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Thread started 12 Jun 2017 (Monday) 14:21
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Laptop with 4k for photo editing - worth it or unnecessary resolution?

 
GoHokiesGo
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Post edited over 1 year ago by GoHokiesGo.
     
Jun 12, 2017 14:21 |  #1

TL;DR = is it worth the upgrade for a 4k screen on a laptop, or is it a waste for small screen if the just laptop is your primary editing option?

Full info=
I'm in the market for a new laptop, and I figured the forum is going to have the best advice for photographers. I have an aging 1st generation Lenovo Yoga that has served me well over the past 5 years, but has started to struggle mightily with Lightroom the past 1-2 months.

I want something capable of strong Lightroom performance, but I am the type of person that sits on the couch while editing; photography is only a hobby for me, so I do not have a dedicated desktop where I work in my home. I travel quite a bit and have enjoyed the thin, lightweight form factor of the Yoga, so I'm likely looking for a similar type of laptop again. I do very small amounts of video editing with GoPro clips, but far and away the bulk of my work in photography. I am sticking with a Windows machine, so please no suggestions for anything Apple.

One question from any similar photographers - is a 4K screen on a laptop worth the upgrade price, or is it wasted resolution for a small laptop screen? I do not think I'll notice the difference between 1080 and 4k on a 15-inch screen for regular tasks, but do you gain much in lightroom with the added resolution if I'm not using a large monitor to take advantage of it?

I'm looking at the Lenovo Flex 5 as the likely replacement candidate - similar form factor, decent specs with an i7 processor, pricepoint is about right for what I'd like to spend (around $1k or so) - and Costco actually has two solid models (I have bought direct from Lenovo for my last 3-4 laptops for the family)

  • Option 1 @ $1150: i7-7500U, 16 GB RAM, Nvidia 940MX 2GB graphics, 15" 4k screen, 512 GB SSD + 1TB hard drive
  • Option 2 @ $ 900: i7-7500U, 16 GB RAM, Nvidia 940MX 2GB graphics, 15" FHD/1080P screen, 512 GB SSD

The biggest difference for me is the additional $250 for the 4k screen resolution, as I can use my external drives & NAS for that extra hard-drive space. Has anyone recently made the upgrade to a 4K laptop, and do you feel it's worth the price jump?

Thanks for the input!

~Jason
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Jun 12, 2017 19:05 |  #2

You might want to go over to http://www.pcmag.com/b​est-deals-today (external link) and check what is available on the PC Magazine deal of the day. One thing I see about 2/3 of the way down the page but slightly over your budget of $1000 is an HP ENVY 15t Core i7-7500U Quad Win10 Pro 15.6" 4K Touch Laptop w/ 12GB, 1TB SSD at $1190. The details: HP.com has the HP ENVY 15t Intel Core i7-7500U Quad-Core KABY LAKE Win10 Pro 15.6" UHD 4K Touchscreen Notebook Computer w/ 12GB RAM and 1TB M.2 SSD for $1189.99 Free Shipping after Coupon Code "EMRY9599" (Exp soon). This retails for $1699.99, so you're getting about 30% off. 4.8lbs, 15.6" 3840x2160 4k UHD Touch ISP Panel display Intel Core i7-7500U 2.7GHz (Turbo up to 3.5GHz) Quad-Core CPU 12GB RAM, 1TB PCIe M.2 SSD, 802.11AC WiFi, Bluetooth, Gigabit Windows 10 Pro, Intel HD Graphics 620, 1yr HP warranty 3-cell battery, backlit keyboard, 3x USB 3.1, 1x USB 3.1 C-type.

If you use Google Chrome, click the three dots at the top right and you'll notice "Find" about 2/3 of the way down the drop down menu. Click that and insert "4K" (without quotes) and search the page for other options. Note as well that there are multiple pages but you have to search each individually.

It is a deal-of-the-day so act fast.




  
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GoHokiesGo
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Jun 13, 2017 08:47 as a reply to  @ John from PA's post |  #3

Thanks for the PCMag link - I'll bookmark that to watch over the next few weeks while narrowing down the laptop I go with.

I've always been partial to Lenovo since they seem to hold up so well and are built like tanks; however, I'm open to looking at other brands too since they've all improved over the years. The HP Envy is on several lists as a solid photographers option, so I may have to check one out in a store to get an idea of the build quality.

I'd appreciate any other comments or experience if anyone has jumped up to a 4K laptop screen. My other alternate would be to snag the less expensive laptop, then use the money saved towards buying a 4K monitor instead; I'd have to get off the couch when editing photos, but that might provide the best compromise for when I need to do more serious photo editing.


~Jason
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Post edited over 1 year ago by John from PA.
     
Jun 13, 2017 09:21 |  #4

GoHokiesGo wrote in post #18377348 (external link)
I've always been partial to Lenovo since they seem to hold up so well and are built like tanks; however, I'm open to looking at other brands too since they've all improved over the years. The HP Envy is on several lists as a solid photographers option, so I may have to check one out in a store to get an idea of the build quality.

Over the span of a long engineering career I've used numerous IBM, Lenova, and Dell PC's and laptops and throw in a few of each for home use as well. The only one I haven't had experience with is the HP, but a personal friend of mine was the HP Regional Manager in Southeast Pennsylvania. I think he would have advised me to stay away from HP if the product didn't measure up.

I also think that longevity of these products is highly dependent on the care they receive. I've had a few engineers work for me that were always having hardware failure issues (HD, screens, keyboard, etc). When I traveled with them it was readily apparent that their handling may have been part of the issue. There was no effort to "place" their computer bag on the floor of a car trunk, it was tossed. Same thing on their desk when starting the work day.




  
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BigAl007
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Jun 13, 2017 11:54 |  #5

When it comes to the screen resolution question I am all for getting as much as you can afford. I got a new PC system last August, which included the Dell UP2715K monitor. This is a 27" 5K display that runs at 219 PPI. There is no way that you would get me to go back to a screen with a lower resolution. All I can say is roll on the 8K monsters.

It's interesting that now when I look back at my old images from my 300D and 20D in LR that they can both display the whole uncropped image at 100%, with all the toolbars etc visible. They also look a lot nicer on this screen when viewed at 100% than they did on my old 97 PPI display when viewed at a comparable size.

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tomstephens89
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Jun 26, 2017 08:48 |  #6

I recently had a Dell XPS15 9560, maxed out spec and its 4k screen was amazing, completely to die for.

Ive gone back to the latest 15" macbook pro now and the screen is great, however its not quite like the 4k display on the Dell.

As far as image editing is concerned, you are dealing with pixels.... Therefore its always useful to be able to display more of them on the screen at the same time.

Always go for the highest resolution display you can afford. Providing its an accurate, high quality display.


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Soujiro
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Jun 27, 2017 21:55 |  #7

definitely worth it, not the resolution really because nobody has a 4k resolution just a few rich folks your photos will be displayed in regular full hd or even lower displays if you do put up your pics online. I dont know how useful is having more pixels when photo editing not there yet....but I do know that..4k displays usually come with all the bells and whistles, IPS, entire gamut coverage even aRGB, great brightness levels, contrast ratios, yada yada yada yada definitely a nice to look at when playing with images! You might even see a few wrinkles on your favmovie stars.

I woulda bought an external monitor though far more resolution & color accuracy . I dont like heavy laptops im asumming yours is relatively heavy.




  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Jun 28, 2017 06:20 |  #8

This one from the "deals" link (http://www.pcmag.com/b​est-deals-today (external link)) is what you wanted but now $250 off. ONly good until June 30th.

Lenovo Flex 5 Intel Core i7-7500U 15.6" 4K UHD 2-in-1 Touch Laptop w/ 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
What makes it hot: Lenovo offers their Lenovo Flex 5 Intel Core i7-7500U Kaby Lake 15.6" 4K 2-in-1 Touch Notebook Computer w/ 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD + 512GB SSD for $1049.99 Free Shipping after Coupon Code "LENFLEX5" (Exp 6/30). This sells for $1299.99, so you are saving $250 off. Weighs 4.4lbs & 0.78" thick, 15.6" 3840x2160 4k IPS Touchscreen Intel Core i7-7500U 2.7GHz (Turbo up to 3.5GHz) Kaby Lake CPU 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD + 512GB PCIe SSD, 802.11AC WiFi + Bluetooth Windows 10 Home, NVIDIA GeForce GT 940MX 2GB graphics w/ HDMI Fingerprint reader 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB Type-C, 3-cell battery; 1yr warranty




  
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Jun 29, 2017 01:12 |  #9

John from PA wrote in post #18377375 (external link)
There was no effort to "place" their computer bag on the floor of a car trunk, it was tossed. Same thing on their desk when starting the work day.

I'm astonished at the number of people who do this.
(Along with hammering at their keyboard as if they're trying to send the keys to the Earth's core, keeping relatively heavy items on the laptop's lid, or just generally chucking the machines about!)




  
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GoHokiesGo
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Jul 01, 2017 19:50 |  #10

Thanks for the feedback all - hadn't checked the thread in a little while, and there were several replies when I returned.

Now you've all got me re-thinking my plans a bit! I had pretty much decided that I'd go for the regular HD screen, and then get an external 4K monitor to plug into. I'm thinking I may try to hold out a bit longer till the end of the year, and hopefully several of the 4K screen options will drop down into my price range.

I'm still partial to Lenovo, but several review sites gives really strong recommendations for the Dell XPS15 and the HP Envy. I think I'll sit tight for a few months to let the 4K screens drop into my price range, and I can limp along with my current machine for a little longer.

Definitely saving the PC Mag link!


~Jason
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Jul 05, 2017 22:37 |  #11

My Dell work laptop (Precision 5510 workstation) has a 4K screen and I'm not that wild about it as some apps don't scale well and have UI's that's hard to read (Blender for example). For a 15" screen, I'd rather have a nice 2.5K screen and get a 27" or so 4K monitor.

Just my experience.




  
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Jul 06, 2017 03:59 |  #12

Did you get the Lenovo? I've been thinking about XPS 15 since my needs are the same as yours, but its so expensive with just a 1080 screen, I would look at the Lenovo as well.

I want to start doing video so wondering if the 2GB graphics card is enough or can I buy it with an upgraded card?


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GoHokiesGo
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Jul 06, 2017 20:43 |  #13

dropmyload wrote in post #18395171 (external link)
Did you get the Lenovo? I've been thinking about XPS 15 since my needs are the same as yours, but its so expensive with just a 1080 screen, I would look at the Lenovo as well.

I want to start doing video so wondering if the 2GB graphics card is enough or can I buy it with an upgraded card?

I decided to hold off a little bit longer to see if 4K laptops drop a bit in price towards the end of the year. I was advised on another forum that the 2GB 940MX video card would struggle a bit with 4K content. I'm hoping the Yoga 720 (or something similar) drops to around a grand by the end of the year, which has the GTX 1050 video card.


~Jason
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dropmyload
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Jul 07, 2017 01:57 |  #14

GoHokiesGo wrote in post #18395823 (external link)
I decided to hold off a little bit longer to see if 4K laptops drop a bit in price towards the end of the year. I was advised on another forum that the 2GB 940MX video card would struggle a bit with 4K content. I'm hoping the Yoga 720 (or something similar) drops to around a grand by the end of the year, which has the GTX 1050 video card.

I was also thinking that graphics card was a bit lightweight. Wonder if Lenovo would change that for a buyer, or if it can be changed by a third party technician?


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Soujiro
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Jul 07, 2017 12:05 |  #15

GoHokiesGo wrote in post #18395823 (external link)
I decided to hold off a little bit longer to see if 4K laptops drop a bit in price towards the end of the year. I was advised on another forum that the 2GB 940MX video card would struggle a bit with 4K content. I'm hoping the Yoga 720 (or something similar) drops to around a grand by the end of the year, which has the GTX 1050 video card.

I can see how a 940MX might struggle with 4k "videos" but photo editing? Could you provide a link?

I mean if we are talking about photoshop-like software from what I understand and from what websites recommend for a good photoshop laptop (external link) any dedicated GPU would do just fine.

Could someone tell me how a beefy GPU will help out with photo editing or just lighroom/photoshop in 4k etc??
Does it help display all the gamut/color space? I thought dedicated GPUs were for 3d effects/work only and of course rendering.




  
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Laptop with 4k for photo editing - worth it or unnecessary resolution?
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