order another 2 W701's and found out they've been discontinued (apparently all their inventory was purchased by the French military... so there are none available). I'd like to be able to supply my new guys with the same or better capability than I have.
I'm skeptical of purchasing from small specialty manufacturers, Lenovo only has the W520 now, which is a 15"... 17" is pretty much a must. I looked at Dell and saw their customizable 17", but I also noticed their gaming line (Alienware). They're a little flashy, but seem to have the kind of guts that would work well for CAD (they can run dual graphics cards!?).
One big must the laptops must have is the ability to drive two monitors while in a dock. 50% of the time the laptop is on my desk, and two 24" displays lets me see a lot.
I'm fishing for suggestions, and am seriously considering the DELL Alienware line... but I'll be honest I know little about what makes a gaming laptop -a gaming laptop.
Weight is not an issue, the W701 is a beast... but I have no trouble taking it on travel (although it kind of takes up the whole tray table on an airplane!).