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Laptop for Travel Photography

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Pinter, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Pinter

    Pinter Newbie

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    Hello,

    As the title says, I'm basing my laptop search on what needs I have for travel photography. I've done a bit of research on my own, and I'm trying to prioritize a bit. The problem is that I have a few laptops that meet a few of my needs, but nothing that meets all of them. (Or at least, there isn't a model currently in production anyway. Looking at you, Vaio Z.) I'll be listing my priorities as primary, secondary, and tertiary. If there isn't anything you know of the fills most of these requirements, I can wait a few months. My laptop is getting long in the teeth, but it isn't finished yet.

    Anyway, here goes. My big question is: have I missed anything? Are there any laptops that fill all these requirements that I've simply overlooked?

    Primary: Display

    As it stands, a good display is probably the most important quality in a travel photography laptop. What do I mean by good display? The first and most important thing is color gamut. While a high amount of NTSC is good, the best would be high (91%+) AdobeRGB color. Matte screens preferred. High pixel density is a nice bonus, but as long as it's at 1080 I'd probably be happy.

    Examples: Sager laptops from Xotic PC, elite HP and Dell laptops, the now extinct Vaio Z

    Primary: Size and Build Quality

    Ideally I would be able to go to a location, take a shoot, and edit on the spot. I could see if the shot should be redone if I were doing some fancy shooting (like an HDR of a location) and tell if the light was right after processing, or if I should revisit it or reshoot it if necessary. To this end, a laptop should be light. However, laptops should also be made well enough to last me a few years. Editing can be pretty hard on a laptop, and I'd like this next one to last me longer than I'm expecting my current ASUS G73JW to. (11/2010-11/2013)

    Examples: Macbook Pro w/ Retina, Samsung Series 9, Microsoft Surface Pro, the now extinct Vaio Z

    Secondary: Power

    This is a significant concern in an editing laptop, especially if I want to chew on .TIFF files or large photo stitches. However, I have 8 GB RAM with an i7 processor before Sandy Bridge. I'm at an alright speed, and while I want to go faster as long as I don't go backwards in speed I'll be fine.

    Examples: Sager Laptops from Xotic PC, Lenovo Workstations

    Secondary: Solid State

    Pretty easy requirement to fit, but it's important because they're a little more durable than HDDs. Not that I won't baby my computer, I'd just like a little more assurance that my computer won't fall apart if I take it with me in the field and I have a slip up.

    Examples: Take your pick

    Tertiary: Battery Life

    This is not a make or break thing for me. Ideally I'd like a big, nice, fat and healthy battery allowing me to work for hours on the field. However, this tends to complicate things as batteries add to weight, and machines with exceptional batteries tend to charge for it. Also, most machines have around 4-5 hours these days and it takes something else to stand out as exceptional.

    Examples: Didn't find many that really qualified

    Tertiary: Design

    I'd like my computer to not look butt ugly, but am prepared to live with it if need be.
     
  2. lijok

    lijok Notebook Enthusiast

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  3. lijok

    lijok Notebook Enthusiast

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    Or else get a Macbook Pro!
     
  4. Pinter

    Pinter Newbie

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    Thanks. The Dell Workstations fit every requirement except size and weight. The build quality should be excellent if it is half as durable as it looks. I think the screen options are pretty attractive too. UltraSharp is a good name.
     
  5. Pinter

    Pinter Newbie

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    Macbook pro is only 99% of sRGB. Disqualified. :p

    Why did you leave us Vaio Z? Haha.
     
  6. baii

    baii Sone

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    The only thing that offer proper color reproduction above sRGB really is just HP and Dell IPS workstation. Not matter how huge gamut those TN panel offer in sager/Z2 , the gamma shift just destroy the purpose.
     
  7. Pinter

    Pinter Newbie

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    Did not know that. Thanks for the information. Makes the Retina seem more impressive, though it still might be a tad overpriced IMO.
     
  8. baii

    baii Sone

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    Well, if you can view the screen everytime at similar angle as your calibrator :). There are alot of new windwos 8 ultra portable with IPS, and also check x230.
     
  9. Pinter

    Pinter Newbie

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    So, what's the deal with IPS displays? I seem to get a lot of recommendations, but not a lot of solid figures. How good are they?
     
  10. baii

    baii Sone

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    They are typical sRGB gamut, but no color shift when view from different view angle. Maybe have contrast shift, but not a big deal compare to color shift.
     
  11. tijo

    tijo Sacred Blame Super Moderator

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    I'm surprised no one mentioned the HP Elitebook 8570w, it does have the dreamcolor 2 IPS display option which is exactly what you want.

    EDIT: also, the high gamut displays on the Dell Precisions is called the Premiercolor. There was a tinting issue with the M4700 Premiercolor display and since Dell couldn't find a way to fix or another manufacturer for those displays, the option was pulled from their website.
     
  12. lijok

    lijok Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hp seem to have a very bad service network...

    Sent from my Galaxy S3 using Tapatalk 2
     
  13. kanuk

    kanuk Notebook Deity

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    The Vaio Z is still available, FYI. I think it's a good choice. The HP Elitebook would be fine too but with the Dreamcolor display it's substantially more expensive, much bigger, and almost three times as heavy! It does have the best display on any laptop though.

    VAIO Z Series Laptops | Sony Store USA
     
  14. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    No laptop LCD is going to compare to a desktop LCD. If you're doing color critical work you should be checking your work on a good desktop LCD. If you want the best notebook LCD, that'd be the HP with the DreamColor LCD, but it's on the chunky side. The Samsung Series 9, ThinkPad X230 and Asus UX31 all have IPS or similar LCDs
     

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