Tech Help: Laptop recommendations?


Tramlines
Tramlines avatar

49 posts since 3/1/16

28 May 2016 22:32
I figure you lot might know more about portable laptops than me and wonder what you use.

Would you recommend it?

I'm looking for a generic laptop (not Apple) to wipe off and start with Linux OS so it doesn't matter if it's got Windows on it since I can get rid of it.

Looking for a high powered (not gaming, but for editing and documents) with a decent soundboard and built in DVD/CD burner, 16GB. These seem harder to find. Retina display isn't necessary.

I don't understand the processors at all.

Anyone recommend anything to look up?

Thanks
sodomgomorra
sodomgomorra avatar

1309 posts since 24/3/14

28 May 2016 22:41
Tramlines wrote: I figure you lot might know more about portable laptops than me and wonder what you use.

What makes you say that. Everyone here is middle-aged and types with two fingers.
Tramlines
Tramlines avatar

49 posts since 3/1/16

29 May 2016 00:38
sodomgomorra wrote:
Tramlines wrote: I figure you lot might know more about portable laptops than me and wonder what you use.

What makes you say that. Everyone here is middle-aged and types with two fingers.

Well most here are more fashionable than me so i figured they know more than me with their two fingers Smiling
MLI
MLI avatar

4156 posts since 6/10/09

29 May 2016 00:47
The Sony VAIO (Now just VAIO) business grade models have everything you want.
sodomgomorra
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1309 posts since 24/3/14

29 May 2016 08:31
What kind of editing are you looking to do? Video? Audio?
sodomgomorra
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1309 posts since 24/3/14

29 May 2016 08:31
Also what's your budget?
Sholto
Sholto avatar

480 posts since 25/12/12

29 May 2016 08:46
Dell XPS 13 fits the bill, you can buy the developer edition which comes with Ubuntu preinstalled. Small, sleek, lightweight, 'powerful', and a banging screen to boot.

http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/laptops-portable-pcs/laptops-and-netbooks/dell-xps-13-1279013/review

http://www.dell.com/uk/business/p/xps-13-9350-laptop-ubuntu/pd

Mine came with Windows but was easy enough to scrub and put linux on.
Crackajack
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6971 posts since 21/4/05

29 May 2016 10:53
Check the Dell outlet website, stock is a bit random but generally a lot cheaper.
Tramlines
Tramlines avatar

49 posts since 3/1/16

29 May 2016 16:53
MLI wrote: The Sony VAIO (Now just VAIO) business grade models have everything you want.

Funny that…I had 2 Sony Vaios over 12 years! I think they are good but always overheat and battery life not good!
Tramlines
Tramlines avatar

49 posts since 3/1/16

29 May 2016 16:53
sodomgomorra wrote: What kind of editing are you looking to do? Video? Audio?

Hi, photo and video editing with some audio mostly.

About £600..
sodomgomorra
sodomgomorra avatar

1309 posts since 24/3/14

29 May 2016 17:59
Few pointers,

8gb of ram is generally sufficient. It's unlikely that with the workload you describe that you'll run into it's limitations. Not all manufacturers in this segment offer 16gb, don't consider it a deal breaker. DDR3 ram prices are ridiculously low and swapping it out is as easy as changing a light bulb.

Ideally your laptop would have an i7 processor, even an older i7 may be preferred over a newer i5. Though there might be a marginal performance difference in favor of the newer i5 i'd still go with the i7. Why? Hyper threading. Applications specifically designed to take advantage of multiple threads will see a performance increase, and these generally are video/photo editing software.

GPU: most laptops come with an integrated graphics solution. Such as Intel Iris (the lowest denominator) or Intel HDxxxx. These won't cut it for you, look for a laptop with a dedicated graphics chip. Especially video rendering benefits greatly from this.

SSD, for all around faster performance. Though you probably won't find anything with it in your segment this is something you can later add yourself. Highly recommended imo.

OS, nowadays having an OS bundled with the hardware doesn't mean you're paying a premium to go legit. Windows 10 is free, or nearly free. It pays for itself by datamining your shit. It's easily removed if you want to but I wouldn't know what kind of video/photo editing you'd think to be doing on fucking Linux.
sodomgomorra
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1309 posts since 24/3/14

29 May 2016 18:04
Also if you're that fixated about Linux, why not get a Mac?
Tramlines
Tramlines avatar

49 posts since 3/1/16

31 May 2016 22:05
Crikey!

You really know a lot about computers for a middle aged guy typing on two fingers!

Thank you. It gives me an idea where to start looking now. I thought 16GB only because I was advised by a friend who does gaming (ah ha! So that's why he was keen on the high memory) but also because I don't like upgrading and tend to use what I have till it runs into the ground.

I really do not like Mac. All of their crass passwords; copyright issues, privacy protection, private information being leaked out to big Apple spying. That's fine for Americans and people who like corporate sales pitch. Linux is cleaner - Minty clean - and has none of the spend a fortune on dedicated Apple software. I still have my old Mac but now, the browser is redundant and I can't even get the flash pages on screen. Mac is expensive for software and very limited. Its real advantage is hosting Photoshop, whereas Windows tends towards instability. I might dual boot with Windows XP just for Photoshop then. My work uses Windows 10 and I really hate it. The way it takes ages to find how to attach a file to send, only to realise that in one screen you have to "attach" a file, and the other, you have to "insert". Microsoft Outlook on Win10 is a disaster. I spent ages trying to find the apps and ended up having to change the desktop to 'Most used'. They are going to make a lot more enemies than Ubuntu and no one other than backward companies are going to want to stay with Windows 10 if they keep up their user unfriendly approach.

I'll start hunting for an i7core then. Which graphics units would you recommend?

Thanks for the helpful start!
sodomgomorra
sodomgomorra avatar

1309 posts since 24/3/14

1 Jun 2016 21:01
Fair enough on the mac bit. Big ' .. " spying is more rule thane exception though. Easily avoided in windows 10. Lot's of foolproof tutorials out there. Requires 15 minutes of extra labour but after that you're set.

Though it should be noted Linux is enthusiast territory. Not quite as user friendly (understatement) and not by a fraction as well supported. If you think attaching files is a nuisance you're in for a treat when you have to tinker with drivers and such on Linux. I'd definitely recommend Ubuntu or something for someone who just uses it to mail, spreadsheets and whatnot. Visual productivity programs not so much. There is no Adobe creative suite and the Linux alternatives genuinely don't quite compare in capabilities and ease of use. It's really not a viable option.

Graphics units the choice is down between Nvidia and AMD. I have no real preference for either one, both are capable. Most of Adobe's creative suite works better on Nvidia (Cuda) there is a distinct performance difference there between Opencl (AMD, but also Nvidia) . Something to look up .

And to what actual chip to go for I'd just look at the offerings and check for some benchmarks. Adequate vram (Video random-access memory) is important.Consider it like working memory (such as ram) for your visual tasks. Generally anything over 2gb should suffice. Can't give you any model numbers or names to look for, there are so many rebrands of rebrands out there I find it kinda difficult to navigate let alone memorize myself. Though the performance benchmarks should speak for itself.

Regardings manufacturers dell or Asus / Acer is where i'd begin my search. They offer well rounded packages in your price range.

Anoter thing to note is resolution, don't settle for a screen with a sub 1080p resolution and photo-editing on a TN isn't ideal. Makes semi-accurate colour grading virtually impossible.
sodomgomorra
sodomgomorra avatar

1309 posts since 24/3/14

posted 1 Jun 2016 21:24, edited 1 Jun 2016 21:24
https://www.overclockers.co.uk/gigabyte-p15f-v5-cf1-15.6-fhd-ips-intel-i7-6700hq-nvidia-gtx-950m-2gb-gddr5-gaming-laptop-lt-064-gi.html

This one for instance, slightly over budget but definitely at the bang for buck sweet spot,
Capable GPU, very capable CPU, sufficient ram, very decent screen - (1080p, matte, IPS (bright & colour correct & good viewing angles) , 1tb drive for your files, 1 ssd for your programs and whatnot. Reputable brand also with excellent customer care should the need arise (atleast in my experience). USB 3 ports, AC wireless card for proper Wi-fi and a nifty feature which let's you swap out the disc drive for another hard drive.

Really checks all your boxes and then some.
Tramlines
Tramlines avatar

49 posts since 3/1/16

3 Jun 2016 14:51
Hi,

That's incredible - yes it does tick all the boxes. Even at the higher budget, I figure it's worth the extra.

The only thing I think I'd like on top of that, is a digital optical out cable but I haven't seen any on a laptop at this price point.

Thanks for introducing me to the laptop and website. I'll ask them how much it is to swap in a DVD writer! Might take me another few months to get my act together!

Smiling
Tramlines
Tramlines avatar

49 posts since 3/1/16

3 Jun 2016 21:41
http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/laptops/1402554/gigabyte-p15f-review

Oh no

Back to the drawing board : /
sodomgomorra
sodomgomorra avatar

1309 posts since 24/3/14

5 Jun 2016 18:48
What?

That's not even the same laptop mate, other than the chassis. Different processor, different GPU, different screen, different storage.

And the one I linked has a DVD writer you muppet.

sodomgomorra
sodomgomorra avatar

1309 posts since 24/3/14

5 Jun 2016 18:54
Are you taking the piss?
Tramlines
Tramlines avatar

49 posts since 3/1/16

5 Jun 2016 20:45
oops. sorry I didn't even notice!

I just typed it in the google field and came out with that review. All those numbers make the model numbers so hard to remember!