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Laptop purchase. Experienced owners needed.

By LinkedKube ยท 13 replies
Jul 23, 2011
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  1. I'm on the market for something mobile but I have a few questions.

    I spend a lot of time using photoshop and dreamweaver. is 14" too small for production work?

    Am I missing anything if I dont go for a 17" laptop, besides the obvious weight decrease?

    I play some games every so often. SC II, Rift.

    budget=1800.00usd. Doesn't have to max out my budget but it has to look good and do the things I need.

    Please don't include anything made by apple
  2. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783


    In my personal experience with Dell Inspiron E1505 ( 6400 ), it was so horrible that it kept killing my first, second and third power adapter for the laptop. Dell aren't that bad, except they're notoriously ignoring on improving the life of the power adapters, let alone of customers buying the $25 - $80 for new adapter once in every 3 - 6 months.

    I do used the photoshop and lots of frontpage on that laptop, and i know for surely doing these things on 14" will be little too small for me. Have you considered Lenovo's or Toshiba? They're very solid and very reliable laptops than anything I touched in the past.
  3. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Topic Starter Posts: 3,482   +44

    Yeah I was thinking 14" may be too small. Not sure how happy I'd be lugging around a 8lb laptop, did that once before, wasnt happy.
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I tend to find bigger laptops are far easier to handle when carried in backpacks as opposed to messenger style over the shoulder bags. I don't think you'd notice the weight so much, least I didn't anyway.

    Just my 2p's worth of thought.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    1) If you do most of your work at one location, you might consider cost of a docking station/monitor stand plus an external monitor. Then you could still get something small and light for traveling and have convenience of a large monitor for home or office if that's where you do most of your work

    2) I prefer the Latitudes over the Inspirons. They're built more sturdy (but of course cost a bit more)

    3) If you're looking at Dell, also look at Dell outlet. I haven't had any issue with the couple machines i've ordered from the outlet (which are discounted and have standard dell warranty)

    4.Also google dell outlet coupon as some add'l discounts can also sometimes be found

    my own 2c's worth :)
  6. CAMusing

    CAMusing TS Enthusiast Posts: 179

  7. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,366   +67

    My 2004 Toshiba is still going strong. Replaced the hard disk but that wasn't necessary. Now have much more disk space. Came with windows xp, and installed vista on another partition. Xp runs well. Vista is constrained at the 1G memory limit for the machine and is sometimes slow. New Toshibas will have more memory, thus you should have no problem with them. My brother's Dell Inspiron takes a lot from his kids practically knocking it over. It has a 17" screen, and once you see those, you never go back to anything smaller.
  8. nfiniti9

    nfiniti9 TS Rookie Posts: 34

  9. lopdog

    lopdog TS Maniac Posts: 295

    I use photoshop and dreamweaver a lot myself, and I also find myself using a lot of other windows like folders, text-files, pdf's etc. for reference, switching constantly between windows. So it's possible that you need a lot of space on the screen. I think maybe more important than actual size is high resolution, but of course you want to be able to read the text from a comfortable distance too. Right now I have a 15.6" screen with 1920x1080 resolution, and I really like it. And the laptop fits easily in my backpack.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,761   +2,432

    IMHO, yes.

    Probably 20+ sq. inches of screen area
    Can't help you with that
    Can't help you with the "looks good" either. You have to admit, that's personal taste
    OK, here's where it gets dicey. Toshiba carries TN screens. Their laptop screen are the biggest pieces of s***, I've yet to encounter. Personally, I can't picture doing any serious image editing on a laptop with a TN panel. It's ridiculous how narrow the viewing angle is, and how critical the hinge angle has to be to get the color and density where you think it's supposed to be. And I suspect that you might find out that you were wrong, when the images are transferred to a decent home rig with an IPS panel.

    My observation is, the higher the resolution and smaller the screen is in relation to it, the worse the viewing angle situation becomes. Smaller pixels equal a narrower angle of usable view.

    Which brings us to the Mac Book Pro. Everything the Apple produces has IPS panels, which are ideal for imaging work. Please don't start with the glossy screen dogma, because my Toshiba Laptop has a lousy TN panel, and it's dead shiny!

    So, my advice is to look for a lappy with an IPS monitor other than Apple, but if you can't find one, then at least approach the Mac with an open mind.

    And yes, I find the suggestion I just made as repulsive to me, as it probably is to you. Still in all.

    I haven't the vaguest idea how you arrived at these conclusions. When any monitor jumps to 1920 Horizontal resolution, text sizes decrease noticeably. Yes, even on my 24" Dell IPS.

    I'm going to conclude that you have much younger eyes than I do, and/or you're used to d**king around with cell phones.

    I suppose that 16:9 aspect ratio is all you're going to find in a laptop nowadays. But, IMHO 16:9 sucks for imaging work. The screens are too short vertically, period.

    I simply think industry is trying to standardize everything, with no regard to purpose.

    You've actually been had with 1920 x 1080. I suppose industry got tired of dummies complaining about the black bars top and bottom when watching a 16:9 movie, on a 16:10 monitor, so they cut the bars off the screen, problem solved....:rolleyes:

    I have a 1920 x 1080p Hi-Def TV. When I want yo watch TV, I'll use that. And yes, I can wait til I get home.
  11. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,726   +378

    This is how I'd use your budget:

    Any laptop with decent performance and up to a 15.6" screen.
    Decent IPS screen of 22" or larger.

    I have a NEC AMVA monitor and really hate doing any graphical stuff on my laptop as I miss the definition and workspace of the monitor.
    At least with an external monitor you could setup to use the laptop screen in conjunction with the monitor for even more space. If you are doing work on the laptop in different locations then I'd opt for 17" or whatever the biggest mainstream size is and just live with the extra size. I've carted 15.6" laptops around for years for work and they generally aren't stupidly heavy as long as you have a backpack type bag for them.
  12. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Topic Starter Posts: 3,482   +44

    As far as young eyes, mine are still quite young, but more so due to science than a good dose of proper genes. I got lasek back in 2007 and now carry around better than 20/20 vision.

    I suppose considering mac book is an option now. I've done a lot of search w/o much relief. Still looking though.
  13. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Topic Starter Posts: 3,482   +44

    You may be right, I'm 6'6" 250lbs.
  14. romgod9208

    romgod9208 TS Member

    dude, IMHO 1800 is a **** load of money, you can buy a laptop for 1000 that will easily cope with tasks you mentioned. 15, 15.6 and 16 are perfect. So for your budget, check out Toshiba Cosmio series, they are quite sturdy and powerfull, also take a look on Sony Vaios, but with a good graphics chip, not the GMA or HD 2000 or Radeon 4200, but starting from Geforce GT 230-450m or radeon 64**-65**, for example Radeon HD 6650M. As an example, this. Good luck!

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