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Nerelda

Laptop Purchase Help (please)

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I'm in the process of looking for a new laptop. I have a netbook that has done well, but now that I'm working with fast deadlines (I'm a photojournalist), it just doesn't cut it anymore. I currently have it running on the netbook (win xp) and mostly it runs okay, but lately it's starting to freeze for several seconds when doing basic things like switching views of one photo to the next. I don't know enough about win7 or the latest processors to know what works how well, which is why I'm asking for assistance.

Basically, I need to run Lightroom 3 , I need an integrated sd card slot for transferring my photos quickly from my memory cards. Of course I'll be doing more basic things like emailing my photos when done as well. I need it to also be able to connect wirelessly through my phone for internet usage when emailing the photos on the go.

I found one laptop which I think might be alright, but I'm second guessing myself. Here's the specs:

* Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)

* Processor Intel Core i5-520M 2.40GHz (2.93Ghz Turbo Mode, 3M cache)

* 320 GB SATA Hard Drive (5400 RPM) (I only hold files on there temporarily, but all files go to my external drive when finished, so not really needing anything more)

* 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz (2 DIMMs)

* Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD

Any information/feedback is insanely appreciated! Thanks!

(PS. when on the go, most of my work is not with RAW files, but with JPGs that range from 5-7mb each, and an average rushed session, I have about 30-70 images I go through)

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Are you looking for something that is light weight? How big of a screen? If you do some work outdoors you may want a matte screen. For photos I would steer clear of LED backlights. Also do you need long battery life?

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Are you looking for something that is light weight? How big of a screen? If you do some work outdoors you may want a matte screen. For photos I would steer clear of LED backlights. Also do you need long battery life?

Lightweight would be nice, but not an absolute necessity as I really don't need to carry it around too much. I'd like to keep the screen at 14-16" max. Most laptops I've seen are shiny and that annoys the **** out of me. lol I will need no more than 6 hrs of battery life (and that' probably overkill).

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I would look at the Dell XPS 15 series. Of course you would be looking at a price range of $800 to $1500 depending on configuration. They have excellent LCD screens and the graphics cards would definitely handle what you want to do.

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Apparently the price range I would LIKE to stay in would not cover what I need. LOL

Someone else also mentioned the XPS line and I built one for $1103. Haven't ordered yet as I'm not sure if I want to do that right now, or wait. I do want to order within the next few months though.

I appreciate all the info!

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In light of the following, you may not wish to consider a MacBook Pro.

Early 2011 MacBook Pros Are Poorly Assembled, Teardown Reveals

According to a team of technicians making a living out of tearing down and repairing electronics, Apple’s newest MacBook Pro computers are poorly assembled.

Such observations have escaped iFixit teardowns of Apple products in the past, but this time, the tinkerers were forced to throw in negative remarks in their in-depth analysis of how Early 2011 MacBook Pros were made.

Among the list of things that were noticeably out of place in a $1,800 notebook were a stripped screw near the notebook's subwoofer enclosure, an unlocked zero insertion force socket for the infrared sensor, and unusual amounts of thermal paste applied to both the central processing unit (CPU) and the graphical processing unit (GPU).

The technicians wonder whether “the gobs of thermal paste applied to the CPU and GPU will cause overheating issues down the road.”

More details here: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Early-2011-MacBook-Pros-Are-Poorly-Assembled-Teardown-Reveals-186937.shtml

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I don't know enough about win7 or the latest processors to know what works how well, which is why I'm asking for assistance.

I found one laptop which I think might be alright, but I'm second guessing myself. Here's the specs:

* Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)

* Processor Intel Core i5-520M 2.40GHz (2.93Ghz Turbo Mode, 3M cache)

* 320 GB SATA Hard Drive (5400 RPM) (I only hold files on there temporarily, but all files go to my external drive when finished, so not really needing anything more)

* 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz (2 DIMMs)

* Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD

Hi Nerelda, sure been a long time ago and far away.

Troubles me why anybody would settle for 5400 RPM ? Just doesn't make any sense unless going for extra minutes of battery life.

Many years ago upgraded to a 7200 RPM drive and was the biggest improvement to be made with the XP laptop, still clearly remember the gain in performance.

I now have a years experience with a SSD (solid state drive), Patriot carries a 10 year warranty, incredible the performance beyond words.

Now seeing prices incredible low (?) for drives, you exactly said why need more with external drives for storage.

If I knew your budget ? So many deals with e-mail fliers sorry haven't paid much attention.

You will love Win 7 and 64-bit, you are only held back from that slow hard drive.

May I ask what lappy model you quoted ?

Marsh

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http://reviews.cnet.com/best-laptops/

Given your requirements, I would be looking for something with an Intel SandyBridge (if possible but not a deal breaker) ,dedicated graphics card, and lots of RAM.

A little more than what you wanted to spend but this looks very nice

http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/hp-envy-17/4505-3121_7-34112582.html?tag=rnav

and a cheaper model

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_series.do?storeName=computer_store&category=notebooks&series_name=ENVY17_series&aoid=11232&srccode=cii_5766179&cpncode=00-11020295-2

(note they have a dual drive variant with SSD boot drive )

I also see ASUS laptops highly praised for graphic design and gaming.

the ASUS G72GX comes up a lot.

Graphics is a lot like gaming so

http://computers.toptenreviews.com/gaming-laptops/

http://www.bestgaminglaptop.net/

http://www.laptop-computer-comparison.com/laptop-video-card.html

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Hey guys, Thanks so much for all the replies! I've been away for a while and wasn't able to be online much, but I did end up ordering my laptop (waiting for it to ship). I definitely did NOT want to go with Mac as I have no desire to repurchase all my photography programs for another system. Several people suggested the Dell XPS line and after finding a great sale this past weekend, I ordered one.

Marsh, I was actually going to see if I could upgrade the HD to a 7200 model. It seems almost all laptops have the 5400 still. I often found great deals, but they would put barely enough RAM in and the HD would be slower model and no one wanted to budge about that. I believe the Laptop model quoted above was the Dell Inspiron (something they had in their outlet).

So for those curious, my total came to $1002.33 (I caught an awesome deal, got a slight discount through work, and found a coupon on top of it all) and here is what I got:

Dell XPS 15

2nd generation Intel Core i7-2630QM processor 2.00 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 2.90 GHz

8GB,DDR3,2 DIMM

15.6FHD TLF B+RGLED LCD L501X

NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 1GB graphics with Optimus

640GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive

Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English

8X Tray Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)

JBL 2.1 Speakers with Waves Maxx Audio 3

Intel Centrino Wireless-N 1030 and Bluetooth 3.0

2 Year Limited Warranty

Recovery DVD for Windows 7 Home Premium OS, 64bit, English

Edited by Nerelda

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Hi Nerelda, nice find and happy for you.

Last year bought my in house nurse Kelli a Dell laptop, my 1st and only experience with the brand, ah it has been so dependable and trouble free.

I have total respect for Dell now.

Wow i7 cpu and 8GB of fast ram, don't even worry/consider a SSD, your 7,200 rpm will be more than fast enough for your needs.

haha boot time waking up in a daze and power up means little, oh sure a re boot at times tho is quite livable.

Hope you give us a test report after some usage, hard for me to comprehend how many raw image tabs open with Photo shop,

couldn't get any better girl...

EDIT: Hi Don

Marsh

Edited by marsh_0x

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Well, Although the estimated arrival was April 11th, I actually received it on March 29th and was able to use it this past weekend. I spent a good part of the first day setting it up and getting it to where I wanted it to be. This past weekend I had several assignments with the newspaper and it did indeed perform excellent. So far I am very pleased with it. My only issue was that in the middle of my first edit session, the computer went into a reboot without prior notification and said it was doing that for an update. I know when I set it up, I selected that I did not want automatic updates turned on, but for some reason it didn't take. I did go back in and make sure that it was set so that it doesn't even look for updates until I tell it to (Windows only). I'm glad Lightroom kept all my changes I'd made before it decided to reboot.

The display is just absolutely amazing! I'm started working on calibrating the colors last night but decided sleep was more important. Still, the colors are very close to being perfect and I'm thrilled with that!

So far, all is performing well. The real test will be in the coming months when my deadlines will be much more strict.

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