advice on replacing an aging craptop

Yeats

All-Pro
Jul 31, 2012
123
New Jersey, USA
Chris
Its amazing to me it died at 2 years, but I suppose it happens. All mine were going strong at 5+
Apple - or any other brand - can't control everything. CPU's, motherboards, etc are beyond Apple's control.

My Dell has the infamous burning Nvidia chipset that plagued Apple, Dell, HP, etc. a few years ago. Oddly enough - or not - the Dell is still operating nearly perfectly after 5 years, even with me (recklessly) overclocking the video card. My only complain is that the screen is showing a few slight dim spots, which has me contemplating swapping it out for a 1680x1050 panel.
 

Gary

All-Pro
Aug 19, 2012
123
Southern California
Gary Ayala
I don't like Windows. I'm not a techie any every time I load a program or update anything I hold my breath and cross my fingers and pray that everything works out okay. The best experience and most trouble-free Windows laptop I've had is a Sony. It is probably five years old and still running great.

I prefer Apple and I will pay more for an Apple knowing I won't have to hold my breath or cross my fingers.

Get a Mac Pro with the Retina display (That way you can use Aperture). Otherwise get the cheapest Sony with a decent amount of memory.

Gary
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
Jul 8, 2010
123
Hi all. I'm not a techie by any stretch of the imagination, and I don't want to become one and waste a couple days researching laptops. My theory about computers is that since I don't demand much from them, I don't spend a lot on them. Every 3 or 4 years, it's about time to upgrade or replace anyways, so why spend a ton.
I think buying a cheap laptop will only get you a cheap laptop, and then you'll always think that laptops suck. I'd spend more, Mac or PC or whatever, and get something you'll like using and that will last years. My iTunes machine at work is around 5-7 years old and still runs great.

I'll admit I'm an Apple guy. If it were me I'd buy an 11 or 13" MacBook Air and be done with it. Small, light, portable and very powerful. At work I have a new 15" Retina MBP with the SSD and it is a dream machine. All of our engineers at work use Macs that run Windows (they flip between OS X and Windows depending on preference and project). My Dad tried to get my Mom to use crappy Windows laptops and she never did. Finally got her a Mac and she started using it. Then an iPad and she uses it all the time.

I would also not underestimate how much horsepower Photoshop and Lightroom now require. And we're at the point that I would no longer buy a machine with a standard hard drive (unless you really need capacity). The SSDs are fast, reliable and allow your laptop to sleep for days on end without battery drain, and they are coming down in price. If you plan to keep it 3-4 years I'd invest in that.

Whatever OS you'd like to use I'd recommend investing in a decent machine. Yeah, they're basically utilitarian machines, but you can have your Yugo, Honda or BMW machine. Some people need the BMW's processing power, but for most others I'd suggest the Hondas and avoid the Yugos.
 

Djarum

All-Pro
Jul 10, 2010
123
Huntsville, AL
Jason
I am in a similar boat. The biggest complaint I see, and agree with, is screens. They are still aweful. Both the verticle and horizontal viewing angles are bad. The second issue is color gamut. For photo work, I suppose this is a big deal. I'm looking more for an entertainment laptop, though.

I've narrowed it down for me to one of the following:

Sony S series with 1920x1080 with 15.5" IPS screen. Apparently it has issues representing reds properly though.
HP dv6 series with 1920x1080 with 15.6 inch screen. HP does not advertise it as an IPS screen, but from user reviews it is either PLS or IPS, and has excelent viewing angles. The also had red issues, but apparently are fixed.
Lenovo Y500 or Y580 with 1920x1080 15.6 inch screen. Again, lenovo doesn't advertise it as an IPS screen but viewing angle is good.

All three of these are roughly 1K USD. I believe both Samsung and Dell have laptops with FHD PLS type screens with really good color gamut coverage, but I think they are a good bit more.

Any other suggestions?
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Jul 11, 2010
123
Ontario, Canada
Stephen
You can get a Windows laptop with a decent screen for much less than the MacBook Air. The MacBook Air is also a highly limited machine, the price one pays for such portability. Perhaps a 2011 MacBook Pro?

Win8, while the interface is teh suxor for PC use, is easily modified to make the experience Windows 7-like.
I'd have to disagree with this assessment of the Air. They run i5 or i7 processors, and the same graphics as the 13" Pros. If you need more drive space simply add an external drive.

Personally I don't do any colour critical work on my laptop screens. It's certainly possible, and calibration will help. If a laptop were my main machine I would go for as small and light as possible while retaining power, and use an external display when you need more accuracy, space, and resolution.

Anyway, all that is above Luke's specs. Have a look around for end of line specials and promotions, especially in January.
 

Yeats

All-Pro
Jul 31, 2012
123
New Jersey, USA
Chris
I'd have to disagree with this assessment of the Air. They run i5 or i7 processors, and the same graphics as the 13" Pros. If you need more drive space simply add an external drive.
That's breaking the form factor, and diminishing the primary purpose of portable computing. If one wants to lounge around the domicile while processing photos, it'd be a bit of a bummer to have to lug around an external HDD.

Also, the MacBook Pro can be configured with substantially more powerful processors than the Air, as well as having other goodies, like Gigabit Ethernet.

Besides, I was merely pointing out that the Air is limited compared to more full-bodied laptops, not that it is an insufficient machine. :wink:
 

Yeats

All-Pro
Jul 31, 2012
123
New Jersey, USA
Chris
I am in a similar boat. The biggest complaint I see, and agree with, is screens. They are still aweful. Both the verticle and horizontal viewing angles are bad. The second issue is color gamut. For photo work, I suppose this is a big deal. I'm looking more for an entertainment laptop, though.

I've narrowed it down for me to one of the following:

Sony S series with 1920x1080 with 15.5" IPS screen. Apparently it has issues representing reds properly though.
HP dv6 series with 1920x1080 with 15.6 inch screen. HP does not advertise it as an IPS screen, but from user reviews it is either PLS or IPS, and has excelent viewing angles. The also had red issues, but apparently are fixed.
Lenovo Y500 or Y580 with 1920x1080 15.6 inch screen. Again, lenovo doesn't advertise it as an IPS screen but viewing angle is good.

All three of these are roughly 1K USD. I believe both Samsung and Dell have laptops with FHD PLS type screens with really good color gamut coverage, but I think they are a good bit more.

Any other suggestions?
Of the 3 you listed, I'd go with the Lenovo, but I am a tad biased toward that brand, and intensely dislike Sony.
 

lenshoarder

Veteran
Mar 7, 2012
43
I am in a similar boat. The biggest complaint I see, and agree with, is screens. They are still aweful. Both the verticle and horizontal viewing angles are bad. The second issue is color gamut. For photo work, I suppose this is a big deal. I'm looking more for an entertainment laptop, though.

I've narrowed it down for me to one of the following:

Sony S series with 1920x1080 with 15.5" IPS screen. Apparently it has issues representing reds properly though.
HP dv6 series with 1920x1080 with 15.6 inch screen. HP does not advertise it as an IPS screen, but from user reviews it is either PLS or IPS, and has excelent viewing angles. The also had red issues, but apparently are fixed.
Lenovo Y500 or Y580 with 1920x1080 15.6 inch screen. Again, lenovo doesn't advertise it as an IPS screen but viewing angle is good.

All three of these are roughly 1K USD. I believe both Samsung and Dell have laptops with FHD PLS type screens with really good color gamut coverage, but I think they are a good bit more.

Any other suggestions?
If you wait for the right opportunity and pounce, you can get that Sony or Lenovo for well under 1K USD. Both Sony and Lenovo had blowouts within the last couple of months. That Sony S you are referring to was sold off for $430. Similarly Lenovo sold the Y580 for $400.

I'm an old Thinkpad user and they are rock solid. I switched over to a Sony Z about 3 years ago. I can't go back. The Thinkpad is still my choice in harsh environments, but for everything else the Sony's are my choice. Take a look at that Sony S in person. It's an absolutely beautiful machine.
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Jul 11, 2010
123
Ontario, Canada
Stephen
That's breaking the form factor, and diminishing the primary purpose of portable computing. If one wants to lounge around the domicile while processing photos, it'd be a bit of a bummer to have to lug around an external HDD.

Also, the MacBook Pro can be configured with substantially more powerful processors than the Air, as well as having other goodies, like Gigabit Ethernet.

Besides, I was merely pointing out that the Air is limited compared to more full-bodied laptops, not that it is an insufficient machine. :wink:
Not at all: the computer is still perfectly mobile. I wasn't referring in any way to lugging an HDD. Most photographers need additional space and/or back-up and use an external drive. For working files an Air, or any reasonably modern computer has lots of space.
 

Yeats

All-Pro
Jul 31, 2012
123
New Jersey, USA
Chris
Not at all: the computer is still perfectly mobile. I wasn't referring in any way to lugging an HDD. Most photographers need additional space and/or back-up and use an external drive. For working files an Air, or any reasonably modern computer has lots of space.
You must have a much smaller "in progress" photo work scenario - not to mention other software habits - than I.
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom