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Author Topic: Which laptop is best for Lightroom?  (Read 2136 times)


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Which laptop is best for Lightroom?
« on: November 24, 2017, 09:27:27 AM »
Hi all! I am looking to upgrade my computer. I will be travelling for a year, and am looking for a laptop. Which laptop is ideal for Lightroom? Weight is not an issue, as far as size, a larger screen is preferable. Which one runs best, though? I am curious about a MacBook Pro; however, I have always used PC. Would Mac frustrate me? Are the newest Microsoft Surface laptops as good? Would it be better to get one those mac computerswhere the tower and monitor are one? I remember once it was said that one core was better for Photoshop, bit I jave read mow that Lightroom prefers more cores. What are you all using and enjoying?

As far as as work, I need mainly only Lightroom amd Photoshop. I don't really work with video. I like wildlife, especially bird photography most, though also as I will be put in the Wild West, I will be doing a lot of landscape pictures.  Thanks for reading!

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Which laptop is best for Lightroom?
« on: November 24, 2017, 09:27:27 AM »


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Re: Which laptop is best for Lightroom?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2017, 10:19:14 AM »
I too have been looking for a "photo editing laptop" recently.

For my specs the prices have been too high..   but falling... so I'll probably buy in 2018.

My specs are currently

ideally 17" screen.
100% (or very near) sRGB or better.  (many decent IPS monitors are now achieving this, but you have to check on a machine by machine basis, often it means getting the panel number and looking that up)
i5 or better
8G of memory, with a motherboard that will accept as much as possible.. I think 32G is not unreasonable.
I also want an SSD + HDD machine as I can get the speed and space combination.. also should be easier to swap HDDs in future as the OS can be on the SSD.
I'm not playing games, so I don't care so much about dedicted graphics facilities.
I also like the idea of illuminated keyboards just so long as they're dimable (for astronomy)

I've found that many Gaming laptops come in as "meeting" specs.. though I'm not keen on their look.  Frequently listed seperately to the "home" or "business" machines on many manufacturers sites..  worthing concidering.

Also I've found : https://www.notebookcheck.net/   which do excellent display tests.. unlike many other sites.
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Re: Which laptop is best for Lightroom?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2017, 10:43:20 AM »
Long winded ramble:  :)

I run a MacBook Pro (2012 15" Retina), it's been solid and for a 5 year old machine, runs extremely well.  I'm starting to sense it getting a little "long in the tooth" but I'm not at the breaking point.  Just installed High Sierra fresh and it feels like a revived machine.  Coming from Windows, MacOS takes a bit of getting used to but once you're used to it, it's a really nice OS.  BSD Unix with a decent GUI.  Apple does customer support better than anyone in the business so if you buy at a store, they will give you a crash course to get you started and they run "how to" seminars in store which can be helpful.

One thing to keep in mind, 8th gen i7 processors have increased core count so worth considering looking for a latest gen processor, although as rightly pointed out, Lightroom is a bit more about single core performance.  As always, latest gen processors will inevitably be an improvement in power / watt which is always interesting to a traveler.

I also run Windows and am pretty OS agnostic - there are ups and downs both ways.

The "Mac is more money" argument is always a bit difficult to accurately quantify.  Pure specs price point, you can do better in PC-land, but compare all of the things, not just RAM and CPU.  So compare weight, size, battery life, storage performance, etc.  All of those thing matter to a traveling photographer as much CPU and RAM.

If I was buying a Windows laptop today, it would be a Dell XPS, a Lenovo X or T series (that anniversary ThinkPad is really cool) or potentially a Razer - their price points for what you get are really impressive, although I have reservations about their support.  The Surface product line is nice as well, my wife has a new Surface Pro and it's great, but I'm not sure if they've decided to be a tablet or a laptop yet.  The Surface Book 2 is impressive but very expensive (more that a Mac).  Again, unless you're at a Microsoft store, support is a question mark.

Sorry, not much of an answer.  If I had 3 kilobucks and had to buy a laptop today, it would be a toss-up between a 15" Macbook Pro, a Dell XPS15, and maybe the Lenovo anniversary laptop.
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Re: Which laptop is best for Lightroom?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2017, 11:49:36 AM »
Virtually any modern laptop will run Lightroom or Photoshop, of course, a I7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a good video card make things even better -  BUT--

The issue is with the screens.  Many, if not most are terrible and just not suitable for photo editing.

Research the screens, there are just a few good ones.

The Microsoft Surface laptop / tablets hit all the right buttons as do the Apple Macbook Pro's.

You may notice a common thing about the top rated units, they tend to have smaller screens, a 17 in screen that is excellent is a rare thing.  The Acer Aspire V17 is about the only highly rated one available.  $$$$


For any laptop, I'd immediately replace the Drive with a 1 or 2 TB SSD.  Buying a unit that lets you do this is a consideration.  256GB or 512 GB is not large enough to store your photos, so thats a consideration.



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Re: Which laptop is best for Lightroom?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2017, 02:21:13 PM »
Thrilled with Asus GL703.  Great SCREEN!   ;D

Very fast, reasonably priced.  Reliable brand.


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Re: Which laptop is best for Lightroom?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2017, 10:44:34 AM »
Lenovo seems to offer decent 4k screens in their P51 and P71 laptops, however you might prefer hooking up something like a Dell U2413 monitor?

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Re: Which laptop is best for Lightroom?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2017, 10:44:34 AM »