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Which laptop is a better choice?


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Honestly? Neither. If I was forced to choose...

The 15.6" -- Number 2. The larger main OS drive 256GB is more desirable, though that is still quite small. After the formatting and the OS / Bloatware that comes with computers, you will probably have about 180GB, give or take, to play with. You should only install programs on the main OS SSD Drive. (Photoshop, Bridge, etc.) EVERYTHING ELSE NEEDS TO BE PUT ON THE LARGER 2ND HARD DRIVE.

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Unfortunately, I can’t afford anything better. This is my top price point. I also need a laptop because I will be constantly moving between home and 2 different offices.

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No. It’s the current style of laptop with a small Operating System SSD Drive. You really don’t have as much space as you think you do. 

250GB, after formatting and Windows being installed, plus whatever crap the manufacturers put on their products, leaves you with around 180GB to play with. Ok, that sounds like a lot but then you have to worry about the amount that Windows will take for its cache file, what PS will take for its Scratch Disk and then there is the Windows updates; going forward, Windows 10 will take a chunk of HD space so there will be enough room for patches, updates, and feature installations. So that 180GB becomes more of a premium. Forget about mindlessly download things to the HD, installation of software will be “custom” instead of express, so the software is installed to the larger HD, which results in you having to pay more attention than ever before. 

Now I get it, SSD Drives make 15 second boot times possible and laptop batteries last longer due to their lower power requirements. I just wish they were at least 500GB instead of 250. 

The other downside to laptops is the screen. Each time you open the lid, the colors and contrast shifts because the screens angle is different. So if you edit part of a session at location A and then finish it at location B, unless you are really careful, your edited images won’t be consistent. Plus the temptation to edit in the kitchen, then a home office, then by the pool or in the car on your way to vacation is so much greater. 

Not to mention that you really only get 3 years or so out of fancy/expensive laptops, about 18-24 months for $1000-$1500 laptops and 12-18 months tops out of a $500-ish laptop. Which then leads to the cost of repair IF the parts are available. Laptops are cycled through every 4-6 weeks, or so it seems from my POV. Give it a month from now and these two that you linked to will be discontinued and replaced with some other model. Oh, before I forget, make sure you have a nice mouse or Wacom tablet to work with. Trackpads on laptops today just SUCK. They are usually over-sensitive and the cursor jumps all over the place. (Even after tweaking the driver software.) I speak with experience as one of my customer is laptop happy. We have tried over 10 different models and name brands...the trackpads are just terrible. 

So you can see why I’m so against using a laptop for photo editing. I’m very Anti-Laptop but people keep asking, and I got tired of arguing. It’s like Damien vs Lightroom. LOL!! 

If you must edit on a laptop, I’d purchase two different external screens, but then that opens a can of worms when it comes to calibration. Or purchase a less expensive laptop for culling and edit your images on one computer / location. You want even and consistent ambient lighting when it comes to editing and you want your screen to match your prints. 

Ultimately, it’s your decision. Out of the two you linked to, the one with a 250GB HD is the better choice. 

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I am already aware of the issue with the monitor. I have a great calibrated editing monitor at home that I’d connect to for editing images. For work, the design work I do is not involving people as the subject matter (large commercial machines and tools etc) so it doesn’t need to be exact. I can always double check at home for the important things.

(I remember there was an angle tool posted on here once?)

Regardless, a year ago when I had this work arrangement I tried working on 2 desktops (home and office) and it was extremely ineffective and inefficient. Now if I’m traveling to a 3rd location it’s just not manageable for me. I’m also juggling being a mom! Plus, people in the office keep “stealing” my office chair and monitor etc lol. (Long story, family business has its pros and cons) I can’t imagine calibrating a monitor each time anyway. 

Your concerns make sense, which is why I’ve always done business work on a desktop but I want to make my life easier and want to try this out. 


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