At first glance the only "big" difference is that the HP does not have a media card reader or web cam, but has a better battery than the Dell. But also think about the company that you are buying from. As in if there is an issue with the product, how good of a service will you get? The following link will show you a survey that was done on computer companies. http://www.pcworld.com/zoom?id=123409&page=9&zoomIdx=1
So in the end I would recommend the Dell laptop, as the battery won't last longer but it offers more options and they have better customer service.
hey cnet fam, i am entering my freshmen yr. of college and i am looking for a reliable, yet affordable laptop to enhance all my needs. i have narrowed down to these two. now i need you guys help, which laptop do you feel is the better one, regardless of price. thanks, also i am new to the laptop scene so if you could break down the important specs that would be helpful also. thanks