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Thread: Laptop for digital side of workflow

  1. #1

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    Laptop for digital side of workflow

    This subject (laptop to buy) comes up frequently, but the quality of the offerings in the market is constantly evolving.

    I've come to the conclusion that either a PC or Mac laptop will have enough power and memory to provide a good platform. I'm looking at the screen being the factor to differentiate the crowd.

    I see the newer trend to a glossy screen. Will they calibrate. I unfortunately don't have an outlet to see them all, and tend to mailorder from Dell, etc.

    Has someone purchased a new Mac/PC and can you give an analysis of screen quality. I've got my checkbook out and...

    Thanks in advance,

    bob

  2. #2

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    Re: Laptop for digital side of workflow

    Laptop screens can be calibrated. The major issue is angle of view. The brightness of the image will change with even a slight change in viewing position. I have not yet seen a laptop display that I would trust for doing serious image editing.

  3. #3

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    Re: Laptop for digital side of workflow

    I would not recommend a Dell, whatever you decide upon. I bought a Dell a few years ago, and after replacing the motherboard two times (in 18 months) - due to a design flaw by Dell - I had to throw it away when the motherboard failed for the third time (and they wanted $500 to repair it).

  4. #4

    Re: Laptop for digital side of workflow

    I'm going to disagree with Robert and suggest a Dell. I purchased a 2ghz dualcore with 2gb of ram 17" laptop for very cheap and it has a 4 year complete warranty which even covers my clumsiness if I should knock it on the ground or spill my Shiner on it.

    I have been using it for editing web images, but am in-between facilities and won't be doing any serious printing for another couple of weeks. The screen is very bright and I will be profiling it, but I also have a CRT I plan on hooking the laptop into (the Dell's have outlets to hook in exterior monitors) for final color checks. The ultrasharp screen on the laptop is very bright and crisp, though.
    Last edited by Jeremy Moore; 26-Jul-2006 at 10:32.

  5. #5

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    Re: Laptop for digital side of workflow

    One critical consideration is the matte vs. glossy screen issue. The glossy gives richer colors, greater contrast, and deeper blacks. It also picks up reflections from external light sources something fierce. For me, this reflectivity was a deal-breaker, but then I don't do intense, prolonged photo editing on my laptop.

    BTW the glossy appears to be the screen of the future, the matte is becoming hard to find.

  6. #6
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop for digital side of workflow

    I recently got a new MacBookwith the glossy screen and had no trouble calibrating it. Yes, you have to be careful about reflections, OTOH it is an absolute joy to work with in situations with lots of light where you can't even see the matte screen.

    I do smoe photo editing on the machine and in term sof speed and memory (full 2 gigs of RAM) it is ok. OTOH I would never want to find myself in the situation where it was my only or primary machine for photo editing ...not without an external trackball or graphic tablet and an external,larger monitor.

  7. #7

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    Re: Laptop for digital side of workflow

    I have been using nothing but Powerbooks for years, and just got the missuses one of the newer black 13-inch MacBooks (not the Pro) with a glossy screen. I think these are great, the screens are beautiful. You don't calibrate a laptop in the same sense as a fixed controled display, you really just want to control the Gamma (mid tones) and keep grey = grey. Use the numerical palette in Photoshop to confirm.

    But yeah, they are great. And watching it boot XP is a trip. They are probably the very best laptops on the market right now, for either OSX or XP. They certainly are better built than any Dell or anything short of a VooDoo.

    I am waiting to get a 15-inch MacBook Pro - it has a separate video card - the plain MacBook has integrated. But otherwise I think the less expensive MacBook is just as durable and high quality, at least the black ones are.

  8. #8

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    Re: Laptop for digital side of workflow

    I use X-Rite's Monaco to calibrate all my monitors. When I'm in the field I take a 2 year old Sony Vaio. 2.8mhzP4. We call it the cinder block as thats how it feels in the case when carrying it through airports.

    It can be calibrated but the screen "blooms" and other issues when adjusted by calibration. Actually, one doesn't calibrate a monitor with a LCD laptop, you adjust the video card CLUT.

    I'm glad to hear the new generation screens will successfully calibrate. Now Mac, or Toshiba, or ....

    On using a mac with XP, how does one work with the mouse differences between platforms? Left-right-wheel doesn't exist in Macdom as I understand it!!

    Bob
    Last edited by Bob McCarthy; 26-Jul-2006 at 11:28.

  9. #9

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    Re: Laptop for digital side of workflow

    What Ted and Frank said. The only thing I would emphasize is to max out on the memory.

    I firmly believe that you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to laptops, therefore, I have the MacBook Pro on its way.

  10. #10

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    Re: Laptop for digital side of workflow

    Well this MacBook non-pro is first class build quality, and it is thinner and lighter... so if you don't need to drive a 30-inch LCD it bears consideration (and get the 2gb of OEM Ram cuz I guess they are touchy about bad Ram).

    Also the AppleCare on laptops makes sense. I wouldn't get it for a desktop but for a laptop they get a lot more abuse.

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