Laptop or Desktop


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Mar 4, 2012
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I am looking to upgrade my computer. My laptop crashed but still have my desktop, I was wondering editing wise would it be better to go with new laptop or desktop? My current comp is ok but lags when doing ps.. Which way would you go?
Both are capable, given the right hardware. I prefer to edit on my desktop as it has a better (?) screen and the chair is comfy :) but both my laptop and desktop are almost identicle systems i7 processors with half-decent video cards and 8g RAM. Both are loaded with software and networked so I can work from either station. When I travel the laptop becomes the primary and it's cool to tether.
I like the big screen to edit, maybe it is just my eyes are not what they use to be. Also a cozy chair is nice with a cup of coffee
Will you need the mobility of the laptop? If so, get a laptop. Otherwise, it doesn't matter much with current offerings as far as processing power where photo editing is concerned.
Most laptops have an low quality TN (Twisted Nematic) type display. Many people overcome that limitation by using a higher quality external IPS (In-Plane Switching) type display that sets on their desktop.

You don't mention a budget.

A decent IPS display for that would be the $300 DELL UltraSharp 2209WA 22 Inch Black Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor

A good higher scale IPS display would be the $1350 24IN LCD 1920X1200 1000:1 324I Dvid HDmi 6MS 10BIT Pips Gamut

You can however spend more - Wacom Cintiq 24HD 24-Inch Pen Display - Graphics Monitor with Digital Pen

Bottom line, I recommend having both a laptop and a desktop.
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<---------------macbook pro with 16gb ram, nec pa271w, the best of both worlds im a graphic designer by trade so im runner photoshop, illustrator, and indesign all at the same time and dont have any hiccups
Thanks for all the advice... Thinking might start with the laptop then check around on have my desktop built!!
Thanks for all the advice... Thinking might start with the laptop then check around on have my desktop built!!

When you are at your desk, you can also add external monitor, keyboard and mouse to the laptop.
If we're talking about photo editing...the display is very important, as KMH mentioned.

The thing about most laptops, is that they use a cheap display technology, which isn't ideal for consistent viewing. But also, because it's a laptop, it's only natural that you are going to be using it in different location, looking at it under different lighting conditions and at different viewing angles. All of that will factor against you for consistent photo editing.

If you are going to use an external 'desk top' monitor, then the laptop can still work fairly well. As as mentioned above, you'll likely want a good quality IPS display.

That being said, one of the students in my Lightroom class, has a really nice laptop with an IPS screen and a built-in display calibration system. Pretty nice.
how can I tell if my laptop screen is IPS? was the best screen Sony offered (1080p) at the time of purchase.
Does it look different when you tilt it up or down, or view it from an angle to the side?

Keep in mind that when they say 'Best' doesn't necessarily tell you 'best for what'.

TN screens can be great for gaming or watching video, general computing etc.
No, it does keep a good picture when viewing from an angle. The screen is a true 1080p ... all the HP's (I like HP) were 720p. It looks pretty darn amazing, trying to find the specs now.
I found some info...I don't know how reliable it is (or if it even applies to your machine), but here it is.

I also learned that the VAIO F-series 3D display is actually a Toshiba "OCB LCD" display, not an IPS. It seems to be somewhat new tech (though it's been under development for years), and I found it tough to find relevant, credible information about it.
2011 notebooks with IPS displays?

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