Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

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Austinian
Austinian Veteran Member • Posts: 8,559
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

Trout Bum wrote:

Here’s an example of the fun stuff I get to see on Alaska’s north slope. Both were edited on my Lenovo Y510 IdeaPad. I’m pretty happy with the output. That being said, would an external monitor truly help make for a better edit? It’s a little off topic but could be influential with regards to choosing a laptop with more expensive monitor quality.

Since you can't transport an external monitor, I wouldn't worry about that at this point, but as you're wanting a new laptop it makes sense to get one with a high-quality display.

Just what constitutes a high-quality display is, no surprise, highly controversial. For some, nothing short of the finest external monitors will do; others have more relaxed requirements.

My personal opinion is that a reasonable choice for most users is an otherwise-suitable laptop with an IPS panel having a color gamut approaching 100% of sRGB, and the use of a hardware color calibrator. I'd also want at least FHD resolution.

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CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 13,762
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

Austinian wrote:

Trout Bum wrote:

Here’s an example of the fun stuff I get to see on Alaska’s north slope. Both were edited on my Lenovo Y510 IdeaPad. I’m pretty happy with the output. That being said, would an external monitor truly help make for a better edit? It’s a little off topic but could be influential with regards to choosing a laptop with more expensive monitor quality.

Since you can't transport an external monitor, I wouldn't worry about that at this point, but as you're wanting a new laptop it makes sense to get one with a high-quality display.

Just what constitutes a high-quality display is, no surprise, highly controversial. For some, nothing short of the finest external monitors will do; others have more relaxed requirements.

My personal opinion is that a reasonable choice for most users is an otherwise-suitable laptop with an IPS panel having a color gamut approaching 100% of sRGB, and the use of a hardware color calibrator. I'd also want at least FHD resolution.

I agree.

The main problem is that, if you have a monitor with very dim colors and < 95% sRGB, your edits  tend to be over-saturated.

The so-called 4K (UHD) laptop screens are generally wider gamut than the lower resolution screens. A touchscreen consumes more power than non-touch, if that is a concern for you.

Austinian
Austinian Veteran Member • Posts: 8,559
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

CAcreeks wrote:

Austinian wrote:

Trout Bum wrote:

Here’s an example of the fun stuff I get to see on Alaska’s north slope. Both were edited on my Lenovo Y510 IdeaPad. I’m pretty happy with the output. That being said, would an external monitor truly help make for a better edit? It’s a little off topic but could be influential with regards to choosing a laptop with more expensive monitor quality.

Since you can't transport an external monitor, I wouldn't worry about that at this point, but as you're wanting a new laptop it makes sense to get one with a high-quality display.

Just what constitutes a high-quality display is, no surprise, highly controversial. For some, nothing short of the finest external monitors will do; others have more relaxed requirements.

My personal opinion is that a reasonable choice for most users is an otherwise-suitable laptop with an IPS panel having a color gamut approaching 100% of sRGB, and the use of a hardware color calibrator. I'd also want at least FHD resolution.

I agree.

The main problem is that, if you have a monitor with very dim colors and < 95% sRGB

Like on our two older laptops. Well under 95%.

, your edits tend to be over-saturated.

...when viewed on a near-100% sRGB display.

I wouldn't draw a firm line at any particular %age; it's a matter of "more is better" IMO. Our little Asus ultrabook is, if I recall right, about 93% and looks OK with proper sRGB images.

The so-called 4K (UHD) laptop screens are generally wider gamut than the lower resolution screens. A touchscreen consumes more power than non-touch, if that is a concern for you.

Right, and a (minor) downside to wider gamut is that the non-color-managed Windows desktop becomes over-saturated; perhaps a visual UI problem, but not a photographic one AFAIK. That does bother me, so I usually leave this wider-gamut desktop monitor setting at sRGB.

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sygnus21
sygnus21 Senior Member • Posts: 1,675
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

CAcreeks wrote:

The main problem is that, if you have a monitor with very dim colors and < 95% sRGB, your edits tend to be over-saturated.

I can assure you that's more the viewing device as opposed to the sRGB profile as it has the least amount of colors when compared to Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB. It's why those who print would never used that (sRGB) color profile... it has less luminance and color saturation compared to the other two profiles.

As to the OP's question, I too would get a laptop with a good quality monitor, especially if you plan on doing your photo edits on it. There are many pro reviews out there to help with such decisions.

Peace:)

SushiEater
SushiEater Veteran Member • Posts: 9,782
Techbargains lists a few right now...

M15 and XPS on sale.

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CBR1100XX Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

SushiEater wrote:

CAcreeks wrote:

Thanks SushiEater for the info about the M15. Prior Alienware models looked kind of clunky, as does the Alienware 17 R5 still, at 9.74 lbs.

HP has an Omen line where the 17" model is more streamlined. Dell has some Precision models with 17" screen, but no XPS 17.

I agree that gaming machines, provided they have a good screen with close to 100% sRGB gamut, make the most cost effective photo editing laptops.

There is only one screen on Dell laptops that provides 100% gamut and that is 4K. All others are 72%. To be honest for my purpose I see no difference. My backup laptop also Dell with 6700HQ (8750H is 70% faster on the same RAW conversion) with the regular screen. The only difference is that 4K screen is way sharper but also text is smaller so you better have a good vision. But more of the stuff fits on the screen.

That's changing right now with the new OLED displays on Dell/Alienware PC's.

If you need a slimmer one go XPS.

If you can deal with a slightly more bulky one then the Dell G7 once the OLED is available.  This is the equivalent model of the Dell Gaming 7000 I bought 2 years ago and has been a pretty nice computer so far.

And if you can go larger still and want the most performance/upgradability Alienware, though the penalty in size is a lot less than before with some of their models.  Though if you want to go crazy they still have the really think desktop replacements.

One other thing, with laptops the cooling matters A LOT for performance with these top end CPU's so I'd double check benchmarks before buying.

sygnus21
sygnus21 Senior Member • Posts: 1,675
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

CBR1100XX wrote:

That's changing right now with the new OLED displays on Dell/Alienware PC's.

My 2017 Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga X1 came with a 14 inch OLED screen and it's absolutely beautiful. With it's deep blacks and rich colors images just pop.

That said, Lenovo had stopped offering them due to their expense, so I'm glad to see their coming back in the laptop market.

Got this one direct from Lenovo - Its Here! It wasn't cheap though ($2,300)

svOwl
svOwl Junior Member • Posts: 49
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

In April 2019 I purchased a Dell XPS 15  (the 2018 model) certified refurb from their outlet store for about $1450. It came in a plain brown box with no manuals and has been flawless. No bloatware. 16GB, 512 SSD, UHD screen, Windows 10 Pro.

I process 42MB RAW files in Lightroom classic and, if you're not making 1:1 previews, it downloads from the built-in SD card reader very quickly. The process that takes time are de-motion blurring and making GIFs from large raws in PS, but it is still faster than most alternatives.

The 4k is a real advantage compared to the former 1080p screen. Colors are great (in a practical sense), but that utility really depends on what your final output will be. If you are outputting to the web, this will be more than good. If you are doing fine prints, in my circles this means tuning to the printer output using test prints.

If I had to do it again, I would probably go for 32GB RAM and larger SSD...Just a matter of money.

The 2019 models are just coming out. Early indications are that these will be better...Especially with the new OLED 4k screens. But they probably will be budget busters. So, if you can score a 2018 model it would be almost as good. I spent a few weeks haunting Dell's website...There prices, discounts and deals are shifting all the time.

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JimPearce
JimPearce Veteran Member • Posts: 9,204
this m17 would work for me...

https://www.dell.com/en-ca/shop/dell-laptops-netbooks-and-tablets/new-alienware-m17/spd/alienware-m17-laptop/nam17_s3e

Except I want it at my target price of $2000 Canadian. I'm guessing it will be available at close to that price in this calendar year, but I could be wrong.

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CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 13,762
Re: this m17 would work for me...

JimPearce wrote:

https://www.dell.com/en-ca/shop/dell-laptops-netbooks-and-tablets/new-alienware-m17/spd/alienware-m17-laptop/nam17_s3e

Except I want it at my target price of $2000 Canadian. I'm guessing it will be available at close to that price in this calendar year, but I could be wrong.

Yes, $2800 is a lotta dough. A few years ago I bought a similarly spec'd HP Omen 17 for under $1000. Seems like laptop prices have increased way more than the rate of inflation.

Interesting that the RTX 2070 is about the same price retail as the GTX 1070. Passmark 14,180 vs 12,331. Is the RTX equally well supported by your software?

I don't trust SSHD. They combine the worst of both worlds: poor longevity on the Flash front-end that acts as a disk cache, and slow data retrieval speed on the back end HDD. The M17 has no SSD + HDD option, so I'd select dual SSD drive option, raising the price $150 further. That way you get wear leveling on the entire 512GB and better speed on data sets > 8GB.

JimPearce
JimPearce Veteran Member • Posts: 9,204
Re: this m17 would work for me...

As I recall we discussed this about 18 months ago. The real sticking point on price is still the 17" 4K display. I really hadn't got down to researching graphics cards and hybrid disk drives. Longevity is a big deal to me - my current 17" laptop is nine years old and I was very upset when the drive failed at 7-1/2 years.

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Austinian
Austinian Veteran Member • Posts: 8,559
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

svOwl wrote:

If I had to do it again, I would probably go for 32GB RAM and larger SSD...Just a matter of money.

It's never too late to do that. The XPS 15 is quite expandable and pretty easy to work on. I upgraded the memory and wi-fi, and installed an NVMe SSD with no problems.

The service manual explains how to do these things quite well.

https://topics-cdn.dell.com/pdf/xps-15-9570-laptop_service-manual_en-us.pdf

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yoyogross
yoyogross Regular Member • Posts: 238
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

lenovo x1 extreme

Rishabh Bansal
Rishabh Bansal New Member • Posts: 16
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

There are a lot of options available but according to me the best laptops for a photographer under your budget are:

1. HP Spectre x360 15T

2. MacBook Pro 15-inch

Davi7d777
Davi7d777 Regular Member • Posts: 315
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

I have a Dell XPS 15.6" 4k laptop, a Dell 4k UHD 24" monitor, and an old NEC 1080p 24" monitor. At 100% 4k display settings my older Photoshop CS6 window text and icons display less than functionally small so working on small image elements is awkward and tedious, especially noticing small artifacts. Thus tend to perform early post processing adjustments on the NEC with final image assessments on the Dell 15.6" and 24 inch monitors. Note the Dell laptop can magnify the display scale so text, icons, and controls are more easily used.  Until I go up to about 225% PS CS6 is too small and otherwise for web use prefer 175% so that is a reason I use the NEC and don't bother to keep changing scale on the laptop.

Someone might add in what is the current state of Adobe PS CC display scalings.

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CBR1100XX Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

Davi7d777 wrote:

I have a Dell XPS 15.6" 4k laptop, a Dell 4k UHD 24" monitor, and an old NEC 1080p 24" monitor. At 100% 4k display settings my older Photoshop CS6 window text and icons display less than functionally small so working on small image elements is awkward and tedious, especially noticing small artifacts. Thus tend to perform early post processing adjustments on the NEC with final image assessments on the Dell 15.6" and 24 inch monitors. Note the Dell laptop can magnify the display scale so text, icons, and controls are more easily used. Until I go up to about 225% PS CS6 is too small and otherwise for web use prefer 175% so that is a reason I use the NEC and don't bother to keep changing scale on the laptop.

Someone might add in what is the current state of Adobe PS CC display scalings.

I have the latest CC and for the most part there's no issue with scaling on 1080P/1440P/4K.

The control points on a tonal curve don't in LR are the only thing that hasn't scaled properly making it harder to edit especially when using a track pad.  So I'll do a lot of LR work at 1080P which is fine since it also helps with performance.  For PS I use 4k.

calson Veteran Member • Posts: 9,794
Very best laptops are Mobile Workstations

One needs to know the jargon. The most powerful laptops are referred to as Mobile Workstations and sold by dealers that server the corporate market.

https://www.connection.com/category/mobile-workstations/204430?cm_sp=MegaMenu-_-Products-_-Computers-MobileWorkstations

Nothing else compares to these machines for heavy lifting with graphics processing.

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SushiEater
SushiEater Veteran Member • Posts: 9,782
Re: Very best laptops are Mobile Workstations

calson wrote:

One needs to know the jargon. The most powerful laptops are referred to as Mobile Workstations and sold by dealers that server the corporate market.

https://www.connection.com/category/mobile-workstations/204430?cm_sp=MegaMenu-_-Products-_-Computers-MobileWorkstations

Nothing else compares to these machines for heavy lifting with graphics processing.

I just looked at Lenovo TopSeller ThinkPad P52 and I don't see anything in it that makes it any better than my Alienware M15.

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sygnus21
sygnus21 Senior Member • Posts: 1,675
Re: Very best laptops are Mobile Workstations

SushiEater wrote:

I just looked at Lenovo TopSeller ThinkPad P52 and I don't see anything in it that makes it any better than my Alienware M15.

Well we don't know the system specs of your model, but we do know it's a gaming laptop, whereas the Lenovo is a business class laptop. Bottom line: to adequately compare we need definitive system specs.

Personally I'd never buy a gaming laptop, let alone an Alienware because I don't take them serious like I would Lenovo's business laptops.  But that's me.

Sometimes it's not always about the parts, but also the build. My 2017 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga isn't the prettiest laptop, but it is built to handle rough handing and minor drops. Do I plan on dropping my laptop... hell no, but there is some comfort in knowing it possibly could support such a bonehead move.

Point is there are other things to consider than just the hardware.

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CBR1100XX Contributing Member • Posts: 980
Re: Very best laptops are Mobile Workstations

calson wrote:

One needs to know the jargon. The most powerful laptops are referred to as Mobile Workstations and sold by dealers that server the corporate market.

https://www.connection.com/category/mobile-workstations/204430?cm_sp=MegaMenu-_-Products-_-Computers-MobileWorkstations

Nothing else compares to these machines for heavy lifting with graphics processing.

I run workstation desktops and while they're nice and a great deal off lease if you can go a few generations back there's little that makes them superior to a gaming rig.  10 bit color is the only thing that is potentially useful for photography and Nvidia locks that out of the GeForce cards software.

But otherwise Xeons usually run a little slower than the consumer equivalent with their main feature being ECC memory support which again isn't a big deal for photography.

In terms of performance it'll come down to the cooling off the specific system but since gaming laptops can have much larger coolers.  This would give them the advantage since the workstation would thermally throttle sooner.  Some gaming laptops can take advantage of this even further by overclocking.

And got extreme performance Alienware has a laptop with a full i9-9900k desktop CPU which is a lot faster than any mobile one.

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