Racking my brain deciding on a laptop

AdrianBeaky

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Just a little about what is going on with my situation. I'm looking to start my own photography business this year. I've done research and ironed out my plan over the last few years. I haven't pulled the trigger yet because of certain life events, figuring out funding, etc and didn't want to get a laptop and have it go outdated by the time I was ready. But now I am and ready to pull the trigger on my business and get a laptop. The laptop won't be my primary photo editor as I have a customized gaming rig that I configured towards graphics (i7 processor, 12 gigs of ram, dedicated graphics cards, solid state hard drive with an HDD for photo storage, dual IPS monitors. I don't mess around :) ).

What I'm planning on using this laptop for is:
a) Tethered shooting when it calls for it
b) showing photos to clients
c) editing in Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom when I'm not near my main computer
d) back end business stuff when I don't feel like working from home (like word processing, editing, making promotional materials, etc. Sometimes I just like to work in a change of scenery like a coffee shop, the library, park)

So my requirements for a laptop:
a) $1000 budget
b) a good screen with accurate colors. Preferably IPS but seems difficult in this budget
c) dedicated graphics card at least 2GB GDDR5
d) 15.6 inch screen
e) durability since this will be traveling a lot

I have 3 laptops I'm leaning toward. There is one that I am leaning more heavily towards but wanted to get insight from others in the photography community to see if I'm missing something and maybe get a different perspective. Links are below :)

MSI:

GE62 Apache Pro-004
Amazon.com: MSI Computer G Series GE62 Apache Pro-004 15.6" Laptop: Computers & Accessories
Meets all my requirements but is over budget. 6th gen i7. Also it does not have an IPS display (uses a TN display). But it has good reviews and people seem to like it. Also, MSI makes high performance computers and never considered them at first because they aren't "budget friendly" machines :)

Asus

ROG: GL552VW-DH71
Amazon.com: ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH71 15-Inch Gaming Laptop, Discrete GPU GeForce GTX 960M 2GB VRAM, 16GB DDR4, 1TB (ROG Metallic): Computers & Accessories
Also meets all my requirements. Right on budget. Has and IPS display. 6th gen i7. Also love the look of this computer. The ROG series has some amazing cooling too. However, not rated very good. People have problems with the graphics drivers and blanking screens which is a huge problem since photographers typically work with graphics ;)

ROG: GL551JW-AH71
Amazon.com: ASUS ROG GL551JW-AH71(WX) 15-Inch Gaming Laptop, Discrete GPU GeForce GTX 960M 2GB VRAM, 8GB, 256G SSD storage (ROG Black): Computers & Accessories
This one is a little outdated. It meets all my requirements but has a 4th Generation i7. Also has only 8 gigs of RAM as opposed to the 16 gigs of the other two. But I like the aesthetics of this one the most. It also comes with a 256 gig SSD which I like. However it does not have an IPS display. It's under budget and has great reviews.

Now here are my questions:
1) Does it really make that much of a difference to not have an IPS display?
2) Is there that much of a performance difference in the 4th and 6th generation of i7 processors to merit spending almost $200 more on the MSI?
3) Is there something I'm missing in my research here?
4) Are these specs too much? Can I full fill my needs with less?
5) Does anyone have any suggestions or personal experience with other laptops that I can consider?

Thank you very much in advance for any input. Sorry for the long post :)
 
Now here are my questions:
1) Does it really make that much of a difference to not have an IPS display?
Yes.
TN displays have narrow color accurate viewing angles.

I'll keep this simple.
If you hope to see or show clients what your digital photographs really look like, it depends on what make and model of display you use and you have to regularly hardware profile your display.
X-Rite ColorMunki Display
Monitor Calibration for Photography
 
Last edited:
Now here are my questions:
1) Does it really make that much of a difference to not have an IPS display?
Yes.
TN displays have narrow color accurate viewing angles.

I'll keep this simple.
If you hope to see or show clients what your digital photographs really look like, it depends on what make and model of display you use and you have to regularly hardware profile your display.
X-Rite ColorMunki Display
Monitor Calibration for Photography

Right. I forgot about viewing angles. Forgot that a client sitting next to me would have a different perspective than me staring straight at it. The MSI one, reviewers said it has really good viewing angles so that would be good if that's true.

Way ahead of you on the monitor calibration. I have the ColorMunki (love it) and profile my 2 monitors on my desktop at least once every 2 weeks on down time. Calibrate them every time before editing a client's shoot. I'm planning on doing the same routine on the laptop :)
 
To me, your specs seem a bit overkill if you're just going to be using this laptop for occasional photo editing and general classwork. I'm also a university student with a setup much like you are going for: gaming desktop, supplementary laptop. I have a macbook pro that's driven by Intel Iris integrated graphics (what a racket) and it drives Lightroom as well as the GIS applications I have to use just fine. That being said, if you can get a GTX 960 at your price point totally go for it if it uses Optimus. I've owned an Asus gaming laptop before and had horrible issues with an AMD card that ran super hot (5870). That was several generations ago though and new nVidia cards are touted for great heat performance. I've also used a Sager laptop which I've adored, great machines, and they have a few models that seems to check most of your boxes. I don't see you seeing any difference between 4th and 6th gen i7's.
 
Sager laptops are excellent. Well designed, quality hardware. Way better than the three OP listed. Lenovo T and W series are good as well. Arrow Direct has a good selection of A grade used ThinkPad and MacPro in stock.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
 
Just a little about what is going on with my situation. I'm looking to start my own photography business this year. I've done research and ironed out my plan over the last few years. I haven't pulled the trigger yet because of certain life events, figuring out funding, etc and didn't want to get a laptop and have it go outdated by the time I was ready. But now I am and ready to pull the trigger on my business and get a laptop. The laptop won't be my primary photo editor as I have a customized gaming rig that I configured towards graphics (i7 processor, 12 gigs of ram, dedicated graphics cards, solid state hard drive with an HDD for photo storage, dual IPS monitors. I don't mess around :) ).

What I'm planning on using this laptop for is:
a) Tethered shooting when it calls for it
b) showing photos to clients
c) editing in Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom when I'm not near my main computer
d) back end business stuff when I don't feel like working from home (like word processing, editing, making promotional materials, etc. Sometimes I just like to work in a change of scenery like a coffee shop, the library, park)

So my requirements for a laptop:
a) $1000 budget
b) a good screen with accurate colors. Preferably IPS but seems difficult in this budget
c) dedicated graphics card at least 2GB GDDR5
d) 15.6 inch screen
e) durability since this will be traveling a lot

I have 3 laptops I'm leaning toward. There is one that I am leaning more heavily towards but wanted to get insight from others in the photography community to see if I'm missing something and maybe get a different perspective. Links are below :)

MSI:

GE62 Apache Pro-004
Amazon.com: MSI Computer G Series GE62 Apache Pro-004 15.6" Laptop: Computers & Accessories
Meets all my requirements but is over budget. 6th gen i7. Also it does not have an IPS display (uses a TN display). But it has good reviews and people seem to like it. Also, MSI makes high performance computers and never considered them at first because they aren't "budget friendly" machines :)

Asus

ROG: GL552VW-DH71
Amazon.com: ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH71 15-Inch Gaming Laptop, Discrete GPU GeForce GTX 960M 2GB VRAM, 16GB DDR4, 1TB (ROG Metallic): Computers & Accessories
Also meets all my requirements. Right on budget. Has and IPS display. 6th gen i7. Also love the look of this computer. The ROG series has some amazing cooling too. However, not rated very good. People have problems with the graphics drivers and blanking screens which is a huge problem since photographers typically work with graphics ;)

ROG: GL551JW-AH71
Amazon.com: ASUS ROG GL551JW-AH71(WX) 15-Inch Gaming Laptop, Discrete GPU GeForce GTX 960M 2GB VRAM, 8GB, 256G SSD storage (ROG Black): Computers & Accessories
This one is a little outdated. It meets all my requirements but has a 4th Generation i7. Also has only 8 gigs of RAM as opposed to the 16 gigs of the other two. But I like the aesthetics of this one the most. It also comes with a 256 gig SSD which I like. However it does not have an IPS display. It's under budget and has great reviews.

Now here are my questions:
1) Does it really make that much of a difference to not have an IPS display?
2) Is there that much of a performance difference in the 4th and 6th generation of i7 processors to merit spending almost $200 more on the MSI?
3) Is there something I'm missing in my research here?
4) Are these specs too much? Can I full fill my needs with less?
5) Does anyone have any suggestions or personal experience with other laptops that I can consider?

Thank you very much in advance for any input. Sorry for the long post :)


Here's the one I use
Inspiron 17 5000 Series Non-Touch It is 17", you will find that larger screen makes a huge difference. MAke sure you have at least 6GB memory and 500MB or larger HD. All my tethering software works perfectly. I do use Win 7 though and am going to stay away from Win10 as long as possible. This laptop is well withing your budget and exceeds your specs.
Inspiron 17 5000 Series Non-Touch
 
Hey everyone. Thanks for the suggestions. So here's the update. I purchased an MSI PE60 a couple of weeks ago. I got it on Monday and have to say it's a pretty good little laptop. Haven't done any editing with it yet but I did set it up with all the programs I need and works like a champ. Just have to get used to Photoshop loading slower (have a solid state and more RAM in my desktop :) ). For the price point, I couldn't have gotten anything better and with these specs, should last me a long time. Link below for reference. I bought it from Best Buy and good thing I ordered it when I did because it was one of the last ones they had in stock.

Amazon.com : MSI Computer P Series PE60 6QE-031US 15.6" Laptop : Computers & Accessories
 
Looks like a solid machine. Congrats!

Sent from my LG-H900 using Tapatalk
 

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