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Thread started 27 Sep 2017 (Wednesday) 18:29
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Best 13-inch Laptop for Photo Editing on the Go

 
SYS
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Sep 27, 2017 18:29 |  #1

I know that a 13-inch laptop isn't advisable for photo editing. However, I'm now more or less fully retired and find myself traveling a lot lately. I'm also getting old and don't care to haul things around when I travel, so I'm looking into very light 13-inch laptop basically for travel photos and editing as I go as my hobby, nothing professional.

Having said that, I'd very much appreciate your suggestions, recommendations and input. I'm a PC person but open to MacBook Pro if that's far superior to anything else out there.



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davesrose
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Post edited 7 months ago by davesrose. (2 edits in all)
     
Sep 27, 2017 22:01 |  #2

Macs are more expensive, and there are some good PC choices. There's slim and light 13" laptops, then there's also a new class called 2-in-1s. They let you flip the screen all the way in back of the keyboard and be in tablet mode (they have touch screens and let you use a stylus for drawing and editing). The most popular brands for general laptops are Dell, HP, and Lenovo. For a gaming laptop, Razor and MSI are popular.

I would say for a lightweight 13" laptop for photo editing (and great all round performance as well), is the Dell XPS 13". It's display has a very good color gamut:

XPS 13 Laptop (external link)

If you want something stylish, the HP Spectre series looks the most designer of any laptop (including Macs):

Base Spectre 13" (external link)

There's a Spectre x360 that acts as a 2 in 1. I recently got a 15" Lenovo Yoga 2 in 1 with 4K display. I got it because it was one of the few lightweight 2 in 1s that had a Intel i7 quad core (instead of dual core)....which helps for my 3D renders. Most laptops have dual core for better battery and heat dissipation.


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SYS
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Sep 28, 2017 00:10 as a reply to  @ davesrose's post |  #3

Thanks. The front runner right now is Dell XPS 13" non-touch version.



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Perfectly ­ Frank
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Sep 28, 2017 02:14 |  #4

SYS wrote in post #18461940 (external link)
Thanks. The front runner right now is Dell XPS 13" non-touch version.

When shopping for a laptop, non-touch usually have a matte screen, touch laptops have a glossy screen. Perhaps not always true, but something to keep in mind when selecting a laptop.

For photo editing a matte screen seems like the way to go.


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Sep 28, 2017 19:13 |  #5

The Microsoft Surface Book probably has the best screen going for photo-editing but is expensive. It is 91% aRGB and the higher spec'ed models are quite powerful. But I think Microsoft is bringing out an revised model in the coming months. Don't mistake the other models in the range (equally good screens) such as the Surface Pro (tablet) or the Surface laptop (lower spec version of Surface Book). But all aimed at photo editors/creative users.


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Perfectly ­ Frank
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Sep 29, 2017 12:27 |  #6

shocolite wrote in post #18462440 (external link)
The Microsoft Surface Book probably has the best screen going for photo-editing but is expensive. It is 91% aRGB and the higher spec'ed models are quite powerful. But I think Microsoft is bringing out an revised model in the coming months. Don't mistake the other models in the range (equally good screens) such as the Surface Pro (tablet) or the Surface laptop (lower spec version of Surface Book). But all aimed at photo editors/creative users.

Surface book, laptop, tablet...yeah, these terms have gotten me confused in the past. Thanks for pointing it out.


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Sep 29, 2017 12:41 as a reply to  @ shocolite's post |  #7

Thanks, the higher spec'ed Surface Book looks really nice. More than my intended budget, but it's an option, especially if it's available during this Black Friday sale....



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Sep 29, 2017 21:54 as a reply to  @ SYS's post |  #8

As far as comparing the Surface Book vs XPS, this site has some comparisons. Some specs are close, and there's lately been some question about MS reliability (Consumer Reports no longer recommends the Surface Laptop or Surface Book). One benefit for it with photos is that it's a 3x2 ratio instead of 16x9:

Surface Book Review (external link)


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Post edited 6 months ago by John from PA.
     
Oct 08, 2017 09:45 |  #9

SYS wrote in post #18461940 (external link)
Thanks. The front runner right now is Dell XPS 13" non-touch version.

That machine is currently on PC Magazine's deal of the day.

XPS 13 (9360) Intel Core i7-7560U KABY LAKE Dual-Core 13.3" 1080p Laptop Computer w/ 8GB RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD for a low $949.99

Go to https://www.pcmag.com/​best-deals-today (external link), "Laptop" tab and scroll down about 1/2 way.

a bit further down is the newer Intel Core i7-8550U Coffee Lake Quad-Core 13.3" version for $1170.




  
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Oct 08, 2017 22:12 |  #10

John from PA wrote in post #18468347 (external link)
That machine is currently on PC Magazine's deal of the day.

XPS 13 (9360) Intel Core i7-7560U KABY LAKE Dual-Core 13.3" 1080p Laptop Computer w/ 8GB RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD for a low $949.99

Go to https://www.pcmag.com/​best-deals-today (external link), "Laptop" tab and scroll down about 1/2 way.

a bit further down is the newer Intel Core i7-8550U Coffee Lake Quad-Core 13.3" version for $1170.

Thanks for the alert!



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Oct 08, 2017 22:26 |  #11

https://www.amazon.com …ds=surface%2Bpr​o%2B4&th=1 (external link)

This is my work computer. After the keyboard, dock, mouse and a few other things was basically 2k. Expensive yes... but to say the least It's a very capable machine. Very capable.

Spec'd right the surface pro has been a fantastic machine. I'm sure the lower spec models are ok too but I got the I7 with the iris graphics and it's handles pretty intense 3d naviswork models and loads quickly. Never had a problem with photo editing on it.

Another awesome plus is the think tank bag I use to carry it in:

https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com …_603_my_2nd_bra​in_13.html (external link)

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Oct 09, 2017 11:08 |  #12

John from PA wrote in post #18468347 (external link)
a bit further down is the newer Intel Core i7-8550U Coffee Lake Quad-Core 13.3" version for $1170.

These newer 8th generation CPUs offer a 40% performance increase with laptops, according to Intel. May be of interest to those who need (or just want)
a more powerful laptop.


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SYS
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Oct 09, 2017 13:39 |  #13

Now, the frontrunner is the new 8th generation Intel Core 13" HP Spectre x360. For photographers, HP decided to return the SD card slot. It starts to ship out on Oct. 28:

https://arstechnica.co​m …theyre-rather-attractive/ (external link)



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Oct 09, 2017 15:27 as a reply to  @ SYS's post |  #14

It's an improvement over 7th generation processors that were dual core. There are systems. like the one I was sure to pick up, that had quad core. It's hard to say how much more performance there is for Photoshop compared to earlier dual core versions (more cores are better for uses such as 3D rendering). And then also with slimmer laptops, manufacturers lower the CPU voltage to lower core temps (since they don't have larger/faster fans to have better cooling: thereby lowering clockspeed). Probably the main upgrade that the processors will give is lower wattage for quad core (giving better battery life).


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SYS
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Oct 10, 2017 18:42 |  #15

I was in Costco today, and I noticed that Dell XPS 13" with the following specs went down in price by $200 from a week ago when I last checked. Today, it's at $1,299.99. The question is does this have enough power to edit photos (LR and PS) and video? Multi-tasking?

7th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-7560U Processor 2.4GHz
16GB LPDDR3 1866MHz RAM
512GB Solid State Drive
InfinityEdge Quad HD+ (3200 x 1800) Display
Integrated Intel® Iris™ Graphics
802.11 Dual Band Wireless-AC WLAN + Bluetooth
2x USB 3.0 (1x with Powershare)
1x Media Card Reader
Approximate Weight: 2.7lbs



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Best 13-inch Laptop for Photo Editing on the Go
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