Need advice on new computer for photo/video

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Peabody, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Peabody

    Peabody Guest

    So it's time to leave XP behind, and buy a new computer before
    Windows 8 arrives.

    I'm going to try to get by with one computer this time - a laptop -
    but am open to docking a real monitor, keyboard and mouse when
    needed. Not a gamer at all, so the biggest challenge for this box
    will be photo editing, plus whatever I may get into from shooting
    video on my T2i - editing and format conversion, I assume.

    I'm a Windows guy, and from the looking I've done, it seems to
    come down to a 15" i5 Ivy Bridge dual core, or a 17" i7 Ivy Bridge
    quad core.

    I've never tried to edit photos on a laptop, and wonder if a laptop
    display is any good for that. Can you even use a colorimeter on
    them? Are laptop displays still dithered 6-bit devices instead of
    real 8-bit?

    If a 17' laptop display is fully useable for photo editing, it
    would probably make sense to pay up for that, and not invest in a
    separate monitor. But if not, I might as well save a buck and get
    the 15" size - unless quad core vs dual core makes a big
    difference - and then get a separate monitor.

    The other big issue is graphics. Pretty much everything I'm
    looking at in my budget - $750 and under - has integrated graphics,
    not a separate GPU.

    So I'm not a professional, and money IS an object. But I'd like
    this computer to last several years.

    Office Depot has a sale on a 15-inch Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E530,
    i5-3210M, LED-backlit 1366x768 glossy, 6GB, 750GB 5400. Win7 Home
    Premium 64-bit. $600.

    Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
    Peabody, Aug 26, 2012
    #1
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  2. Peabody

    tony cooper Guest

    On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 17:36:23 -0500, Peabody
    <> wrote:

    >So it's time to leave XP behind, and buy a new computer before
    >Windows 8 arrives.
    >
    >I'm going to try to get by with one computer this time - a laptop -
    >but am open to docking a real monitor, keyboard and mouse when
    >needed. Not a gamer at all, so the biggest challenge for this box
    >will be photo editing, plus whatever I may get into from shooting
    >video on my T2i - editing and format conversion, I assume.
    >
    >I'm a Windows guy, and from the looking I've done, it seems to
    >come down to a 15" i5 Ivy Bridge dual core, or a 17" i7 Ivy Bridge
    >quad core.
    >
    >I've never tried to edit photos on a laptop, and wonder if a laptop
    >display is any good for that. Can you even use a colorimeter on
    >them? Are laptop displays still dithered 6-bit devices instead of
    >real 8-bit?
    >
    >If a 17' laptop display is fully useable for photo editing, it
    >would probably make sense to pay up for that, and not invest in a
    >separate monitor. But if not, I might as well save a buck and get
    >the 15" size - unless quad core vs dual core makes a big
    >difference - and then get a separate monitor.
    >
    >The other big issue is graphics. Pretty much everything I'm
    >looking at in my budget - $750 and under - has integrated graphics,
    >not a separate GPU.
    >
    >So I'm not a professional, and money IS an object. But I'd like
    >this computer to last several years.
    >
    >Office Depot has a sale on a 15-inch Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E530,
    >i5-3210M, LED-backlit 1366x768 glossy, 6GB, 750GB 5400. Win7 Home
    >Premium 64-bit. $600.
    >
    >Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.


    I'm hardly an expert in this, but I have a desktop and I have a
    laptop. I would never attempt editing on my laptop. I'm an extensive
    user of Photoshop. I don't think the screen display is adequate, and
    how I have the laptop opened and the screen tilted seems to make an
    enormous difference in the way the image looks.

    I suggest you consider adding a separate monitor to your system.
    Monitors are relatively inexpensive, and using two monitors (laptop
    screen and second monitor) has other benefits.



    --
    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    tony cooper, Aug 26, 2012
    #2
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  3. Peabody

    tony cooper Guest

    On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 18:57:54 -0400, Alan Browne
    <> wrote:

    >On 2012.08.26 18:48 , tony cooper wrote:
    >
    >> I suggest you consider adding a separate monitor to your system.
    >> Monitors are relatively inexpensive, and using two monitors (laptop
    >> screen and second monitor) has other benefits.

    >
    >A good monitor for photo editing starts at about $3 - $500 depending on
    >size.


    That would be nice. Necessary, though? I could do my editing on my
    cheap, second-hand NEC second screen and not lose much. My primary
    screen is available now on Amazon for $448, but I'm not doing
    commercial work, magazine stuff, stock photography, or anything like
    that.

    I could take the same image, process it from RAW to CS4 on one screen
    and then process it again from scratch on the other screen and I don't
    think you could tell the difference. That includes color adjustments,
    cloning, and Layer Masking.

    The only difficulty I have with my laptop screen is that it's almost
    impossible to open it to the same exact angle each time. A slight
    change in the tilt changes things. My secondary screen is in a fixed
    position.


    --
    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    tony cooper, Aug 27, 2012
    #3
  4. Peabody

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, tony cooper
    <> wrote:

    > >> I suggest you consider adding a separate monitor to your system.
    > >> Monitors are relatively inexpensive, and using two monitors (laptop
    > >> screen and second monitor) has other benefits.

    > >
    > >A good monitor for photo editing starts at about $3 - $500 depending on
    > >size.

    >
    > That would be nice. Necessary, though? I could do my editing on my
    > cheap, second-hand NEC second screen and not lose much. My primary
    > screen is available now on Amazon for $448, but I'm not doing
    > commercial work, magazine stuff, stock photography, or anything like
    > that.
    >
    > I could take the same image, process it from RAW to CS4 on one screen
    > and then process it again from scratch on the other screen and I don't
    > think you could tell the difference. That includes color adjustments,
    > cloning, and Layer Masking.


    if you use a lower quality display, your results will be worse. why do
    you think pros spend money on better displays?

    if your display has less accurate colour, lower contrast ratio, smaller
    gamut, etc., you can't do as good of a job.

    taken to extreme, try using a b/w display and see how well you can
    adjust the colour balance.

    > The only difficulty I have with my laptop screen is that it's almost
    > impossible to open it to the same exact angle each time. A slight
    > change in the tilt changes things. My secondary screen is in a fixed
    > position.


    you have a low quality display in your laptop.

    i guess that's what happens when you buy rock bottom products.
    nospam, Aug 27, 2012
    #4
  5. Peabody

    Mayayana Guest

    If you're handy you might consider building your own, if
    you decide to go with a PC. Personally I don't know how
    people can stand laptops, but most people do use them.

    I built a new PC last week for about $350. I've done that
    for years, with parts from TigerDirect, mostly.

    Advantages of OEM: OEM PCs are relatively cheap. The companies
    buy in bulk and you pay very little for the Windows copy. They
    also do a lot of planning, so the particular hardware combination
    thery come up with can often be very long-lived.

    Advantages of building yourself: You can buy better stock
    (like a decent power supply). You get more flexibility with
    upgrading. (OEM tends to be barebones, with very little
    upgradeability. Some, like Dell, often even have their own
    hardware and connectors.) CPUs and motherboards are
    fairly cheap as long as you don't get suckered into buying
    the latest. (The newest is always "blazingly fast", while the
    one that was "blazingly fast" 6 months ago suddenly becomes
    merely "good enough for checking email". CPUs have been faster
    than they need to be, for most uses, for a decade.:)

    Most boards now have on-board graphics/audio/ethernet.
    It's often pretty good. (Though I just had a bad experience
    with onboard ATI and ended up using a geForce card instead.
    You can override the onboard with a card if you like.)


    The Windows license is a pain. With OEM you don't pay
    much but also don't have much. If you don't have a full
    version disk then it will cost you $100+ to get an OEM
    disk. With either an OEM PC/laptop or an OEM disk, you
    can't transfer it. If something happens to the machine
    you're out of luck and will have to buy another copy of the
    Windows license you already own. Microsoft makes a fortune
    that way (ever since they started with Product Activation),
    charging people repeatedly for the same license by claiming
    that they actually licensed their copyrighted material to a
    fiberglass circuit board!.
    Buying OEM has some advantage that way: If you're not
    going to have a full license that you can transfer then it's
    better to pay the $80+- for the license on an OEM machine
    than to pay as much as twice that to buy the disk yourself.

    Either way, watch out if you buy a disk. Most places
    advertise "Full OEM", which is a trick. A Full license can
    be installed to any number of machines (but only one
    at a time). An OEM or system builder license can only be
    used once. A "Full OEM" version is just an OEM version
    with a sneaky name.


    "Peabody" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    | So it's time to leave XP behind, and buy a new computer before
    | Windows 8 arrives.
    |
    | I'm going to try to get by with one computer this time - a laptop -
    | but am open to docking a real monitor, keyboard and mouse when
    | needed. Not a gamer at all, so the biggest challenge for this box
    | will be photo editing, plus whatever I may get into from shooting
    | video on my T2i - editing and format conversion, I assume.
    |
    | I'm a Windows guy, and from the looking I've done, it seems to
    | come down to a 15" i5 Ivy Bridge dual core, or a 17" i7 Ivy Bridge
    | quad core.
    |
    | I've never tried to edit photos on a laptop, and wonder if a laptop
    | display is any good for that. Can you even use a colorimeter on
    | them? Are laptop displays still dithered 6-bit devices instead of
    | real 8-bit?
    |
    | If a 17' laptop display is fully useable for photo editing, it
    | would probably make sense to pay up for that, and not invest in a
    | separate monitor. But if not, I might as well save a buck and get
    | the 15" size - unless quad core vs dual core makes a big
    | difference - and then get a separate monitor.
    |
    | The other big issue is graphics. Pretty much everything I'm
    | looking at in my budget - $750 and under - has integrated graphics,
    | not a separate GPU.
    |
    | So I'm not a professional, and money IS an object. But I'd like
    | this computer to last several years.
    |
    | Office Depot has a sale on a 15-inch Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E530,
    | i5-3210M, LED-backlit 1366x768 glossy, 6GB, 750GB 5400. Win7 Home
    | Premium 64-bit. $600.
    |
    | Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
    |
    Mayayana, Aug 27, 2012
    #5
  6. Peabody

    tony cooper Guest

    On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 18:55:01 -0700, nospam <>
    wrote:

    >In article <>, tony cooper
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >> >> I suggest you consider adding a separate monitor to your system.
    >> >> Monitors are relatively inexpensive, and using two monitors (laptop
    >> >> screen and second monitor) has other benefits.
    >> >
    >> >A good monitor for photo editing starts at about $3 - $500 depending on
    >> >size.

    >>
    >> That would be nice. Necessary, though? I could do my editing on my
    >> cheap, second-hand NEC second screen and not lose much. My primary
    >> screen is available now on Amazon for $448, but I'm not doing
    >> commercial work, magazine stuff, stock photography, or anything like
    >> that.
    >>
    >> I could take the same image, process it from RAW to CS4 on one screen
    >> and then process it again from scratch on the other screen and I don't
    >> think you could tell the difference. That includes color adjustments,
    >> cloning, and Layer Masking.

    >
    >if you use a lower quality display, your results will be worse. why do
    >you think pros spend money on better displays?
    >

    I am not a pro. I have stated, explicitly, that I am not a pro. The
    OP has not stated that he/she is a pro.

    >if your display has less accurate colour, lower contrast ratio, smaller
    >gamut, etc., you can't do as good of a job.


    Are you done pointing out the obvious?

    However, monitors are not divided into two groups: high quality and
    low quality. There are gradations in quality, and those gradations do
    not always march hand-in-hand with price. A monitor that a graphics
    professional requires and a monitor that someone processing family or
    hobby photos can use successfully are not the same thing.

    >
    >taken to extreme, try using a b/w display and see how well you can
    >adjust the colour balance.


    And the silly?

    >> The only difficulty I have with my laptop screen is that it's almost
    >> impossible to open it to the same exact angle each time. A slight
    >> change in the tilt changes things. My secondary screen is in a fixed
    >> position.

    >
    >you have a low quality display in your laptop.


    What a silly thing to say. Typical, but silly. Angle of screen
    changes things on all monitors.

    --
    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    tony cooper, Aug 27, 2012
    #6
  7. Peabody

    tony cooper Guest

    On Mon, 27 Aug 2012 15:59:42 +1200, Eric Stevens
    <> wrote:

    >On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 23:16:06 -0400, tony cooper
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 18:55:01 -0700, nospam <>
    >>wrote:
    >>
    >>>In article <>, tony cooper
    >>><> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> >> I suggest you consider adding a separate monitor to your system.
    >>>> >> Monitors are relatively inexpensive, and using two monitors (laptop
    >>>> >> screen and second monitor) has other benefits.
    >>>> >
    >>>> >A good monitor for photo editing starts at about $3 - $500 depending on
    >>>> >size.
    >>>>
    >>>> That would be nice. Necessary, though? I could do my editing on my
    >>>> cheap, second-hand NEC second screen and not lose much. My primary
    >>>> screen is available now on Amazon for $448, but I'm not doing
    >>>> commercial work, magazine stuff, stock photography, or anything like
    >>>> that.
    >>>>
    >>>> I could take the same image, process it from RAW to CS4 on one screen
    >>>> and then process it again from scratch on the other screen and I don't
    >>>> think you could tell the difference. That includes color adjustments,
    >>>> cloning, and Layer Masking.
    >>>
    >>>if you use a lower quality display, your results will be worse. why do
    >>>you think pros spend money on better displays?
    >>>

    >>I am not a pro. I have stated, explicitly, that I am not a pro. The
    >>OP has not stated that he/she is a pro.
    >>
    >>>if your display has less accurate colour, lower contrast ratio, smaller
    >>>gamut, etc., you can't do as good of a job.

    >>
    >>Are you done pointing out the obvious?
    >>
    >>However, monitors are not divided into two groups: high quality and
    >>low quality. There are gradations in quality, and those gradations do
    >>not always march hand-in-hand with price. A monitor that a graphics
    >>professional requires and a monitor that someone processing family or
    >>hobby photos can use successfully are not the same thing.
    >>
    >>>
    >>>taken to extreme, try using a b/w display and see how well you can
    >>>adjust the colour balance.

    >>
    >>And the silly?
    >>
    >>>> The only difficulty I have with my laptop screen is that it's almost
    >>>> impossible to open it to the same exact angle each time. A slight
    >>>> change in the tilt changes things. My secondary screen is in a fixed
    >>>> position.
    >>>
    >>>you have a low quality display in your laptop.

    >>
    >>What a silly thing to say. Typical, but silly. Angle of screen
    >>changes things on all monitors.

    >
    >You can change the angle of vision on my Dell U2410 quite considerably
    >without making a significant difference to the visible image other
    >than perspective. My wife's more mundain monitor is much more
    >sensitive to the angle of view.


    Doesn't it depend on the lighting in the room...even with your Dell?


    --
    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    tony cooper, Aug 27, 2012
    #7
  8. Peabody

    nospam Guest

    In article <k1emv4$7nb$>, Mayayana
    <> wrote:

    > If you're handy you might consider building your own, if
    > you decide to go with a PC. Personally I don't know how
    > people can stand laptops, but most people do use them.


    personally, i don't know how people can stand a desktop.

    laptops are a whole lot more portable than a desktop and if you want a
    big display, lots of hard drives, etc, you can plug that stuff into the
    laptop and sit at a desk. when you don't want to sit at a desk, you
    have the option to move elsewhere. just unplug it and take the laptop
    with you, then sit outside, on a couch, hotel room, wherever.
    nospam, Aug 27, 2012
    #8
  9. Peabody

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, tony cooper
    <> wrote:

    > >> I could take the same image, process it from RAW to CS4 on one screen
    > >> and then process it again from scratch on the other screen and I don't
    > >> think you could tell the difference. That includes color adjustments,
    > >> cloning, and Layer Masking.

    > >
    > >if you use a lower quality display, your results will be worse. why do
    > >you think pros spend money on better displays?
    > >

    > I am not a pro. I have stated, explicitly, that I am not a pro. The
    > OP has not stated that he/she is a pro.


    so what? nobody said you were a pro.

    the fact is that if you edit photos on low quality displays, the
    results will be of lower quality. should be obvious, but i guess it
    isn't.

    you may not be able to tell the difference, but others probably can.

    > >if your display has less accurate colour, lower contrast ratio, smaller
    > >gamut, etc., you can't do as good of a job.

    >
    > Are you done pointing out the obvious?
    >
    > However, monitors are not divided into two groups: high quality and
    > low quality.


    i never said there were two groups. yet another instance of twisting
    what i say.

    > There are gradations in quality, and those gradations do
    > not always march hand-in-hand with price.


    there are the occasional exceptions, but most of the time you get what
    you pay for.

    > A monitor that a graphics
    > professional requires and a monitor that someone processing family or
    > hobby photos can use successfully are not the same thing.


    nobody said they were.

    > >> The only difficulty I have with my laptop screen is that it's almost
    > >> impossible to open it to the same exact angle each time. A slight
    > >> change in the tilt changes things. My secondary screen is in a fixed
    > >> position.

    > >
    > >you have a low quality display in your laptop.

    >
    > What a silly thing to say. Typical, but silly. Angle of screen
    > changes things on all monitors.


    no it definitely does *not*.

    ips displays have a viewing angle of 179 degrees and it does not shift
    when you move your head. moving your head a little bit up or down or if
    the angle of the display varies a little will impart no perceptible
    difference.

    the reality is that you have a low quality display. nothing wrong with
    that. price is more important to you than quality. other people value
    quality over price. that's why they make different levels of quality.
    nospam, Aug 27, 2012
    #9
  10. Peabody

    Mayayana Guest

    --
    --
    "nospam" <> wrote in message
    news:270820120144483664%...
    | In article <k1emv4$7nb$>, Mayayana
    | <> wrote:
    |
    | > If you're handy you might consider building your own, if
    | > you decide to go with a PC. Personally I don't know how
    | > people can stand laptops, but most people do use them.
    |
    | personally, i don't know how people can stand a desktop.
    |
    | laptops are a whole lot more portable than a desktop and if you want a
    | big display, lots of hard drives, etc, you can plug that stuff into the
    | laptop and sit at a desk. when you don't want to sit at a desk, you
    | have the option to move elsewhere. just unplug it and take the laptop
    | with you, then sit outside, on a couch, hotel room, wherever.

    I rarely see laptop users even plugging in a mouse.
    They just get into the habit of a little screen with
    little keys and an awkward "mousepad". ...And now that
    we have 50+" TVs, more people are watching movies
    on their phones. Odd.

    I can see the appeal of mobility, though. I'm waiting
    for someone to come out with a $50 tablet, with USB
    ports and reasonable functionality, so that I can take
    a 20 page article to the sofa for reading. That's the one
    thing I find wanting in a PC.
    Mayayana, Aug 27, 2012
    #10
  11. Peabody

    tony cooper Guest

    On Mon, 27 Aug 2012 16:42:04 +1200, Eric Stevens
    <> wrote:

    >On Mon, 27 Aug 2012 00:10:08 -0400, tony cooper
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>On Mon, 27 Aug 2012 15:59:42 +1200, Eric Stevens
    >><> wrote:
    >>
    >>>On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 23:16:06 -0400, tony cooper
    >>><> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>On Sun, 26 Aug 2012 18:55:01 -0700, nospam <>
    >>>>wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>>In article <>, tony cooper
    >>>>><> wrote:
    >>>>>
    >>>>>> >> I suggest you consider adding a separate monitor to your system.
    >>>>>> >> Monitors are relatively inexpensive, and using two monitors (laptop
    >>>>>> >> screen and second monitor) has other benefits.
    >>>>>> >
    >>>>>> >A good monitor for photo editing starts at about $3 - $500 depending on
    >>>>>> >size.
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> That would be nice. Necessary, though? I could do my editing on my
    >>>>>> cheap, second-hand NEC second screen and not lose much. My primary
    >>>>>> screen is available now on Amazon for $448, but I'm not doing
    >>>>>> commercial work, magazine stuff, stock photography, or anything like
    >>>>>> that.
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>> I could take the same image, process it from RAW to CS4 on one screen
    >>>>>> and then process it again from scratch on the other screen and I don't
    >>>>>> think you could tell the difference. That includes color adjustments,
    >>>>>> cloning, and Layer Masking.
    >>>>>
    >>>>>if you use a lower quality display, your results will be worse. why do
    >>>>>you think pros spend money on better displays?
    >>>>>
    >>>>I am not a pro. I have stated, explicitly, that I am not a pro. The
    >>>>OP has not stated that he/she is a pro.
    >>>>
    >>>>>if your display has less accurate colour, lower contrast ratio, smaller
    >>>>>gamut, etc., you can't do as good of a job.
    >>>>
    >>>>Are you done pointing out the obvious?
    >>>>
    >>>>However, monitors are not divided into two groups: high quality and
    >>>>low quality. There are gradations in quality, and those gradations do
    >>>>not always march hand-in-hand with price. A monitor that a graphics
    >>>>professional requires and a monitor that someone processing family or
    >>>>hobby photos can use successfully are not the same thing.
    >>>>
    >>>>>
    >>>>>taken to extreme, try using a b/w display and see how well you can
    >>>>>adjust the colour balance.
    >>>>
    >>>>And the silly?
    >>>>
    >>>>>> The only difficulty I have with my laptop screen is that it's almost
    >>>>>> impossible to open it to the same exact angle each time. A slight
    >>>>>> change in the tilt changes things. My secondary screen is in a fixed
    >>>>>> position.
    >>>>>
    >>>>>you have a low quality display in your laptop.
    >>>>
    >>>>What a silly thing to say. Typical, but silly. Angle of screen
    >>>>changes things on all monitors.
    >>>
    >>>You can change the angle of vision on my Dell U2410 quite considerably
    >>>without making a significant difference to the visible image other
    >>>than perspective. My wife's more mundain monitor is much more
    >>>sensitive to the angle of view.

    >>
    >>Doesn't it depend on the lighting in the room...even with your Dell?

    >
    >That's set up to minimize change. It doesn't seem to normally affect
    >what I see.


    The usual reason people buy laptops is to have a computer that can be
    moved about and used in different places. If a laptop is purchased to
    be used as the only system, and used in one place only, the buyer is
    giving up quite a bit in my opinion. The keyboard is less easy to
    use, precise cursor movement without a mouse is impossible, there are
    fewer USB ports, and the screen is smaller. There are some ergonomic
    factors, too.

    I realize that an external keyboard, a regular mouse or thumbdrive,
    and a USB multi-port hub can be added, but the concept of a laptop is
    to have something that can be easily transported and used. If you
    have to include external devices in the move, you kind of defeat the
    purpose. Although, I do take my external mouse with me, always, when
    using the laptop.

    So, your set-up to minimize change is fine when the unit remains
    unmoved, but it doesn't - in my opinion - offset the problem of screen
    angle problems with a laptop in general compared to an external second
    monitor as I suggested.

    All of this, by the way, relates to the OP's question about using a
    laptop as a sole unit for image editing purposes. None of it is has
    to do with reading email or surfing the web.





    --
    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    tony cooper, Aug 27, 2012
    #11
  12. Peabody

    DaveS Guest

    On 8/26/2012 5:36 PM, Peabody wrote:
    > Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
    >


    Check if the laptop you're considering has two hard drive bays.

    Within a very short time, solid state drives will be cheap enough that
    you will want to use one as your boot drive, with your data on the
    bigger, rotating drive.

    Dave S.
    DaveS, Aug 27, 2012
    #12
  13. Peabody

    Peabody Guest

    tony cooper says...

    > I'm hardly an expert in this, but I have a desktop and I
    > have a laptop. I would never attempt editing on my
    > laptop. I'm an extensive user of Photoshop. I don't
    > think the screen display is adequate, and how I have the
    > laptop opened and the screen tilted seems to make an
    > enormous difference in the way the image looks.


    > I suggest you consider adding a separate monitor to your
    > system. Monitors are relatively inexpensive, and using
    > two monitors (laptop screen and second monitor) has
    > other benefits.


    I currently have a desktop and a laptop, and have just
    gotten tired of trying to keep them synced. And, as a
    practical matter, they never really are synced. So I really
    would like to have just one computer, and no syncing. And
    with laptops now having terabyte drives and i5/i7
    processors, I think that should be doable.

    But as I said in the original post, I'm certainly willing to
    have an alternate monitor and keyboard at the main computer
    desk, and an ethernet connection, so that the laptop
    becomes, in effect, equivalent to the tower of a desktop
    computer. I always use a mouse, even now, so that's a
    given.

    I understand what you mean about the angle of view of a
    laptop display. My current laptop certainly has that
    effect, but I didn't know if things had changed in the last
    five years, or whether it might be better with a 17-inch
    display. But from all the responses here, it doesn't look
    like things have improved in that regard. I could be wrong,
    but I don't think the problem is nearly as bad with a
    desktop monitor at an equivalent off-axis angle of view, and
    if that's true, I wonder why that is. Are the monitors
    built differently?

    So it sounds like photoediting isn't going to work well on
    the laptop, even at 17 inches. So if I'm going to need a
    separate monitor anyway, I might as well stick with the
    15-inch laptop. Except - there is also the difference
    between the 2-core i5 and 4-core i-7. Is that likely to be
    a noticeable difference?
    Peabody, Aug 27, 2012
    #13
  14. Peabody

    Peabody Guest

    tony cooper says...

    > The usual reason people buy laptops is to have a
    > computer that can be moved about and used in different
    > places. If a laptop is purchased to be used as the only
    > system, and used in one place only, the buyer is giving
    > up quite a bit in my opinion. The keyboard is less easy
    > to use, precise cursor movement without a mouse is
    > impossible, there are fewer USB ports, and the screen is
    > smaller. There are some ergonomic factors, too.


    > I realize that an external keyboard, a regular mouse or
    > thumbdrive, and a USB multi-port hub can be added, but
    > the concept of a laptop is to have something that can be
    > easily transported and used. If you have to include
    > external devices in the move, you kind of defeat the
    > purpose. Although, I do take my external mouse with me,
    > always, when using the laptop.


    > So, your set-up to minimize change is fine when the unit
    > remains unmoved, but it doesn't - in my opinion - offset
    > the problem of screen angle problems with a laptop in
    > general compared to an external second monitor as I
    > suggested.


    > All of this, by the way, relates to the OP's question
    > about using a laptop as a sole unit for image editing
    > purposes. None of it is has to do with reading email or
    > surfing the web.


    OP here. My idea is to have the laptop function as a fully
    portable computer that I can use in various rooms in the
    house, and on the back porch, using WiFi, with the only
    extras being a mouse and a small platform of 1/4-inch
    plywood big enough to hold the computer and the mousing
    area.

    But then in the main computer room where the modem, router,
    printer, etc., are located, I would "dock" the laptop to a
    real keyboard, a better mouse, and a stand-alone monitor,
    and possibly a USB hub. I would replace WiFi with a direct
    ethernet connection. This would be for "serious" uses like
    backups, photo and video editing, downloading large files,
    and also when I need to do a serious amount of typing, which
    I hate trying to do on a laptop keyboard.

    I have a third need for this computer, which is to play on
    my TV videos currently located on a large number of data
    DVDs and CDs, in a wide variety of odd-ball codecs. I would
    want to connect the computer to the TV via HDMI, and play
    the videos on the TV that way.

    I do think about the reduced capability for expansion,
    mainly because you just never know what's coming down the
    road, especially since it seems laptops no longer have
    expansion ports. I worry in particular about:

    1. No eSATA, or other way to mount an external HD so that
    Spinrite can be run on the external drive. It won't work on
    USB drives.

    2. USB ports (of course). At the moment, I have connected
    by USB: my UPS back-up supply, printer, and webcam. Then
    as needed, but not all the time, I have card readers,
    cameras, MP3 players. Well, I may not need the UPS at all
    for the computer (just the modem and router), the printer
    can be WiFi, and the new computer will have a built-in
    webcam. So I figure my chances of being able to get by with
    three USB ports are pretty good, particularly in mobile
    mode. But perhaps not in fixed mode.

    I still haven't worked out how to implement an external HD,
    which I will need for backups and for additional storage.
    In theory that could be a NAS drive connected to the router,
    but I need it to be encrypted, and haven't figured out how
    to do that. So the whole issue of the external drive is
    still up in the air - re Spinrite and encryption.

    So, that's my plan.
    Peabody, Aug 27, 2012
    #14
  15. Peabody

    tony cooper Guest

    On Mon, 27 Aug 2012 11:02:20 -0500, Peabody
    <> wrote:

    >tony cooper says...
    >
    > > The usual reason people buy laptops is to have a
    > > computer that can be moved about and used in different
    > > places. If a laptop is purchased to be used as the only
    > > system, and used in one place only, the buyer is giving
    > > up quite a bit in my opinion. The keyboard is less easy
    > > to use, precise cursor movement without a mouse is
    > > impossible, there are fewer USB ports, and the screen is
    > > smaller. There are some ergonomic factors, too.

    >
    > > I realize that an external keyboard, a regular mouse or
    > > thumbdrive, and a USB multi-port hub can be added, but
    > > the concept of a laptop is to have something that can be
    > > easily transported and used. If you have to include
    > > external devices in the move, you kind of defeat the
    > > purpose. Although, I do take my external mouse with me,
    > > always, when using the laptop.

    >
    > > So, your set-up to minimize change is fine when the unit
    > > remains unmoved, but it doesn't - in my opinion - offset
    > > the problem of screen angle problems with a laptop in
    > > general compared to an external second monitor as I
    > > suggested.

    >
    > > All of this, by the way, relates to the OP's question
    > > about using a laptop as a sole unit for image editing
    > > purposes. None of it is has to do with reading email or
    > > surfing the web.

    >
    >OP here. My idea is to have the laptop function as a fully
    >portable computer that I can use in various rooms in the
    >house, and on the back porch, using WiFi, with the only
    >extras being a mouse and a small platform of 1/4-inch
    >plywood big enough to hold the computer and the mousing
    >area.
    >
    >But then in the main computer room where the modem, router,
    >printer, etc., are located, I would "dock" the laptop to a
    >real keyboard, a better mouse, and a stand-alone monitor,
    >and possibly a USB hub. I would replace WiFi with a direct
    >ethernet connection. This would be for "serious" uses like
    >backups, photo and video editing, downloading large files,
    >and also when I need to do a serious amount of typing, which
    >I hate trying to do on a laptop keyboard.
    >
    >I have a third need for this computer, which is to play on
    >my TV videos currently located on a large number of data
    >DVDs and CDs, in a wide variety of odd-ball codecs. I would
    >want to connect the computer to the TV via HDMI, and play
    >the videos on the TV that way.
    >
    >I do think about the reduced capability for expansion,
    >mainly because you just never know what's coming down the
    >road, especially since it seems laptops no longer have
    >expansion ports. I worry in particular about:
    >
    >1. No eSATA, or other way to mount an external HD so that
    >Spinrite can be run on the external drive. It won't work on
    >USB drives.
    >
    >2. USB ports (of course). At the moment, I have connected
    >by USB: my UPS back-up supply, printer, and webcam. Then
    >as needed, but not all the time, I have card readers,
    >cameras, MP3 players. Well, I may not need the UPS at all
    >for the computer (just the modem and router), the printer
    >can be WiFi, and the new computer will have a built-in
    >webcam. So I figure my chances of being able to get by with
    >three USB ports are pretty good, particularly in mobile
    >mode. But perhaps not in fixed mode.
    >
    >I still haven't worked out how to implement an external HD,
    >which I will need for backups and for additional storage.
    >In theory that could be a NAS drive connected to the router,
    >but I need it to be encrypted, and haven't figured out how
    >to do that. So the whole issue of the external drive is
    >still up in the air - re Spinrite and encryption.
    >
    >So, that's my plan.


    We only know a little about another person's plans, needs, and
    expectations. It's limited to what they put in their post, and the
    first post seldom covers everything. That you already have, and will
    be using, a larger monitor for example.

    If the portability of a laptop appeals to you, go for it. You'll give
    up some things, as mentioned, but your overall objective is where you
    should be focussing your interest.

    Personally, I use a desktop with two monitors for most things
    including reading newsgroups and image editing with Adobe's CS4. I
    have a laptop that has Adobe's Elements 9.0 on it for the few times
    that I want to do some quick and dirty processing of images in a
    remote situation. My external HDs can be connected to either.

    I use DropBox to store files that will be worked on using either
    computer.


    --
    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
    tony cooper, Aug 27, 2012
    #15
  16. Peabody

    nospam Guest

    In article <k1fqrp$oh4$>, Mayayana
    <> wrote:

    > | > If you're handy you might consider building your own, if
    > | > you decide to go with a PC. Personally I don't know how
    > | > people can stand laptops, but most people do use them.
    > |
    > | personally, i don't know how people can stand a desktop.
    > |
    > | laptops are a whole lot more portable than a desktop and if you want a
    > | big display, lots of hard drives, etc, you can plug that stuff into the
    > | laptop and sit at a desk. when you don't want to sit at a desk, you
    > | have the option to move elsewhere. just unplug it and take the laptop
    > | with you, then sit outside, on a couch, hotel room, wherever.
    >
    > I rarely see laptop users even plugging in a mouse.


    that's because there's a built in trackpad. there's no need for a mouse.

    > They just get into the habit of a little screen with
    > little keys and an awkward "mousepad".


    there's nothing awkward about a trackpad, and some people buy trackpads
    for their desktop systems.

    as for the display, the resolution is comparable or even higher than
    20-22" displays.

    > ...And now that
    > we have 50+" TVs, more people are watching movies
    > on their phones. Odd.


    why is that odd?

    taking a phone or tablet is significantly easier than taking a 50" tv
    with you and the phone or tablet can be plugged into a big screen tv if
    the situation warrants. meanwhile, you can watch tv shows, movies and
    podcasts anywhere you want.

    > I can see the appeal of mobility, though. I'm waiting
    > for someone to come out with a $50 tablet, with USB
    > ports and reasonable functionality, so that I can take
    > a 20 page article to the sofa for reading. That's the one
    > thing I find wanting in a PC.


    $50? are you on crack?
    nospam, Aug 27, 2012
    #16
  17. Peabody

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, tony cooper
    <> wrote:

    > The usual reason people buy laptops is to have a computer that can be
    > moved about and used in different places. If a laptop is purchased to
    > be used as the only system, and used in one place only, the buyer is
    > giving up quite a bit in my opinion. The keyboard is less easy to
    > use,


    depends on the laptop. buy one with a better keyboard.

    > precise cursor movement without a mouse is impossible,


    nonsense. maybe with your trackpad it's impossible but that's *not*
    true for all trackpads.

    > there are
    > fewer USB ports,


    how many usb devices do you need? most stuff is already built in.

    > and the screen is smaller.


    that is true, but the resolution is generally comparable to 20-22"
    displays.

    > There are some ergonomic
    > factors, too.


    such as?

    laptops have a significant advantage ergonomically, since you can use
    them anywhere, including reclining in a chair, on a couch, etc.
    nospam, Aug 27, 2012
    #17
  18. Peabody

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, Peabody
    <> wrote:

    > 1. No eSATA, or other way to mount an external HD so that
    > Spinrite can be run on the external drive. It won't work on
    > USB drives.


    how often do you need to run spinrite???

    > 2. USB ports (of course). At the moment, I have connected
    > by USB: my UPS back-up supply, printer, and webcam. Then
    > as needed, but not all the time, I have card readers,
    > cameras, MP3 players. Well, I may not need the UPS at all
    > for the computer (just the modem and router), the printer
    > can be WiFi, and the new computer will have a built-in
    > webcam. So I figure my chances of being able to get by with
    > three USB ports are pretty good, particularly in mobile
    > mode. But perhaps not in fixed mode.


    when you use it at your desk, plug in a usb cable which connects to a
    hub that has all your devices. or buy a docking station. however, you
    probably don't need all the things you think you do. why do you need an
    mp3 player connected all the time (or at all)?

    > I still haven't worked out how to implement an external HD,
    > which I will need for backups and for additional storage.
    > In theory that could be a NAS drive connected to the router,
    > but I need it to be encrypted, and haven't figured out how
    > to do that. So the whole issue of the external drive is
    > still up in the air - re Spinrite and encryption.


    if you get a macbook, get a time capsule which is a network backup
    drive, enable encryption, done. should take less than a minute to set
    up, at the most. you can also encrypt the macbook drive too.
    nospam, Aug 27, 2012
    #18
  19. Peabody

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, DaveS <>
    wrote:

    > Check if the laptop you're considering has two hard drive bays.


    that makes the laptop bigger and heavier.

    > Within a very short time, solid state drives will be cheap enough that
    > you will want to use one as your boot drive, with your data on the
    > bigger, rotating drive.


    they already are cheap enough to replace a hard drive.
    nospam, Aug 27, 2012
    #19
  20. Peabody

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, Peabody
    <> wrote:

    > I understand what you mean about the angle of view of a
    > laptop display. My current laptop certainly has that
    > effect, but I didn't know if things had changed in the last
    > five years, or whether it might be better with a 17-inch
    > display. But from all the responses here, it doesn't look
    > like things have improved in that regard. I could be wrong,
    > but I don't think the problem is nearly as bad with a
    > desktop monitor at an equivalent off-axis angle of view, and
    > if that's true, I wonder why that is. Are the monitors
    > built differently?


    desktop displays do not need to run on batteries and don't have the
    limitations a laptop display does. an ips display has a 179 degree
    viewing angle and you won't notice a difference if you move your head.

    laptop displays vary. they're almost never ips, and some change quite a
    bit if you move your head and others very little. shop around and pick
    a laptop with a good display.

    > So it sounds like photoediting isn't going to work well on
    > the laptop, even at 17 inches. So if I'm going to need a
    > separate monitor anyway, I might as well stick with the
    > 15-inch laptop. Except - there is also the difference
    > between the 2-core i5 and 4-core i-7. Is that likely to be
    > a noticeable difference?


    depends on the software. some can take advantage of the additional
    cores and others won't. you're generally better off putting the money
    into more memory, bigger hard drive, etc., than a small increment in
    cpu performance.
    nospam, Aug 27, 2012
    #20
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