Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > Best non MAC notebook for Photography/Retouch?

Retoucher

Avilio

Posts: 56

Tegucigalpa, Distrito Central, Honduras

Hi All,

I have read many posts on this forum to help you choose between a PC or a MAC. The conclusion I reached is that it is better a personalized desktop than a laptop (PC or MAC).

But I have to think of a laptop to work in photography / retouching during travel.

Having read many articles, I think it's clear that if you have the money, it is better a mac book pro. But what is not clear to me, is what is the best option than MAC.

The top of my budget is $ 1500. I would appreciate any help.

Mar 09 13 09:32 am Link

Photographer

Patrick Paduano

Posts: 1

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

the only reason why a macbook pro would be better then a pc laptop for retouching is because of the quality of the screen. Acuracy of the colors. Besides that, a laptop is way more faster for rendering if you spend the same amount of money on it.

Mar 09 13 10:11 am Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12836

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Ahh makes me miss the old Lenovo W700.

Still worth it

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ThinkPad-LENOVO … 2325821b3f

Mar 09 13 10:15 am Link

Photographer

Ruben Vasquez

Posts: 3115

Puyallup, Washington, US

I have an Asus Eee Slate PC. It's a 12" touch screen display that also has a Wacom digitizer pen with 256 levels of pressure sensitivity but I bought a different one with 512 levels of pressure sensitivity plus a programmable rocker button so it's very similar to using a Wacom Cintiq. I opted for the 64 gig sdd with 4 gig of ram and with Photoshop CS6, makes for a really nice computer to retouch on whenever I want to go out and about. Main complaint though is that it is power hungry and the battery only lasts 2 to 3 hours. Not much of a problem though if you can sit somewhere near an outlet.

https://www.asus.com/Tablets_Mobile/Eee_Slate_B121/

Mar 09 13 10:15 am Link

Retoucher

Avilio

Posts: 56

Tegucigalpa, Distrito Central, Honduras

Patrick Paduano wrote:
the only reason why a macbook pro would be better then a pc laptop for retouching is because of the quality of the screen. Acuracy of the colors. Besides that, a laptop is way more faster for rendering if you spend the same amount of money on it.

Thats the reason I am lookin for a pc option wink

Mar 09 13 12:42 pm Link

Retoucher

Avilio

Posts: 56

Tegucigalpa, Distrito Central, Honduras

AJScalzitti wrote:
Ahh makes me miss the old Lenovo W700.

Still worth it

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ThinkPad-LENOVO … 2325821b3f

It's not on my budget O_O

Mar 09 13 12:42 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12836

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Avilio wrote:

It's not on my budget O_O

They are still a bit expensive even used, but nobody has really ever made a PS workstation / laptop like this before or since.  Lenovo discontinued its 17" pro line stuff, some consumer models I think are around but not the business one.

Still this thing had everything, built in Wacom, secondary screen built it, wide color display, Pantone color sensor.  I think you can find the W700 without th secondary screen for a lot less BTW

Mar 09 13 12:48 pm Link

Retoucher

Avilio

Posts: 56

Tegucigalpa, Distrito Central, Honduras

Ruben Vasquez wrote:
I have an Asus Eee Slate PC. It's a 12" touch screen display that also has a Wacom digitizer pen with 256 levels of pressure sensitivity but I bought a different one with 512 levels of pressure sensitivity plus a programmable rocker button so it's very similar to using a Wacom Cintiq.

https://www.asus.com/Tablets_Mobile/Eee_Slate_B121/

Its good to know of this option, thanks.

But I was looking for something more like a desktop (in a laptop of course).

Mar 09 13 12:49 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12836

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Actually the non dual display is a lot less these days

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-W700-Cor … 3a7f246154

And a second hard drive to that one for $100 and you have a very nice mobile editing station.

Mar 09 13 12:52 pm Link

Photographer

A-M-P

Posts: 18211

Orlando, Florida, US

I have a dell Inspiron  with I7 3.2 ghz 1TB HD 8GB ram and photoshop runs super fast and smooth. Around $900

Mar 09 13 01:03 pm Link

Photographer

Ruben Vasquez

Posts: 3115

Puyallup, Washington, US

Avilio wrote:
Its good to know of this option, thanks.

But I was looking for something more like a desktop (in a laptop of course).

I honestly don't know what that's supposed to mean. A computer is a computer so you can have super fast laptops and abysmally slow desktops. It all depends on what hardware you have inside.

You'd probably get better responses if you can tell us what spec's you're looking for.

Mar 09 13 02:00 pm Link

Photographer

DougBPhoto

Posts: 38616

Portland, Oregon, US

Ruben Vasquez wrote:

I honestly don't know what that's supposed to mean. A computer is a computer so you can have super fast laptops and abysmally slow desktops. It all depends on what hardware you have inside.

You'd probably get better responses if you can tell us what spec's you're looking for.

How about an i7 Quad Core (like 36xxQM or faster) and Win 7x64, and of course must have a very good graphics card.

Mar 09 13 04:44 pm Link

Photographer

ME_

Posts: 3146

Atlanta, Georgia, US

In general you want a "mobile workstation" rather than a "laptop." Or possibly a laptop specifically designed for gaming. I would look for one with dedicated graphics, at least 8GB RAM and preferably expandable to at least 16, and a 7200rpm HDD.

Lenovo makes one that sounds pretty nice and is within your budget - W530, currently selling for $1,484.10.

Intel Core i7-3740QM Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.70 GHz)
Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) LED Backlit AntiGlare Display
System Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro K1000M Graphics with 2GB DDR3 Memory
8 GB DDR3 - 1600MHz (2 DIMM)
500GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm

Mar 09 13 04:53 pm Link

Retoucher

Avilio

Posts: 56

Tegucigalpa, Distrito Central, Honduras

Ruben Vasquez wrote:
You'd probably get better responses if you can tell us what spec's you're looking for.

You are right.

What I'am looking for a machine to replace my old desktop, but, with the facility of transportation. So, I was thinking on a notebook with:

i7,
8G Ram to up,
750G HD to up,
Good Graphic Card, a
and something like that.

There are plenty of options of all brands: HP, DELL, Sony, Asus, etc; but I don't know who's best for design/photography/retouching, or just the model which has less hardware o software problems.

Thanks smile

Mar 09 13 06:32 pm Link

Retoucher

Avilio

Posts: 56

Tegucigalpa, Distrito Central, Honduras

DougBPhoto wrote:
How about an i7 Quad Core (like 36xxQM or faster) and Win 7x64, and of course must have a very good graphics card.

Yeah, that's much like what I am looking for, but I don't know what brand (HP,DELL, VAIO,ASUS, etc) is better.

A-M-P wrote:
I have a dell Inspiron  with I7 3.2 ghz 1TB HD 8GB ram and photoshop runs super fast and smooth. Around $900

It sounds very good, you hasn't any kind of trouble with it?

ME_ wrote:
Lenovo makes one that sounds pretty nice and is within your budget - W530, currently selling for $1,484.10.

Hey, I will check this out, thanks.

Mar 09 13 06:39 pm Link

Photographer

MarcMarayag

Posts: 77

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

who cares about the specs

get one with an ips screen like the asus zenbook - it's super light and will handle photoshop well

Mar 09 13 06:54 pm Link

Retoucher

Jostein Roalkvam

Posts: 282

Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway

Buy whatever laptop that fits your needs, and an external monitor. No laptop monitor will (to this date) even be close to say a NEC PA/Eizo SX/CG anyways, so why bother? If I was buying a laptop now I'd probably go for an Asus UX32, or if I had shat money (which I don't) a Retina MBP with Windows 8. I'd still use my NEC SpectraView 271 no matter what.

Mar 09 13 07:14 pm Link

Retoucher

Avilio

Posts: 56

Tegucigalpa, Distrito Central, Honduras

MarcMarayag wrote:
who cares about the specs

I Care O_O

Jostein Roalkvam wrote:
Buy whatever laptop that fits your needs, and an external monitor. No laptop monitor will (to this date) even be close to say a NEC PA/Eizo SX/CG anyways, so why bother? If I was buying a laptop now I'd probably go for an Asus UX32, or if I had shat money (which I don't) a Retina MBP with Windows 8. I'd still use my NEC SpectraView 271 no matter what.

Thanks!, I live in a country were no one has a Asus, It's well recommended?

Mar 09 13 07:15 pm Link

Photographer

DougBPhoto

Posts: 38616

Portland, Oregon, US

MarcMarayag wrote:
who cares about the specs

get one with an ips screen like the asus zenbook - it's super light and will handle photoshop well

If you have to work with a lot of raw photos, especially large raws like from a D800, specs matter quite a lot since they are the measurements to guide you to what machines will have the speed you need and what won't.

Hate to say it, but Alienware seems to have better specs (GPU) than the Lenovo, and for the 14" model less expensive for same CPU.

Mar 09 13 07:21 pm Link

Photographer

JD Liddil

Posts: 98

North Haven, Connecticut, US

Look at Origin (http://www.originpc.com/)
MSI (http://us.msi.com/)

Lenovo, Dell and HP make workstation laptop. You need to look at the small-medium business section of their sites to find these machines.

Look at an SSD plus the HD. Dedicated graphics card with 2-4 gigs of RAM. 16 gig of RAM.

Mar 11 13 08:47 am Link

Retoucher

Avilio

Posts: 56

Tegucigalpa, Distrito Central, Honduras

JD Liddil wrote:
Look at Origin (http://www.originpc.com/)
MSI (http://us.msi.com/)

Lenovo, Dell and HP make workstation laptop. You need to look at the small-medium business section of their sites to find these machines.

Look at an SSD plus the HD. Dedicated graphics card with 2-4 gigs of RAM. 16 gig of RAM.

Thanks smile

Mar 11 13 05:34 pm Link

Retoucher

Avilio

Posts: 56

Tegucigalpa, Distrito Central, Honduras

Well, if there are no objections, I think my choice will be a MSI Computer Corp GT70 smile

Mar 13 13 07:28 am Link

Photographer

Jake Lichty

Posts: 13

Brampton, Ontario, Canada

have a look at the new Asus UX51VZ (aka U500) its fairly thin and light with a fair amount of power in it.

Specs:
   - 2.1GHz Intel Core i7-3612QM Quad-Core
   - 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
   - Dual 128GB Solid State Drives (256GB)
   - nVIDIA GeForce GT 650M Graphics (2GB)
   - 15.6" Full HD LED-Backlit Display
   - 1920 x 1080 Native Resolution
   - Windows 8 (64-bit)

Dimensions (WxHxD) - 15 x 1.2 x 10"

Mar 15 13 09:40 pm Link

Photographer

SKITA Studios

Posts: 1566

Boston, Massachusetts, US

ME_ wrote:
Lenovo makes one that sounds pretty nice and is within your budget - W530, currently selling for $1,484.10.

I have one and like it quite a bit because I have 32MB of RAM in it and it makes my VMs happy for development work :-)
And it can be stuffed w/ 3 drives while being fairly light.

I'm not sure I'd recommend the screen if it's your only option though...angle of view isn't that great because it's not IPS but laptops w/ high res IPS screens w/ 4 memory slots were upwards of $2k when I looked :-P

Mar 16 13 06:54 am Link

Photographer

ME_

Posts: 3146

Atlanta, Georgia, US

SKITA Studios wrote:
I have one and like it quite a bit because I have 32MB of RAM in it and it makes my VMs happy for development work :-)
And it can be stuffed w/ 3 drives while being fairly light.

I'm not sure I'd recommend the screen if it's your only option though...angle of view isn't that great because it's not IPS but laptops w/ high res IPS screens w/ 4 memory slots were upwards of $2k when I looked :-P

I hope that you mean 32GB of RAM! :-d

Re screens, yep to get a decent screen on a laptop is either not gonna happen or it's very expensive. I would always recommend that someone buy a monitor to use with a laptop - the laptop itself is sufficient in a pinch but not for serious work. In fact if my traveling were in a car, or to places where I could ship something, I might even carry or ship a monitor, if the trip were of a long-enough duration and I had to do so much processing while there that transporting a monitor would be worthwhile. But I'd definitely have one at home to use, at least.

Mar 16 13 07:57 am Link

Photographer

sbourson

Posts: 559

Paris, Île-de-France, France

The ASUS zenbook look like great , the xps from dell are good too but few more expensif

Mar 16 13 08:04 am Link

Photographer

SCAM Photography

Posts: 958

Mansfield, Ohio, US

Just got a Tiger Direct Email with a fairly inexpensive I7 Lenovo

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications … =WEBBP1663

Mar 16 13 08:26 am Link

Retoucher

FLEXmanta

Posts: 1001

Madrid, Madrid, Spain

All you need to know is that brands call them Mobile Workstations. Asus, DELL and HP have workstation lines that have either higher specs than macbook pros at the same price or the same specs at half of the price. Most come with color work oriented screens and some even have Nvidia Quadro Gpus.

It is expected that they start rolling out with high resolution displays as, for now, most will only do 1920x1080 which is actually not bad at all.

These are currently the real work horse laptops. Escaping the current Apple trend, these laptops can hold more than 1 hard disk, up to 32Gb of ram and sport all the must have professional ports like Ethernet, USB3.0 and even firewire800.

I am only waiting to see what Apple does with their Macbook Pro update expected this June 2013. If the macbook pro they release is still a toy computer, then that'll be good bye Mac for me. Laptop and dektops.

(We'll always have Hackintoshes)

Mar 16 13 12:15 pm Link

Retoucher

Avilio

Posts: 56

Tegucigalpa, Distrito Central, Honduras

Any comments on this one?: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009H8 … PDKIKX0DER

MSI Computer Corp GT70

Mar 18 13 03:41 pm Link

Retoucher

FLEXmanta

Posts: 1001

Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Avilio wrote:
Any comments on this one?: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009H8 … PDKIKX0DER

MSI Computer Corp GT70

Not bad. Still not a mobile working station (MBPs aren't either).

This is probably the king of all current mobile workstations:
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/ … bsd&cs=04&

Mar 20 13 08:11 am Link

Photographer

DougBPhoto

Posts: 38616

Portland, Oregon, US

FLEXmanta wrote:

Not bad. Still not a mobile working station (MBPs aren't either).

This is probably the king of all current mobile workstations:
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/ … bsd&cs=04&

Dell told me their M6700 is the only one you can get an IPS screen on though.

Mar 20 13 08:33 am Link

Photographer

Shoreline Pictures

Posts: 91

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ive been using Qosmio for about 5 years and am very happy with the displays once calibrated with my XRite eye1.

http://us.toshiba.com/computers/laptops … ble-models

Mar 20 13 08:37 am Link

Retoucher

FLEXmanta

Posts: 1001

Madrid, Madrid, Spain

DougBPhoto wrote:

Dell told me their M6700 is the only one you can get an IPS screen on though.

It's confusing times right now. We're currently in a stage where the screens realm is experiencing a lot of changes. Some are making them tactile, some others are betting for higher resolution displays and some will do both, hi-dpi tactile displays. Then others say hi-dpi is a useless thing given the distance at which you look at screens and some others say that a tactile computer screen is un-ergonomycal, statement with which I partly agree.

The most important part is that the professional segment of any brand has a higher viscosity than theyr consumer and prosumer lines. That is, when a new technology comes out, their professional lines tend to stay as they were for some time before they adopt new technologies. Happend with just about any new development. Most recent example is the solid state drive. Today, it'd be rare to find a laptop not offering an SSD for main storage or even carry it by default.

I say wait! Apple is releasing their new macbook pro in June/July. That doesn't mean that you should get a mac, it means that the mac will set new rules. If the MBP with retina display includes drivers for people to install windows 8 and run it properly at its screen resolution, then windows will have to include proper vector scaling. If windows includes that, then PC laptops will also wanna have hi-dpi displays. Shortly after that, professional laptops will all have hi-dpi screens.

Ultimately, all computers will have hi-dpi screens, and, hopefully, professional monitors like NECs and EIZOs too.

Mar 21 13 05:04 am Link

Retoucher

bobbydolan

Posts: 168

Boston, Massachusetts, US

FLEXmanta wrote:
I say wait! Apple is releasing their new macbook pro in June/July. That doesn't mean that you should get a mac, it means that the mac will set new rules. If the MBP with retina display includes drivers for people to install windows 8 and run it properly at its screen resolution, then windows will have to include proper vector scaling. If windows includes that, then PC laptops will also wanna have hi-dpi displays. Shortly after that, professional laptops will all have hi-dpi screens.

Previous trends would suggest a new mac book pro for summer though if you're aware they just did a recent spec bump on the 13" retina's and what not...

Me personally...full disclosure I work for Apple and well the way their laptop line is going are yes somewhat beefy machines yet not user friendly when it comes to configuring it ones self... So that amazing 15" retina you got with 8gbs rams and maybe only a 256gb SSD. Well you are stuck with that configuration for the laptops duration.
Personally I love the over all workflow and ecosystem my Mac provides me for everyday use and mainly work outside of photoshop...If I were to get a machine that was purely going to be a work horse for photoshop/video editing I'd go PC all the way for the varying options and slashed prices.

Along now with the 10.8.3 OS update bootcamp does fully support windows 8 fyi

Mar 21 13 05:46 am Link

Retoucher

FLEXmanta

Posts: 1001

Madrid, Madrid, Spain

bobbydolan wrote:
Previous trends would suggest a new mac book pro for summer though if you're aware they just did a recent spec bump on the 13" retina's and what not...

Me personally...full disclosure I work for Apple and well the way their laptop line is going are yes somewhat beefy machines yet not user friendly when it comes to configuring it ones self... So that amazing 15" retina you got with 8gbs rams and maybe only a 256gb SSD. Well you are stuck with that configuration for the laptops duration.
Personally I love the over all workflow and ecosystem my Mac provides me for everyday use and mainly work outside of photoshop...If I were to get a machine that was purely going to be a work horse for photoshop/video editing I'd go PC all the way for the varying options and slashed prices.

Along now with the 10.8.3 OS update bootcamp does fully support windows 8 fyi

My thoughts exactly. I was expecting them to increase the max amount of the now soldered in RAW to about 32Gb. People are already changing the SSD to a faster bigger one though, so that's one problem less.

I do see your point about switching to PC, and I amactually considering it. In fact, might even consider running OSX on one of the newer PC laptops. Would have to check for the latest compatibility lists though. I do have one fully functional beefy hackintosh at home so I can say they do work reliably. I guess power management would be trickier to bring to work on hackintosh laptops.

Things I can't stand about the new MBP laptops is that, they are not as beefy as it gets nowadays. They eliminated ports that were still in use, such as the FW800 and the Ethernet (and using adaptors is a no go for work), and the fact that you are buying a product that you know is more expensive than the more powerful PCs, when today, the quality difference is not as steep as it used to be.

What would I have to do to make the switch to PC? Probably bigger balls.

Mar 21 13 08:39 am Link

Photographer

WMcK

Posts: 5287

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

The problem is that most note books use rubbishy 6 bpc TN screens running at some stupidly high CT like 9,000K which makes critical colour work (or calibration) on them impossible.

Mar 21 13 08:41 am Link

Retoucher

FLEXmanta

Posts: 1001

Madrid, Madrid, Spain

WMcK wrote:
The problem is that most note books use rubbishy 6 bpc TN screens running at some stupidly high CT like 9,000K which makes critical colour work (or calibration) on them impossible.

There are plenty of laptops sporting true 8bit IPS panels. Of course, if you buy the average 900€ laptop at carrefour, you'll get the same specs as if you buy the average 100€ monitor at carrefour.

Professional gear has professional price tags.

Mar 21 13 01:16 pm Link