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Another laptop question


Clare
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Hi Brian

I am just getting back into photography after a break and am buying a laptop on a salary sacrifice scheme so my choices are more limited. I  through all the threads and the Asus and dell Xps 15 (and 13) look like decent options. I am swayed towards the xps 15 but am confused because it is ssd only.  Is the Asus the better option? 

 

 

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There must be a really large batch of cheap 128GB SSD drives that manufacturers are using these days. Here is the thing, a full SSD Drive isn't going to do you any good, no matter how fast it is. So if you go the 512GB route, you are fine, but it will be a good idea to factor in a USB 3.0 4TB EHD. The models with the 128GB SSD drive, that's not a lot of room, but is workable...barely. The main thing is you will need to be ANAL on what gets installed on the 128GB SSD drive and watch it like a hawk. You can't just blindly go, "nextnextnext...ok..ok...apply...nextnext...finish" when installing stuff.

So which one? Both are "Meh," with me leaning towards the model that has the 512 SSD Drive.

That being said, there is no mention of an IPS-based display, in either of those hardware listings. If you are editing photos, and are either charging good money for professional services, OR you want consistent contrast and colors across your display, it is very important for the screen to be IPS-based in some form. That's why I recommended the ASUS ROG laptops, besides the obvious hardware specs, they have IPS screens and they are gorgeous. Of course, you could purchase an external IPS Monitor and go that route, but at that point I'm from the camp of, "Why not just buy a desktop then?" 
 

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Thank you so much Brian. I am thinking I will forget the salary sacrifice scheme and just go for the best windows laptop I can get. Looks like NONE of the Asus Rog laptops in the U.K have IPS screens. I have spent hours and hours online hunting to find they are all LED backlit. I then eventually found a review which mentions that you cannot buy an Asus with IPS in U.K.  Very odd and most annoying. I have sourced the ASUS 15.6 GL552VW and that is also LED.

The dell xps 15 is an infinity edge screen.  Looks like I am back at square one but still hunting. 

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No... but just checked and the ASUS rog laptops do appear to be LED with LED backlighting which fits in with the review stating that the UK ASUS Rog laptops are not IPS.

To confuse things there was one laptop which spec said LED with IPS backlighting?

The following two gaming s  have IPS screens and look ok? 

 

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I can get this one on the salary sacrifice scheme. Less RAM than gaming laptop but Similar spec to xps 15 (so will need the EHD  )but with IPS screen and more within my budget?

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LED is what illuminates the screen, vs a CFL (Floresent Bulb). LEDs consume A LOT less power and have been Main Stream since around 2009. 

IPS (In Plane Switching) vs a TN (Twisted Neumatic) is what you are looking for. You want a LED and IPS. 

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Brian does it matter if the screen is 200 nits or 300? Most of the alienware I have seen are 200 but there are a few 17 models about with 300.

Have you any thoughts? Thanks.

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A Nit is a unit of measurement, usually referring to Luminance. The more Nits, the brighter the screen appears. So a model with 300 Nits will appear brighter than one that is 200 Nits. Most smartphones these days are around 400 Nits. So which one? Doesn't matter really. 200-300 nits is average for a display and you'll want to get calibrated anyway, so your prints match the screen. If you have a nice and fancy bright screen, then it's very possible that your prints will come out dark.

So why all the fuss? It's because you are looking at gaming laptops, where those typical end-users want the best. So if you are using it to play first-person shooters and want things to be brighter, you'll probably will go for the 300-400 Nit model. For photos, anything between 200-300 is fine. I wouldn't put that much emphasis on it. RAM, HD, CPU, Video Card and Video Memory, IPS Display...that's what you pay attention to.

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Hi Brian I am just in the process of setting up my new laptop.  My light room catalog goes on the D drive (1tb HD) is that right rather than the c drive (500gb ssd)? I usually keep my photos on external HDS. 

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Ideally, you want to reserve the C: Drive for the Windows OS and Programs. So yes, put the LR catalogs on the D: Drive. Is this D: drive built into the Laptop or is it an external?

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You can also go one step further, have a "Personal Photos" Catalog and then create a new Catalog to go with the editing for the project that you are working on. Catalog Management is something that should be learned, since a large LR catalog has slow performance and can get grumpy. I'm glad you have a process in place.

 

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