Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000

Started Feb 2, 2013 | Discussions
image2paint
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Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
Feb 2, 2013

Hey DP, 
Basically I've built my own PC's for the last 15 years and am hesitant to go with an apple macbook pro with retina, due to having to get all the mac software as well as my PC versions. For example CS6 photoshop and Lightroom, Photomatix, oloneo, and all my other photography software... will have to purchase all again !!! ouch

The thing is the screen ! is amazing for photographers... and the weight is like a feather. I use my ASUS PA248Q monitor on a Desktop to edit photos and the big thing for me there is 100% sRGB and love a laptop with 100%sRGB

If you get the 16GB 2.6GHz and 512GB RAM version of the MPB, its perfect for a travelling photographer.

So my Question: "Does anyone know of a windows laptop which can match the MBP with the screen and the light weight ? "

I have found ones like the alienware but they weigh a tonne, or lenovo...

Thanks in advance if you have any advice

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Jon Rty
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to image2paint, Feb 2, 2013

image2paint wrote:

Hey DP,
Basically I've built my own PC's for the last 15 years and am hesitant to go with an apple macbook pro with retina, due to having to get all the mac software as well as my PC versions. For example CS6 photoshop and Lightroom, Photomatix, oloneo, and all my other photography software... will have to purchase all again !!! ouch

The thing is the screen ! is amazing for photographers... and the weight is like a feather. I use my ASUS PA248Q monitor on a Desktop to edit photos and the big thing for me there is 100% sRGB and love a laptop with 100%sRGB

If you get the 16GB 2.6GHz and 512GB RAM version of the MPB, its perfect for a travelling photographer.

So my Question: "Does anyone know of a windows laptop which can match the MBP with the screen and the light weight ? "

I have found ones like the alienware but they weigh a tonne, or lenovo...

Thanks in advance if you have any advice

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There are plenty of alternatives that can match the MBP Retina for weight and gamut. Even pixel pitch, but not in resolution.

If you want the most lightweight alternative, that would mean a 13" Ultrabook. You'd lose some processing power as use 2 core against 4 core CPUs, and they lack dedicated GPUs. The loss will not be that big however. Asus makes two great ultrabooks, the UX31 available in either a multitouch or normal IPS 1920x1080 13" screen, or the Transformer book, also with a multitouch IPS screen but with the added benefit of being a transformer, meaning that you can separate the display form the keyboard and use the computer as a tablet, further increasing portability. When docked to the keyboard, you'll get a second battery and a second storage solution. A no-compromise solution would be the Sony SVZ13, a quadcore ultrabook with RAID-0 SSDs.

Next up are the 15" thin and lights. Here you can get laptops that are identical in performance to the MPB Retina, only lacking in screen resolution. Asus has the Zenbook U500, a laptop that's almost identical to the RMP in performance, size and weight. It comes with the same CPU and GPU, and a IPS 1920x1080 screen in either multitouch or not. It does have the advantage of a second HDD, allowing even more storage. The Vizio CN15-A5 is another laptop very similar to the Retina, again with a 1920x1080 IPS screen. The Sony S15 is also a alternative.

Now, there are plenty of others that I've ignored or overlooked, but these are good ones off the top of my head.

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image2paint
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to Jon Rty, Feb 2, 2013

Thanks Jon, Definitely some good options there... I came across the new Samsung series 9 releases with 2560 x 1440. They look very nice and come with a matte display, which is a plus ! 
Thanks again for taking the time to share your knowledge.

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bray
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to image2paint, Feb 2, 2013

The Samsung series 9 with wqhd display doesn't even have a release date yet, but it could be quite nice.

I went with the Asus UX32VD-DH71, with a 1080 IPS display.  It is quite nice with a little work on your part.

The laptop was just shy of $1200.  It has an i7 3517u chip.  I then took out the HDD and put in a Samsung 840 pro 512 as well as an 8gb ram module, to bring the total to 10gb.  I installed CS6 and Lightroom 4 on it and am quite pleased.  It is significantly faster than my 4 year old desktop, they aren't even in the same league.

Also, worth mentioning that I installed Windows 7 on the new ssd as a clean install.  I did not like Windows 8.  You will have  hard time finding a new laptop with Windows 7 now though.  You mentioned that you used to build your own destops, so these simple mods (there are youtube videos to step you through it) and installing the OS should be a problem.  Plus you get a clean install with no bloatware.  Asus has a good website compiling most drivers, the only one I needed to bring over was the wireless driver.

Had a license of Windows 7 laying around from my student days.  Total out of pocket was $1750.  Well worth it I think.

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NewsyL
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to image2paint, Feb 2, 2013

I've found the reviews at...

http://www.notebookcheck.net

to be good due they include a check of the screen gamut. Many laptops in the small and light class with IPS (preferred over TN) LCD panels do not cover more than 70% of the sRGB color space.

Going larger and heavier, you can't do much better than these for having 1920x1080 IPS LCD panels in their screens as well as a wide gamut back light (100% of sRGB and AdobeRGB). The base models lack the IPS panel so you have to option them up. Note that these also have docking stations available which adds to their flexibility when used back at home base - ports for adding external storage solutions and running a dual external monitor setup.

Dell Precision M4700 Workstation (or older M4600)

Dell Precision M6700 Workstation (or older M6600)

HP Elitebook 8760p workstation (or previous model)

HP Elitebook 8570p workstation (or previous model)

.

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image2paint
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to bray, Feb 2, 2013

Also, worth mentioning that I installed Windows 7 on the new ssd as a clean install. I did not like Windows 8. You will have hard time finding a new laptop with Windows 7 now though. You mentioned that you used to build your own destops, so these simple mods (there are youtube videos to step you through it) and installing the OS should be a problem. Plus you get a clean install with no bloatware. Asus has a good website compiling most drivers, the only one I needed to bring over was the wireless driver.

Had a license of Windows 7 laying around from my student days. Total out of pocket was $1750. Well worth it I think.

Thats a good idea Bray, and yes these modifications would not be a problem for me I have a copy of Win 7 Pro on disk.

I could look for a "screen & cpu" I like and then just replace the HDD and RAM if it wasn't sufficient.

Thanks

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filibuster
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to NewsyL, Feb 3, 2013

As far as Oloneo is concerned, I am quite sure you can revoke a license so that you you can re-install to a new computer. Thus you have no fears of further expense on that one.

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malch
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to image2paint, Feb 3, 2013

My laptop (Lenovo Y480) is less than ideal for photo editing -- due to the display.

However, I'm very pleased with the performance and I think there are some lessons to be learned there. It came with a 1TB 5400rpm HDD which gave me lots of capacity but has less than stellar performance. But the laptop included a mSATA slot to which I added a 256GB SSD. After clean installing Windows (and Linux) on that SSD the, this i7 with 8GB really flies. And I still have 1TB for storage!

This gave me tons of processing power and storage for around $1K all up. The display is kinda naff but that was not too much of a priority for me.

HDD spinner for data and a (physically tiny) mSATA SSD should meet all of your storage needs.

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AwkwardSwine
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to malch, Feb 3, 2013

I would not chase after a systems with a screen resolution higher than 1920x1080.  (ala the Retina Macs)  You will just have to scale to higher DPIs to be able to see anything.  I think it's a bit of a marketing spec rather than a real differentiator.

Here is a sample system that is very powerful, certainly a match for any Macbook.  15 inch IPS 1080P screen with a high end core i7 and under 5 pounds.  500GB storage with Hybrid SSD for the OS.  I think Apple markets this as Fusion Drive.  $1350

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/pd/HP-Spectre-XT-15-4011nr-TouchSmart-Notebook/productID.258685500/vip.true

DISPLAY | 15.6 in Radiance Full HD LED with IPS (1920 x 1080), 10-finger multi-touch support PROCESSOR | Intel Core i7-3517U 1.90 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.00 GHz MEMORY | 8 GB DDR3 1600 MHz HARD DRIVE SIZE | 500 GB SATA 5400 RPM + 32 GB SSD OPERATING SYSTEM | Windows 8 PC TYPE | Notebook OPTICAL DRIVE | None MEDIA DRIVE | 2-in-1 media card reader (SD/MMC) AUDIO | Beats Audio quad speakers VIDEO | Intel HD Graphics 4000 with shared graphics memory PORTS | 2 USB 3.0 • 1 USB 2.0 • 1 Thunderbolt • HDMI • Headphone output/Microphone input combo • RJ-45 (10/100/1000) BATTERY | 4-cell lithium-ion (up to 5 hours)* CAMERA | HP TrueVision HD webcam WIRELESS | 802.11a/b/g/n BLUETOOTH | Yes DIMENSIONS | 14.87 x 10.10 x 0.70-0.87 in (377.70 x 256.54 x 17.78-22.10 mm) WEIGHT | 4.97 lbs (2.25 kg) COLOR | Silver OTHER | Model number: SpectreXT 15-4011nr Keyboard travel: 1.2 mm Touchpad dimensions: 113 x 71 mm

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MgrBuddha
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to bray, Feb 3, 2013

bray wrote:

I went with the Asus UX32VD-DH71, with a 1080 IPS display. It is quite nice with a little work on your part.

The laptop was just shy of $1200. It has an i7 3517u chip. I then took out the HDD and put in a Samsung 840 pro 512 as well as an 8gb ram module, to bring the total to 10gb. I installed CS6 and Lightroom 4 on it and am quite pleased. It is significantly faster than my 4 year old desktop, they aren't even in the same league.

Also, worth mentioning that I installed Windows 7 on the new ssd as a clean install. I did not like Windows 8. You will have hard time finding a new laptop with Windows 7 now though. You mentioned that you used to build your own destops, so these simple mods (there are youtube videos to step you through it) and installing the OS should be a problem. Plus you get a clean install with no bloatware. Asus has a good website compiling most drivers, the only one I needed to bring over was the wireless driver.

Had a license of Windows 7 laying around from my student days. Total out of pocket was $1750. Well worth it I think.

I have the same machine and have done what bray have done - Samsung pro 840 disk and 8 Gb extra Ram (Crucial DDR3 1600MHz 8GB CL11). As you have built your own PC's you won't have any trouble doing this upgrade, just be sure to have a Torx T5 screwdriver and be careful so you don't disconnect the battery when you change disk.

I reinstalled Win 8 on the new disk, and have gotten myself a Start Button utility so it looks and behaves like win 7. This machine have a fantastic IPS screen, nice keyboard and touchpad and it looks really good. Lightroom and Elements work nicely.

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Fujifilm FinePix X100 Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM +10 more
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Jim Cockfield
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Very slow compared to Macbook Pro
In reply to AwkwardSwine, Feb 5, 2013

AwkwardSwine wrote:

Here is a sample system that is very powerful, certainly a match for any Macbook. 15 inch IPS 1080P screen with a high end core i7 and under 5 pounds. 500GB storage with Hybrid SSD for the OS. I think Apple markets this as Fusion Drive. $1350

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/pd/HP-Spectre-XT-15-4011nr-TouchSmart-Notebook/productID.258685500/vip.true

That's a very slow machine compared to the 15.4 inch Macbook Pro Models (that it sounds like the OP is looking at).

The *slowest* CPU available in the latest 15.4" Macbook Pro models is still roughly *twice as fast" as the Core i7 3517U in that HP model.

For example, the Core i7 3517U CPU in that HP model tests at 3757 on the latest Passmark series benchmarks:

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-3517U+%40+1.90GHz

In contrast, the cheaper CPU option in a 15" Macbook Pro is the Core i7 3615QM, scoring at 7413 on the same benchmarks:

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-3615QM+%40+2.30GHz

Apple also offers a core i7 3720QM, scoring an even higher 8451:

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-3720QM+%40+2.60GHz

Apple also offered an even faster Core i7 3820QM CPU with some models.

IOW, the entry level (dual core, not quad core) Core i7 3517U CPU in that HP model is not even in the same class as the Quad Core CPUs available in the Macbook Pro.

Ditto for the video chipset. For example, even an Nvidia GT 640M LE chipset (as found in many laptops with discrete graphics) tests approx. 4 times as fast as the HD 4000 graphics in that HP model. The GT 650M chipset in the latest Apple Macbook Pro models is even faster.

...500GB storage with Hybrid SSD for the OS. I think Apple markets this as Fusion Drive.

Actually, Apple's Fusion technology is much faster. Some reviews of Intel SRT show it to slow down performance for write activity, even though you get a benefit from reads of frequently accessed data, depending on the model of mSATA drive the manufacturer is using, since the slowest drive in the system is the best speed you can expect to get for write activity with SRT.

Apple uses a fast Samsung 830 series chipset for their fusion drives, with both write and read performance enhanced significantly (as you write to the SSD first, and tests show up to 100GB of write activity at very fast speeds before a slow down using Apple's optional Fusion drives).

But, Apple doesn't offer that option with the Macbook Pro anyway; and the OP sounds like he's considering a 512GB SSD with one instead.

Of course, you could swap out the slow 5400rpm 500GB hard drive in that HP with a fast 500GB SSD to get equivalent drive performance. But, you'd still be limited by the HP's much slower CPU and video chipset.

Again, that HP model is not even in the same class of machine it's so much slower compared to the latest Macbook Pro models that it sounds like the OP is looking at.

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Richard
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You have to compare apples to apples..err maybe oranges.
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Feb 7, 2013

Jim Cockfield wrote:

AwkwardSwine wrote:

Here is a sample system that is very powerful, certainly a match for any Macbook. 15 inch IPS 1080P screen with a high end core i7 and under 5 pounds. 500GB storage with Hybrid SSD for the OS. I think Apple markets this as Fusion Drive. $1350

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/pd/HP-Spectre-XT-15-4011nr-TouchSmart-Notebook/productID.258685500/vip.true

That's a very slow machine compared to the 15.4 inch Macbook Pro Models (that it sounds like the OP is looking at).

The *slowest* CPU available in the latest 15.4" Macbook Pro models is still roughly *twice as fast" as the Core i7 3517U in that HP model.

For example, the Core i7 3517U CPU in that HP model tests at 3757 on the latest Passmark series benchmarks:

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-3517U+%40+1.90GHz

I agree that computer mentioned by the other poster is slow, but a ENVY dv6t-7300 Quad Edition on the HP website configured right for $1450 (before coupons) pretty much stomps the Macbook priced at 2199 that has half the memory, slower processor, slower non ssd hard drive, half the video memory, lower resolution 1440 screen display, But the biggest advantage is and the biggest advantage of all it is windows and not locked int to proprietary mac software. You can save even more when they are on sale and have the 150 dollar coupon. You have the monumentus SSD hybrid drive and you can add a mssd to the system after the fact for an extra drive and or acceleration if you decide to go with the non hybrid spindle drive. It is a sweet machine that completely SMOKES the mac for 800 dollars less.

http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD104LL/A

http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-ENVY/C2Y54AV?HP-ENVY-dv6t-7300-Quad-Edition-Notebook-PC

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Jim Cockfield
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Display
In reply to Richard, Feb 7, 2013

You're not getting it.

Look at the OP's first post.  He wants a display with 100% sRGB coverage for image editing.

You're going to get around 70% to 80% sRGB with any of the 1080P displays that HP has available with their 15" Envy lineup.   Just look at reviews with comparisons to sRGB and you'll see what I mean.

For example, this is a review of a newer HP DV6-7202eg with the latest "15.6" diagonal full HD anti-glare LED-backlit (1920 x 1080) display".    Click on the comparison to sRGB and it can't come anywhere close to covering it:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-HP-Envy-dv6-7202eg-Notebook.84598.0.html

That's the same display in the DV6T-7300 models you can get as an option.

You'll also see it with this DV6-7214nr model as standard in the U.S. lineup:

http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-ENVY/C2L40UA?HP-ENVY-dv6-7214nr-Notebook-PC

It's better in some aspects compared to the optional 1080p IPS panel you found in the older early 2012 15" HP Envy models, as those were hard to calibrate (where you ended up needing to use an odd gamma setting) and drew lots of complaints.  The old model covered around 80% of the sRGB color space (and the new 1080p display found in the latest Envy 15" models doesn't appear to be that good from what I can see of charts).

In contrast, the Apple Macbook Pro Retina 15" display almost perfectly covers the sRGB color gamut (right at 99% of sRGB).

To get a 15" display covering that much of the sRGB color space in the HP lineup, you have to move into one of the workstation class machines from HP, like the HP Elitebook 8570w with it's optional Dreamcolor IPS display (a $500 add if you use the customizable option, as it's only standard on the more expensive preconfigured listings).

Then you'd have a display with all of the sRGB color space *and* virtually all of the Adobe RGB color space

Dell also offered that same 15.6" IPS panel on it's M4700 and previous M4600 models.  It's an interesting design using RGB LEDs for backlight (since white LEDs won't cover a wider color gamut).  But, it's no longer available as an option on the Dell models (and rumor has it they had too many issues with it).  You can still get it with the HP 8570W though.

In any event, Apple's Retina display is a super design, covering virtually all of the sRGB color space, without the issues you see with wide gamut displays that try to cover the Adobe RGB color space, too (like oversaturated colors when using non color managed apps like you'd see with the HP Dreamcolor option with a workstation like the 8570W).

The Apple design is interesting, where you see normal apps at the equivalent of 1440x900 so that text is very readable is also neat, with Retina Aware apps automatically making use of the full 2880x1800 display resolution (the highest available in a laptop) for some portions of the image.

Apple's Aperture, Final Cut Pro, Safari and other apps can already use two different resolutions on the same page (where some elements are upscaled from 1440x900 and others are at the full native 2880x1800).

With Windows, you have to use DPI scaling to get readable text trying to use something like 1080P on a smaller screen.

The Macbook Pro is also a smaller and lighter laptop than you'll find with competing models with similar processors and battery life (and you can get up to a Core i7 3820QM in one (a $250 add in the higher end Retina config).

Yes... a Model like an Apple Macbook Pro loaded with 16GB of memory, nice 2880x1440 retina display with over 99% coverage of sRGB and a fast 512GB SSD is not cheap (putting the OP at the top of his budget).

But, there's really nothing around that offers all of what it does in competing models if he wants full sRGB coverage (as indicated in the first post to this thread).

So, if he's got the money, that sounds like a really good bet, versus compromising in one way or another with a different laptop (display quality, size/weight, etc. if trying to match it's processing power).

Of course, it's got it's downsides, too (virtually impossible to upgrade the way it was manufactured in order to pack so much into a smaller chassis design), and it's a very "pricey" machine.

Would I buy one?   Nope.  Not me.  I couldn't afford it.  But, if he has the money for it, it would be hard to beat.

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Jim Cockfield
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to malch, Feb 7, 2013

malch wrote:

My laptop (Lenovo Y480) is less than ideal for photo editing -- due to the display.

It's probably better than you think it is.

The Phillips TN panel on that Lenova probably cover approx. 91% of sRGB, with better viewing angles than you get with most TN panels.

The IPS panels on most competing models (e.g., the HP Envy series with their optional 1080p displays) from a color gamut perspective by a significant margin, as they can't cover anywhere near the 91% sRGB you see from the TN panels used in some of the Lenova models.

See the tests in this review of a Y580 (and it's my understanding that the Y480 uses the same type of TN panel display technology, although I can't confirm that).

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-IdeaPad-Y580-20994BU-Laptop-Review.78974.0.html

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Jim Cockfield
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Nope-- you can't get that display from any other manufacturer
In reply to image2paint, Feb 7, 2013

image2paint wrote:

Hey DP,
Basically I've built my own PC's for the last 15 years and am hesitant to go with an apple macbook pro with retina, due to having to get all the mac software as well as my PC versions. For example CS6 photoshop and Lightroom, Photomatix, oloneo, and all my other photography software... will have to purchase all again !!! ouch

The thing is the screen ! is amazing for photographers... and the weight is like a feather. I use my ASUS PA248Q monitor on a Desktop to edit photos and the big thing for me there is 100% sRGB and love a laptop with 100%sRGB

If you get the 16GB 2.6GHz and 512GB RAM version of the MPB, its perfect for a travelling photographer.

So my Question: "Does anyone know of a windows laptop which can match the MBP with the screen and the light weight ? "

I have found ones like the alienware but they weigh a tonne, or lenovo...

Nope. Apple is the only company offering that type of display (nobody else I'm aware of has a 15.6" 2880x1800 resolution display with 99% or so coverage of the sRGB color space).

It's an incredible design, and as time passes, more apps are being designed to take advantage of it, automatically scaling up text and other elements from 1440x900 to make them easily readable on it's display size, while allowing native 2880x1800 resolution for your images and video (e.g., Aperture, Final Cut Pro, Safari).

Windows laptops don't have anything to compete with it (at least not yet).

Would I buy one. Heck no. It's too pricey. Personally, I'd probably go with something like this Vizio CN15-A5 Model for $999 instead:

http://www.amazon.com/Vizio-CN15-A5-VIZIO-15-6-Inch-Laptop/dp/B009PJHD3Y

It's Core i7 3610QM CPU is "close enough" (within around 10% of what you'd get from the Core i7 3720QM it sounds like you want with the higher end Apple model). Ditto for the video (it's got an Nvidia GT 640LE chipset, which is also a Kepler design and should get you within about 20% of the GT 650M in the Apple; with the GT 640M LE testing roughly 4 times as fast as the integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics). For most purposes, that's "close enough".

It's also got a 1080p IPS Display (which should eliminate issues like color shift with viewing angle), and calibrates nicely from user comments I've seen.

I've seen some complaints about the wireless and trackpad. But, user reviews indicate that driver and firmware updates solve that (so just make sure to update them if going that route).

Construction Quality appears to be excellent with it's Aluminum Unibody construction, too; with size and weight well managed.

I've also seen forum posts confirming that the Vizio CN15-Ax (A1 through A5) models do have two DIMM slots (contrary to what you see in it's specs), and that this memory works in one if you want to bring it up to 16GB total:

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Laptop-Memory-CMSX16GX3M2A1600C10/dp/B0076W9Q5A

You could also use a Mushkin or Crucial mSATA SSD as a primary drive, replacing the included 32GB mSATA SSD used for Cache (and I've already seen it confirmed that the Mushkin mSSD models work in that Vizio).

You can get the new 480GB model for $429 at Newegg (sold out now, but expecting more of them in next week):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226379

That would put you at $1526.88 delivered for a laptop with a 15.6" 1080p IPS Display, Core i7 3610QM CPU, 16GB of 1600Mhz DDR3, 480GB mSATA SSD with the latest Sandforce SF-2281controller (also used by other high end SSDs, including Intel Models), and you'd also have a 1TB Hard Drive for additional storage.

IOW, you could almost buy two of those for the cost of a single Macbook Pro like you're looking at (and you wouldn't have the extra 1TB of storage with the Macbook Pro).

Issues with the Vizio --- Trackpad sensitivity and usability not the greatest (pretty much solved via an available firmware update from what I can gather of feedback on sites about it), Wireless not the greatest (solved if you update the drivers); and you don't get a keyboard quite as good (for example, not backlit), and battery life isn't quite as good as the MBP (expect the Visio to last around 5 hours on dimmer display settings). Also, the only display output is an HDMI port (but, that would be fine for use with your existing Asus display).

I also have *not* seen any tests of the 15.6" 1080p IPS Display used in the CN15-Ax series Visio models. So, I have no idea about sRGB color space coverage. But, I did see one buyer indicate it calibrated nicely with an Xrite Pro setup.

Hopefully, some of the review sites will test it's IPS display soon so we can see how much of a bargain it may be compared to similar models.

In any event, you're really not going to find anything with a display as nice as the 2880x1800 Retina Display used with the MBP you appear to be looking at (nothing else available comes close to that resolution, and it almost perfectly covers the sRGB color space).

But, that loaded MBP is *very* expensive. So, I wouldn't consider it (I'd be willing to compromise a bit on the display and find something offering better "bang for the buck" instead, since you can come very close to buying two nicely equipped laptops like the Vizio I mentioned for the price of one MBP like you're looking at, and end up with more storage with a very fast 480GB mSATA SSD and a 1TB physical hard drive if you're willing to open it up and upgrade it yourself).

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Jim Cockfield
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how to upgrade the Vizio
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Feb 8, 2013

Jim Cockfield wrote:

I've also seen forum posts confirming that the Vizio CN15-Ax (A1 through A5) models do have two DIMM slots (contrary to what you see in it's specs), and that this memory works in one if you want to bring it up to 16GB total:

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-Laptop-Memory-CMSX16GX3M2A1600C10/dp/B0076W9Q5A

You could also use a Mushkin or Crucial mSATA SSD as a primary drive, replacing the included 32GB mSATA SSD used for Cache (and I've already seen it confirmed that the Mushkin mSSD models work in that Vizio).

You can get the new 480GB model for $429 at Newegg (sold out now, but expecting more of them in next week):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226379

That would put you at $1526.88 delivered for a laptop with a 15.6" 1080p IPS Display, Core i7 3610QM CPU, 16GB of 1600Mhz DDR3, 480GB mSATA SSD with the latest Sandforce SF-2281controller (also used by other high end SSDs, including Intel Models), and you'd also have a 1TB Hard Drive for additional storage.

Here's a tutorial page about them showing what you need to do to upgrade the memory and mSATA SSD in that Vizio model.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/vizio/694157-my-cn15-a1-tutorials.html

The Vizio CN15-Ax models are all identical (same Intel HM77 chipset, 1080p IPS display, etc.), except for the amount of memory preinstalled and the OS preinstalled (for example, the CN15-A2 uses Win 7, and the latest CN-A5 uses Win 8, but they're identical otherwise).

If you wanted to go that route, I'd probably stick with that exact 2x8GB set of Corsair memory I linked to using 10-10-10-27 timing; as I've also seen reports of it working in Dell models with that same Intel Chipset (even though Dell says it's limited to 4GB DIMMs for 8GB total, that 2x8GB set of Corsair memory works fine in them).

Here's one post discussing that about Dells:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50681648

If you scroll down in that Tutorial Thread about the Vizio, you'll see that the Corsair set like that does work in the Vizio (one poster got a bad DIMM in the first set, with the replacement set working fine for 16GB total using that Corsair set of 2x8GB with 10-10-10-27 timing, as he linked to at amazon).

Again, nothing around can match the resolution of the MBP Retina model you appear to be looking at. But, if it were my money, I think I'd compromise a bit and go with something offering much better "bang for the buck" with a 1080p IPS display instead.

Unfortunately, we don't know much about the color space coverage that Vizio has available yet (as I haven't found any reviews testing the display).  But, I doubt they could be any worse than the HP Envy models mentioned earlier in the thread (and they may end up being much better).

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surve
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to image2paint, Feb 8, 2013
Hi Jim I am also looking for some advise. I know very little about computers.I use them, but a lot of information in these threads, go's over my head.The set up that I am looking for is, a laptop for mobility, with a reasonable screen at home for editing.  I am using LR4 and PS CS6. What I have found that would suit my budget,so far is as follows.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel® Core™ i7 processor 3610QM (Quad Core, 2.3GHz - 3.3GHz, 1600MHz FSB, 6MB L2 Cache)
  • Operating System: Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
  • Chipset: Intel® HM76
  • Screen Size: 17.3" Widescreen HD LED Backlit Display
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Screen Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Memory: 16GB DDR3 (4GB+ 4GB + 4GB + 4GB) (1600Mhz)
  • RAM slot allocation: Total memory expandable to 16GB (up to 32GB with Win 7 Pro)
  • Storage: 1.5TB (1TB + 500GB) 5400rpm SATA
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 630M 2GB with Optimus + Intel® HD Graphics 4000 (4095MB Total: 2GB discrete memory + 2047MB shared memory)
  • Optical Disc Drive: Blu-Ray RW/DVD SuperMulti Double/Dual Layer Drive
  • Audio: Microphone & Headphone ports
  • Speakers: Premium 4x harman/kardon speakers
  • Webcam: HD Webcam/Microphone
  • Buttons and Pointing device: Large Touchpad with Gesture
  • Compliance: EPEAT® gold rating, ENERGY STAR® 5.0 qualified, ROHS Compliant

Expansion

  • USB Ports: 4x USB 3.0 + Sleep & Charge
  • Bridge Media Adaptor: Bridge Media slot
  • Tuner: Integrated Hybrid Digital / Analogue TV Tuner
  • SVGA Video Port: RGB
  • HDMI

Communication

  • LAN: 1Gbps LAN
  • Wireless Communication: 802.11(b/g/n)
  • Integrated Bluetooth™: Toshiba Bluetooth™ V3.0 + HS
  • DLNA DLNA Certified

3D

and for the monitor at home

Dell™ UltraSharp™ U2410 24"

What are you thoughts.

surve



With its 17.3” HD screen, this exceptional Toshiba laptop is the ultimate high speed performer and dynamic multimedia entertainment hub.
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malch
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to surve, Feb 8, 2013

surve wrote:

Storage: 1.5TB (1TB + 500GB) 5400rpm SATA

Dell™ UltraSharp™ U2410 24"


I was less than thrilled with a 5400rpm drive in my i7 laptop. Ecstatic when I added a 256GB SSD. So you might think about that.

Also, be sure you really want a wide gamut monitor and understand the hassles before ordering that U2410. It might (depending on needs and experience) be more hassle than it's worth.

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surve
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to malch, Feb 9, 2013

malch wrote:

surve wrote:

Storage: 1.5TB (1TB + 500GB) 5400rpm SATA

Dell™ UltraSharp™ U2410 24"


I was less than thrilled with a 5400rpm drive in my i7 laptop. Ecstatic when I added a 256GB SSD. So you might think about that.

Also, be sure you really want a wide gamut monitor and understand the hassles before ordering that U2410. It might (depending on needs and experience) be more hassle than it's worth.

What would you suggest for a monitor? As far as adding the SSD, I did read that in your earlier post but, I have no idea how to do that.

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malch
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Re: Laptop for Photography Advice... Budget $2500-$3000
In reply to surve, Feb 9, 2013

surve wrote:

What would you suggest for a monitor?

I have the U2412M which is (roughly) the sRGB equivalent. There are some newer models out and others can probably comment there. However, I'd suggest avoiding wide-gamut unless you really know and understand (or are willing to learn) the implications.

As far as adding the SSD, I did read that in your earlier post but, I have no idea how to do that.

First, I would make sure you get a Windows installation disk (even if you have to pay an extra $10).

It sounds like that laptop has two drive bays. In that case, order the system with one 1TB drive. Then order a 256GB SSD and install it in the second drive bay.

Reinstall Windows on the SSD and you've still got 1TB for data. Others have transferred the system to the new drive via cloning and such. But I prefer the clean install esp. on a new system since it's a chance to jettison all of the pre-installed crapware.

In my case, the laptop only had one drive bay but it did have a mSATA slot and I bought an mSATA SSD and plugged in it there.

In your case, you'd want a standard 2.5 inch form factor SSD. Something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148443

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