A Question for the computer geeks out there...

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Antithesis, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm looking at laptops. I've ruled out Mac's because I don't feel I need to drop 50% more cash because it looks pretty. I'm not even really into the new mac design anyways. I've already owned one, and while I love the OS, I don't think its worth the additional cost.

    So, I'm looking specifically at Sony VAIO's and Dell Studio laptops. More specifically the Studio 15 with the Intel GMA gpu and 4 gigs of RAM, and the VAIO NW series with the ATi HD 4570 gpu, and otherwise the same specs as the Dell and runs about $50 more. Does anyone have any experience with the screens on these guys? Can you calibrate them to any degree? Are they comparable or does one stand out against the other? Is there any other laptop (excluding macbook pro's) that have a quality enough screen that one could actually do some decent editing on it? I want a 15-16" specifically because it seems like its a good trade off between portability and usability. My budget is around $800.

    Oh, and I've been a semi computer nerd for about 12 years now, so use all the geek gibberish you want.

    Summary: I need a laptop with a good enough screen so it can be calibrated in the $800 range.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  2. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I've had great experiences with the durability of Dell and HP laptops (I've used them professionally for years). I've not had good luck, nor have I known several of my co-workers to have had good luck with Sony laptops. They seem to fail more often and they use non-standard parts making repairs down the road costly and difficult.

    If I had to pick one laptop for my personal use that wasn't a Mac (I'm a Mac user now) I would go with HP.

    But you know what they say about opinions... :)
     
  3. bp4life71

    bp4life71 TPF Noob!

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    I dont know if its still on sale...but Best Buy had a gateway sale priced at 499.00. Dual core AMD, 4 gb ram, 320 hd, 16 inch HD screen, built in webcam...all the bells and whistles. I dont have the laptop in front of me, but I believe it is the Gateway NV52....regularly at 749.00. Killer Laptop...i use it for photo editing and movie editing.....so quick so quick. can't say enough about it.

    Found it, and still on sale!

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9370441&type=product&id=1218093004316

    This is the BEST DEAL going on laptops. I run premier elements and photo elements with absolute ease....it does come with vista, but its running at 64 and not 32...very fast. As far as screen, its amazing quality, and if your at home you can hook it up via HDMI to your hdtv....this is the one you want for the money.
     
  4. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    i echo the HP feelings. love mine. it's a real work horse, and takes abuse. (dv8110us)

    sonys i find expensive for what you get.

    my wife has a dell xps, and it;s been running FLAWLESSLY for 5 years.

    i know you already know this, and may need portability, but for my money, nothing beats a good desktop. easy to upgrade, easy to build/fix. and more bang for your buck.

    let us know what you decide.
     
  5. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'll thrown in a vote for the Dell over the Sony. Only know a few people who use Sony's and they are satisfied, but not more than that.

    My wife has a Dell (not the studio, its an Inspiron) and she likes it alot. She designs webpages and uses other adobe software like Illustrator, Photoshop and so on. The screen is really nice and bright. When I bought it, I paid more to upgrade the screen to whatever high res version they offered.

    I tried to calibrate it with a software called Spyder and i was somewhat limited in what I could do. The thing works well, she has had it for 2 years. She has had 1 hard drive problem, sent it in and everything is fine. No major issues.
     
  6. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Can't help but agree with this. If you do need to lug it around, sure, but otherwise you'll get more bang for your money with a desktop and they tend to have fewer accidents :D

    As for brands, my wife's company uses mostly Dells both for laptops and desktops and they are definitely geeks. Software company.
     
  7. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    HP laptops are great but unless you can find one with an IPS screen their screens are generally crap. I'm currently typing on an EliteBook and I tried to calibrate the screen but the software was unable to do so. First time I've ever had the software fail to calibrate.

    Dell Studio laptop screens are by far the best you'll find on a laptop.
     
  8. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, I went and played with the laptops yesterday at bestbuy for a little bit, and the build quality of both the Sony and the Dell were pretty good. I was planning on building a desktop, because at that price point I could build something small and blazing fast (MicroATX with 8 gigs of ram, quad-core, blah blah blah... not to mention a decent monitor that can be calibrated). But... portability has become important as I will be moving around a lot over the next few years.. that makes durability important as well.

    I really liked the setup of the NW series VAIO's as they seem almost to be the PC version of a Macbook pro. But the Dell seemed to have better hinges and a tougher shell around the screen (my old Macbook suffered from several cracks in the plastic chassis and a broken screen in the two years I owned it... I'm pretty hard on my laptops).

    Good to know about the Dell monitors too... they seem to flaunt them pretty hard in the spec's of the studios, so I'm strongly leaning towards them. I also discovered that you can custom order one with the graphics card I want for $75 more, which has pretty much sealed the deal. Not to mention the sweet paintjobs you can get! (lol)

    Oh, and my first PC (of 4, plus a mac) was an HP and that thing was a pile of junk. Far too much bloatware for my liking, and the design on them seems to be both generic and not so well thought out. For example, a super shiny surface that attracts fingerprints like crazy. That's one of my peeves because my netbook looks decrepit because of it.
     
  9. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    Yea I love the Dell Studios I've had. They are pretty tough as well. Not as tough as my XPS M1330 though. That is the best and toughest laptop I've ever owned.
     
  10. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Does your XPS have the "TrueLife" monitor? Anything better about those than a normal CCFL monitor?
     
  11. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am typing this message with my Sony NW120j/s. I bought this few weeks ago. So far so good. My previous one was a Dell. And the one before that was another Sony.

    I like this Sony because I like the way it looks, but most important, I prefer the screen/kb/touchpad over other one I tried. I compared this with Asus, Dell, Toshiba, HP ... at Bestbuy and I like this the best. Of course, it is my personal choice.

    KB/touchpad/screen are important to me since they are the interface for the computer.

    Since you are pretty hard on your laptop, you may want to check out the Panasonic. My first Notebook was a Panasonic toughbook built with magnesium casing. You can feel the different. That notebook is still working except the harddisk. (Pentium base processor, very old). I can boot it off with a older Linux livecd! I still remember long time ago at the trade show in Vegas, the Panasonic reps spilled some water on the keyboard and then dropped it on the floor, picked it up and have my try it. It still worked.
     
  12. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Warning, trivial knowledge only important to those interested in a Dell:

    After doing a bit more research, it would appear that Dell uses LED screens on the Studio versus LCD or CCFL or whatever, and "TrueLife" is just denoting that they are glossy (versus matte, which is normal for a lot of laptops, minus Macs and a few others). People have spider'd them to good effect, and it sounds usable for accurate photo editing. There are two different types that can come on the Studio, LED in 720p and "Bright" LED in 900p and 1080p. I found a review that said that the normal one can be pretty dim, so "bright" might be the better option for photographers.

    Digressions aside... is 720p going to feel limited in terms of screen real-estate? I feel compelled to get the 900p version for the sake of the brighter screen, but I'd like to save money if I can. It's a $50 upgrade.
     

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