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Laptop advice please

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  • Laptop advice please

    My current laptop is inadequate for taking a really critical look at photos. I guess that is partly a matter of resolution and the fact the machine is a relatively cheap one with a non reflective screen that is fine for text. It falls way short of what my Viewsonic does with the PC and means that any editing/selecting of photos has to wait until I get home.

    Can anyone please recommend a laptop (PC not Mac) that meets the following criteria
    a. 15 or 15.4 inch display.
    b. Non reflective screen.
    c. Good enough for a really critical look at photos.
    David

    EM1ii, EM10ii

  • #2
    Re: Laptop advice please

    Any particular reason for not wanting an Apple Mac? The screens are simply fantastic.

    In terms of performance, I would look at an Intel Core i3 or Core i5 machine - the i5 is more than what you strictly need, but it will give you quite a performance boost when it comes to batch processing. my Core i5 desktop is at least twice as fast as my (by no means slow) Core 2 Duo P8400 laptop.

    High resolution screens are nice for photo editing, but you need to strike a balance between resolution and screen size - I personally find that 1920x1080 is just too higher resolution for a 15 inch screen, but is manageable on on an 17 inch machine. Ideally you'd want to get a laptop with an IPS or *VA screen, but it can be difficult to find out this information.

    To start off with though, can you answer a few questions:

    What screen size / form factor do you prefer?

    Do you have any brand preferences?

    Do have a rough budget in mind?

    Apart from photo's, are there any other specific tasks you plan to use the laptop for, such as games, HD video editing or 3D work, for example?

    Are there any manufacturers (apart from Apple as you have already said) that you would not be happy with?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Laptop advice please

      I3 and I5 powered machines are very fast. The graphics card does not make too much of a differenece, except for 3D games and HD video. 2-4GB of memory is a must these days.

      The choice for a PC or MAC is a personal one. You can get most software on both platforms.

      My last netbook/laptop has from HP. Great support and features, for a good price. Avoid noname brands, and you will find getting bios/driver upgrade a problem.

      Calibration. I have two samsung monitors at home. I though the colours were good but now I see how far they were out after I have just purchased the Datacolor Spyder3 Pro monitor calibration system.

      My laptop/netbooks are next.

      I am looking to get the printer calibration kit, so I can get my whole workflow colour correct.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Laptop advice please

        Thank you both.

        My main concern is screen resolution and the ability to see if photos are properly in focus and of acceptable colour. The angle of view on my current machine it quite limited and if I'm not right in front of it perfectly acceptable pictures can seem quite poor, both for focus and colour. I certainly daren't make accept/reject decisons, except in the most obvious cases, on the current machine. The max resolution is 1280x800

        Suggesting switching to a Mac is a bit like advising buying a Canikon! Things like processor power, RAM and disk size will fall into place once I've identified a machine with a suitable display
        David

        EM1ii, EM10ii

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Laptop advice please

          I use an HP Pavillion with a 17 3/4 screen, which is great for my photos. Depending on how much you want to spend, my other half has an HP Envy which has an i7 processor it's a very nice laptop. We had a Mac for a while but i just couldn't get on with it, too set in my ways. LOL. It's sitting in a box in a cupboard now, gathering dust.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Laptop advice please

            I'm considering a Dell 17" laptop. The combinations of Ram memory, etc. means the price can vary from about 500 up to 1000.
            The 17" screen will help a little over 15" towards viewing pictures better.
            Although I'm still surprised every time I print a picture how fuzzy by comparison the picture is on screen. There will always be something of this as the screen at one resolution tries to show a picture at another.

            I'm holding off buying until January when most companies sell off cheap what didn't sell at Christmas before bringing out new models in February.
            The main things I expect of it are fast use of Elements 8.0 (and if I can afford it Lightroom 3) good memory to complement my backup hard drive and decent wifi.

            Duncan
            Duncan

            Lots of toys.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Laptop advice please

              I'm looking at 17" Dells too, but I'm also considering a Sony Vaio laptop which seems to be about the same price and similar spec.

              What would a good amount of RAM be, so I can edit my photos without my computer coming to a screeching halt!
              Tracey Jones

              Its a shame that humans dont come with autofocus, like cameras do!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Laptop advice please

                What would a good amount of RAM be, so I can edit my photos without my computer coming to a screeching halt!
                I use 2 Gb at present and I'm looking for 4Gb at least. A six shot raw panorama permits me to make and drink a pot of tea while it chews 0s and 1s.
                A decent sized graphics cards is also useful as Elements and one or two other programs are quite 'heavy' and this helps.
                500Gb memory is the minimum I'm looking of in hard drive.

                Duncan
                Duncan

                Lots of toys.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Laptop advice please

                  Originally posted by wanderer View Post
                  I use 2 Gb at present and I'm looking for 4Gb at least.
                  Can you effectively utilise > 3 and a bit GB without a 64 bit OS?
                  David


                  Flickr

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Laptop advice please

                    Can you effectively utilise > 3 and a bit GB without a 64 bit OS?
                    Now your pushing at the very limits of my technical knowledge.

                    However, visiting the Dell site and piecing together my ideal computer it seemed to provide what I wished for without complaint.

                    Duncan
                    Duncan

                    Lots of toys.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Laptop advice please

                      Originally posted by Adagio View Post
                      Can you effectively utilise > 3 and a bit GB without a 64 bit OS?
                      Isnt windows 7 64bit? So that means that the newer computers can use more than 3Gb RAM, is that not right?
                      Tracey Jones

                      Its a shame that humans dont come with autofocus, like cameras do!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Laptop advice please

                        I recall coming across the 3Gb switch for XP a while back...


                        The virtual address space of processes and applications is still limited to 2 GB unless the /3GB switch is used in the Boot.ini file.

                        I have 3Gb of ram, so I did the switch. I don't think it made any difference, but I feel better for it :-)

                        Pete
                        Look, I'm an old man. I shouldn't be expected to put up with this.


                        Pete's photoblog Misleading the public since 2010.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Laptop advice please

                          technicall you can use more that 4GB on a 32bit chip. you need PAE support. This is more for servers.

                          In general use you need x64bit support in your chosen operating system to use more that 3GB.

                          I have 8GB on my workstation, 4GB on my wifes and 2GB on my laptops/netbooks.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Laptop advice please

                            Originally posted by jonesy View Post
                            Isnt windows 7 64bit? So that means that the newer computers can use more than 3Gb RAM, is that not right?
                            It comes in 32 and 64 bit versions. My understanding is that with 32 bits you can only use 4gb of RAM which will show up as about 3gb - slightly more on my PC and slightly less on my laptop.
                            David

                            EM1ii, EM10ii

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Laptop advice please

                              Windows 7 comes win 32 and 64bit versions. The version installed on a new machine will depend on the manufacturer. If the systems is supplied with 4GB then it may have Windows 7 64bit, otherwise it will normally be the 32bit version.

                              If you purchase Windows 7, which is not cheap, you can choose as it comes with both 32 and 64bit versions.

                              Unless you are running old devices, I would chose the 64bit version given a choice.

                              Comment

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