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driliagor Mar 31, 2006 8:21 AM

Hi. to all ...

I'm looking for a laptop that is going to be a replacement for a desktop. I will use it mostly for everyday tasks and for intensive Photoshop use.

I have some conflicting demands- I'd like VERY good screen (exact colour rendition, large, good resolution), good battery life, as to performance... it doesn't has to be gaming machine but to run Photoshop comfortably. On the other side I'm broke financially recently, so ... it has to be kinda cheap.

I'm lost with all those models and brands, Please help me out.

What about Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba?

me2 Mar 31, 2006 9:26 AM

For a desktop replacement and a good screen, I highly recommend an HP ZD83xx machine. I have a ZD7300 (one generation earlier) and I love it. I do use it as a desktop replacement.

If you get one of these, be sure to thoroughly check which screen it has. There are 3 options, 2 lower end screens and then the gem, a 1680x1050 beauty. Get that one. If you need more screen than that, the laptop will drive an external monitor simultaneously. I use a Dell FPW2005 (20inch), which is 1680x1050 also. Works very well and the price is reasonable too.

The ZDs are not light. And the battery life is not great. But you can't beat the screen or the other features. It is a real desktop machine wrapped in a laptop. Try converting raws to jpeg with other machines and you will soon see the difference.

hgernhardtjr Mar 31, 2006 9:31 AM

"Intensive PhotoShop" and "cheap" laptop are a non-sequitur.

You need a lot of (expensive) memory and a big (expensive) hard drive and a fast (expensive) processor for "intensive", UNLESS you also include S*L*O*O*O*W in your requirements.

Nonetheless, try TigerDirect ... this particular model, $1500 does a good job for "intensive" PhotoShop use, but can still be enhanced with more memory, etc.:;Sku=A180-1182

ennacac Mar 31, 2006 9:37 AM

I use a Mac iBook G4 for traveling and lots of intensive Photoshop CS2 work, which is not as fast as my G5 tower, but does the job on the road. The used models start at around $600 and up, while the new versions start at $900 and go up from there.

iBooks have great battery life and WIFI range, are small enough to travel well, but remember no laptop will do the job like a high end tower will, Mac or PC.


driliagor Mar 31, 2006 9:56 AM

hgernhardtjr wrote:

"Intensive PhotoShop" and "cheap" laptop are a non-sequitur.

Ya I realize that, and that's where your advices are coming. Everyone agrees , there some models with better performance/price ratio than others... Everything is a trade-off, but to get the task easies, for me it goes :

1. screen

2. processor

3. memory and harddrive- could be upgraded later, isn't it?

Anyway what price range should I target for?

Tom, aren't Macs used to be expensive (they have great design though), but I'd sucrifice design for performance.

hgernhardtjr Mar 31, 2006 11:24 AM

To be realistic, if you look at places like Sams Club, Best Buy, etc. you can find something that will work fairly well for about US$1000 (... perhaps a bit closer to $1400 if you want alot more initial performance...) that will give you a great start. Sams recently had a very nice off-the-shelf wide-screen HP Pavilion with a 2GHz Turion64, 1024MB, 200GB hard drive, 6-in-a card reader, and a 17.0" WXGA screen for about $1400, for example.

Then, as money permits, you could upgrade the HD and RAM.

If you stick with HP, Compaq, Acer, etc. you should be in a reasonable price range. Sony (for example) — which is greatIMHO— you pay a premium for the name. Mailorder Dell is good, but I have never worked on one personally. I would assume HD/RAM upgrades to be just as simple as on the other brands.

Since most laptops use shared graphic memory, you do need a bare minimum of 512mb to function somewhat well with CS2, 1gb is far better, and 2gbseems perfect. You should have a DVD burner (backups) and fast processor. Hope this helps!

E.T Apr 1, 2006 10:30 AM

driliagor wrote:

I'd like VERY good screen (exact colour rendition, large, good resolution)
And that's exactly area in which TFTs are still in crawling age.
In TFTs you have to be very careful if you want screen which represents good dynamic range meaning it can separarate different bright and dark shades well, that black is really black instead of something greyish, contrast is good and it isn't achieved by excessive brightness of white instead of good black... then accuracy of colors is also other thing.
(actually lower latencies make achieving color accuracy harder)

driliagor wrote:

3. memory and harddrive- could be upgraded later, isn't it?
Sure you can get bigger HD... it just requires removing old one, reinstalling/copying everything to new HD...
Sounds like lot of fun, doesn't it?

hgernhardtjr wrote:

and a 17.0" WXGA screen for about $1400
17" inches of archaic resolution, WXGA is very crammed resolution to work with.

BTW, I don't really understand this mania every maker has for low screens... even 15.4" low screen just makes laptop wider but in vertical direction (where there would be space for screen without increasing total size) size of screen is small.

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