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Archive 2013 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?
  
 
PeakPhoto
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


So I feel like I'm going nowhere fast when looking for a laptop. My old HP is falling apart (literally, the fan is now exposed) and I'm in a definite need of a replacement. But I'm looking for something pretty specific that seems to just not exist.

Alright here are somethings I'm looking for:
-Can't be a Mac (I have an HP desktop and I want seamless integration between the two).
-Can't be any bigger than 15.6" because I travel a lot, and the thinner the better. Really love ultrabooks but they are just too expensive without the right specs
-Decent to good battery life, as I said I travel a lot and my current laptop literally lasts an hour off the charger
-Good RAM, absolute bare minimum is 8gigs, would love to get a 16gig though (contstantly running PS, Illustrator and lightroom.
-At least a 750gig hard drive, I use a lot of portable hard drives.. but I like to have a lot on my computer as well.
-An HD screen is a must
-I want to keep it somewhat reasonable, under $2,000 is a necessity, but under $1,500 would be great (I'm supposed to be a broke college kid afterall).

So computers really aren't my specialty so I would love some advice. I know I'm probably going to end up having to customize, but I need a good starting point (brand, model, etc). I've been looking for weeks now and I keep falling up short whenever I think I find the laptop of my dreams.

Any starting points or advice would be great!

Cheers,

Andy



Feb 18, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Monkey Falls
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


I use a Dell Latitude laptop. It seems like it would fit your needs.

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/latit/dell_latitude_e6430_spec_sheet.pdf



Feb 18, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Whaler
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


Take a look here www.malibal.com I bought a Satori with SSD + 750GB secondary with all the bells and whistles for just under $2K. IT SMOKES!!!!


Feb 18, 2013 at 10:41 PM
PeakPhoto
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


Monkey Falls wrote:
I use a Dell Latitude laptop. It seems like it would fit your needs.

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/latit/dell_latitude_e6430_spec_sheet.pdf

I was actually just looking at a Dell XPS 15 over on Costco's website.

http://www.costco.com/Dell-XPS-15-Ultrabook%E2%84%A2-Intel%C2%AE-Core%E2%84%A2--i7-3632QM-2.2-GHz%2c-Blu-ray%2c-1080p-Display.product.100030975.html

Still a lot of time to shop, but that might be the closest thing I'm looking for. 1TB hard drive w/ 128 SSD drive, 16GB ram, 1920x1080 resolution, etc.

Whaler wrote:
Take a look here www.malibal.com I bought a Satori with SSD + 750GB secondary with all the bells and whistles for just under $2K. IT SMOKES!!!!

Interesting, I've never even heard of this brand. But I'm really liking the options they have on their website just at first glance. I'll build one real quick and see what I think!

Thanks guys.



Feb 18, 2013 at 10:51 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


I have a dell e6230 from work (and had its predecessor also). It is a good laptop in all respects except the screen, which is frankly poor - bad viewing angles and very poor gamut. We get the e6430's also and I'm not sure the screen is any better on those.


Feb 18, 2013 at 11:07 PM
msalvetti
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


That Costco Dell is way too much money. You should be able to spec an HP Envy dv6t-Quad edition with 8GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, 1920x1080 hi def display, 2GB video card, for about $1K. Bump it to 16GB RAM for another $200, or save some money and order the extra ram from Crucial.

Frankly, I'm not sure you are going to need more than 8GB ram and a 1GB video card. Try that and order extra ram later.

Right now there aren't many deals out there, but keep an eye on a site like Techbargains for coupons and sales.

(I ordered one of these in October, pretty happy with it).

Mark



Feb 18, 2013 at 11:42 PM
brett maxwell
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


I did a TON of research and settled on a VAIO S 15" last Fall.

-quad core i7
-1080 IPS display
-4.5lbs, thin, and built really well!
-12gb ram
-optional blu-ray
-optional second hard drive (DIY remove optical drive)
-1TB available
-2gb video card

it was like $1150 from Sony, then I put a little more money in by changing the boot drive to a 256gb SSD and moving the 1TB to the optical bay. loving it, it's my main machine now, after previously having an overclocked custom desktop.



Feb 23, 2013 at 02:36 AM
rockant
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


Regaurdless of other specs, a good IPS Display makes all the difference in the world for viewing and editting images.

FYI on the CPU most Photo applications do not use multi-threading, so more that an I5 Processor does not do much for you.

I have and love my ASUS Zen Book Prime, only wish it had a bigger drive.

Tone



Feb 25, 2013 at 07:14 PM
jmontagu13
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


brett maxwell wrote:
I did a TON of research and settled on a VAIO S 15" last Fall.

-quad core i7
-1080 IPS display
-4.5lbs, thin, and built really well!
-12gb ram
-optional blu-ray
-optional second hard drive (DIY remove optical drive)
-1TB available
-2gb video card

it was like $1150 from Sony, then I put a little more money in by changing the boot drive to a 256gb SSD and moving the 1TB to the optical bay. loving it, it's my main machine now, after previously having an overclocked custom desktop.


I have this laptop as well and love it for the most part. The screen is super sharp and clear, but research Orangegate before purchasing. Most of the screens on the S15 laptops cannot display pure red, but rather display shades or orange. If you are just working on the laptop, things look okay and you can tell what color is red or what is orange. But, if you compare to a calibrated screen, things will look orange on the S15. Also, calibration doesn't help as the screen is physically unable to display the pure color red.



Feb 25, 2013 at 08:05 PM
PeakPhoto
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


I ended up going with the ASUS N56VJ. So far I'm loving it (other than Windows 8, but I'm using classic shell to get past the lack of start menu). But at $940 I can buy a lens with the money I saved.

I did have to make some sacrifices, but it ended up saving me a lot of money. It's not the thinnest or laptop in the world at 1.2in thick and 5lbs. And the battery life isn't bad, but it isn't great.

Some pros,
-8gig ram, which I'm going to upgrade to 16gigs myself for $100
-1TB 5400 hard drive, want to eventually swap it for one running at 7200
-The screen is beautiful, it's 1920*1080 pixels and a Matte display. So crisp and it's quite accurate (I do have a color calibrator coming from Amazon though). I think my old HP dv6 had a 720p screen, never thought it looked bad until I was using these side by side the other day.
-The sound quality is mind blowing. When traveling I don't have room for speakers but I like to listen to music when I edit. It's loud, but not only loud but clear as day.

People complain about the touchpad, but I've had no issues with it yet.


I appreciate all of the advice from everyone. Even though I didn't go with one that was recommended, all of the advice helped me to realize what specs were important for me

Happy Shooting,

Andy



Feb 25, 2013 at 09:15 PM
 

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PeakPhoto
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


Well I've had the laptop all of 4 days, it's crashed twice already. My old HP dv6, while a POS, maybe crashed 5 times in 2 years.

Looking at that Vaio S I'm really liking the looks of it. I'll be heading to D.C. until Sunday, if this computer keeps crashing I'll be sending it back to Amazon and buying the Vaio.

Andy



Feb 26, 2013 at 04:13 PM
msalvetti
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


I'm sure things are different now, but about 10 years ago I bought a Vaio and I thought that was a POS. Delicate, shortly both hinges on the lid broke.

I know 10 years is a long time. But I won't even look at a Sony now. I guess it goes to show how a bad experience can sour you on a product for life.

Mark



Feb 27, 2013 at 02:49 AM
15Bit
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


msalvetti wrote:
I'm sure things are different now, but about 10 years ago I bought a Vaio and I thought that was a POS. Delicate, shortly both hinges on the lid broke.


I had a Vaio around 10 years ago also and it took lots of punishment (including daily trips in a motorbike tank bag) without complaint. I believe it still works too - i gave it my parents to take to their summer house. My only complaint was the battery, which died after a year.



Feb 27, 2013 at 06:06 AM
Whaler
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


Let me guess, it crashes BSOD when using adjustment brush in LR?


Mar 04, 2013 at 01:03 PM
PeakPhoto
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


Whaler wrote:
Let me guess, it crashes BSOD when using adjustment brush in LR?

It crashes when I do anything..just crashed a few minutes ago when I was checking my email. And the Windows 8 version of BSOD is a sad face... real professional windows, quit being cutesy and give me back Windows 7.



Mar 05, 2013 at 04:40 AM
Sunny Sra
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


That sucks.


Mar 05, 2013 at 05:01 AM
PeakPhoto
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


Sunny Sra wrote:
That sucks.

What really sucks is I finally have all of the files and everything I want on this computer and all of the programs running. And I think I'm going to have to send it back. Oh shucks.



Mar 05, 2013 at 05:12 AM
WAYCOOL
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


I got a base model macbook pro because build quality was more important to me than speed or compatibility but thats me. Hope you have better luck with the Vaio.


Mar 05, 2013 at 05:24 AM
Mr Mouse
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


Just looking at specs this ultra book look good:
Processor, Graphic, Drives, Display and connectivity wise

ASUS UX51VZ $2,000.00

Dazzlingly fast next gen Intel® Core™ i7- 3632QM
quad-core standard voltage processors
Graphics-boosting discrete NVIDIA® GeForce®
GT 650M 2GB GDDR5 hardware
All-flash dual 256GB drives accelerate access
Amazing full HD 1080p IPS display allows
vibrant and detailed visuals to shine
Exclusive ASUS SonicMaster audio offers
astounding ultrabook sound


Then if you don't mind Apple's Mac UI
for $3,500.00 MacBook Pro it has a faster i-7 processor and same GeForce GT 650M with Retina display



Mar 05, 2013 at 08:50 PM
matt4626
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Laptop/Ultrabook Advice?


My experience - Asus Great.....Windows 8 - not so much...


Mar 05, 2013 at 11:38 PM
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