Screen on laptop vs desktop?

Started Nov 21, 2020 | Discussions
Shaikailash New Member • Posts: 22
Screen on laptop vs desktop?

Hi all, I'm looking for a pc for photo and video editing (softwares will be darktable/gimp, while for video Davinci resolve or similar). No need for a professional level pc (I don't live off this), but I'm willing to spend around 2000€/$ to buy something that will last for a while.

I still cannot decide if to go with a laptop or a desktop. I'm aware with a good budget you can get excellent laptops that will work well for video and photo editing, but with a laptop you will anyway buy a larger external screen, so in a way it feels like you waste money by buying a very good 2000+€ laptop where part of the cost has been invested in a screen which will not be used much. What's your view on this?

Also, if you want a powerful laptop (and at least 15") you are likely sacrifing on weight and portability, so it kind of defeats the reasons to buy a laptop in the first place....?

pajarrett Contributing Member • Posts: 542
Re: Screen on laptop vs desktop?

I'm in the process of switching from a desktop to a laptop right now. I have been using a Dell desktop for over 5 years with a 24" screen, my new laptop is a Dell XPS 15 with a 10th gen i7 chip and 64GB of memory. Compared to my desktop it is a screamer. Yes, the laptop has a smaller screen, but I will use my larger screen (along with the laptop screen in a two screen setup) while I am home. The laptop will give me a chance to work on photos while I am on the road. It is fairly heavy, but I don't plan on carting it around with me all the time, just leaving it where I am staying (usually an RV) while I am on the road. Since I have the laptop connected to a docking station (really a box now days), I have the best of both worlds. It is basically a desktop at home that I can take with me on trips. Good luck with your choice.

BTW, I was testing the new laptop yesterday and I had it process a 50 photo (each from a D850, raw) multi-row-HDR panorama in Lightroom.  It chewed through the work in about 5 min.  The same pano in my older desktop took about 25 min. but crashed before it finished.

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bmoag Veteran Member • Posts: 3,015
Re: Screen on laptop vs desktop?
3

There are untold numbers of Windows laptops with more than powerful enough innards to process DaVinci at whatever speeds a laptop is constrained to for less than $1000, probably much less on Black F. They all have nVidia graphics as well as 16gb RAM or the ability to expand RAM. It takes very little to run PS/LR et al despite the fervid imagination of many users.

All laptops are thermally constrained when it comes to processing video, hence not the optimal platform, but again usable.

No laptop screen is optimal for any kind of image or video processing, usable but awful in comparison to the appropriate quality and size external monitor.

I would think the wise approach if pursuing activities based on interpreting what an image looks like should be monitor first, computer second regardless of whether using a laptop or desktop.

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johnnyandedgar Contributing Member • Posts: 514
Re: Screen on laptop vs desktop?

If I didn't need a laptop I would go for a desktop.

johnnyandedgar

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 17,335
Re: Screen on laptop vs desktop?

Shaikailash wrote:

I still cannot decide if to go with a laptop or a desktop. I'm aware with a good budget you can get excellent laptops that will work well for video and photo editing, but with a laptop you will anyway buy a larger external screen, so in a way it feels like you waste money by buying a very good 2000+€ laptop where part of the cost has been invested in a screen which will not be used much. What's your view on this?

I like to have my laptop screen below the external monitor, so I can use both screens. During a Zoom conference, I have a browser open on my monitor and the participant gallery on the laptop, so I can keep track of the meeting and read about items being discussed. When writing or programming, I have reference on one screen and editor on the other.

It's like the old days of side-by-side monitors, but takes less space on a desk.

Also, if you want a powerful laptop (and at least 15") you are likely sacrificing on weight and portability, so it kind of defeats the reasons to buy a laptop in the first place....?

Who goes anywhere?

A 17" laptop gives you the flexibility to move it around the house, while also providing a usable screen for stationary work. If you are able to travel, buy an iPad or use your phone.

Deskside computers are cheaper and easier to maintain, but absolutely inflexible, and unnecessary in most cases.

sludge21017
sludge21017 Senior Member • Posts: 3,007
Re: Screen on laptop vs desktop?

A 17" laptop dimensions should be roughly the same as a 15.6".

I just bought a 17", and the screen bezel is so much smaller, and the resulting chassis is roughly the same.

noisebeam Senior Member • Posts: 2,936
Re: Screen on laptop vs desktop?

pajarrett wrote:

I'm in the process of switching from a desktop to a laptop right now. I have been using a Dell desktop for over 5 years with a 24" screen, my new laptop is a Dell XPS 15 with a 10th gen i7 chip and 64GB of memory. Compared to my desktop it is a screamer. Yes, the laptop has a smaller screen, but I will use my larger screen (along with the laptop screen in a two screen setup) while I am home. The laptop will give me a chance to work on photos while I am on the road. It is fairly heavy, but I don't plan on carting it around with me all the time, just leaving it where I am staying (usually an RV) while I am on the road. Since I have the laptop connected to a docking station (really a box now days), I have the best of both worlds. It is basically a desktop at home that I can take with me on trips. Good luck with your choice.

BTW, I was testing the new laptop yesterday and I had it process a 50 photo (each from a D850, raw) multi-row-HDR panorama in Lightroom. It chewed through the work in about 5 min. The same pano in my older desktop took about 25 min. but crashed before it finished.

Which Dell XPS 15 did you get, what are the other specs?

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Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 19,329
Re: Screen on laptop vs desktop?

Shaikailash wrote:

I still cannot decide if to go with a laptop or a desktop. I'm aware with a good budget you can get excellent laptops that will work well for video and photo editing, but with a laptop you will anyway buy a larger external screen, so in a way it feels like you waste money by buying a very good 2000+€ laptop where part of the cost has been invested in a screen which will not be used much. What's your view on this?

If you're only going to use the laptop in connection with external screens (e.g., monitor at work, monitor at office, projector in conference room at office), then perhaps you do not need a decent screen on the laptop itself. That still doesn't mean that you should run out and buy the cheapest thing on sale on Black Friday.  Buy in haste, repent at leisure.

If you're actually going to work on the laptop some of the time, using just its own screen, it follows that you would want a good screen, or at least a tolerable one.

Also, if you want a powerful laptop (and at least 15") you are likely sacrifing on weight and portability, so it kind of defeats the reasons to buy a laptop in the first place....?

What do you mean by "lightweight"?  There are some gaming laptops and 'workstations' that weigh 8 lbs (3.6 kg) or more, but, for instance:

  • 15-inch Lenovo ThinkPad P15v mobile workstations start at 4.57 lbs (2.1 kg).
  • 16-inch Intel-based Retina MacBooks Pros weigh about 4.3 lbs (2 kg).
pajarrett Contributing Member • Posts: 542
Re: Screen on laptop vs desktop?

Besides the 15 in high resolution touch screen, 64GB memory, add a video card with 4GB, and a 1 TB SSD.    
Paul
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