October 26, 2014, 02:06:07 AM

Author Topic: Laptop Editing - Best Setup  (Read 6010 times)

beckstoy

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Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 13, 2014, 06:28:58 PM »
Hi everyone!  With my crazy schedule, I typically purchase a very high-end laptop and edit using it (since I've gotta be mobile).  My current model is a powerful ASUS which is in their Republic of Gamers lineup.  I've forgotten the actual #, but it's only 1 year old as of now.  I have had no problems with the ability to handle my editing needs, and the monitor (sometimes bashed as the weak point of Asus and their laptop lineup) has been good for me once I purchased/used the Spyder Pro 4.

Here's my question:  I'm getting a new laptop soon, but the specs I'm looking at are the high-end gaming ones.  I guess my question is this:  Is it overkill?  Should I be looking at a particular linup of laptops which someone here's had good success with?  I like having the newest stuff, but I don't wanna buy a gaming system which I'll never game on. 

Oh, and Photography only.  No video, or plans to go that direction.

Any thoughts?  Thanks in advance.
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Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« on: August 13, 2014, 06:28:58 PM »

Don Haines

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2014, 06:46:50 PM »
I'd say to look for one which supports a pair of hard drives... 2TB traditional for lots of storage, and a solid state hard drive for speed with working storage.

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MichaelHodges

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2014, 07:40:25 PM »
Any good laptop for photo work should start and end with an IPS screen, IMHO.  Everything after that is a bonus.

But not all IPS panels are the same. Don't be fooled by "ultra high res displays" with poor color gamut and poor black levels.

This is the best IPS laptop I have found outside of the Macbook Pro:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Acer-Aspire-V5-573G-54208G50aii-Notebook.99264.0.html

Acer 15.6" Aspire Laptop 4GB 500GB | V5-573P-6896

The screen is well-reviewed and glorious.  I'm running the glossy version with Lightroom 5.  I added 8gb of ram (maxing it out at 12gb), and slapped in a Crucial 240gb Msata for the OS, and a 1tb platter drive for data.

Really, at this point TN panels should be gone. It's like looking through several layers of filth.

drjlo

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2014, 08:12:59 PM »
Oh, and Photography only.  No video, or plans to go that direction.

Any thoughts?  Thanks in advance.

I would not get a high end gaming laptop for photo editing, since a lot of your money will go towards a nice video card for gaming, which is not all that relevant for photo editing.  My laptop has the Intel video card AND an Nvidia card, and even using Photoshop 6 with 36 GB RAW files, the graphic card doesn't even kick in (Nvidia Optimus function). 

Also 15.6" screen is just not close to being adequate for photo editing.  I bought the Dell 17R SE 17.2" laptop with "full HD (1920x1080)" screen, then installed a Sandisk Extreme II 480  GB SSD.  This was the best 17.2" screen I could find that covers essentially all of sRGB color space.  There is an extra hard drive bay for a second drive if you want.  This setup is lightening fast for photo editing with very fast Windows startup times. 
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 08:14:31 PM by drjlo »

MichaelHodges

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2014, 08:24:27 PM »
This was the best 17.2" screen I could find that covers essentially all of sRGB color space. 


Except with TN panels, you can never actually see the correct colors and contrast due to color shift.

Famateur

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2014, 10:09:03 PM »
I would not choose a gaming laptop for both reasons already mentioned:

1. Gaming systems usually employ a TN+Film panel for fastest response time, but colors shift significantly with viewing angle. Even viewing straight on and not moving your head, the screen is large enough that the colors will shift from one part of the screen to the other. When it comes to photo editing, I would say IPS is your best bet.

2. With a gaming system, a lot of the cost is in the graphics chip, and that is largely wasted for photo editing. Better to put that money into more RAM (Lightroom can never have too much!) and a solid state hard drive for your system drive. A second drive bay could be used for a high-capacity traditional hard drive.

-------

I'm going to pick up a Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation shortly. It has a 1920x1080 Ultrasharp display (IPS), 8GB of RAM and a decent processor. I'll probably add another 8GB of RAM for a total of 16GB (cheaper for me to do it than Dell). There's also an optional 3200x1800 IGZO Ultrasharp display (IPS), but you then have to "configure" your laptop, which adds another $60, then the screen upgrade is like $79, so to have the high-res display adds about $139 (and I'd rather add RAM). Most of my editing is done on an external monitor, but it's nice to have an Ultrasharp on the lappy.

One downside is that because it's a touch display, it's glossy. Not a fan of glossy displays. Other than that, for price, performance and size (.71" thick, 4.15lbs), it beats anything else I've looked at -- even the HP Z-Books.

ishdakuteb

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2014, 12:38:10 AM »
how about this, a dell xps 15
   http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-15-9530/pd

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2014, 12:38:10 AM »

DesignJinni

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2014, 03:01:56 AM »
This is the one I am using: http://www.toshiba.com/us/computers/laptops/qosmio/X70/X70-AST3G25
  • Intel® Core™ i7-4700MQ Processor
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  • Blu-ray Disc™ Rewriteable (BD-RE) and DVD SuperMulti drive
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I am using LR5, Adobe Creative Suie CS6 (Design & Web Premium) on it. And every thing runs smooth and no issue at all. So far happy with the purchase. Dell Workstations would be an excellent alternate option. or any other Workstation especially with builin calabaration. Look at LENEVO (IBM) Workstations too.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 04:33:18 AM by DesignJinni »
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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2014, 03:05:09 AM »
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.

DesignJinni

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2014, 03:42:02 AM »
***** ThinkPad W540 Mobile Workstation is a very good choice. ***** ThinkPad is IBM.
It come with built-in Optional X-Rite Integrated Color Calibrator & FHD or 3K Display With IPS Technology. And did I mention NVIDIA Quadro card not the gamming GTX thing.
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mdmphoto

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2014, 04:37:18 AM »
My laptop is a soon-to-be 3yr old Dell XPS 15 w/ I-7 2720, 8gb 1333 mhz RAM, nVidia 2gb video, FHD 15.6" screen, BD burner, and 750gb Hdd. Bought new, it will turn 3 in September, and it still handles my work in LR5, ps5, onOne PPS 8, ms  Office, and so on with mostly no trouble.  I am considering doubling the ram, but that's it. Looking at what's available now I think I should be okay til next year anyway.....
« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 06:09:45 AM by mdmphoto »
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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2014, 10:45:14 AM »
Earlier this year, I had my 2 years old dell xps 15 die on me. I liked the performances, but the FHD screen had a blue cast that was hard to get rid of, even when calibrated. As I wanted to have some opinions from the forum members I started this thread, which may still be usefull for you.

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=19136.msg358198#msg358198

In the end, I went on for an Asus N550JV with IPS touchscreen and I quite like it. It was about 1300$, so not too bad. The performances of the computer are pretty good (I7-4500HQ and 8Gb RAM) and the screen was surprisingly good (a report from my Spyder 4 Elite is found in this other thread). Moving from (an admitedly quite good) TN to IPS was a revelation. It is much more pleasant to edit on that screen. Downside, I had to retouch a lot of older photos where color casts were revealed by the better display on my new machine.

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=19200.30

The other options I considered were:

- Lenovo Thinkpad W530 and W540. I think these would be pretty nice and (at least the W530) have a micro sata port that allows the use of a micro ssd in addition to the HDD. A bit pricey for an amateur like me, but probably worth it for a pro.

- New generation Dell XPS 15, looks very good but at over 2200$ and knowing that my previous gen XPS 15 did not even live 2 years (for similar money) before the motherboard fried, I was not ready to buy dell again.

- Asus N750JV, a 17'' similar to the 15'' one I bought.

However, wonder why you want to change a laptop that appears to be working right and have adequate performance. May be you'd be better served by an external monitor?

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

mdmphoto

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2014, 11:00:27 AM »
an external monitor is a good idea that I use sometimes when I'm working at home, but a lot of my work is done on location.  I think a 17" laptop's screen would probably be more useful depending on specs, but then I'd have to lug it around, and the 15.6 is plenty when travelling.
I ALWAYS get some damage plan; before I would get Dell's complete care, including accidental damage, but more recently I've purchased a warranty from SquareTrade for a family laptop that includes accidental damage, but I've not had the opportunity to use.  Warranties are an additional expense, but they sure beat having to buy another laptop or camera or lens due to accidental damage or other failure that's more likely to happen with portable electronics.  I've gotten all-but a new laptop twice over the years from covered repairs from parts simply wearing out, or, yes, accidental damage...
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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2014, 11:00:27 AM »

MichaelHodges

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2014, 11:42:01 AM »
***** ThinkPad W540 Mobile Workstation is a very good choice. ***** ThinkPad is IBM.
It come with built-in Optional X-Rite Integrated Color Calibrator & FHD or 3K Display With IPS Technology. And did I mention NVIDIA Quadro card not the gamming GTX thing.

Notebookcheck.net:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Lenovo-ThinkPad-W540-Workstation.112318.0.html

The panel is however not very accurate out of the box and professional editing is hardly possible with DeltaE2000 values over 10, an uneven RGB balance and an inaccurate gamma curve. T


Not all IPS panels are created equal. The Acer is the best I've seen on a laptop that's not a Macbook Pro.

MichaelHodges

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2014, 11:43:42 AM »
Moving from (an admitedly quite good) TN to IPS was a revelation. It is much more pleasant to edit on that screen. Downside, I had to retouch a lot of older photos where color casts were revealed by the better display on my new machine.


Yes.  I would not worry about CPU's. Most can all handle Lightroom. The focus should be on what you look at most: the screen. 

The problem with owning a souped-up TN panel laptop and relying on an external monitor is that you'll never get the colors right unless you're using the external, which defeats the entire purpose of having a laptop.

You can get a good IPS panel on a laptop. It takes a bit of work, but Acer and Asus seem to be working magic here.  I'd prefer to have the IPS consistency from my laptop to my 24 inch IPS.  There are no surprises that way.

 And if  I want to watch movies and edit on the road, I don't need an external monitor for acceptable IQ, making the laptop what it was a supposed to be: a self contained workstation.
 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 11:48:02 AM by MichaelHodges »

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Re: Laptop Editing - Best Setup
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2014, 11:43:42 AM »