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Laptop for graphic designer and photographer in travel

I'm planning to buy a laptop computer but I have no idea what to choose since I don't know much about them.

It's going to be used for:
- games
- Photoshop (rather huge and complex images with hundreds of layers like website designs)
- photography (large images)
- office, skype and everything for freelancer
- I travel a lot and I'd like it survive 3-4 hours without power

I rather need:
- 1920x1200 or 1920x1080 resolution
- i5 or i7 processor
- 4gb+ ram
- basically good graphic card and processor for games
- I will sometimes connect it to 24" monitor
- I'm not sure if 15" screen is enough but on the other hand 17" seems to be too big (I also consider the fact that I travel a lot)

So far I picked out following laptops:
- Dell XPS 15
- Sony Vaio (not sure which model because there are many of them)
- HP Envy 15

I'd like to know which one would you choose in my place and why. Like I said I don't know much about them so feel free to suggest also other models Happy thanks!

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All Answers

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Just a few things I've learned.

In reply to: Laptop for graphic designer and photographer in travel

All i7 machines (except that dual core model) tend to run hot to very hot. The complaints continue.

Try the i5 Sandy Bridge models and pop for more RAM.

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In reply to: Just a few things I've learned.

I didn't notice many complaints about that on the net. Some people say that they've got temperatures like 60-70 degrees but they don't really complain too much about it. It seems to don't have impact on their work with their computers.

What can I do about high temperatures if that happened to me?

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My new i7

In reply to: re

Well I just purchased a i7 2nd generation and I've been surfing the net for the last 2 hours and i left my machine on all night. My temps are ranging from 40's to 50.

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Is that okay?

In reply to: My new i7

Temperatures are ranging from 40 to 50 degrees. Is that okay? Is this hot? Are there any problems with it? What laptop are you using? i5 would be cooler?

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The ones who go for this usually know what they are getting.

In reply to: re

If you accept it will be a much warmer laptop then you are ready. Notice you don't read many complaints? My thought is they were warned about it.

And I'm not talking CPU temps, but the surfacec of the laptop.

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How hot is it?

In reply to: The ones who go for this usually know what they are getting.

How hot is it going to be? I'm using Dell Latitude D520 right now which is old core 2 duo laptop and its surface is okay. There are no problems at all. I can type anything without feeling that it's hot. The hottest area is actually right beneath my wrists (and it's a bit hot also underneath) but still it's okay for me.

Does it going to be very different on Dell XPS 15 i7 processor? Am I going to have any problems/complaints about it? Or is going to be acceptable temperature for my arms?

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What one will accept varies to the next.

In reply to: How hot is it?

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Still not sure

In reply to: What one will accept varies to the next.

I'm sure that many people use i7 processors in their laptops and Dell or any other company must have taken surface temperatures into account when creating their computers. All the laptops I've been using so far, even with i5 processors had acceptable temperatures and at the top (there where keyboard is) they were quite cool. I can't believe that it's going to significantly change with i7 processor. How would users use it if it was too hot? I don't care too much about bottom part of the laptop because it's going to stick to my desk or bed anyway.

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I'm sure they did. But have you seen and used them? I have

In reply to: Still not sure

You comment about the bed causes ALARM BELLS to go off. All the beds I see would block airflow and have the laptop suck up lint to cause even more heat issues.

We've covered the heat issue a few times so now that you were warned about it I can sincerely write that you can make an informed decision. That is, you have no reason to complain later.

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Last two questions

In reply to: I'm sure they did. But have you seen and used them? I have

I've got last two questions:
1) Will its temperature cause any problems for me if I'm not too fussy. I just don't want it to be inconvinient in any way.
2) I'd rather buy i7 because price doesn't differ that much. What can I do if it's too hot? Can I decrease its speed? Install another fan or do anything? Is i7 or i5 more popular among users? Is it big difference in speed?

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Who said the i7 was faster?

In reply to: Last two questions

If you look at a few benchmarks sometimes the i5 wins.

As to your heat question in post 11. So far if it's too warm or hot the owners have little choice but to try a cooling pad and that's about all that can be done. Some owners have tried to return units with some luck. There appear to be no plans to fix this issue.

I'm sorry but some seem to think it's not going to happen to them.

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Will be hard to find

In reply to: Laptop for graphic designer and photographer in travel

to find a 1920x1200 screen since most new screens are the flat screen variety with 1920x1080. I prefer the old more square screens myself. I would defintely go with the new Sandy Bridge to get the battery life your looking for. You have to remember the more power the machine has the less battery life you'll get. But with the technology of today 3 to 4 hours is obtainable with say a 16" screen. You say 17" and 15 too small so look at 15.6, 16.0 or 16.4.
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What would you choose

In reply to: Will be hard to find

My first choice would be Dell XPS 15 with i7 Sandy Bridge processor but it has 15.6 screen. I like its features and price more than Sony Vaio's but I'm still confused.

Would you choose Dell XPS 15 (15.6") or Sony Vaio (16.4") in my place?

Also Sony Vaio has better design but it's more expensive and it has a few less features that I like.

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