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Thread: Laptops and Lightroom

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    Member HelenClaire's Avatar
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    Laptops and Lightroom

    Hubby and I are heading off overseas next month and I would like to take a compact, lightweight laptop to blog our travels and most importantly to store the zillion photos I will be taking. So I am on the hunt for a suitable laptop which can run Lightroom (there is no way I can wait until I get home to tweak). Can anyone recommend one?

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Just got to Harvey Norman/ JB Hifi etc and you will find a plethora of options in the $500.00 - $1000.00 range that will offer reasonable HDD space and ability to run LR. But be aware the screens on these are not generally the best options for photo editing. They are cheap for a reason
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    It's all about the Light!
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    @Helen - a lightweight notebook is good.
    Also an external hard drive for backup.

    Keep the hard drive in a different bag to the note book!
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



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    I can afford up to $1500. Was looking at the Macbook Air but was told it cant run L/R because it doesn't have a dedicated graphics card. I thought that was only needed for lots of gaming not photos. Maybe I'm wrong. Just curious to know what others use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HelenClaire View Post
    I can afford up to $1500. Was looking at the Macbook Air but was told it cant run L/R because it doesn't have a dedicated graphics card. I thought that was only needed for lots of gaming not photos. Maybe I'm wrong. Just curious to know what others use.
    Rubbish! Macbook Air is fine for LR or CS etc!

    If you were to go the Air, make sure you try to get the Matte screen - im not sure if its available on those models or not, maybe not, but the matte is a lot better for viewing and editing than the glossy/glass surfaces.

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    Really? Had rung Apple and was told it couldn't. Thought it strange when I was told that the Air would be unsuitable. Maybe it was a ploy to get me to buy the Macbook Pro which is way out of my price range. Just goes to show it's better to stay away from Reps when seeking advice.

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    Ausphotography Regular J.davis's Avatar
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    I have used an ASUS netbook for this same reason - upgraded ram and loaded LR and Elements9 - happy camper (traveller)
    Price for ASUS EEEPC about $400.
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    Have a look at the new ultrabooks (ASUS/Toshiba/HP/ACER) I think there's a 13" ASUS with an i5 processor 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD for <$1500 with Win7-64bit. My son has the i7 version @$1800. They are <1.5kg, 3mm at the front and 17mm at the rear. You can save $200-300 buying on the net (Aust stock). HN/JB etc seem to only have limited models. Best price was from a shop in Broadway Sydney.

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    Thanx. Had been looking at the ultrabooks, hence my interest in the Air. Have heard the Asus Zenbook is very good so may have another look. What makes me so annoyed is that you are told so much rubbish when you go to stores for advice. I end up with a headache

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    I ahve always been a Dell user, always been happy with them and found them quite robust. Bought an update about 8 months ago for $900 (was 1100 but I always barter hard) at JB, i7, 4gb ram, 512 dedicated graphics card, 15" screen and screams with LR3. I have found Dells have pretty good screens to but when at home hook it up to my 24" Samsung with Matte screen. I have done a comparison between calibrated laptop screen again my calibrated Samsung and although the Samsung does reflect a closer "what you see is what you get" calibnation the Dell is not to far out to be of bother on the road - I just do a check on the big screen when I get home.
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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    MBA's can easily run LR. Maybe the reps want you to buy Aperture instead.
    So with 4Gb of RAM and SSDs, it can seem snappier than faster machines with higher clock speeds but HDDs.
    Dedicated graphic cards get the most work out when gaming and 3D rendering applications. For 2D apps, the HDD's commonly the bottleneck.
    If u can wait a month or so, intel's slated to release its 'Ivy Bridge' generation of processors which should coincide with Apple's updates although as with all rumours, no guarantees.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelenClaire View Post
    Thanx. Had been looking at the ultrabooks, hence my interest in the Air. Have heard the Asus Zenbook is very good so may have another look. What makes me so annoyed is that you are told so much rubbish when you go to stores for advice. I end up with a headache
    This is what is said on the Lightroom optimise performance website about video card:

    Video cards

    Lightroom requires a video card that can run the monitor at its native resolution. Built-in, default cards that ship with most desktop or laptop systems typically suffice for Lightroom.

    Be sure to keep the graphics driver software up to date. See Update the graphics driver | Windows XP (kb409115) and Update the graphics driver | Windows 7, Vista (kb409116). On Mac OS, click the Apple menu and choose Software Update.
    The age of entitlement isn't over, it's just over there where you can't get to it.
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    I would actually recommend the laptop I am using at the moment. It is the ASUS U36JC.

    Intel Core i5 2.67ghz, 4gb RAM, 500GB HDD.
    Pretty sure it has a 1GB dedicated graphics card too.

    I run CS5 and LR on this computer with nil issues. Only problem I have with this computer is that it does not have a disk drive. I have overcome this problem by spending about $50 on a USB disk drive which I have no problems with.

    The computer is extremely thin when closed and is very light. Highly recommended, but that's just me cause I own one
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    Also an external hard drive for backup.

    Keep the hard drive in a different bag to the note book!
    Best advise so far.

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    I have a 2009 Macbook with shared graphics and slower processor than the new Air and it runs Ligthroom ok. Only with Nikon´s ViewNX it takes a couple of seconds when I start editing, but only for the first modification, a D90 RAW file (12 mb aprox)

    The other good thing about the Macbook is that the screen is far better then the average notebook, don´t know why (think is a TN screen) but difference is really huge. I would recommend it.
    From the end of the World with a Nikon D90, Nikon 16/85 3.5-5.6 and Sigma 30 1.4
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelenClaire View Post
    Thanx. Had been looking at the ultrabooks, hence my interest in the Air. Have heard the Asus Zenbook is very good so may have another look. What makes me so annoyed is that you are told so much rubbish when you go to stores for advice. I end up with a headache
    I have one of the zen book models Wazza mentioned

    13" 4gb ram & 266 SSD & 64 bit i7

    Love it.

    I got it through work a couple of months ago, mainly to use while travelling with work but find I use it for near everything.

    It runs Lightroom & Photoshop no problems at all. Best way is to leave your files on the SSD until you've sorted & edited them. The SSD is very responsive & no lag at all in waiting for the effect of any sliders to kick in., once done transfer them over to a hard drive.

    I've also edited files off a USB 3 drive (via the USB 3 port) and found it very good as well.

    The 1600 pixel width screen is also a great feature in such a small laptop.
    The downside, as with most laptops is the screen is a bit dead and lifeless. Not as bad as most, but not as good as a regular monitor.

    It's fine for most situations, but for optimal editing plugging into an external monitor is advised. Easy to do as it comes with the mini HDMI adapter.

    Over the last couple of years I've had one eye on a mac book air, but baulked at the whole changeover to be part of the mac world. (One particular piece of work software I use is not mac supported which also sways my decision). These zenbooks are pretty well a mac book air with regards to size, battery life, styling etc..... but in windows.

    EDIT: have also been playing with HD movie files recently & have used it for basic editing & rendering final files. No problems.
    Last edited by Art Vandelay; 23-04-2012 at 10:58am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wazza999 View Post
    Have a look at the new ultrabooks (ASUS/Toshiba/HP/ACER) I think there's a 13" ASUS with an i5 processor 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD for <$1500 with Win7-64bit. My son has the i7 version @$1800. They are <1.5kg, 3mm at the front and 17mm at the rear. You can save $200-300 buying on the net (Aust stock). HN/JB etc seem to only have limited models. Best price was from a shop in Broadway Sydney.
    definately go an Ultra book, so light and plenty of power for your needs. however be aware of one thing, no DVD drive. so you'll have to know either how to create, mount, and run an ISO.

    or if you have a home PC, network to it and share your main DVD drive to get your software installed.
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    this is a bit off topic...but I'm using an HP Pavilion dv7. had it for a couple of years but the monitor has never needed calibrating. or rather, the calibration software didn't see the need to change anything - and I can't complain because I can see everything from pure black to pure white on a strip.

    my question is...is this typical of laptop screens these days? or HP?
    just wondering because they use to be so awful. in the past I've always plugged it into an external monitor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HelenClaire View Post
    the Macbook Pro which is way out of my price range
    really? there's a macbook pro 13" with intel core i5 which is $1396 at jbhifi..
    and yes a macbook air should have the capacity to run LR although might lag a bit depending on RAM memory..
    Life is short, Keep snapping!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunny6teen View Post
    this is a bit off topic...but I'm using an HP Pavilion dv7. had it for a couple of years but the monitor has never needed calibrating. or rather, the calibration software didn't see the need to change anything - and I can't complain because I can see everything from pure black to pure white on a strip.

    my question is...is this typical of laptop screens these days? or HP?
    just wondering because they use to be so awful. in the past I've always plugged it into an external monitor.

    I dont think there is ever such a thing as a monitor that does not require calibration, all the way from a 5 grand Eizo or NEC professional monitor to a cheap monitor from MSY or a laptop monitor.

    Its not just about what you see on the laptop monitor - which due to its size they are always cheap TN panel types - its how the photos print later which 'should' be as it seems on the monitor. Even though there are some higher end laptops which has an Adobe RGB colour gamut, it is still no substitute for a decent to good external monitor. Do you do a lot of printing for yourself or clients?

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