The Dell is stuck at Fedora 14. Anything newer brings in gnome3 and the system crashes when a 3D operation is done. I've tried Fedora 15 and 17, and could not get it configured to avoid the crashes in the Intel graphics system. I configured to use the fallback system, but something isn't right, and it still crashes. So I've kept it locked at Fedora 14.
I could run Gnome3 on the HP, and I hated it. I don't want windows bouncing around, I want to have 8 workspaces that I get to with keyboard shotcuts, I want focus to automatically turned on as I move the mouse over the window without clicking, I want to have static panels with drawers that I can specify where each thing goes. I eventually turned on the fallback gnome mode, and it allowed me to configure many of the things I use all of the time in Gnome2, but there are still lots of things I can't figure out how to do with the time I spent looking at the documentation. I played with Mate under Fedora 17, and I wasn't happy with it. While gnome fallback mode is a pale imatation of gnome2, eventually I will want the stuff I've been accustomed to having in my desktop for the past 10 years or so. I have the commands and shortcuts burned into my finger tips.
I've been trying off and on to get Fedora 18 installed on the Lenovo, and every so often the screen gets garbage on it, and the system hangs. Because of gnome3, this time I went with XFCE, and while it doesn't have everything I had in gnome2, it had enough that I could tolerate it for the time being. I have tried all of the BIOS configuration options, tried it with/without the Intel video driver, but I'm giving up on Fedora. Instead, I plan on installing Centos 6.4 (essentially RHEL 6) using the basic video driver. I had this working at one point, but decided to give Fedora one more try. Before buying the laptop, I did check around and did not find people with the kinds of problems I've been having with it. I really, really hope I don't have to load my Windows 7 OS that came with the laptop and run Linux as a virtual machine.