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help choosing laptop for photo editing

by bscottie / October 6, 2010 9:38 AM PDT

I need to replace my old Dell laptop in a hurry, and would really appreciate some suggestions b/c I'm not very tech savvy. I'm mostly going to be using it for photo editing with Photoshop and Lightroom (I'm starting a photography biz). Other than that, just general use, no gaming. Not really sure how to budget - I've been looking at models around $1k. Mostly need something that's fast and has very good visual clarity. I won't be doing a lot of travelling with it, but would like to be able to move around the house, so 15, 16, or even 17" would work.

Questions: should I be looking for i7, or are i5 or i3 good/long lasting contenders? What's the best native resolution for photo editing? I've heard 1366x768 is too low, is bigger always better in this case? Do I need a dedicated graphics card? Brands that are good or ones to steer clear of (don't know much about MSI, ASUS, or Acer).

If there are specific models you can point me to, even better!

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Just some thoughts.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 9, 2010 1:18 AM PDT

1. Try the laptop pickers at the top post in this forum.

2. If you can stand the heat, the i7 is fine. If battery time and portable use is important, stick to i3/i5.

3. As to the screen resolution I feel this does not matter. What does matter is the screen clarity and color. I like a lot of Sony models for that. Be sure not to buy a laptop sight unseen if you are going to edit photos.

4. Be sure to get your color calibration tools for this. I find most forget this and get burned on the colors.

5. No dedicated card is required for photo editing. That's for games.

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by bscottie / October 10, 2010 1:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Just some thoughts.

Thanks for the advice. I ended up going with the "ASUS N71JQCore i7-720QM 1.6GHz Laptop1GB ATI HD573." Unfortunately it was sight unseen because I couldn't find any built models in stores around here that had the specs I was looking for. I did look at another Asus, and the clarity looked good. I am a little worried about the glare factor though. Thankfully Costco has a 90 day return policy on computers, so if it's no good I'm not stuck with it.

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My kid has an Asus i7 machine.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 10, 2010 1:40 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

Very similar in specs. It gets about 1 hour on battery power and is too hot for use on his lap. It is very fast. I take it that portable use was not a factor or the heat.

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