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Old Jun 21, 2006, 8:26 AM   #1
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I'm looking at setting up a standalone PC at home for the soul purpose of doing video and photo editing. Video editing (Pinnacle Studio) will include downloading from my DV camcorder, editing and transferring to DVDs. Photo editing (Photoshop CS2) will include downloading from my memory card, organizing, various editing, resizing, printing from my Epson R800 and archiving to an external LaCie USB2 hard drive (first copy) and also archiving to CDs/DVDs (second copy).

Is a notebook good enough or should I be looking at a desktop? Are there any issues with notebook monitors versus standalone LCDs? So far, I'm looking at various Dell desktops (with a 19" LCD) and notebooks (with a 17" monitor) with a built-in memory card reader, 2GB of memory, DVD burner and a big/fast SATA hard drive. I'm also looking at the Apple iMac 20".

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Old Jun 21, 2006, 9:03 AM   #2
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I've found that there are differences in notebook LCD's and stand alone models. I recenlty bought my wife a Dell laptop with a 15 inch LCD and it looks great for video and normal computing. However, she uses Photoshop and we even calibrated the LCD using a Spyder 2 and the problem is that when the monitor is tilted to a different viewing angle or you are sitting at a different position then the calibration is pretty much thrown out the window. I have an older NEC LCD that looks great from a lot of angles and the brightness/contrast doesn't change as drastically when i move myself or the monitor. The laptop is plenty fast enought to handle Photoshop CS2 and Bridge but she doesn't any video editing. To get around her LCD problem, we are going to get another stand alone LCD for her to use.

As for the other differences between notebooks and desktop, you can get a lot more bang for your buck with a destop. I recently was looking into getting either a fast laptop or upgrade my desktop. I looked into several laptops from Dell, Gateware, Alienware and a few others. For the price of a decent laptop, $2000-2500, you can have one heck of a desktop that can handle anything you throw at it. I use Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 and I ahve also used Pinnacle, Ulead and Vegas and with the desktop they all run smooth with no problems. My system cost about $2000.00 (no monitor) to build but I love it. My system is used for everything from email to advanced gaming to video and photo editing and if you removed the parts that are for gaming, the price would drop about $300-400 dollars.

Laptops are great if you plan on traveling with it and editing on the go, but if you plan on doing most of your work from home, I would go desktop.

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Old Jun 21, 2006, 9:19 AM   #3
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When I finally decided to get a laptop the convincing factor was that I didnt want to sit at a desk when I got home from my desk job. I do all my websurfing and photoediting in the lazy-boy with my feet up and I love it.
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 10:44 AM   #4
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headhunter66 wrote:
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I've found that there are differences in notebook LCD's and stand alone models. I recenlty bought my wife a Dell laptop with a 15 inch LCD and it looks great for video and normal computing. However, she uses Photoshop and we even calibrated the LCD using a Spyder 2 and the problem is that when the monitor is tilted to a different viewing angle or you are sitting at a different position then the calibration is pretty much thrown out the window...
Dell has two different kinds of LCD screens available for their laptops. The default one is a few bucks cheaper. but has a very narrow field of view. If you spend the extra ($50 or so, if memory serves), you get a monitor that is better able to be seen properly from a larger field of view, and is comparable to most LCDs on desktops. However, all LCDs will drop off dramaticaly (and more than CRTs) when you deviate from the optimal viewing angle.

A second consideration on using laptop monitors is that they are usually noticeably dimmer if run from the battery. Plug the laptop in when you are calibrating and when you are doing IP, for maximum brightness and uniformity over time.


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Old Jun 22, 2006, 2:15 AM   #5
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First of all there ain't such thing as big and fast (or even either of them) notebook hard drive, size and heat production limit makes sure of that.
No matter which notebook and how expensive it is it will always be less capable than considerably cheaper desktop.

And for video editing I would really recommend having separate system+swap and data storage HDs so that same HD wouldn't have to try doing so many things at once.
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