Best Laptop for Photoshop

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by final cut cafe, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. I realise LCD displays me not be the most accurate for using Photoshop
    with, but the portability of a laptop seems very attractive to me at
    this time. I have been thinking of getting a new computer with higher
    performance to handle large files in Photoshop. Right now it is pretty
    slugish when I have a 60MB file open. I'm not super picky about
    calibration and getting everything just right and fine tuned. I do
    want some level of accuracy. At the moment I use a 15" CRT display
    with calibration by Adobe Gamma.
    If I were to decide to purchase a laptop computer for use with
    Photoshop as well as other traditional PC applications, which laptop
    would be my best bet? Which laptop would provide the best/most
    accurate LCD display?
  2. How does this look .. ?
  3. You can always plug your laptop in a Sony Artisan monitor if you need colour accuracy.

    For Photoshop, it's really simple :

    1- It all fits into RAM. Then the CPU speed and RAM speed count.
    2- It does not fit in RAM and the disk has to be used as temporary space. Then it crawls. Your modern CPU is useless. Only disk speed counts then.

    As laptop disks are slow, you really don't want to be in case 2.

    So, get RAM ! If you have two machines, for the same price, say a machine A with 256 MB RAM and a 3 GHz CPU, and a machine B with 1 GB RAM with a 2 GHz CPU, roughly A will be 50% faster than B on small files, and A will be at least 10 times slower than B on large files.

    To know what 'large' is, display the Status Bar in Photoshop and look at the Temporary Space used numbers.
  4. Without regard to the PC vs. Apple question or price, the 17" Apple Powerbook. But to
    answer your root question: one with an accurately profiled and calibrated screen.

    Profiling should be done on a regular basis: every month and possibly at the beginning on
    everey new assignment processing session if you are really, really picky. The X-Rite PULSE
    system seem to be the new leading player in this field.

    Adobe gamma might be slightly better nothing but it is a long way from being good. It is
    just too subjective.
  5. Getting a laptop that actually has a good screen can be tricky. Some of the best are I think the Ultrasharp monitors. I know Dell has these and other companies might offer something similar. No laptop display can hold a candle to even a good desktop LCD, but some are obviously still better than others.

    Obviously your preference in OS may override what I am about to say, but the fastest laptop with good battery performance you can get would be something running on a Pentium M with one of those Ultrasharp type displays. I think Sony has a comparable display to what Dell calls Ultrasharp.

    A desktop will still trounce a laptop in overal performance, but you can get some pretty capable laptops these days without spending a fortune.
  6. It is very dependent upon how much money you have to spend and what you consider portable. The Alienware laptops really are portable desktops and have more than enough power to run anything. But expect to pay more than $4000 for one fully kitted out. A Dell Lattitude will do the job and have very nice screens for around $3000.

    A mac G4 laptop is also a good choice, not real fast but very stable.
  7. LIES!
    ever use a g4 mac?
    my ibook with 1.33ghz compares to a 3ghz on a PC
    the pipelines are broader, more information can go through.....
    look into it
  8. Both Dell and Apple are at the top of the game. You could decide politically -- Dell if you support the Republican agenda, Mac if you're a progressive. (This suggestion is based upon the political contributions of the two companies.)

    Beyond that, if you aren't "super picky about calibration and getting everything just right," anything should do -- especially if you are happy with Adobe Gamma.

    If you really need compatibility with "traditional PC applications," you probably need a PC, not a Mac. This may depend on what is in your mix of "traditional PC applications." Traditionally, Macs or Mac software suppliers (such as Microsoft) have lagged in this area, current advertising notwithstanding.
  9. I recently upgraded, and was looking for a balance of overall power, LCD quality and price. I looked at several (dozens at least), and ended up buying a Sony Vaio. The overall specifications are similar to other vendors' offerings, but the lid seemed a bit more durable (I've cracked two screens in the past - not something I want to do again!). X-Brite and Ultra-brite (depending on the manufacturer) will help you see detail that is all but lost on traditional LCDs.
  10. I have an Aspire 1700 with 80Gb Hard Disk / 7200 rpm 2,6Ghz CPU and 17" LCD (very very bright), and now 1 Gbyte RAM.
    The weight is about 7,0 Kg but you can easy (and with little money) upgrade the RAM the Hard Disk and also the CPU because in this model (series 1700) all those parts came from Desktops!
  11. LIES! ever use a g4 mac? my ibook with 1.33ghz compares to a 3ghz on a PC the pipelines are broader, more information can go through..... look into it

    Oh really? I'd suggest you check that again. The Pentium M is the come-from-behind powerhouse, and is faster than the G4 mhz for mhz while running efficiently and cooly at higher core speeds. I really want a Pentium M laptop, they simply cannot be beat right now.
  12. LIES! ever use a g4 mac? my ibook with 1.33ghz compares to a 3ghz on a PC the pipelines are broader
    Uh, Sure dude.... Whatever you say. If I do the math, that makes your G4 faster than a G5, and I don't think IBM engineers would quite agree with you. I really do hate benchmarks, but this is a mercy killing.
    Carl, a few weeks ago I was putting together some banners for a couple of sales reps, one using an, albeit less than brand new G4 iBook, and another a 2ghz Centrino based Toshiba. I'm sorry, but the Toshiba was *all over* the iBook in terms of performance, and the TrueBright screen on the Toshiba was darn near as good.
    Now the newer 17" PowerBooks....whoa....sweeeet. Very easy on the eyes and as Ellis said the displays are awesome. The G5 PowerBooks should ship Q2, and those are going to humble the Centrinos.
  13. Yeah, I'm very curious to see what happens with G5 powerbooks. I have trouble believing it's going to happen this soon, so I'm very anxious to see what they did to fit it in the powerbook (thermally). I'm expecting more underclocking than we see with the iMacs (If I'm remembering correctly the bus is slower).
  14. In design of a laptop; Power consumption in a laptop is like weight in an airplane; a very critical parameter. Many are designed with save energy features; which conflict with performance sometimes.
  15. The G5 PowerBooks should ship Q2, and those are going to humble the Centrinos.
    I'm personally just hoping that at the very least they can make the Powerbooks competitive again in terms of performance without destroying battery life.
    AMD has a new 64 bit mobile chip they're working on, so it'll be interesting what happens with that too. And with the new Pentium Ms already on their way out, it should be an interesting year with a lot of new mobile stuff hitting the market.

    Good thing I'm in the market for a new laptop this summer.
  16. charles! Ive used most of the current laptops for photo shop in the last 3 years. most screens can be calabrated. thats the least of the problems. better bigger screen faster process=lots of power drain from battery #1 where will you get your power from? carry extra batterys?charger in car between jobs. battery life is #1 #2 as much ram as you can afford. #3 if you are burning dvd-cd the speed that the laptop renders or encodes can very ALOT The laptop Im testing know is apple powerbook 1.5gh 17" the screen is very easy on the eye and I rate it 8 but to burn a dvd or cd takes much longer than the pc laptops. hard drive can be up graded in most made to orders like Prostar,sager which is the same company. at this time this company makes the hotrod laptops.$3800.00.the sony 1.7 for $2200+ (Ebay) worked well for me but you will need to use a mouse for the touch pad is wild. the Toshiba 1.8 at $3000.00 has a better pad.I take pictures on a charter boat and present a slide show every night. soa speedy work flow is what i need and thats what i test for. If you need the speed and your a pc guy forget about a apple at this time.But If you have time try a apple the G4 1.5gh 17" is under $2200. Get the extended warrenty no matter what you get. Look up the prostar 9096 and check out the specs. It will blow your mind how much and how fast they put in laptop. hopes this helps.
  17. Barry,
    I have looked up the Prostar (at and am very impressed with them! Mind you, I'm not going to be using the laptop to make a living, but rather for my own personal use. With the prostar, there are Intel and AMD processor models. I noticd you recomended the series that is Intel Pentium powered. Why did you recomend that instead of an AMD Athlod 64? (800mhx bus in Intel vs. 1600mhz bus in Amd64)
    An extended warrenty can raise the cost of such a laptop considerably. Why do you recomend this? Do you recomend this EVEN if I will not be using the laptop to make a living?
    Photographing on a charter boat sounds fun!

Share This Page