View Full Version : Best Laptop for photo editing?
Ok, my old Acer TravelMate 8004 is starting to show its age, and the screen is dreadful for photo editing (after calibration it still has very little accuracy).
I am starting to think about upgrading it, not immediately, but it will probably be my christmas present.
What is the best laptop for photo editing, at a price mark of around Ģ1000, I will also like to have some decent 3d capabilities for the occasional Quake 3 frag session with my daughter.
Of course a good and colour accurate screen is a must, together with a resolution at least equal to 1400x1050 (same as my current laptop) but possibly higher, and with a size not bigger than 15in (again same as my current one)
I guess at least 2GB of RAM will be necessary for Lighzone and CS3, (I have 1GB and it is quite slow).
I know I have quite high requirements, but I hope there is something in my price range.
For what it's worth, the MacBookPro I use at work seems to be extra bright, exposing shadow problems in my photos. Great for editing, but not so great for previewing (and extra adjusting) before sending the pictures to online printing services like Mpix for example.
I'd choose a wide display because the real-estate seems to look nicer for editing images with lots of panesl and toolbars floating around.
Other than that, I can't think of any specific laptop brand that would stand up-and-above the others in terms of suitability for this task.
Powerbooks had the best lcd's, new Macbooks Pro are not' so good... but this last series with LED's should be better... talking about LED's some Sony laptops have them but I didn't have opportunity to see how they behave.
I just traded my fairly new MacBook for a MB Pro and am quite happy with that. I mostly edit pics with a standalone screen attached , though - mostly for screen size.
I agree that the screen of the MacBook is nice; sharp and contrasty, but the 13" size is a bit narrow for my tastes.
Software is just as important. I use Appleīs Aperture, but will probably cinvert to the Lightroom/CS3 combo. Lightroom is really something, I believe. While Aperture almost has my MacBook pro with 2 megs of RAM drag itīs feet, I could use the Beta versions of Lightroom on a 5 years old PowerBook. Worked like a charm.
Good luck at Christmas!
Not sure on pricing, but I use an HP tablet PC (mine's a tc4200) for the "my screen is my graphics tablet" approach to things. Works a treat for photo editing.
i have a macbook with only 1G memory and CS3 does work reasonably fast on it. (Sometimes i have 48-bit MF scans of 5000x5000 pixel...)
The screen is small though, as said above, and it is also not ideal for quake, i think you'd have to install winblowz on it for playing kweik....
But it can support external screens parallel with the built-in one up to a resonable resolution. I'm planning on buying a bigger one.
MacBook Pro is what I use. But for serious, buckle down editing, I have an external monitor. 2 gigs of ram, 2.2ghz processor, it is very quick to work with.
Can't help you much with your gaming needs tho. Nor do I think it will fit in your price range.
The Macbook Pro's is very good for a laptop - but it's still a laptop screen.
Whatever you get, make sure you have ample memory and processing power is my tip. I find that Photoshop (and some other software) can really struggle when using some filters. I had an IBM laptop that worked OK but still struggled sometimes - I now use a more powerful desktop. Also make sure that you have screen calibration software if you are serious about getting a good onscreen representation of the photos. My IBM came with some software that seemed to do the trick. I think it may have been adobe gamma -this seems to come standard with some hardware / software packages.
Agree totally with the above poster, nikonhswebmaster. I bought a PowerBook 3 years ago, principally cos my wife said we hadn't got the room for a desktop in our tiny apartment. Now that we own a house, i wish i had bought a PowerMac G5, which even three years old, would still be upgradeable. A laptop, any laptop is not.
EDIT: Then again, my PB G4 seems pretty quick compared to my friends' PowerMac G5 with Lightroom....
I use a Powerbook G4 with 2GB RAM coupled up to a 23" Apple Cinema Display - the difference between the two screens is like night and day and both have been calibrated. I prefer the screen of the G4 Powerbooks to the super shiny screen of the newer Macbook Pro's but that's just a personal thing.
Running CS3 on a G4 laptop would be mighty painful for my taste... to put it mildly, it is painful enough on my G5 tower. However it all depends I suppose how impatient the user is, I am VERY.
The G4 works just fine for me as i tend to work on single images and many are 200MB plus. I have no plans to update to the later Macbooks i'd prefer to invest that sort of money in lenses :)
My MacBook Pro with 17 inch screen is the best I've found..
I have a Toshiba Satellite with 17" screen which works fine for photo editing. It is a rather big lap top that is transportable, but in daily life is easy to stow away in your home. I use this instead of a stationary PC. Mine is now quite a few years old, but has served me well and without any hickups. I was very sceptical since I have been using nothing but IBM PC's mostly Thinkpads in my proffesional life. Toshiba is just as good. If not better.
Today Toshiba has two models with this 17" screen - which is the closest thing to the Mac screen in the PC world; the Satellite and Qosmio. One of the heftiest models of these two is something I would recommend. Links here:
Thinkpad t60 had version with s-IPS screen. You may be lucky and find one. Otherwise i vote for new Macbook pro with LED.
Another vote fo Toshiba.
17" Powerbook G4. Plenty big for editing but not too big to lug around.
i have a macbook pro, 23 inch display, and aperture .. can't get better .. full screen display on 23" whist i navigate on my macbook. When i'm away from my office then the macbook pro on its own is superb.
It just works. On client sites I have to use PCs .. hey ho .. funny I should be on Apple Commission .. I sold 9 systems so far ! when people see my Mac. still no surprise to the converted. good luck with your choice.
Just a thought and going back to the original post. Will a Macbook run Quake 3?
Save for a Mac. 2GB is not enough for Vista and CS3. It is fine on a Mac though
I have a Toshiba also. I only have the 15 inch screen, as that fits in the bifocal window without moving my head. You younger guys without glasses can go for those 17 inch and up screens.
I've also used a comparable Dell unit. They are OK, but I'd pick HP as my second choice behind Toshiba.
Please note I'm not anti-Apple, it's just that sincer I use Windows at work I tend to use the same at home. Apple makes fine machines, I just find them expensive and counter-intuitive relative to Wimdows.
It certainly will run Quake via Bootcamp (runs Windows natively in a separate partition)
It looks like they make a version of Quake for OS X
I vote for raw power and price.
I use a Clevo 900C. The clevo is a generic (oem) lappie but supports SLI for gaming.
On my configuration, i'm running a quad core 2.4, 4gigs of dual channel 800mhz ram, 1066ghz fsb, 1gb of video ram on SLI (GeForce 7950GTX 512mb x 2). The lcd it came with is a sony 1680x1050, but i plug it out via dvi to my external CRT anyways.
I've been runnin CS3, Lightroom, and a whole bunch of audio engineering software on the lappie without a hitch. Not to mention achieving nearly 82-106FPS at the max settings for BF2, 2142, crysis, fear, and quake.
best of all, i bought it a year back for abouts 2.5 usdK from a retailer in taiwan. There are a bunch of other companies who can put the system together for you if you're interested. ( new york, cali based)
About macs, yeah, they're good and i use them a bunch at work also, but for the price vs raw performance and not to mention ability to upgrade parts without paying a BOMB, (upgrading my vid cards next month to the 8800 GTXs), go for a basic widows based lappie.
feel free to drop me a PM if you have any other questions. :)
just my 2 cents...
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