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Laptop Suggestions for Digital Artist

KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
So a good friend is looking to buy a new laptop and she is currently looking at two different types, based on advice from her peers and another friend all of which are doing the same kind of things she will be doing. There are two camps - the Mac camp and the Anything Else camp.

She is an artist who works freelance in TV and for her own projects as her career. These projects require a lot of use of Photoshop currently and she wants to do a lot more video/music editing. Her current laptop is about five years old and the keys are falling off, so she plans to get it soon. Her budget is ok- I think between 800 to 1200 pounds. She probably won't want to import from overseas, so it has to be available in the UK. This will be the workhorse of her career for the next 5 years and she would like to be able to upgrade it if needed during its life. The current machine is Windows and she has little experience with Macs or other OS. She is happy to learn how to use a Mac, probably not any other OS yet. She can also get the specialist software for either of those two operating systems reasonably easily (legally I might add), due to her primary employer's connections/resources.

These are the two options she is looking at right now.

Her friends want her to get this Macbook Pro.

Specs (spoilered)
2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
MacBook Pro 15-inch Glossy Widescreen Display

I and a mutual friend in the same industry as her (but more focused towards digital animation) are pushing her to get something like this Dell. He has been using this for about 9 months or so and loves it. It has also dropped in price a lot, so it is now in her price range.

So ideas or suggestions for Windows alternatives to the Macbook Pro? Any brand is fine.

I would note that the Macbook Pro linked is currently her clear favourite, for three admitted reasons: 1) Friends/colleagues in her industry overwhelmingly favour it, 2) She/they believe the software is better and 3) the style/cool factor. So I do not really need any votes or advocacy for the Mac at this stage if you wouldn't mind, this is more of a plea for help as I feel she would be better to get a Windows machine for value/power.

Thanks a bunch

Freedom for the Northern Isles!
Kalkino on

Posts

  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I guess it mainly depends on why she wants a laptop in the first place. Sure the dell is better specwise, but its also big, heavy, and according to the reviews i've looked at has shit battery life, if that's even a contender i'd probably recommend a desktop over it.

    taliosfalcon on
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  • bentbent Registered User
    edited September 2009
    If she wants to upgrade it she might as well get a desktop. If she wants to go mac then try a mac mini, it should run photoshop pretty adequately.

    It can be a pain using a windows machine when everyone else in the industry uses macs - they have different short cut functions for one thing, which can be a hindrance in Photoshop.

    But if she's serious about doing video/music editing the money would definitely be better spent on a desktop.

    bent on
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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I am tempted to recommend getting a Windows laptop, then dual-booting hackintosh. This gives you an awesome portable powerhouse running OSX and all the attendant software. But whether your friend wants to deal with the technical and legal issues... well. Hackintoshing isn't difficult any longer, but it can require some technical skill.

    ronya on
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  • BobCescaBobCesca Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    The only thing I'll add, and it's been about 4 years since I discovered this so it may have changed, is that photoshop used to be pretty shite on a windows machine (which is why we bought macs for the Union when we upgraded as we did a lot of in-house publicity).

    If she uses photoshop and other such programmes, this may need to be a big factor in her decision.

    BobCesca on
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    1) Well she uses Photoshop already on her windows machine - so I think she is ok with how it runs there - except for the slowness that one would expect from an old machine

    2) Re desktop - I also think she should go for the desktop option but she really doesn't want to do this - she is firmly in the laptop camp. She wants to have the potential to move it in the house and to jobs. I would note that she doesn't envisage taking it outside the house more than once a month. So a a big heavy brute of a laptop is still ok with her

    3) The battery issue is the same as 2) - she really won't be using this machine far from her room or very occasionally at an employer. So it will be plugged into the wall 95% of the time I suspect

    Kalkino on
    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    The big difference between these two are the size of the screen.

    If the size of the Dell is not off putting the extra screen space she would require as a graphic designer would be incredibly valuable.

    Blake T on
  • SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Normally I'm anti-mac, but... it seems like she wants one pretty bad. If it's what her contemporaries are also using, I don't see why she shouldn't get it, other than it's expensive and she's going to need to lose that urge to upgrade unless she's made of money.

    Still, no point in lugging around a machine she hates.

    Seeks on
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  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I am about 80% certain she will buy a Mac - I just want her to have some viable points of comparison. Don't get me wrong I like Macs, and am typing this post on one. I just get the impression having talked to some of her friends that are pushing her that way that they are still in the new Mac owner evangelical mode rather than justifying their views for technical and cost reasons. The level of discourse is still at the "Macs are just better" stage but with nothing more to it.

    Which is fine, they and I are not technicians or anything like that, but I would like to see them and her think about things like whether or not she needs say a faster hard drive as well as a bigger hard drive - or that kind of question. Hard drive size/speed being one of the hardware customisation options for the Mac model she is looking at.

    Kalkino on
    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • bentbent Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Well I use the entire Adobe CS4 suite on a windows machine and it runs perfectly
    2.6ghz dual core AMD 5000+, 6 gigs of DDR2 800mhz, and an ATI HD4870
    so I've never understood the 'runs better on a mac' thing. However I will say this: video editing can be a bit ropey on Vista 64 bit. Fine on 32 bit though.

    bent on
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  • DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User
    edited September 2009
    ronya wrote: »
    I am tempted to recommend getting a Windows laptop, then dual-booting hackintosh. This gives you an awesome portable powerhouse running OSX and all the attendant software. But whether your friend wants to deal with the technical and legal issues... well. Hackintoshing isn't difficult any longer, but it can require some technical skill.

    I view recommending a hackintosh as akin to recommending Linux: it's a brilliant choice for a hobbyist, but it's the completely wrong choice for a non-techie looking for a simple and easy-to-use work tool unless she has a dedicated geek friend on call 24/7.

    DeathPrawn on
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  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    So I guess the next step would be to perhaps look at some benchmarking for the type of software she uses. Places like Tomshardware still good for that?

    Kalkino on
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