Help with business laptop

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by misol, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. misol

    misol TPF Noob!

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    Hi all. Time has come for a new computer. I want to buy a laptop so I can work in various locations (office, home, etc). At home and office, I plan to plug in my large monitors for photo editing.

    But I was wondering if I could get any help picking brand/model or even just specs. My budget is $1500 (up to $2000). I will be running PS4 and LR2 or course, and I shoot RAW so I have big files on it.

    What do you suggest? Any help is greatly appreciated!

    P.S. I know I am gonna hear "MACBOOK!". And I find Macbooks appealing. But...I am not sure I have the time to relearn everything I have learned over the past 15 years of my life using PCs. If you made this switch and are glad you did, do you mind sharing how hard the switch was?
     
  2. misol

    misol TPF Noob!

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    no one is a computer buff too? no one just got their business a new laptop? I have been doing research but it really is quite overwhelming!
     
  3. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    I picked up a notebook computer last March on clearance for $296 after tax, it was reg $500 before that. It runs everything great, except for my version of photoshop, im guessing its because the notebook has dual cpu's and the photoshop is a bit old and doesnt know how to deal with that, but thats just my guess. This laptop runs programs better than my desktop, and only cost $300. You may not have to get a $2000 machine. The one I got was a widescreen, *forget size, but its a pretty good size* has a regular keyboard and numberic one on the right, 2gb ram, 160db hd, dvd rw, 3 usb, sd card reader and has built in wifi.
     
  4. Eco

    Eco TPF Noob!

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    Lol, I'm a fan of Macbook's so IMO it's worth playing with them for an hour or so at your local Apple store. Switching from a windows based computer to a Mac is easy, within a week you will like a pro.

    Get plenty of memory or an external HD, I think mine only has 12GB of free memory left.......no more shooting in RAW for me until I buy a new HD.
     
  5. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm PC through and through, but for a notebook you'll do photography work on, I would seriously consider a Macbook along with the Dells and HPs. You want a top-notch screen above almost all other considerations. Imagine spending all kinds of time editing a photo, only to have it come out like ass on print because not only was the screen not calibrated, it was incapable of being correctly calibrated.

    I have an excellent HP notebook. I tried a few times to edit some pictures and gave up. I wait until I get home.
     
  6. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What he said. Screen resolution is going to be what you should be looking for. Maybe years ago you could say that Mac's were the best choice for video/photo editing - these days thats just not true (if it ever was). There are tons of high end laptops out there that will take your raw files, chew them up, laugh and spit them right back at you as you open and edit them in your software platforms.

    How "large" are you willing to go on this. I mean if you spend a ****load of money, only to find out you can only effectively view parts of a photograph at once - that seems kind of a waste.
     
  7. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Most laptop screens suck regardless of manufacturer, I have calibrated my laptop screen and its ok for simple stuff, but it is not even close to the accuracy of my Dell IPS(and even that is a relatively cheap monitor), so a good calibrated external monitor the the way to go. If you do go mac, the key is not getting screwed on upgrading the ram and HD from apple. Do it yourself and save hundreds of dollars, its pretty simple.

    For a PeeCee laptop, I would do some research on what performs best with windows 7 and go from there, then find one that you can load up with ram, i'm thinking 6gigs, look for physical build quality; most laptops are built like crap. Also if you can find a model that has the ability to use a docking station it makes hooking up a monitor, several HD's, keyboard and mouse much more convenient and keeps your workspace more organized.
     
  8. misol

    misol TPF Noob!

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    its off the table, I would have to get a new PS4 program...no way I can do that
     
  9. misol

    misol TPF Noob!

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    I will be doing the vast majority of my photo editing on my 21" flat screen. I just need the mobility to move between office and home, and be able to work on the run (but not much photo editing on the run)
     
  10. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would then say any 13inch and above laptop will work. If you are willing to fork out up to 2K, look at Dells XPS line, most notably their new Dell Adamo (looks incredibly sexy - if I weren't so cheap I'd be ll over that).

    Or you can get their regular XPS line model's - 15inch screen with 1920X1080 full HD output (which to me is incredible on a laptop). You can get a solid state tricked out one for less than 1500 (more than that if you want their top of the line video card, which you most likely wont need).
     
  11. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    I just got a Dell PrecisionM4400 in August. About as big as I'd want to go with a laptop, 15.4 inches.. It was a requirement for school to get an HP Elitebook 8530W "or equivalent". I went with the equivalent. Comes with a dedicated video card and has been wonderful for handling imaging tasks.

    Most computer bags and accessories are built around a 15.4" laptop. It becomes more interesting to find them for the 17" systems. Even with my 9 cell battery, it's a tight fit getting it into the bag we bought for our computers.

    $200 you can get a docking station that lets you setup a desk with monitor, keyboard Etc. All you do is simply set the laptop in the station and it's now a desktop. We used these in the engineering dept at the last company I worked for. Partly why I was so willing to get the system.

    IF you get a 32-bit system, get 4GB of ram, anything more and the system can't utilize it.

    If you get a 64-bit system, Buy as much RAM as you can afford. I'd spend it on ram before I went and bought the bigger processors.

    That comment alone can cause arguments, but unless you are an IT geek and code wizard into hacking OS, it's how it is.
     
  12. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    I'm going to suggest portability here...

    You've got most things covered, with monitor, etc (I hope your monitor is IPS, though almost all monitors are improvements on most laptop screens).

    The Asus U80V, Asus UL80V(t), Dell Vostro, Dell Studio XPS 13 (a bit heavy and overheating problems)... a quick search on a computer forum would yield more, really.

    Something with a reasonable screen for emergencies, enough RAM and processing power... depends what else you are looking at.
     

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