As a non-Mac user who searched a long time for a self-contained photo editing laptop (IE no reliance on hooking up to external monitor), I admit it was a difficult road as others alluded to.
99% of laptops come with unacceptable
TN panels, which make it very difficult to edit photos properly. You may as well blindfold yourself and edit in Lightroom, because you'll be shocked when you see your photos on a stable IPS screen afterwards, whether it's an iTouch, iPad, or home monitor.
I see a lot of talk about CPU's, ram, double disk drives, and 17 inch screens. None of that matters if the LCD screen is crap. And trust me when I say all TN panels are just that. It doesn't matter what the resolution is, the upgrade path, whatever. It's still like looking through muddy water, and when you turn your head an inch you're getting different colors and contrast.
In terms of value, this is the best rated IPS panel outside of the $2000 retina display:http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Acer-Aspire-V5-573G-54208G50aii-Notebook.99264.0.html
"The Acer's coverage of the available color spaces is on a very high level. "
"We really have to emphasize the excellent contrast ratio of 1,301:1 that is enabled by the low black value of the IPS panel. "
I have searched high and low for a good photo editing laptop. The screen on this is glorious, and will destroy your 24 inch TN monitor. you'll want to toss it in the garbage. You'll want to stop using any other TN panel laptop, regardless of specs.
It's not a perfect laptop. The build is slim. There's flex. But they sure got the screen right.
Here's a side by side comparison of TN versus IPS:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2O63oBOvJU