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  1. #1
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    Jan 2011
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    Laptop Recommendations ????

    Hello All,I'm currently looking into purchasing a laptop for my photo needs out in the field. I'm a PC user at home with a desktop that has only 2mb of RAM and an i3 processor, needless to say it's VERY slow. While I'm out in the field (Race tracks, etc.) I want to be able to transfer image files to "Dropbox" etc. so I need wireless capabilities and plenty of speed for lightroom, etc. I'd prefer a 17" display, but I'm willing to make do with 15" if I need to put the money towards processor speed and more RAM. So does anybody currently have any recommendations out there ??? I don't have a TON of $$$ to spend, but I want to buy something that I won't need to upgrade in a few months. Make/Model & Prices PLEASE and Thank YouPS. I'd like to stay with a PC based laptop vs. Apple/Mac.

  2. #2
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    Paris, France
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    Re: Laptop Recommendations ????

    Long reply sorry.

    I shoot RAW on a D800 (36MPix=heavy) and up till recently on a D300 (12MPix). Out in the field I'm just doing Lightroom corrections to the images rather than building a complex image in Photoshop. My observations:

    - 4GB of RAM is enough (as long as you have a 64 bit O/S)
    - no need to use an SSD. Treatment is not limited by disk I/O
    - treatment is limited by cpu power
    - a Corei5 2573-M (PassMark = 2242) is enough for the D300 but NOT for the D800
    - a Corei7 2630-QM (Passmark = 5592) is enough for the D800

    Passmark measurements are here. You just type in the reference of the CPU and it gives you the result:
    PassMark - CPU Benchmarks - List of Benchmarked CPUs

    Passmark indicates globally the amount of work that a processor can do, assuming that you have software that can make the most of multi-core CPU's (Lightroom and Photoshop can). I suggest that before making your choice you check the processor on the Passmark table to see how it fits your needs, bearing in mind my observations earlier.

    I have two portables that are about two years old:

    My 15-inch DELL XPS is powerful (Corei7) but it is really really too heavy to carry around. It gives me a backache. Most of the time it stays at home attached to a 24-inch monitor. That's what I use for serious work (it has 16GB of RAM - I don't use it just for photography)

    My 13-inch SAMSUNG Utrabook (Corei15) is really great for mobility. The screen is just about big enough to use Lightroom and editing tools. However the 120GB internal SSD leaves me only 25GB of useful space for images and I have to carry around in my suitcase a backup drive plus a drive to hold finished images that don't fit on the SSD. My Ultrabook has only one USB3 port plus one USB2 port so sometimes I'm juggling with the drives and the limited number of ports. If you start adding USB devices like a mouse (mine is Bluetooth) or a WACOM tablet then you are seriously short of ports.

    My ideal portable would be:

    13-inch screen
    4GB RAM at least
    3 USB3 ports
    500GB internal hard drive
    Passmark at least 5500
    Weight no more than 1.5 kilos
    Bluetooth (DELL disable it for some reason)

    Now let me see if there is a portable that corresponds..
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  3. #3
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop Recommendations ????

    Gee whiz my dream machine doesn't exist, certainly not in France. It looks like all the 13-inch systems use fairly slow processors so I checked out the 15-inch ones. Even then the cheaper ones use processors that don't meet my requirements.

    Finally I picked this one which largely exceeds my requirements (Passmark = 7937). The only problem for me is the weight (2.4 kilos).

    Toshiba Satellite S50-AST2NX2 Laptop

    $849 This is a fairly old model so that gives you an idea of the price you should be paying

    BTW I thought you racecar fans shot thousands of JPG's and didn't bother with RAW??
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  4. #4
    Member PWhite214's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Houston, Texas, USA
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    482

    Re: Laptop Recommendations ????

    I have, and use a 64 bit Dell 17" Inspiron N7110, 8gb memory, i7 quad core with a 1TB drive. At home I use two external drives for my photograph storage, the first for RAW Files, the other for LR files. All my processing software is on the OS (C) Drive.

    I have never had any problems with this setup.

    Phil
    Sony A77 and A700, Lots of old Minolta lenses, some Sigma lenses.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2005
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    Madison, WI USA
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    Re: Laptop Recommendations ????

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger79 View Post
    Hello All,I'm currently looking into purchasing a laptop for my photo needs out in the field. I'm a PC user at home with a desktop that has only 2mb of RAM and an i3 processor, needless to say it's VERY slow. While I'm out in the field (Race tracks, etc.) I want to be able to transfer image files to "Dropbox" etc. so I need wireless capabilities and plenty of speed for lightroom, etc. I'd prefer a 17" display, but I'm willing to make do with 15" if I need to put the money towards processor speed and more RAM. So does anybody currently have any recommendations out there ??? I don't have a TON of $$$ to spend, but I want to buy something that I won't need to upgrade in a few months. Make/Model & Prices PLEASE and Thank YouPS. I'd like to stay with a PC based laptop vs. Apple/Mac.
    My bias is for the business or professional class models. They're a little more money but can be had at outlet prices. These systems have best warranty, support and components. They are not with junky promotion software, and usually have more expensive matte displays.

    As an IT director I see quality and compatibility issues and that drives my bias for this class of product. When I make a personal buy or help my users I sent them to the manufacturers' outlet sites to find them for less.

    For Dell these are the Latitude line, and for HP these are the Pro and Elite book lines.

    This quality I mention shows up because I buy these for sales people, truck drivers, field scientists who use them a lot and they work out better over 2-4 years of ownership.

    These models also have more parts available if you need a repair.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2013
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    Re: Laptop Recommendations ????

    Roger79,
    You need to an image storage system that is easy to backup before a disaster strikes. I will preferred OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini (7200rpm Version) that I use for my primary image storage. 1.5 terabyte external hard drive provides the enormous amount of storage space that hold a decade’s worth of digital images. and need 4GB of RAM is enough. and processor should be Corei7 2630-QM.

  7. #7
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop Recommendations ????

    We haven't mentioned the quality of the laptop display.

    If you want to fine-tune your images out in the field and adjust things like exposure, contrast, colour balance etc. then you need a display that is as close as possible to a calibrated one. Otherwise there is the risk that when you get home and you see your images on your calibrated monitor - you find you have to do the adjustments all over.

    Unfortunately cheaper laptops often have displays that are optimised for playing games or watching movies or displaying images with flashy colours.

    I just went through this exercise myself (January sales coming up). My Samsung 9 series Ultrabook is two years old now. There are newer models with more powerful cpu's and much more disk space, costing a third of what mine originally cost - but they have cheapo displays, made worse now by being touch screen as well. My 9 series has a mat screen that is very good for working on photos. I'm sticking with it.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  8. #8
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    May 2019
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    72

    Re: Laptop Recommendations ????

    I wanted to get myself a laptop, just a kind of a "workhorse" for a student and decided to get an XPS 13 which turned out to be a good one but I don't like the keyboard much. I bougt the laptop used so I am thinking of selling it to get something with a better keyboard because typing is my main activity behind the computer. So, are there any options out there which could satisfy me?

  9. #9
    Junior Member Blandar's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop Recommendations ????

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamalun View Post
    I wanted to get myself a laptop, just a kind of a "workhorse" for a student and decided to get an XPS 13 which turned out to be a good one but I don't like the keyboard much. I bougt the laptop used so I am thinking of selling it to get something with a better keyboard because typing is my main activity behind the computer. So, are there any options out there which could satisfy me?
    If the main thing for you is a keyboard, you can choose a laptop from listing here, all of them have a decent keyboard with enough of key travel and nice feel. Also, those aren't that expensive so you'll be able to get what you need without wasting too much money.

  10. #10
    Member Frenzikk's Avatar
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    Feb 2018
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    91

    Re: Laptop Recommendations ????

    I use a Macbook Air and absolutely love it. I have used windows all my life but finally switched to the Macbook Air. I am a programmer and absolutely love coding on my Macbook air. I multitask 10 programs at a time and performance is very smooth. Zero lag. Zero software failures/crashes. Even if you will have some such issues you can easily get help for example from https://retinamacapps.com/. And Damn! its a beauty to use. If you are a windows user all your life it will take you a week to get used to OSX. Let me know if you have any more doubts about buying it. Also let me know your application of using it.

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