New Laptop - Touchscreen? Y/N?
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Old 08-07-2013   #1
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Default New Laptop - Touchscreen? Y/N?

Looking to build a new photo editing PC this week, and thought it might be time to invest in a new laptop as well since they are both about 5 years old and barely chugging along. (Just to clarify, I am talking about 2 systems here, one tower photo editing box which is already spec'ed and ready to go, and now I am ALSO talking about a new laptop in addition to the photo editing box.)

The photo editing box I am good with, but I wanted to ask a few questions about the laptop and see what some of the opinions are around here. The laptop will be more of a surfing the Internet, doing letters/spreadsheets, etc. than photo editing, but I might do an occasional edit here and there, especially while on vacation or something. All the heavy lifting will be done by the new photo editing box (floor tower).
  • I was considering getting a touchscreen since it seems that the world is heading that way. I have an iPad and an Android tablet, plus an Android smartphone, so I am getting used to the touchscreen paradigm, and have several times tried touching the screen on my current laptop in the last week or so out of sheer habit! Should I be concerned about screen resolution? Anyone else considering or already own a touch screen laptop?
  • Windows 8 seems to be the software platform that all of the new laptops are shipping with. I have played with it quite a bit, so I am not concerned about the interface (that is another topic, and has been discussed to death). Are there any compatibility issues with Photoshop, Lightroom or any plugins?
  • I'd love an i7 with 8 GB RAM, but those seem to be rarer than I expected and it seems like the i5's with 4GB of RAM are dominating this market. Am I crazy here? Since I am going to have the photo editing box as well, I am wondering if I should just get an i5 and be done with it. Any comments here?

Any comments and advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 08-07-2013   #2
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Default Re: New Laptop - Touchscreen? Y/N?

If you don't mind some weight to your laptop, I'd suggest looking at a used Lenovo Thinkpad. So many huge companies leased Lenovo laptops that there are a huge number of off-lease machines out there. They are sturdy work-horse machines. You can get hardware graphics, high-res screen, good expandability, all at a very reasonable price.

Here's an I7 W510 with a 128GB SSD and nVidia Quadro graphics.
Lenovo ThinkPad W510 Notebook Intel Core i7 Quad Core 1 6GHz 4GB 128GB Win 7 | eBay
You can swap out the DVD drive with a hard-disk bay for $12 or so (not including the disc, of course).

I have an older T61p and have a 500GB disc in a removable caddy. Came with a docking station and a new battery for $400. I spent $60 for a CPU upgrade and another $60 to take the ram from 3GB to 6. The screen on my T61p is 1920x1200 ... I don't know the newer machines to know what's available for screens, but there are probably other options than the 1600x900 in the rig above. I've had no issues at all with my Lenovo.

If you'd rather buy new, look at ACER. We've had Toshiba, HP, Sony, Gateway, and ACER laptops at my house in addition to my used Lenovo. The Acers have been the best both for value and quality. Newegg has a good selection of ACER laptops with hardware graphics.
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Old 08-07-2013   #3
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Default Re: New Laptop - Touchscreen? Y/N?

Thanks Karl... Any experience with a touch screen laptop?
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Old 08-07-2013   #4
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Default Re: New Laptop - Touchscreen? Y/N?

Nope. Nothing that new in my house.
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Old 08-07-2013   #5
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Default Re: New Laptop - Touchscreen? Y/N?

Here's my (really generalized) thought on the subject. Hope it helps.

I've found it can be hit or miss with any brand laptop whether or not its gonna be a lemon.

Since your in the US...If I'm going to buy new and Costco has what I like, they give ya 90 days to return it for any reason. Most of the HP/Dells if bought on line there will come with (or did come with) MS Office for free and you can bring it back to any store location for a return. I believe Sams Club is only 30 days. (Memberships required though). Whatever deal you find, you most likely will be just fine. BTW: I'm an Intel fan and would prefer at least an i5 over an i3 if your gonna do Photoshop.

You can always look for some reviews on a certain model but I've learned to read between the lines on "reviews" too. Low ratings could be based on human error, not hardware.

Lenovo's are a reliable brand name.
I've got two 9 year old HP's that are still working and see nothing wrong with that brand either.
I've not had good luck with Gateway.
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Old 08-07-2013   #6
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Default Re: New Laptop - Touchscreen? Y/N?

Oh and on the Touchscreen stuff, unless you just really like Metro Tiles and are used to that way of working, its not an expense I see worth spending on.

Microsoft Tile interface, Uhg!!!! I install Classic Shell and use the traditional desktop but I'm old school and would rather use a mouse for Photoshop than my fingers. LOL

Quote:
I'd love an i7 with 8 GB RAM, but those seem to be rarer than I expected and it seems like the i5's with 4GB of RAM are dominating this market.
I see i7 8 and 16 gig ram systems all the time now for sale. Must be your area? HP 17 inch
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Old 08-08-2013   #7
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Default Re: New Laptop - Touchscreen? Y/N?

I couldn't imagine using Window 8 without a touch screen. I also don't like Windows 8 but it was a necessary evil as you can't use MS Access on a Mac. They are trying to put a tablet and a pc in one operating system which I find frustrating, as I have to go to the tablet side to choose my programs that open on the "old" windows side. I really miss my windows start button. If you have to scroll and use a mouse to click on everything you'd be missing the point of the new OS. They also have different menus or controls hidden and depending on which side you swipe in from you get different options. Get the touch screen or get one with Windows 7.
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Old 08-08-2013   #8
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Default Re: New Laptop - Touchscreen? Y/N?

Quote:
Get the touch screen or get one with Windows 7
Yes, trouble is your going to be limited as to whats still available. Mfg's are only installing Win8 now. Amazon (for example) still has some but mostly low end models. Personally, I would much rather go for the fastest hardware available if I can afford it.

Also if your thinking of downgrading: Win8 Pro qualifies for a free downgrade to Win7 Pro, Win8 does not so you would have to purchase Win7.

I like Win8's speed regardless of the UI, I'm just not a tile sort of guy.
Oh ya, there are a small few reporting probs with Win8, CS6 and Memory issues (running out of memory when you clearly have not used it all). It is hit a miss though, not everyone has experienced this. If you're optimizing an SSD, don't turn off the systems Page File.


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