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This thread is about image editing on a laptop computer in Windows. Due to my other use of a laptop computer, mostly scientific (analysis/graphing, microcontroller programming, testing data acquisition) a mac would not be an alternative other than as a computer running Windows in Bootcamp most of the time, and I am not sure I want to go that route with potential driver problems etc. I am also looking for a computer where the hardware hopefully can last for 6+ years; I used my Toshiba Tecra for 9 years, and it was replaced by my little Lenovo S10 4 ½ years ago. The latter is obviously not up to much image editing (although CNX2 runs on it); it works OK for copying image and email and web browsing. During this autumn’s travel I was frustrated by the lack of a capable computer to edit under ways. And I feel I am lagging too much behind on my image editing. So basically I am looking for a laptop computer that can be my main editing computer, possibly with addition of an external screen, but is not a hassle to bring along for the long haul and daily use. Important criteria I set up for myself: 1) Lightweight (ca. 3 lbs/1.3 kg to medium weight 4Lbs or so/2 kg) 2) Nearly as much processing power as possible i.e. high freq. Haswell quad core i7 (I tend to have many programs open at the same time, and especially for scientific use). 3) A non-glossy screen with FHD (1920×1080) or better* resolution IPS screen with sRGB or better gamut. 4) SSD for system drive, minimum 512GB 5) 8GB, preferably 16GB of memory. 6) Windows 7 if possible. 7) Working well with CNX2, although I would not exclude other editors in the future. Only a few years ago these would have been unrealistic goals, but fortunately things, especially with respect to screens seem to be changing, possibly driven by a fruit company… First I had to educate myself, and I found that not all mobile i7 are quad core; from the Wikipedia page etc. it looks like among the mobile Haswells, only i4700 and up are so, usually with an MQ or HQ after the number if specified correctly. Then there is the issue of weighing clock frequency vs. the number of cores? Also these processor's built-in integrated graphics has become better now so perhaps discrete graphics is less of an issue than before for two dimensional image editing. If it had not been for travel ability, a well specified last years model Lenovo W530 with high gamut IPS panel would have been a great choice, even without the latest processors as they are on sale now (something to think about for others with different criteria). But after I got my little S10, I told myself to never haul a 6 lbs computer halfway around the world again. The nice thing is that with the Haswells comes renew of the models and Windows PC manufacturers have *finally* started to realize that buyers want beautiful looking displays. So there are a number of Win 8 Macbook Pro retina display contenders out there from most of the major manufacturers. But some of them, for instance the new Dell Precision M3800 do not have an IPS panel but TN panel, although of relatively high quality with respect to gamut according to some reports. The majority of them are glossy panels though. *Except for possible lack of IPS, these panels raise another question: How happy is a QHD+ display on a Windows computer? With lower res. displays, windows font/icon dpi scaling works quite well. But when one gets to +200 dpi reports indicate that things might get weird. The other solution Microsoft provides is to scale down the resolution of the whole display. Some reports indicate that this can get fussy unless using integer scaling factors. And what is the point of high resolution if one cannot use it? (As I understand it OSX performs a simulated scaling that preserves resolution of the fonts, to some degree like the font scaling in windows, but for all parts of an application so that it works at high resolutions. In addition some programs aware can do their own scaling. There are also a few reports of fussy scaling on the retinas). So if anyone here has one of these QHD+ displays on a windows computer I would appreciate to hear how it works for you, and in which mode(s)? After all my search I am finally eyeing an alternative that fit my criteria, a Lenovo T440p with a non-glossy FHD IPS panel that should be unproblematic with respect to scaling. According to Lenovo representatives it should support full RGB gamut (I will believe it when I see it**) and it has 4.1 lbs travel weight. OK, I am more than eying it as I put in an order for a very well specified system, but it would not cost me anything if I return it; all shipping is paid by Lenovo - so let us say I take it for evaluation. It can go all the way up to an i4900 (I ordered it with i4800MQ) and it has a discrete medium range NiVIDA graphics processor in addition to the intel 4600 in the i7 chip.. Another positive thing is that most components are user serviceable after only removing two screws, so there are some savings in that one can buy more memory and SSD/ m.2 SSD oneself. Also it will take another drive in its optical bay, so total SSD for system drive, mSSD for scratch and spindle for data/images. With extra discount, price ended up about $1000 below the highest specified Macbook Pro retina (before purchase of additional 500GB SSD, $300, and 8GB additional memory, $80. It is not very sleek though, a pretty traditional elegant business model. But the slimmer computers with higher geek factor tend to have less user serviceable components, often soldered to the main board to different degrees. That can be a concern if one plans to keep the computer long beyond the warranty period. Also with less space to dissipate heat, most of these cannot take the quad processors, only dual core and are usually equipped with the low-voltage (U) versions for better battery life. But then we have the geek/portability factor…. Just today Lenovo had an interesting convertible (it can fold up all the way around as a pad as the other Yogas, keyboard facing down in a locked/ retracted position) up for sale, the Thinkpad Yoga that can be delivered with a 12.5” FHD IPS non-glossy touch panel (Win 8.1), but with max 250GB SSD for now (field replaceable, not user serviceable according to service manual. Memory appears to be soldered to main board…). The other interesting thing about it is that it comes with a Wacom tablet pen, so that one can use the pen for editing images on screen. (There are some early reports of a specific issue with accuracy on UK models, but US models has been claimed to have this problem fixed). The 12.5“ form factor is better for travelling, but weight is not much better than the T440p at 3.5 lbs. And then as other sleek/ultrabooks it only goes up to max a dual core i4600U processor. So if you read this far, the second general question I am asking is: For non-professional but one’s main photo editing computer, is it really necessary/much extra benefit going to the almost maxed out specs of a quad core laptop computer vs. some of the higher spec dual core i5 and i7 U versions? How much would one gain in speed? Would the max 8 MB memory available on most ultra-books, including the Thinkpad Yoga (vs. 16 on the T440p) be enough? Did I set my selection criteria above too high? Perhaps not only users of Windows laptop computers, but also those with experience from similar comparison of processors between macs would comment. We assume SSD used for system drives in both systems, but the compact one only with one SSD and perhaps an mSSD as scratch drive. Keep in mind that I use CNX2. My guess from reports I have encountered here and elsewhere is that Lightroom might be similarly affected as CNX2, mostly by main CPU processing speed. There is certainly an additional value in increased portability (which one usually pays for, the higher spec more compact dual core systems are priced at pretty much the same levels as a higher spec more traditional quad core). I am still pretty found of my aging little S10 netbook in spite of its limitations. **A last question: What are the best tools to evaluate gamut of an LCD panel of a Windows 7 system (preferably free) ?
Guest posted a topic in ArchivesI have compiled some data for comparing the weight of different camera systems, Nikon FX, Nikon DX, Fuji X, Sony Nex and Micro Four Third (which is a combination of Olympus and Panasonic in this case). I've choosen a set consisting of a wide angle zoom, standard zoom and a tele zoom. In addition I've added a normal lens and a macro lens. On top of this I've tried to match the properties of the lenses and cameras in order to have the comparison as fair as possible. However, a full match cannot alway be accomplished across the systems. In particular the Sony Nex system strikes me with its' lack of lenses of certain categories. For macro lenses I've tried to choose lenses equivalent of 90mm on 35mm film, but for Sony this was not possible to achieve yet, and the selection of lenses has been limited to the manufacturers' own lenses. For m43 the selection has been done among Olympus and Panasonic lenses since they both manufacture camera bodies for the system. So here we go: Edit: Added filter sizes and averages of them.