Need help deciding Art laptop! Surface book 1 or 2? Yoga??

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by AudreyVandermeulen, Nov 11, 2017.

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What is best for my digital art needs with some 3d character modeling in 2017?

  1. 2015 Older Surface book model 8gb ram 6th geni5, dgpu

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  2. 2015 Older Surface book model 8gb ram 6th geni7, dgpu

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  3. 2015 Older Surface book model 16gb ram 6thgeni7, dgpu

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  4. (2017) Surface Book 2 entry level, 8gb ram, 7thgeni5, NO dgpu

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  5. Lenovo Yoga 720, 8gb ram (upgradeable to 16), 7thgen i7, dgpu

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  1. AudreyVandermeulen

    AudreyVandermeulen Newbie

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    Hi there,
    I am currently in my Junior year at Pratt Institute and desperately need to upgrade my laptop (currently on a surface 3, 4gb ram, intel atom).

    Right now, these are what I'm thinking would be my best options (my budget is around $1300, max $1500 but hopefully not.

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    I would be using the laptop mainly for art, such as:
    Photoshop (digital painting, main use)
    After Effects (youtube videos, vector animation)
    Illustrator (vector graphics)
    a little bit of blender or zbrush (organic character modeling)
    (dgpu needed? 16gb ram needed? I am ok with render time waiting, just not workflow-waiting)

    The absolute essential is a good tablet pen. I like the specs of the Yoga 720, but I am iffy on the reliability of its tablet pen, the huge lower bezel, and that you can feel the keyboard when flipped, unlike a surface book. Plus, they don't really seem to gear their drivers towards artists and unlike the book, the pen feels a bit like an afterthought.

    I think the specs of the older surface book are great and finally affordable, (Microsoft refurbished) but the machine is from 2015 (I can't afford performance base).
    I know the Book 2 has very much improved the previous gen, but I would only be able to afford the entry level model from that line, with no dgpu. Although the pen is separate from the book 2 now, it is improved pen pressure and tilt, which is better for digital painting.

    What would my best option be? Do I go for better specs on an older model, or after two years are entry specs on new models equivalent to older larger specs? I am hoping to get a good 3-4 years out of this laptop, and use it daily for art.

    Thank you so much in advance!
     
  2. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    Every single one of those has a weak dual-core 15W CPU so it's not raelly down to specs.

    Have you considered the Wacom Companion btw?
     
  3. AudreyVandermeulen

    AudreyVandermeulen Newbie

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    Currently those are the only computers that fit the most of my needs, (can't afford the quad core model surface books) so I guess that part can't be helped (how much will that affect things?)... I did look into the companion, and mobilestudio too, but both are vastly out of budget...

    Plus, I really need a full computer. I know that the companion and mobile can serve as full computers more or less, but it seems that those really suit somebody who also has another laptop or desktop already.
     
  4. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    You're really going to struggle with only 2 cores. ZBrush is taxing even on my quad-core 6700HQ. I can't imagine something that has half the processing power. A dGPU is also a good idea for CUDA acceleration for Adobe products and Photoshop. I'd suggest looking for something with an i5 8250U or i7 8550U - both of those are quad-core CPUs with hyper-threading and still adhere to the 15W ULV limit. It's not as good as a 6700HQ/7700HQ but it's MUCH better than the 6500U and 7500U.
     
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