I certainly learnt a lot from this discussion. Thanks to all!
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Why do you need a new one, if your is 1-yr old and pretty fast?
I'm using a VAIO Z, which is about 3 or may be even 4 years old. It used to be a top-range, so it's pretty competitive now with i7-2660k, 8 gigs of ram and 256Gb SSD drive(RAID0 of two 128GB sticks).
The only thing you need for photography you need is an external display. Get yourself a nice 27" IPS DELL and have fun.
This is very close to what I have too - a 3 yr old Vaio that I upped to Crucial 8Gb RAM and added a Samsung 500Gb SSD. The biggest improvement that came though was when I bought a 22 inch external display! The original 16.4" TN screen is totally unacceptable for photo editing so I can't recommend anything that doesn't have an IPS display. So many headaches were due to the poor screen on my laptop.
My laptop is now my desktop and doesn't move from the desk.
I am old so I like books. I like to be able to flip through pages with the program on screen, rather than switch back and forth between screens. I like Scott kelby's books because they fit my style of learning. I can jump around and pick and choose lessons (I am unfocused after all)
In fact I'm at a kelby workshop today.
But there are also a ton of resources online on the adobe website and help menu.
In the lightroom cropping tool there's a lock that constrains your proportions to the original image proportions, or a drop down to choose quick proportions for various sizes. If you uncheck the lock,
That's what I want to do. Know how to lock so it constrains to the original image proportions. And then I can choose quick proportions when I know for sure what size I want. Is there something similar lock in Photoshop CS5?
I think you are asking for something that isn't really attainable and you have used some of the best options available and learned this for yourself. I'll just confirm what you already know but don't want to admit. Laptop displays, even the best ones, are compromises compared to a high quality monitor designed for graphics or photography use. I use Lenovo Thinkpads all the time and I have a W520. The thinkpad IPS displays even allow some limited calibration. But as good as they are, they'll never be as good as my DELL U2410 Ultrasharp IPS screen. (And there are many other screens that are as good or better.)You are correct. I fell for the matte screen coolaid few years ago for my MBP. I am also in the same boat as the OP. Am thinking of a Mac mini and an external display. I haven't used a PC at home for the last 10 years.
IMHO, Apple Retina screens are designed to impress people with gloss, high saturation and high contrast. (This makes them 'pop'.) These aspects make them less accurate for true rendition and undesirable for use in serious editing. I much prefer an IPS matte screen that is accurate over a glossy screen with glare that isn't.
If I were you, I would keep the thinkpad with the IPS screen and invest in a good external IPS monitor. The DELL U2410 can be obtained for a steal for around $200!! Connect it with a Displayport cable and you're all set. Heck, the thinkpad could be mounted on a dock and you wouldn't have to connect a single cable.