Home · Register · Software · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Post-processing & Printing | Join Upload & Sell

  

Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop
  
 
Abuttolph
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


I am planning to purchase a Windows laptop or tablet this fall and would like to get recommendations. I don't plan on getting a fully decked-out machine because I don't use this kind of device very often, but I need something for a photo trip to Europe next winter. Would like to find something relatively lightweight too, hopefully under 4 pounds. Most likely a machine with an i7 processor and 16GB RAM. HD space is less important since I have an external hard drive. The screen quality is important and ability to run LR & PS without bogging down.

The Surface Pro and Surface Book devices look pretty good, but I am interested in researching other options too. I absolutely will NOT buy a Dell product (horrible experiences with their customer service), so that is not an option.

Thanks.







Aug 15, 2017 at 05:24 PM
CanadaMark
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


Lots of options for you. You don't list a budget, preferred screen size, or detailed requirements, but:

- Surface Pro or Surface Book like you already mentioned

- ASUS Zenbooks

- Lenovo X1 (or similar) series

- HP Spectre series

Not all i7's are created equal, some are very low power dual core (i7 does not automatically mean you are getting a 4 core/ 8 thread (or more) powerhouse like you do most of the time in the desktop world).

16GB RAM is an absolute minimum these days, especially for Photoshop work - you seem to recognize that anyway. Everything uses lots of RAM these days. You can get by with 8 but I wouldn't recommend it.

Quality matte IPS displays are rare in the laptop world. Basically, if you also want a stylus or touch screen, you aren't getting a matte display because it will have glass. I personally can't stand using glossy displays for photo work, but that is personal preference. ASUS and Lenovo will sell you laptops with matte IPS displays, and DELL makes good ones too, though you have ruled them out.

i7 and 16GB RAM means you are likely buying one of the most expensive configurations of whatever you choose (i5, 4-8GB, 128GB SSD will often the 'base' configuration, topping out at i7, 16-32GB, 256-512GB SSD). You probably don't need discrete graphics but that depends on exactly what you do in PS. Don't even consider anything with a traditional spinner HDD. If possible pick something with a PCI-E SSD rather than a SATA SSD, but either will be plenty fast.

You could also just save a bunch of money and edit the photos when you return from your trip, if that is an option



Aug 15, 2017 at 05:43 PM
Abuttolph
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


Thanks for the response, Mark. I know that I was a bit vague, but I am just starting to figure things out for this device. Have not decided on a firm budget, but would like to keep it under $1500, which may either be unrealistic or might require me to compromise. Buying a used device is on the table too.

My home workstation has 64GB of RAM, so it works fine for LR & PS, but deciding on minimum RAM that gives good performance is why I mentioned the RAM. You just confirmed my thought that 16GB is really needed.

Thanks for the tip on the i7 too. Are there also good performing i5 processors for photo work? I would certainly consider an i5 if the performance is good.

The screen type (matte or glass) is not something that I have thought that much about, but I appreciate your mentioning it. I will look into that too and figure out what will work best for me. I don't mind glass, but don't want to pay a bundle of money for something that will only get used occasionally.

I will check out the ASUS, Lenovo, and HP devices as well.

Usually, I do wait until I get home to process. However, the trip will be a photo tour and processing is part of the package, so I want to make the most of it.

Thanks again - I appreciate all of the info and will take all of it into account.



Aug 15, 2017 at 05:57 PM
skid00skid00
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


I have a Surface Pro 4, 8 GB ram, 256 GB ssd, i7 cpu (6650).

LR works well in it. The screen is famously accurate, and IIRC 98% of sRGB. The controls are NOT unuseably small.

Two concerns... The battery is only ~38 watt hours, so with high cpu usage, 3-4 hours of use, and the thing gets HOT when constantly running at high cpu. You can undervolt and use a lower power limit in power plan options to correct that (and increase battery life.)

Touch works well, and the keyboard is really nice. The alcantara fabric on mine is clean and solid, with a nice feel when typing.

I spend more time on the SP4 than my overclocked desktop with new NEC Pa272W, which is now reserved pretty much just for intense LR work (meteor files... thousands of meteor files... )



Aug 15, 2017 at 07:08 PM
Abuttolph
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


skid00skid00 wrote:
I have a Surface Pro 4, 8 GB ram, 256 GB ssd, i7 cpu (6650).

LR works well in it. The screen is famously accurate, and IIRC 98% of sRGB. The controls are NOT unuseably small.

Two concerns... The battery is only ~38 watt hours, so with high cpu usage, 3-4 hours of use, and the thing gets HOT when constantly running at high cpu. You can undervolt and use a lower power limit in power plan options to correct that (and increase battery life.)

Touch works well, and the keyboard is really nice. The alcantara fabric on mine is clean and solid,
...Show more

Have you used it with both LR & PS open at the same time?

Thanks for the info on it, both the positives and negatives. The heat is a concern for the life of the device. Love the display accuracy - that is fantastic.





Aug 15, 2017 at 07:36 PM
dhphoto
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


Might want to check this article out first:

https://www.dpreview.com/news/7270908962/consumer-reports-says-microsoft-surface-devices-are-too-unreliable-to-recommend



Aug 16, 2017 at 05:19 PM
Sashi
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


DH, that relates to the earlier lines of Surface, not necessarily to the newer SP4.

"The four laptops losing their previous recommended status are the Microsoft Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB versions) and Microsoft Surface Book (128GB and 512GB versions)". And CR's population for testing reliability is also kind of skewed.

The Surface Laptop is a budget-oriented/student-focussed laptop with deprecated OS features, and Surface Book has since been refreshed with better hardware.

Not a MS fanboi (though I use MS products both at work and home), but CR is not the best source to refer to regarding reliability. I would trust reviews at hardware oriented sites like Tom's Hardware, AnandTech etc and also the user reviews at NewEgg and other hardware retailers more than CR.



Aug 16, 2017 at 06:00 PM
skid00skid00
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


I don't run PS on the SP4.


Aug 16, 2017 at 06:20 PM
Abuttolph
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


Thanks again for all of the discussion on this. More research is needed on my end, but after looking at the recommended lines of models, I will probably opt for an ASUS Zenbook, but that is not written in stone.


Aug 16, 2017 at 06:28 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



skid00skid00
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


Regarding the Consumer Reports claim of unreliable Surfaces, they didn't list ANY of there parameters, not even how many Surfaces they had reports on. That's a huge red flag.

They also don't mention that most of the issues people had, occurred back when the devices were first released. Most of those have been corrected for a LONG time.

There's an excellent whining forum on reddit ( https://www.reddit.com/r/Surface/new/ ) where you can see posts from actual people, currently looking for help with current problems. There *are* people posting, just as there are in ALL forums.

There certainly are some issues. From my experience, the most complaints are about light bleed at the bottom of the display, when the display is dark. I have it to a very small degree, IF I LOOK FOR IT. It's never a factor in normal use.

The next big complaint is for short battery life. For those of you who haven't held a Surface, it's ONE QUARTER of an inch thick, 11.5" x 7.75". It's a full-blown Windows 10 PC. Obviously, there's no room for a battery... I get 8+ hours of battery when I use a reduced 'max cpu' setting in power plan, and 3+ if I'm testing battery life by running several AV scans together, continuously. A normal 'hard use' day would be 4-5 hours on battery.

Third big complaint is the wifi chip. It's not as good as it's Intel counterpart. I had rare problems with needing to disconnect and reconnect mine when I put the unit in sleep, then woke it back up. I've since just done complete shutdowns, and I no longer have problems with wifi not connecting at start up. As a side note, my router is 50 feet away from the SP4, and there's 4 walls between, with a large part of the path being a hallway wall at a small angle to the signal, so it's actually going thru probably 20 feet of 2x4 and plaster. I don't have any dropouts in use.

After a year of hard use, I still REALLY like this PC.



Aug 16, 2017 at 06:32 PM
dhphoto
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


All I can speak from is my own experience which is one guy I know who bought a top of the range Surface Pro recently and it has been awful, constant lock-ups etc.

So that's why I posted the link

Caveat Emptor, as ever



Aug 17, 2017 at 10:59 AM
g-money
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


I didn't read all the replies, so apologizes I already mentioned, but i did hear the other day the surface has a two year, 25% failure rate. I almost bought my daughter one last month before heading to her freshman year of college, but she wanted a Mac and I gave in.


Aug 19, 2017 at 04:12 AM
architect7
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


Abuttolph wrote:
Thanks for the response, Mark. I know that I was a bit vague, but I am just starting to figure things out for this device. Have not decided on a firm budget, but would like to keep it under $1500, which may either be unrealistic or might require me to compromise. Buying a used device is on the table too.

My home workstation has 64GB of RAM, so it works fine for LR & PS, but deciding on minimum RAM that gives good performance is why I mentioned the RAM. You just confirmed my thought that 16GB is really needed.

Thanks
...Show more

Not sure if anyone else mentioned it, but I love this site for overall performance/use testing: https://www.notebookcheck.net

I'd steer clear of i5 because of the lack of hyperthreading. I have read that Kaby Lake procs will add this for the i5, but I can't find documentation that supports this for mobile procs. You want hyperthreading because even though an i5 and an i7 could have similar GHZ performance, the i7 can do at least twice as many concurrent calculations. Meaning you can be running other apps smoothly while crunching through LR/PS. This translates to a much better user experience with less bottlenecks manifested through frustrating activities like app hangs/crashes.

I LOVE my old Lenovo X1. I currently use an HP 1040 G3 which is great, but likely my last metal-body laptop. The whole thing is a heat sink so it gets HOT. And it is freezing from cold boot, no middle ground. The metal texture feels really neat, but the usability is terrible. My X1 was also lighter which I really liked for travel, but very similar performance. The HP is a few years newer but honestly both seem to run LR/PS very similarly, despite the HP having a newer i7 and DDR4 vs. DDR3 RAM. All anecdotal, but I haven't seen any benchmarks showing DDR4 yields any performance gain with LR/PS.

I also recommend choosing a PCIE M.2 SSD machine. It will be faster than a standard SATA SSD.

For hardcore editing, I use remote desktop with my i7 workstation at home. This can be flaky depending on my network connection, but seems to work decently even when tethered to my iPhone. Remote Desktop (RDP) takes very little performance to run; I even do this from my iPad Air 2. Another option in case you need it. However, this does not address photo transfer so remote editing is limited to local culling and then transferring the images you desire to edit to the remote workstation first.



Aug 23, 2017 at 03:46 PM
Abuttolph
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


architect7 wrote:
Not sure if anyone else mentioned it, but I love this site for overall performance/use testing: https://www.notebookcheck.net

I'd steer clear of i5 because of the lack of hyperthreading. I have read that Kaby Lake procs will add this for the i5, but I can't find documentation that supports this for mobile procs. You want hyperthreading because even though an i5 and an i7 could have similar GHZ performance, the i7 can do at least twice as many concurrent calculations. Meaning you can be running other apps smoothly while crunching through LR/PS. This translates to a much better user experience with less
...Show more

Thanks for all of the info! I will have to look into using the remote desktop. It has never even crossed my mind to do that. I understand about the image transfer. I figured I would have to do that no matter what since my workstation is my main editing computer and I will want all edited files to be on that computer and also brought into LR.

I ended up getting an ASUS Zenbook. The model that I purchased was rated highly on a few different websites that reviewed laptops for photo editing. It also has the features that everyone suggested that will help it run quickly. So far, it seems really nice, although I have not actually done any editing on it yet. Still need to calibrate the monitor and configure PS to my liking first.



Aug 24, 2017 at 10:07 PM
Michael White
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


I've switched to mac myself but since the late nineties I had a minimum of one laptop always. I started with ibm but then they started being pricey. I switched to hp after that and never had a problem with them that couldn't be repaired I always bought the extended warranty because it never fails once the warranty is up something besides the memory or hard drive will fail. I still have one of two working dv-7 envys that I bought about 4-5 years ago. Nothing wrong with the working one it's setup with 16gb ram, 1tb ssd and a 2tb hdd


Aug 24, 2017 at 10:46 PM
architect7
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


Abuttolph wrote:
Thanks for all of the info! I will have to look into using the remote desktop. It has never even crossed my mind to do that. I understand about the image transfer. I figured I would have to do that no matter what since my workstation is my main editing computer and I will want all edited files to be on that computer and also brought into LR.

I ended up getting an ASUS Zenbook. The model that I purchased was rated highly on a few different websites that reviewed laptops for photo editing. It also has the features that everyone
...Show more

Congrats! Let us know how you like it; many of my coworkers have the Zenbook and seem to really like it. Great form factor/weight for travel too.



Aug 30, 2017 at 05:36 PM
Abuttolph
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Recommendation for Windows tablet/laptop


Ok - will do! The screen is fantastic and the 15-inch laptop only weighs 2 lbs. I have been too busy to do a lot with it yet, but after I get some other things accomplished, I will give it a run through on editing.


Aug 30, 2017 at 05:38 PM







FM Forums | Post-processing & Printing | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username     Reset password