New Laptop For Photo Editing/Organization but using external Monitor

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by @Bat, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. @Bat

    @Bat Newbie

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    Most information I’ve found is centered around a great laptop screen for photo editing but I will use an external monitor for a bigger image and better color gamut. I have read here and other sites that best to get a i7 and 16 gb memory(or more) and that current on board graphics can handle the editing tasks. Trying to get these issues validated and make/model recommendations with this inquiry. Thanks in advance to all who take time to respond!

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    General Questions

    1) What is your budget? Like it to be under $1000 as I’m retired.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer? 14” to 15.6
    a. Ultraportable; 10" - 12" screen
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
    3) Which country will you buying this notebook? USA

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: HP, Lenovo but haven’t had a laptop in 6 years.
    b. Dislike: Dell only because wife’s 8 yr old laptop has had several problems, but recent ssd and memory upgrade has breathed new life in it for less than $100
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed? Possibly

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Mostly web browsing, document editing, light to medium photo organization and editing sometimes RAW images. Plan on using an external monitor to get better color gamut.

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both? Desk 90% of time.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?). Not really certainly nothing high end.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need? 4 at least would be good. Already have a iPad for travel.

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK? Prefer but not a absolute must see.

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc. Windows

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.).
    1920 x 1080 minimum

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.) I think matte but not if it really dims the screen (old eyes ya know)


    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Somewhat don’t want something that screams gamer.

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need? 500 MB bare minimum. Or 250 gb boot drive and larger HDD

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity


    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    In a month or less unless I hear it’s better to wait a bit as prices are dropping significantly.

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop? 5 - 6 years.

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail? 2 weeks or so.

    19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage? Ship.

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  2. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies TG Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    Integrated graphics are just fine for photo editing. A Core i7 is generally what to look for, but there are variants of it. The 15-watt chips aren’t super powerful (yet still capable); the 45-watt chips in desktop replacements are a better choice, but you’ll need a thicker laptop. Don’t count out the 45-watt Core i5 chips, either.

    The Dell Latitude 5491 and 5591 are powerful machines and can be had for decent discounts in the Dell Outlet.

    Definitely shoot for 16GB of RAM. It will likely be cheaper to upgrade that on your own than get it preconfigured. To that end, you can buy a laptop with lesser specs (RAM/storage) and then upgrade it later when you have the money. Prioritize the processor, it won’t be upgradeable later. (And, generally speaking, neither can the screen.)

    Charles
     
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  3. @Bat

    @Bat Newbie

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    Thanks Charles,

    When I looked at those Dell models the lower end (5541) started at $1200+ refurbished and a lower resolution screen than I hoped to get. I only saw it listed integrated graphics but not what generation. I also see that Costco has a Lenovo x1 carbon i7 86xx ( I’m sure its 15w) and 16 gb ram, with 500 gb drive, w integrated 620 graphics, 1920 x 1080. Would that be sufficient for the same $1200 and a 2 year warranty? I’m sure it’s not as powerful.

    Additionally I wanted to stay under $1k. Are you saying that what I’m wanting can’t be had for under that amount? Or that I should shoot for less Ram/Storage to keep it under that amount?
     
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