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Thread: Laptop for digital photo editing, scanning, etc.

  1. #11
    Preston Birdwell
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Columbia, CA
    Posts
    1,577

    Re: Laptop for digital photo editing, scanning, etc.

    My choice was an Acer 15.6" laptop. It has an I7-6700 processor, 16GB RAM (upgradable to 32GB), 512GB SSD, 1TB HDD. The graphics processor is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M with 4 GB memory. I decided to go for a machine with the 4K UHD screen....It has one HDMI port, two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0, and one Thunderbolt.
    David, this sounds like a nice machine, and should serve you well. The nVidia video card will give nice performance in Photo Shop. If, at some point you work with really large files, upgrading to 32 GB will enhance performance. Have fun!
    --P
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

  2. #12
    Dave Karp
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,805

    Re: Laptop for digital photo editing, scanning, etc.

    Locutus. I agree about the Dell monitors. Mine is very nice at a fraction of the price of the high end screens many photographers use. It may not be all the way there, but for me, it was the ideal combination of features/quality/price. I learned about it here on the forum too!

    Thanks for the info on 4K. Looking forward to seeing what that is like.

    As far as gaming laptops go, just to set the record straight, you are right that most of them have TN screens. However, you are wrong in that many of the gaming laptop manufacturers are introducing machines with 4K UHD screens. There is chatter about this on the various sites I found while researching. Some of the gamers think it is a great idea, others think that the TN screens are better for gaming. Alienware, for example, sells a 15.6 laptop with a 4K UHD non glare screen. Most of the gaming laptops I saw did not have built in card readers. Not a deal breaker, but an inconvenience.

    From what I read, it appears that there are a flood of laptops coming with the 4K UHD screens. The problem seems to be that the manufacturer(s) do not yet have the capacity to feed the demand.

    I was leaning strongly toward a Lenovo P51. (Love the name.) It had everything I wanted, and more. However, they were sold out of the 4K screen models, with no idea when more would be in stock. When I purchased, it appeared that my current machine was dead (that is another story), so I kept looking. The P71 (17 inch screen) was still available with the 4K screen, but we decided that it would be too big in case we used it on the move. Plus, the P51 (like the Alienware) was at the outside edge of my budget (and it was on sale for 20% off until May 31).

    The extra looking paid off. The Acer I found was significantly less expensive than the Lenovo, Dell, or Alienware machines. On top of that, it was on sale for 15% off. It also comes in one size fits all. No upgrading the graphics card, etc. You get what you get. The Dell, Lenovo, and Alienware computers are all nice machines. They are following in the steps of Apple, with aluminum bodies and high end materials. The XPS, for example has an aluminum case and a Kevlar top deck. The Acer has the high quality internals in a plastic case. One of the reviewers, who actually takes the machine apart and measures color accuracy, commented on how impressed he was with the engineering that made it so stiff. Like the Lenovo, the keyboard is supposed to be excellent. I should have it tomorrow, so I will have to break out a photo I have not yet edited and take it for a whirl!

  3. #13
    Dave Karp
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,805

    Re: Laptop for digital photo editing, scanning, etc.

    I thought it might be helpful to relate what happened with my other laptop. After multiple phone discussions with techs at ASUS and Costco (when you purchase a computer there you get "Concierge" service, which gives you tech support and an extra year of warranty identical to the manufacturer's warranty), they determined that the computer needed to be reset, with a fresh install of Windows. There were real problems. I could see files in the explorer, but could not copy. I needed to save some files that had not been backed up. None of the Microsoft Office applications would load. We tried to do the reset by working in Windows, where we could see, but not access, the required features. They told me I had to purchase recovery media from ASUS for about $50. This was to reset the computer to its original state - Windows 8.1. No, they would not sell you one with Windows 10. Of course, you can purchase Windows 10 elsewhere and download all of the necessary drivers from the Internet, so I decided I would probably do that instead. I was worried about the drivers issue - I am not a computer expert. I was starting to think about taking the computer to the Geek Squad to have them fix it, even though I had that free Costco extra year on the warranty.

    I decided to poke around the computer for a while to see what I could see before purchasing Windows 10. In the meantime, I stopped by Best Buy and talked to a Geek Squad guy. He showed me a SATA to USB cable that I could use to copy the files from my laptop using another computer. I removed the hard drive, and copied what I needed to copy from the sick laptop. Then I reinstalled it. Eventually, I found an alternate way to trigger the reset. It took a while, and I wish I wrote down what I did, but it worked. The computer reset itself to its original state with 8.1. Then I went to Microsoft's site and upgraded the machine to Windows 10 for free. In the meantime, Amazon delivered a Samsung 850 EVO SSD and I used the SATA to USB cable and the software to clone the hard drive. I swapped the old drive and the SSD and now I have a nice ASUS with an SSD that works great!

    All my repairs happened after I purchased the Acer! Deep down, I believed that my computer was a lemon. Once I ordered the Acer, I felt compelled to keep digging because it just seemed like there had to be something else to try. Lesson learned - Push the techs a little harder and dig on your own. The worst I could have done after saving my data was require a trip to the Geek Squad. If I could find an answer in my ignorant lay person's way, the techs should have been able to do so too.

    In the end, all is OK because we needed to get a laptop for my 16 year old to use for school. He is going to get the ASUS, which is now a really speedy machine.

    All this to say that a little perseverance and exploration may save you lots of money if the tech support people don't prove very helpful.

  4. #14
    Dave Karp
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,805

    Re: Laptop for digital photo editing, scanning, etc.

    Hi all,

    I received the Acer today. I have to say it appears to be a really nice machine. The keyboard is nice. The materials, although plastic, seem top notch.

    The screen. The screen. Yes. The screen. It is beautiful. It really is.

    It was beautiful, but bright, right out of the box. You can select the colorspace. I elected Adobe RGB. Then I ran my Colormunki display on it. After calibration, the before and after option showed very, very little change from the out-of-the-box Adobe RGB selection. To my eye, the only real change was to tone down the brightness. The colors and the definition are delicious.

    The time I have had with the computer has been to set it up, download my Adobe software, load printer and scanner drivers, etc. No chance to play with Photoshop, but I did start the program. It loads FAST. What a nice change. I think I am going to be very happy with this computer, assuming that it is durable and reliable. I have high hopes. It seems quite well made.

    In case anyone is interested, it is an Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro with the UHD 4K display (there are other versions).

    Thanks again for your input.

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