Need a new lap top, what to get?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Iron Flatline, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. Hi all.

    I need to buy a new Windows lap top. My trusty Toshiba has lasted 4 years, and it does not keep up with me anymore. I am hoping ot get as much input about your existing lap tops to help me make up my mind.

    Ok, here's what I need:

    I travel a lot, so it needs to be light. I do NOT need a desktop replacement, but I don't really need to work on the plane, either. I may choose to, but I'm not a sales guy who needs to use the in-plane time to deal with work issues. I currently "live" in four cities, Los Angeles, New York, Amsterdam and Berlin, and spend a few weeks at a time in each place. I usually travel with at least one digital SLR and pursue my hobby vigorously.

    In at least two of those places, I will get a docking station with a keyboard, a monitor and a mouse. In one I will just have to deal with a laptop, and the final location has my big fat (Windows) computer with Photoshop, 4 gig processors, Wacom tablet, and printer. I like to think of it as home ;)

    I am not interested in having the Windows/Mac conversation. To me they are tools not religious affiliations. What matters is the substantial windows-based software investment I have, and the fact that I know Windows really well. As much as I really respond to the Mac products (I love my iPod) it doesn't make sense for me to switch platforms at this point.

    Does anyone have any experience with tablet PCs? Toshiba and IBM make good ones. Is the tablet feature of any relevance for using Photoshop on the road?

    How have you used laptops in your day-to-day life, and how have you integrated photography into it?
     
  2. ShutteredEye

    ShutteredEye TPF Noob!

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    I use my laptop exclusively for editing. I have a Dell 600M. It has 2.1 pentium M, 2 gig of RAM and a 120gig hard drive. I got a few more bells and whistles with it, but ended up paying right at $2K. It goes with me nearly everywhere, 24/7 and it's held up for 1.5 yrs now, although I did have to replace the hard drive about 2 months ago. It gave me plenty of warning it was going out though. It now has a maxtor hd in it w/ a 5 yr warranty.

    One of the best features about the 600M is the ability to power another external monitor, say one that is color calibrated, etc.

    If you want something even smaller, my bro in law has a 700m and it is seriously small. It has almost identical specs to mine, except he wasn't able to get a video or graphics card with it, don't know why, maybe too small?

    With all the memory, when I have several full size file open with several layers each i rarely get any delays in processing time. It's worked well for me, I love it. And if you check the measurements on the 600m you'll find that it's slimmer and smaller than alot of other laptops.

    HTH's.
     
  3. Claff

    Claff TPF Noob!

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    I just picked up a pair of Toshiba M105-S3041 laptops for cheap money (sub-$700 after rebates) and they seem to be just fine, way better than the Acer laptop that really slowed me down.

    As far as integrating laptops into day-to-day life, that's all I use these days. I still have a desktop machine but it's rapidly approaching antique status; all it has going for it is a pair of monstrous hard drives that I back up the laptops onto.
     
  4. EBphotography

    EBphotography TPF Junkie!

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    I think for your purposes 1gb of RAM would be a necessity, probably an 80gb hard drive for your photos? You can always back them up on your "home." ;)

    I'm not sure about graphics cards, I don't have enough experience with them to give you an opinion. I have been impressed with Brightview on laptop screens, so you may invest in that if you go with a brand that carries it, since you enjoy photography. I know HP does. I really can't afford to go out and buy a nice laptop, but I have an older one that does OK I carry with me. As far as integrating my photography into my laptop, I don't. Maybe if I fill a memory card I will dump it on there, or put them on just to quickly show others, but as of yet I haven't done any serious editing on it. Looking into buying more RAM for it. *looks up* Well I just typed a lot, and I'm not sure how much I helped.
     
  5. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    Not to sound like a salesman and despite all of the recent 'exploding' batteries, I still like the Dell laptop that I got for my work. I have Photoshop, Auto CAD and eve ESRI ArcView loaded on it and it works just fine.
    Though it isn't a 'high end' number, it does the job quite nicely. As for a Toshiba, if it works go for it.
    What I have found however is the composition of the Dell works really well for me. If I need a new processor,memory or even Hard Drive, It is all replaceable instantly through access ports on the computer rather than having to take everything apart, watch for a shock board, grounding myself out, etc.
    The new XPS system even without all the stupid add ons works just fine.
     
  6. Yeah, I have to say I swear by Dell in everything else I buy (in terms of PCs.) I should give their laptop a try.
     
  7. forzaF1

    forzaF1 Ultimate Ferrari Tifosi

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    With mac now running windows, I would suggest getting a MacBook Pro. I have had one since the first day they came out and have love every minute of it.

    -just my $.02
     
  8. Without getting into religious conversation (these operating system questions always bring out the worst) can anyone tell me a little about the new Intel Macs. Do they really run Windows software? Does it require an emulator level? Is there a notable performance lag when running a Windows program? I have so much Windows software that I am wary of even evaluating Macs, but supposedly they can run these kinds of programs now.
     
  9. forzaF1

    forzaF1 Ultimate Ferrari Tifosi

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    To run windows on the new Intel Macs, you just have to download "bootcamp" from Apple's website(free). When the new OS comes out(Leopard), windows will come with it.
     

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