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Laptop Spec for Photoshop CS2 / CS3

johnp 13 141 United Kingdom
24 Mar 2008 10:09PM
No, this isn't quite the question you thought it might be!

I'm very happy with my big, powerful cruncher. But She Who Must Be Obeyed has decided to buy a laptop to replace one that just died.

We want to buy something capable of being taken on shoots and for when I'm giving talks on Photoshop to camera clubs. Needs to be capable of running Lightroom (to open RAWs and view images during shoots. Needs also to run CS2 and CS3. But most of the time it will just be an Internet access device.

Having read other threads we'll stick to XP and give Vista a wide berth.

We do NOT need all the grunt that's in the office PC and frankly we want to keep the spend as low as possible while buying something sensible.

I'm totally flummoxed by processor speed ratings, so could some kind soul please advise what minimum processor (intel or AMD) and memory I should be looking for? I reckon 120GB will be fine (I've got external disc drives for moving files between machines). Any thoughts re graphics cards?



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cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
24 Mar 2008 10:37PM
Dell Inspiron 1720

Not the cheaper models as you get a much better screen on this one..!

Or something else with a similar spec.....!

Just one problem you may have a hard time getting Dell and many other manafacturers to supply a Laptop with XP as standard......Sad

However you are the customer......And the Customer pays da money......So insist on XP if you can't face Vista......Smile

Having said that the basic versions of Vista with all the silly bits missing or turned off, Might not be so bad now that Vista has a new Service Pack 1 released......Smile

On the face of it ( Desktop unit ) the SP1 has addressed quite a few niggles, So Vista is not as bad or as scary as it once was.....!
crazycucumber 10 176 1 England
24 Mar 2008 10:45PM
Lenovo units ( IBM ) are my favourite machine at the moment , i supply them to schools for a solid internet machine. laptops-direct are pretty good at supplying XP laptops.

Graphic cards should not be too much of an issue in laptops , most do the job now , make sure you have 2gb Ram on board though and that the graphic card is not eating a quarter of it !

As previous poster said SP1 has cleared up vista a bit for me,
uggyy 12 2.1k 9 Scotland
24 Mar 2008 10:50PM
Got to say for build the Lenovo are very good wee machines.

Solid build and good work horse. For presentations they have a wee sneak trick that many people never notice, they have a keyboard light built in many of them on top of the monitor. Also the drives have a built in shock protector, they should detect if they are falling and park the drive head.

Saying that, I still prefer when they where IBM and not Lenovo...

johnp 13 141 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2008 6:41AM
Thanks guys. But when I go shopping, what minimum processor do I need - Intel and AMD? That seems to be the bit that takes a cheapish machine up by a few hundred more.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
25 Mar 2008 11:33AM

Quote:cheapish machine up by a few hundred more

It's not just the CPU that does that, It's the quality of the Screen as well.....!

Taking into account the digital image requirement the screen really needs to be a tad better than average, The faster CPU will make it run better ( especially with the CS programs ) But it will not make much difference in the image quality stakes.....!

I'd advise a 1.8 OR better still 2.0 Gig Intel Core Duo, CPU as at this time they do seem to have the performance edge, This might change if my favourite brand AMD, Get one of thier Phenom Quads into a laptop.....Smile

Today it's better to overspec your needs, Especially with laptops ( due to limited or expensive upgrade options ).....!

Nothing worse than running out of system resource's......!

Agree with the Guy's above, The Lenovo ( IBM's ) are also worthy contenders to the Dell range, Unless you want something really exotic.....Like an ASUS.......Smile

On a note we tend to overlook, That of residual value, come the day we want to sell a thing......Dell's Used prices hold up quite well.....!
debs 14 176 United Kingdom
28 Mar 2008 12:45AM
I would highly recommend the Dell Lattitude D630.

The reasons being as follows:-
High quality machine, which is alluminium, well built rugged and I have had two of them and my husband has the earlier model which is 3 years old.

Whilst this is traditionally a business machine (I run my own Company In the IT space) , I use mine at weekends and some evenings with Photoshop and Breeze Browser and have taken it on Safari with me, because it is very portable. It has a high quality screen, and I particularly like it because it is NOT the gloss type, which whilst they look nice, they do reflect sunlight a lot and also show every spec of dirt / finger mark !


Here is a link. Also, because it is a business machine, you can still select XP which is much better than Vista. Mine has a 160BYte drive which is ample.

- It also is a high spec as standard, i.e. Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7500 (2.2GHz/4MB/800MHz) with nVidia Quadro NVS 135M [Included in Price]
- 2 Gigabytes of RAM which again is good for photoshop.
- Built in Wi-Fi
- Wide screen is good with multiple USB's and ability to connect to projectors easily - if you are doing training or presentations
- Also, because it is built for business also, it is well built.
- would highly recommend 3 year gold support, Dells support is brilliant. Should you need to use it, next day on site i.e. at your home with parts.

Hope this helps.

They start off at £699 all in I think.

Let me know what you think.
Debs Smile
riprap007 13 1.6k 37 England
28 Mar 2008 1:04PM
more or less any if you use Photoshop Express!
crash39 12 24 England
28 Mar 2008 3:01PM
Hi, personally I wouldn't go for a Dell. Personal & work experience has not been good & we have tons of them at school unfortunately.
Would agree with the Lenovo though but also worth looking at Toshiba. Agree with Cameracat about the processor.
johnp 13 141 United Kingdom
28 Mar 2008 3:17PM
Thanks all for your advice. I think the Latitude D630 sounds a likely buy.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
28 Mar 2008 3:18PM
I think with Dell you have to look at the range. Their profesional series like the D630's etc are very good, we have a lot of them and they are very reliable, so much better than the Toshiba's we used to have.

Try and pick one with features that have been out a couple of months, the D620's at first were bugged by wireless driver problems, once they were fixed they have been very good.

Oh and we get them supplied with Xp.
debs 14 176 United Kingdom
30 Mar 2008 12:03AM
As previously mentioned, I use mine for work and for pleasure and it is just the right weight and wide screen.
It is worth going for the one that starts off at £699 because this has a good size drive, has 2 gig or RAM which is good for photoshop and additional graphics.
(Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7500 (2.2GHz/4MB/800MHz) with nVidia Quadro NVS 135M).

I have had 3 of these now! - I rotate them internally when someone new joins, I am lucky enough to get the new one! - my latest one has 4 gbytes of RAM, although it worked fine with 2 gbytes.
If you have the spare £60 always good to have the 3 yrs Next Day On site cover, just as a good insurance.
I have had Compaq's and Lenovos, and I used to work for Compaq (which are good!) but the Dell Lattitude is a well tried and tested workshorse with a good spec and quality feel - especially the casing (alluminium type I think!).
Good luck!

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