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FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
Thread started 12 Apr 2014 (Saturday) 10:59
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I need a new Laptop but which one?

 
Angela-Benita
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Apr 12, 2014 10:59 |  #1

Hi,

my Laptop is about to die and I need a new one. The last three laptops I had were Sony Vaios but I'm not very happy with the quality.

How many GB should I get with all the pictures? I will use an external hard drive but I also like to keep pictures on my Laptop to have them on hand.

How much RAM? is 4 ok? Or should it be 6 since I'm using photoshop, Lightroom and usually browse with a million windows open?! lol

Not sure if Acer, Dell or HP would be the best fit for me. Any ideas? I think regarding size I would not like to go over 16". It also doesn't matter if it's a regular Laptop or not but the ones you can flip the display over and use it as a tablet are kinda cool :)

PS: I don't really want to spend over $1000 since they usually don't last longer than 3 years.

I'm thankful for any ideas




  
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1Tanker
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Apr 12, 2014 13:37 |  #2

Angela-Benita wrote in post #16828347 (external link)
Hi,

my Laptop is about to die and I need a new one. The last three laptops I had were Sony Vaios but I'm not very happy with the quality.

How many GB should I get with all the pictures? I will use an external hard drive but I also like to keep pictures on my Laptop to have them on hand.

How much RAM? is 4 ok? Or should it be 6 since I'm using photoshop, Lightroom and usually browse with a million windows open?! lol

Not sure if Acer, Dell or HP would be the best fit for me. Any ideas? I think regarding size I would not like to go over 16". It also doesn't matter if it's a regular Laptop or not but the ones you can flip the display over and use it as a tablet are kinda cool :)

PS: I don't really want to spend over $1000 since they usually don't last longer than 3 years.

I'm thankful for any ideas

Go with 8GB (with expansion room for another 8, in the future). 120-240/256GB SSD is a must now, in a laptop.


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bumpintheroad
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Apr 12, 2014 13:59 |  #3

There are several ways to go with this.

In terms of overall quality, reliability and support, an Apple Macbook Pro 15 with Retina (external link) display is the winner. But once you configure one with at least 512GB of internal storage and 3YR Applecare service and support, it will cost 2.5X your budget. The primary benefits are a the MacOS user interface and reliability, and a nationwide network of Apple Stores for walk-in support.

On the Windows side, the leaders in quality, reliability and support are Lenovo and Dell. You should stick with an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU. I would avoid Acer, as all the models I've used from this manufacturer performed poorly (and I just recently set one up for my father). Also, I would avoid HP, except perhaps the Probook series, as they are flimsy. Although I have two 5-year old HP Probooks that we still use on occasion, I've had to replace keyboards, touchpads, HDDs and one LCD.

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (external link) series with i7 processor and 4YR phone support and in-home service is within your price range, and the touch-screen version (external link) (suggested for using Windows 8) is just slightly over. The Lenovo Y510p is with 24GB SSD (external link) cache and dedicated NVidia graphics processor/memory is also a good choice, though with 3YR service and support (depot service only) it will run you closer to $1,300.

There are also Core i5-based laptops from Lenovo and Dell that are a few hundred dollars less expensive. The i5 processor also consumes less power so the laptop will run longer on battery. And, from a practical standpoint, you will probably not notice much difference in performance between the i5 and i7 with the applications you use. What you are more likely to notice is the quality of the hardware wrapped around the processor, as i7 laptops are generally the premium line-up. This is the main reason why I normally go with i7 vs i5 CPU.

I have never had good experiences with AMD-based systems. Though I'm pretty sure that's not the CPU's fault, it seems the overall components wrapped around the CPU are cheap and unreliable to save cost, because price seems to be the motivation for choosing a non-Intel CPU.

Of all of these options, I would favor the Lenovo even though it exceeds your budget because of it's dedicated graphics processor and memory, the 24GB SSD, and my experience with them being well built and reliable. I feel this would give me the longest useful life. And, unless you are comfortable identifying and replacing failed hardware components on your own, certainly get the manufacturer's extra 3YR or 4YR service and support.


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Angela-Benita
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Apr 12, 2014 16:19 as a reply to  @ bumpintheroad's post |  #4

Thank you guys. I'll check out some of the suggestions. I'm not a big Apple fan when it comes to Laptops. I have an Iphone and an Ipad just to surf the web on the couch but for pictures etc I can't stand Apple products.




  
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tim
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Apr 14, 2014 00:35 |  #5

Make sure you get USB 3.0 interface on the computer, and on your external disk. Ideally get a full sized computer so you can use internal disks. SSD is near essential for photo processing.


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RHChan84
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Apr 14, 2014 10:32 |  #6

I would say minimum would be i5 either 3rd or 4th gen.

If you are getting a laptop that allows you to change the RAM and HD then go with that. Don't worry too much since you can swap those out overtime but make sure it had 2 slots for RAM.

If you want a ultrabook then 8GB ram and at least 256 SSD.

I would try to go for a 1600x900 or higher.


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dbs_jd
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May 03, 2014 11:21 |  #7

I don't know if you like HP, but I had the HP Envy 17t-3200 CTO last year and I loved it. It was not so thin as a Ultrabook, but it was powerful. It came with 10GB of RAM, 500GB and I added a 100GB SSD where I had Windows, Lightroom, Photoshop and Premiere installed. It also had a 1GB AMD 6850 HD graphic card. Also the screen was 1920 x 1080p. I bought it last year for $800.

I suggest you this one: Asus Q550LF-BBI7T07, you can find it for less than $700 on eBay. A friend of mine has it and she looooves it.

I hope I helped :).


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May 05, 2014 18:00 |  #8

My vote is for Dell. I've had an Inspiron 1720 refurbished for 4 years now. Been dropped, and tested to it's limits. Now I'm working with raw images I find it's 250 gb hdd small and it's 3 gb ram (whopping at the time) not enough. I get Lr memory errors, but not in elements. So 8 gb ram, 1tb hdd and an Ssd if you can afford it. Reliability has been 2nd to none.


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RHChan84
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May 05, 2014 19:00 |  #9

I went with an HP dm4 which is a tra doing laptop so it's small. 13" monitor but I have an external 27" monitor I hook it up too.

Spec wise out of the box is 3rd gen i5, 500gb HD, 4GB ram. At that time the 3rd gen i5 just came out.

Now its 8GB ram with 480GB SSD. I would do it all over again for a 4th gen but I don't have the budget for it. Also a 1600x900 which was good for two years ago.


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I need a new Laptop but which one?
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