Laptops forum

General discussion

what's needed for the purposes?

by annbclay / September 18, 2009 2:20 PM PDT

I want to get a laptop.

I will use it mostly at home but will take it on the road some. So I don't need the thinest, lightest but I don't want too much weight.

I use Windows XP now and have some software (photoshop especially) that I'd like to use on this laptop. Mostly it will be for email, internet searches (wireless), light Photoshop editing and NVU editing of my web site. Battery time does matter as I will need to display my protfolio in my art booth on it. I will NOT store many files on it.

What should I look for?... RAM, Memory, processor, can you still find XP computers? Will a vista accept my older photoshop software. Any specific recommendations? Can I do this and stay within the $500 range?

Ann B

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: what's needed for the purposes?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: what's needed for the purposes?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
I'm going to write no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2009 2:49 PM PDT

To get the long hours that will likely blow past the 500 dollar amount so let's just keep shopping.

As to photoshop, GOOGLE that question.

Collapse -
just a little help for you
by pepsidrinker67 / September 18, 2009 3:32 PM PDT
Collapse -
a bit more info
by annbclay / September 19, 2009 1:12 AM PDT

Thanks for the specs,

So let me ask for a bit more detail. If my priority is photo editing on photoshop what's the most important features to look for? processor? RAM or hard drive capacity, or something else?

say I see 2 computers with 4GB RAM one has 320 the other 500 for Hard Drive and each has a different processor, what should I focus on? Are some brand processors better than others? How do I find out about the different ones?

also regarding software, I already own all the software I want to use but they work off on my XP platform. Can I still use them if I use a new operating system or will I have to buy new software?

Lastly are ACER computers decent quality?

Collapse -
Your questions are good but vague.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 19, 2009 1:38 AM PDT
In reply to: a bit more info

"So let me ask for a bit more detail. If my priority is photo editing on photoshop what's the most important features to look for?"

I'd want to see a color calibrator (see the Pantone HUEY for example) and a fine display. I'd skip all 500 buck machine since color accuracy is almost a farce. Go look at Apple units and the not so cheap Sony units. Then again I've run into folk that claim it's for pro photoediting and they really meant they just needed the basics.

"processor? RAM or hard drive capacity, or something else?"

Compare what you have NOW to the new machine. If you are filling 500GB drives then you need that space.

"say I see 2 computers with 4GB RAM one has 320 the other 500 for Hard Drive and each has a different processor, what should I focus on? Are some brand processors better than others? How do I find out about the different ones?"

I always give the nod to the Intel Core 2 Duo. The disk space is determined by you. I have a paltry by comparison 200GB drive on my main machine which use daily with Visual Studio 2008, Office and more. There is plenty of space left here.

"also regarding software, I already own all the software I want to use but they work off on my XP platform. Can I still use them if I use a new operating system or will I have to buy new software?"

99% of the time it will be fine and you install your software and carry on.

"Lastly are ACER computers decent quality?"

Yup. But just like all laptops you must plan as if you are renting such machines. Figure 3 to 5 year life spans. 2 to 4 years if you get a hot gamer's laptops.
Bob

Collapse -
thanks Bob
by annbclay / September 19, 2009 3:27 AM PDT

So, that was helpful, I sense from the reply that hard drive is all about file storage, where RAM and processor are about speed of function. Is that correct?

You are right about the photoshop, I won't be doing a lot of "pro editing" on the laptop, where I worry about color matching. I'll use it for cleaning up my photos, cropping and sometimes adding lighting effects. I wish I could afford a MAC but that is not in my near future.

I'm using the laptop for convenience such as internet, email and updating my art web site while not at my desk and while out of town. Also for displaying my portfolio in my art booth. I'll use word and excel occasionally also.

Based on these needs any specific recommendations under $700 (that will be a stretch for me)? Keep in mind this is my first laptop so I've been functioning without one for awhile. This will be a portability convenience tool.
ann

Collapse -
more vague questions
by annbclay / September 19, 2009 3:44 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks Bob

I really don't know zip about laptops or current computer tech stuff. What do you think about this computer for meeting my needs?:

HP dv7-1451

What other features do I need to ask about when I'm looking? ports/CD/wifi? I really don't know what things come with now.

Collapse -
Go shopping?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 19, 2009 5:38 AM PDT
In reply to: more vague questions

You have an 17 then a 15.5 inch display. Get out there and decide on that first. I had a 17 and now my brother has that. I bumped back down to 15.4.

Since no gamer laptop is required, how about a Tosh?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=4%2050001259%2040000032%20103980226%201039323203&name=Intel%20Core%202%20Duo&SpeTabStoreType=3&ActiveSearchResult=True

It's not overly sized, my kid has a similar model (just the Celeron model) and it runs everything we throw at it. The Intel 4500 GMA is not to be put down too hard.
Bob

Collapse -
thanks
by annbclay / September 19, 2009 7:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Go shopping?

I'll do some shopping around, you've helped me start to understand what does what! It's overwhelming when your new at this. Now each component of a computer has so many choices and brands. It used to be 2 processors to pick from, how much RAM and memory you needed. now there's so much more to consider and I worry I'll pick a computer that has everything I need but with one lemon component (like a crappy graphics card or processor) that will make it have problems! Do you think sales people at stores give decent feedback or are they just trying to sell what management has told them to push?

Collapse -
My short list.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 19, 2009 10:04 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks

With Windows 7 running nicely on a test machine with 1.0GB RAM, some 3D card and single core CPU almost everything out there is better.

This is why you may want to do some shopping and think hard about the screen size. Then when that's done, look at the screens and keyboards in the makes you are considering. This is the make or break areas for me.

That Intel 4500MHD is something the gamers may sneer at but that's just the gamers talking.
Bob

Collapse -
will do
by annbclay / September 19, 2009 1:38 PM PDT
In reply to: My short list.

Thanks so much, I'll check out screens and keyboard features then go from there. That Sony (normally around $800+) is getting ready to go on sale for $650 so I though it might be a good option if I like the screen size. I'll check out the Toshibas too.

I read a bit about the HP dv7 and it sounds big and heavy so I think I'll skip that even though the price is also going to $600.

thanks again you've been a big help getting me started.
AnnB

Collapse -
hopefully my last question for you
by annbclay / September 19, 2009 3:59 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks Bob

What about the Sony NW120? opinions?

Collapse -
Sony NW120 opinion
by pepsidrinker67 / September 19, 2009 3:49 PM PDT

well i searched here on Cnet for the Sony NW120 you asked about and the specs are nice. good fast processor, dual core at that, 4gb of ram, big hard disk, and its a SATA so thats good. and it looks nice and light and the battery is estimated at a max of 5 to 5.5 hours. thats also a good thing for you. now the integrated intel 4500hd graphics means taht it has no seperate dedicated memory for teh graphics so it will take RAM memory to use, up to 1gb, but with 4gb of ram you really wont notice that effect much, it may lag if you do heavy grpihcs work in photoshop but just because its integrated graphics, dont underestimate this chipset at all. it maxed out a few games my desktop wouldnt. so performance and everything-wise. i think if you can get it for 650 thats a great laptop. kkeep your eyes open beofre you buy it though, as a better opportunity may come your way. but if you cant find a better deal then yes thats a good laptop to choose in my opinion

Collapse -
sony
by annbclay / September 19, 2009 11:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Sony NW120 opinion

thanks,

the explanations you give in your descriptions really help me in understanding the functions of different components. I really appreciate all the time you've given me.

Ann B

Collapse -
no problem its what we do
by pepsidrinker67 / September 20, 2009 11:33 AM PDT
In reply to: sony

anytime you have a question this forum is usually very quick at giving detailed anwswers. great place. i wonder myself why i didnt sign up with an account a lot sooner than i did. i come here everyday.

any other questions, just post them in the appropriate sections and the members here will give you a good answer Wink

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

Does BMW or Volvo do it best?

Pint-size luxury and funky style

Shopping for a new car this weekend? See how the BMW X2 stacks up against the Volvo XC40 in our side-by-side comparison.