I’m not the final decision or the most qualified expert on the subject but I’ll just say it as I see it.
It wasn’t too long ago I wrote a post looking for the “Best photographer Laptop?”
Time to say what I came up with.
The Winners are:
HP 18t fully loaded
Both will be about the same cost.
The HP will have more horsepower and more bells and whistles when it’s loaded up.
But I must admit the MacBookPro is pretty snazzy and has some crazy good battery life and the size and weight are nice.
I don’t think the other options (dell, gateway, Toshiba etc) are that much better. To give them the nod over these two.
I could be swayed otherwise given that I haven’t had real life experience with all of them.
But for now I’d say the HP 18″ or the new macbookpro
You really need to have a large screen if you’re going to edit on the road.
And a word on that:
Laptops and Editing
Try not to Edit on the road!
Don’t edit with a Laptop!!
Particularly the SCREEN or the TRACKPAD!
Both are terrible choices!!
(Now That I’ve said my inflammatory statements I’ll continue on and say why)
For the insistent
If you insist on it being your only computer for some interesting personal reasons, OK, Fine… but understand. It’s never as good as a desktop when it comes to EVERYTHING besides portability.
Use a Desktop
I will still be using my custom built PC for editing because it’s Much much faster
It’s consistent… I’m not moving it around into different lighting situations.
I get to use two identical monitors or 3 monitors or even 4… maximising my efficiency.
A keyboard and a mouse are a must and I’m not tempted to try to edit without them.
I use my desk and am not tempted to edit on a couch.
(For busy moms out there maybe that’s why you go with a laptop so you can edit in different rooms throughout the day. Or computers on the bus or subway)
Not As Good
But you need to know… your decision is not without repercussion.
Your pictures won’t be as good as they would be at a desk using a mouse keyboard and a regular monitor and you won’t be as fast… or should we say you won’t be as efficient with your time.
It is my belief that you are kinda not living up to your full potential if you insist on sticking with a small screen. Yes… the pictures won’t be as good.
And you’re being inefficient with your time if you’re not using a mouse a large screen and a better processor.
What kind of computer
So now you’re looking for a computer.
If possible stick with a desktop.
I could go on at length about what Lightroom operates best with. After lots of studying on the subject but this post is already pretty long as it is.
Get a Friendly Geek Friend
What do I suggest?
Get a nice friend who knows how to build a great computer to build you the best PC.
Stores don’t sell good computers. Best buy, dell, hp, etc etc… they don’t sell good ones.
That’s the beauty of a PC they come in ALL shapes and sizes. It just so happens that most people buy timid little ponies at stores or build show horses online at dell or hp or what not. And they don’t know that if they’re serious they can build a Serious Work Horse with part from online.
It is tricky and might require assistance and isn’t for the faint of heart… but if you really want something powerful that’s the way to go.
My old desktop still blows away my new laptop… for half the price
I could build a dream machine for under $2000 that is 4 times more powerful than the stupid laptop I just bought and it was Over $2000….
I call that a much more efficient use of money.
Want me to build one for you?
Well I don’t have the time… but…
If you’re really interested in fact I can probably find someone who would put together said systems for you people out there ready and set to edit pictures like you’ve never experienced before… I do this because I love you. haha
And these friends could play with super nice new equipment and make a few dollars.
What did I end up buying???
I suppose I never answered the question that many are asking…
I bought a MacBookPro 17
Kinda funny because I kinda don’t even like to be known as a Mac person. But for laptops I must admit they were very nice.
I also like the fact that now I own both.
There is a function that I can only do for my podcasts using garage band which is only on Mac. Plus I didn’t have to be a penny pincher and save a couple hundred this go around. I opted for smaller more portable… something that would fit easier into my camera traveling backpack. I don’t believe the more hefty HP would have done as well.
The first trial run
I took the computer to Alaska for a week and I loved it and think it’s a solid product. Until it came to editing. It’s just tough. You have to spend much more time to really investigate a picture and make sure it’s in focus… when i say more time I mean like 2-3 times longer… as in like 2-15 seconds instead of like .5-6 seconds… but when it’s thousands of pictures it’s huge.
Back home and editing for reals on the desktop
And I think I’ll review them now that I’m back home on my desktop. I trust the colors and the quality more on a screen that I am familiar with and know it has good results.
I didn’t mind picking the pictures, doing simple reviews or doing what I call Quick Edits or Batch Edits, so all good things to do on the road. That require less attention which is usually the case on the road anyway. But I didn’t have a ton of time to edit anyway because it didn’t get dark until like midnight in Alaska.
Laptop on the road = Nice
But having a laptop is nice on the road… I’m not denying that… I’m just saying don’t rely on it. I think there is a huge majority of people that I know that use a laptop and only a laptop and they’re getting into photography and it just kinda makes me sad.
I’ll sell you my Photography Editing beast
Heck buy my computer from me for $1000 and I’ll run out and spend to upgrade mine to the newest and greatest. Mine is set and ready to edit with it’s quadcore and fancy pantsy glory.
The causal photographer
For those of you out there who don’t do a lot of editing… thanks for listening but I understand this wasn’t really for you since you don’t have to be fast so the trade off isn’t important. I’d probably stick with a laptop too if I were you just editing your once in a while vacation.