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Author Topic: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing  (Read 7386 times)

IMG_0001

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Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« on: January 17, 2014, 04:43:30 PM »
Hello everyone,

My dell L502X laptop motherboard just fried and I need a replacement. I liked the machine performance and the optional led backlit FHD screen was pretty decent once calibrated (99% of sRGB), but the thing is gone now...  I expected more than 2 years of lifespan for a computer that cost over 2000$ at the time so I seriously had not budgeted this "upgrade".

The replacement laptop is going to be my only computer for a while as the growing family won't allow for a office/computer room. Honestly, the main use is going to be engineering and scientific computing, but I would really like it to have a good screen for photo editing. For reasons akin to the office space limitation, I would like to have it for as cheap as possible, but I 'd rather go for a quality item and pay only once. I would also prefer a windows machine over a mac, I feel that the bang for money is lower on mac and I am more familiar with windows and Linux than mac OS.

Note that I already have a Spyder 4 Elite for calibration and use LR4 for editing.

The two models I am considering right now are:

1 - Lenovo W530, windows 7 ~ 1600$ (http://shop.lenovo.com/ca/en/laptops/r-series/w-series/w530/)
2 - ASUS N550JV, windows 8 ~ 1100$ (https://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/N550JV/)

Does anybody have experience with these or suggestions on other options. Honestly, the Lenovo is a bit pricey for me right now but I don't want another unreliable machine and I do trust the Lenovo brand more than ASUS, which has a rather flimsy brand record.

One last note, I live in Canada.

Best regards and thanks in advance for your incoming inputs.
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

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Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« on: January 17, 2014, 04:43:30 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 04:54:21 PM »
I'd look seriously at the Lenovo w530/540. I've got a w520, 95% NTSC color space, and although you already have the Spyder 4 Elite, you can get them with built-in color calibration. It's pretty neat actually. Start up the app, close the lid, and a few minutes later it's all calibrated! It's not a tiny machine, but it's not too huge & giant, very solid, and you can easily add one or more monitors via the DisplayPort. Depending on the configuration it might be a bit costly for you, especially if you add a longer warranty/accidental protection, but I love it. Plus, in a pinch, the TrackPoint can work better than a trackpad for photo editing.

Whoops! Just as I finished writing this, I see you do have the w530 on your list. If you've got the money, the w540 does have a screen upgradable to 2880x1620(!), and of course the newer Intel & Nvidia chips.
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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2014, 05:17:36 PM »
Thanks,

The W540 appears not to be available in Canada and would probably bust my budget by quite a bit if ordered with that high resolution screen... Yet, the W530 still looks like an appealing option if I can convince the banker.

What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

Drizzt321

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2014, 05:50:25 PM »
Thanks,

The W540 appears not to be available in Canada and would probably bust my budget by quite a bit if ordered with that high resolution screen... Yet, the W530 still looks like an appealing option if I can convince the banker.

Good luck with that. Tell her if you add the 2-year accidental protection, it'll last at _least_ 2 years, probably a lot longer. I only had to use that accidental warranty once in the 2-years I bought it for, and that was only because I was a bit stupid and ended up scratching the screen. Like, 2 weeks before the end of the warranty. I got lucky, but if I hadn't scratched it, I'd never have noticed that it was going to expire. It's still going really strong! No hardware problems at all.
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m

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2014, 07:22:40 PM »
If you're on a budget, do you consider getting a desktop pc/workstation?
Or do you need the mobility?

I bet you could get some decent machine with a used monitor for the prices you mentioned, which might serve you better when editing photos.

And if one fails, you'd still have the other.

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2014, 07:46:26 PM »
If you're on a budget, do you consider getting a desktop pc/workstation?
Or do you need the mobility?

I bet you could get some decent machine with a used monitor for the prices you mentioned, which might serve you better when editing photos.

And if one fails, you'd still have the other.

I do need mobility. Moreover, I used to have an office/work room in the appartement, but our second kid is on the way and that room is soon going to turn into a bedroom. Therefore, the desktop route, although more affordable, is not really an option...
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

tolusina

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2014, 08:07:00 PM »
Memory.
 
I've just built a new Windows 7 desktop, maxed the memory to 32 GB finally replacing my 1GB memory XP desktop.
 
As i write this, there are 5 browser tabs open, notepad, one folder plus the ASUS motherboard AI Suite 3 software running in the background. No pre-built bloatware running in the background as there is no pre-built bloatware.
Task manager shows almost 3GB memory in use.
 
Shortly after mostly completing the build, I allowed Windows update to do it's thing, there were 159 updates to download and install. During this update, memory use went to almost 10GB!!
A machine with 8GB memory would have choked and slowed to a crawl during this process as the swap file/page file/virtual memory came into use.
 
Of course I have no idea if Windows update read my machine's memory configuration and adjusted itself accordingly, I suppose such a thing is possible. Since I'm avoiding Windows 8, I cannot speak to it's behavior at all.
 
Anyway, my point is to recommend a machine with the most memory possible. From my admittedly limited current experiences, I suggest 16GB as a minimum, 32GB if possible for maximum future headroom.
 
It does get expensive buying a laptop with so much memory, one of the reasons I chose to build a desktop instead.
---
If you can, steer away from any machine that still uses a spinning rust hard drive for anything but storage, aim for only SSDs inside the machine, relegate large capacity HDDs to external storage only. HDDS have always been somewhat fragile being susceptible to shock/impact damage while SSDs are essentially immune to such damage. A laptop with SSDs only will be far less susceptible to damage while on the move.
SSDs are way faster than HDDs for all computing tasks staring with loading the OS, loading programs, then loading files.
---
Yuppers, high performance computers can get pricey indeed, all part of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome).
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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2014, 08:07:00 PM »

m

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2014, 08:22:02 PM »
I do need mobility.

There's no other option then, I guess.

Some of the small form factor workstations looked quite tempting.
And seeing your child on something larger than 15.6" would be nice, too.

As for laptops the only advice I can give you is to stay away from the "consumer" market.
The asus promotes itself with:
"Entertainment laptops with unparalleled quad-speaker sound and a striking Full HD IPS display"
I think you don't need a quad speaker and with a Spyder 4 you want your display to be real, not "striking" (whatever that means)

good luck with IMG_0001 Jr II btw ;D

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2014, 08:31:55 PM »
Can't you get your existing laptop repaired, or was it physically ruined.  Parts are available for most laptops, and they are usually simple to install.
 
Finding one with a good non reflecting display is difficult at best.  Generally, you should order direct from Lenovo.  I'd think that would be possible from Canada, but they are sometimes a bit strange.

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2014, 08:34:51 PM »
I do need mobility.

There's no other option then, I guess.

Some of the small form factor workstations looked quite tempting.
And seeing your child on something larger than 15.6" would be nice, too.

As for laptops the only advice I can give you is to stay away from the "consumer" market.
The asus promotes itself with:
"Entertainment laptops with unparalleled quad-speaker sound and a striking Full HD IPS display"
I think you don't need a quad speaker and with a Spyder 4 you want your display to be real, not "striking" (whatever that means)

good luck with IMG_0001 Jr II btw ;D

Thank you,

You've put the finger on exactly what worried me with ASUS, lots of buzzwords for the price.
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2014, 08:41:02 PM »
Memory.
 
I've just built a new Windows 7 desktop, maxed the memory to 32 GB finally replacing my 1GB memory XP desktop.
 
As i write this, there are 5 browser tabs open, notepad, one folder plus the ASUS motherboard AI Suite 3 software running in the background. No pre-built bloatware running in the background as there is no pre-built bloatware.
Task manager shows almost 3GB memory in use.
 
Shortly after mostly completing the build, I allowed Windows update to do it's thing, there were 159 updates to download and install. During this update, memory use went to almost 10GB!!
A machine with 8GB memory would have choked and slowed to a crawl during this process as the swap file/page file/virtual memory came into use.
 
Of course I have no idea if Windows update read my machine's memory configuration and adjusted itself accordingly, I suppose such a thing is possible. Since I'm avoiding Windows 8, I cannot speak to it's behavior at all.
 
Anyway, my point is to recommend a machine with the most memory possible. From my admittedly limited current experiences, I suggest 16GB as a minimum, 32GB if possible for maximum future headroom.
 
It does get expensive buying a laptop with so much memory, one of the reasons I chose to build a desktop instead.
---
If you can, steer away from any machine that still uses a spinning rust hard drive for anything but storage, aim for only SSDs inside the machine, relegate large capacity HDDs to external storage only. HDDS have always been somewhat fragile being susceptible to shock/impact damage while SSDs are essentially immune to such damage. A laptop with SSDs only will be far less susceptible to damage while on the move.
SSDs are way faster than HDDs for all computing tasks staring with loading the OS, loading programs, then loading files.

---
Yuppers, high performance computers can get pricey indeed, all part of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome).

I've been running an 8Gb, 2nd gen i7, 7200rpm drive 'until recently' and rarely choked i but the more the better... I'm not that multitasked.
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2014, 08:59:08 PM »
Can't you get your existing laptop repaired, or was it physically ruined.  Parts are available for most laptops, and they are usually simple to install.
 
Finding one with a good non reflecting display is difficult at best.  Generally, you should order direct from Lenovo.  I'd think that would be possible from Canada, but they are sometimes a bit strange.

I thinkered with the idea. It appears to be a motherboard failure. HDD and RAM are good, and only the fans turn on on powering the machine. I've found the part for around 300€€€$ on ebay but that would be shipping from China, so a long wait. And then, its hoping the rest is good and that there won't be other problems, it is still a computer over two years old and it has been loggged around daily...

I could have the others by the end of next week.

Hard decision...
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2014, 09:01:56 PM »
SSD
 ;D

That and get a mac, but then I'd have to duck and dodge the flame throwers!   ;D

I've dropped every one of my mac laptops, each landing on a corner, with a nice "daily beater" dent on it. No operational issues.  I get them refurbished to save some money.  I can understand, despite the many reason to not get a mac (less GFX support, less versatility, premium price), the fact that 17" and 19" screens aren't available... thats a big fail on mac.  I got the last of the 17" as a refurb. However my biggest gripe on the PC's is that, even after spending $2000 on one, you are getting non premium parts... it may just be a fan or power supply or even a firmware incompatibility with a component, but any of those can potentially stop your productivity.  One youtube tech guy put it best: "I don't make money by saving money".  His point was that he bought premium gear because he makes money being productive. Downtime means he's not earning. His point was to his audience who often tout their frugality.  Thats fine, but he pointed out that getting premium gear doesn't mean you are an elitist, it means you need reliability.  ECC memory, xenon processor, server grade over provisioning SSD... these all cost more because they are more reliable. 1Dx over the 5D over a rebel, again more reliable.

Best example of this I had a colleague that had a powerhouse of a laptop PC with uber fans, i7, workstation class nvidia... beautiful machine.  He popped in a DVD to show me his reel and he got a blue screen of death.  I had just gotten my $2150 17" refurb mac pro which he deemed too expensive. I mean the timing couldn't be more perfect. He claimed I paid too much by $400 by his calculations.  I told him that had he been doing a client presentation of his reel, that $400 "savings" would have been peanuts compared to losing the client.

I've been out of the PC market for a while. But I hope for the many folks that need and want to stay in the windows world, that there is a PC manufacturer that you know uses premium components. That level of reliability is worth any premium price.

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2014, 09:01:56 PM »

privatebydesign

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2014, 09:30:59 PM »
Last time I drowned a laptop, a 12 month old 17" MBP, I heard about a firm in New York that would remove the motherboard, test the components and repair it, they had a three month warranty and the price was a very reasonable $275.

Just found the emails, the company was called L2 Computer Inc in NY city. I only had one experience with them but the service was superb.
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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2014, 09:51:19 PM »
SSD
 ;D

That and get a mac...


I appreciate the mac quality build for sure. They are very nice pieces of work by themselves. But the mac I could get is a 4Gb ram 256Gb SSD 13in screen with i5 processor. This won't cut it as my only computer.

I think Lenovo is as close as pc get to a mac in terms of quality and integration (but certainly not for looks). That is why I was considering them despite the fact they are a tad expensive.

Edit: for that price, the w530 would have 4 years warranty.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 10:06:22 PM by IMG_0001 »
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

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Re: Advice and comments on laptop for photo editing
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2014, 09:51:19 PM »