Laptop for Photoshop (true color)

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by ivanvidic, Feb 21, 2009.

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  1. ivanvidic

    ivanvidic Newbie

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    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    1000 usd

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen


    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
    New Zealand
    Australia
    Hawaii

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like:
    b. Dislike:


    5) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    photoshop
    music listening
    web browsing

    6) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?

    taking it to different places

    7) Will you be playing games on it; if so, which games or types of games?
    no

    8) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    as long as possible

    9) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
    I trust in your recommendation

    10) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
    windows Vista

    Screen Specifics

    11) From the choices below, what screen resolutions would you prefer?
    .
    c. WSXGA+ – 1680x1050; The middle ground. Again, text and icons are smaller than WXGA+, and more stuff fits onto the screen. Good for having applications open side by side, like a web browser while playing a video.
    d. WUXGA - 1920x1200; Very small text and icons, that can be hard to read. Lots of stuff fits on the screen, which means less scrolling. Good for applications that require a high level of detail like CAD or Photo Editing.


    12) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen?
    which ever is better

    Build Quality and Design

    13) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    not at all

    14) When are you buying this laptop and how long do you want this laptop to last?
    in next 2 months
    it should last 2-4 years
    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you want; 80GB to 500GB? Do you want a SSD drive?
    80 gb is fine

    16) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a CDRW/DVD-ROM, DVD Burner or Blu-Ray drive?
    no need for optical drive
     
  2. jonlumpkin

    jonlumpkin NBR Transmogrifier

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    When you say true color do you mean high gamut, IPS, or 8-bit depth?

    If it's high gamut, you should look at some of the better business notebooks from Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Many of these models have 72% or higher gamut displays (vs. the ≈42% found on most notebooks).

    If you mean IPS vs. TN your options are dramatically reduced. You can either get a TabletPC from Lenovo/Fujitsu or try and dig up a ThinkPad T60P witha 15" UXGA FlexView display.

    If you mean 8-bit color depth, I think you are SOL. To my knowledge no notebook LCD is better than 6-bit.
     
  3. DougMorgan

    DougMorgan Notebook Consultant

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    Dell and Sony both have 100% gamut displays. Sony has the 13.3 inch Z as well as the 18 inch AW while Dell has a couple models at 15 & 17 inches. The 17 inch also is supposed to have the full-color + 8 bit display. Look at this thread here for some more information:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=349107

    In my search I didn't find any of the current Lenovo models acceptable as far as the screen goes. HP might have a model or two but their website is such a mess I couldn't find anything that interested me though I have to admit HP wasn't high on the list anyway.

    At any rate your biggest problem is I doubt you are going to find a really good choice anywhere within your budget, especially if you are buying in Australia or New Zealand. I thought Canada was bad for gouging until I saw the aussie prices.

    Good luck
     
  4. gerryf19

    gerryf19 I am the walrus

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    Thinkpad w700 has a high brightness (400nit) and a wide color gamut (72%).
     
  5. ivanvidic

    ivanvidic Newbie

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    By true color I mean laptop monitor that can show me as true colors as it will look on printed photograph. The main reason why I emphasized true color is because the laptop I have now, Dell Vostro 1000, shows cold colors so when I print edited photograph that looks good on my laptop it looks to saturated on final print. Also when I preview edited photo on few other monitors in the photo lab it looks different than on my laptop (more saturated). Let me just mention that adjusting colors with 2-3 software did not improve colors of my Dell too much.
     
  6. afhstingray

    afhstingray Notebook Prophet

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    you'll need a screen like a 2ccfl or RGBLED one, unfortunately i dont think either of those can be had for under your budget.
     
  7. ivanvidic

    ivanvidic Newbie

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    gerryf19 thank you for your reply but Thinkpad w 700 is above my budget and it is too big to carry.
     
  8. DougMorgan

    DougMorgan Notebook Consultant

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    To get accurate colors you need to profile the display with a hardware colorimeter. In the photo lab the monitors should be profiled by the staff. They may be willing to profile your laptop as well and save you the expense of a device you only need to use every couple months. The built in one for the W700 is rather extreme overkill but that seems to be the theme for this model. Profile packages start at under $200.

    Hardware profiling probably won't work very well with the old laptop as you may not be able to properly adjust the color temp or because the graphics card in the laptop doesn't have the proper setup for a profile and won't save the settings. For your old laptop the backlight may have changed color quite badly, making the color situation worse. The CCFL tubes are more prone to this than the newer LED backlights but all change over time.

    If you want to display a wider range of colors than a wider gamut display is what you need to look for in a new laptop. The wider gamut is a function of the backlight. The DELL studio & maybe the sony FW are probably the only model that has a full or nearly full gamut that are anywhere near your budget (see thread I referenced above).

    If you want the colors more vibrant and easier on the eyes than you need a larger contrast ratio for the PROFILED display. The best (for photography) way to accomplish this is with a better (darker) black point and not simply by making the backlight super bright and washing out the contrast. Black should be black and not dark grey. Once profiled the proper settings may not use all the raw brightness and the resulting brightness levels will be lower. The marketing folks always use the raw brightness level (300 cd/m2, 400 nits, etc) but some of this won't be usable after the monitor is profiled.

    The laptop reviews on www.notebookcheck.net have information on the profiled laptop displays. Unfortunately they seem to be the only ones that have a clue about this as I've never seen any other review with the relevant info. They also have information about the uniformity of the backlight which is probably just as important as the raw brightness levels since hot spots will be a problem for photography.

    Talk to the staff at the photo lab. At the very least they can explain how this works and show you a colorimeter. At best they may have some information on which laptops are best, educational discounts, etc.

    For $1000 though you are going to have to make some compromises. For the W700 you'd probably have to give up eating for a couple years. If a desk-bound external monitor works you might be able to come up with a work able solution getting a laptop that properly supports an external PROFILED monitor and then buying a more run-of-the-mill laptop with a decent monitor.

    Good luck
    Doug
     
  9. gerryf19

    gerryf19 I am the walrus

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    Woot, ironically, had a color calibrator on sale today for a darn good price

    www.woot.com
     
  10. Beni79

    Beni79 Notebook Enthusiast

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    how do you use photoshop? small photos? or RAW images (how many mpix?), easy-standard processing, or lots of layers adjustments, cloning, fx?

    maybe... you just download them from camera, and resize them before working on them?.. or do the proccesing on native/original size?

    How many pics on photoshop at the same time?

    do you intend to run Lightroom2 aswell?


    I guess, this are the first things you should tell us. :)


    about colors.. I guess the best is to buy a hardware calibrator. (or do a softare calibration and get something color-rich printed in a lab (that should be calibrated) and adjust yourself to get same (or close) results. :)

    matte screen would be better for working with photos.. but glossy got better contrast/vivid colors. (I would anyways, plug into an external monitor... 24"?) ;)


    Cheeers-
     
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