Top 5 Laptops for Photographers

28 03 2009

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Top 5 Laptops for Photographers

LCD technology has improved drastically in the last several years. It wasn’t so long ago that color quality was a sigh-inducing mediocre at best. If you weren’t using the laptop for photography you might not mind it, but it was impossible to do detailed and accurate work on photos on a standard laptop LCD screen. Thankfully, that is no longer the case, and it is now possible for photographers to use a laptop for editing and not rely on an external monitor exclusively.

There are many modern laptops today with screens that are brilliant, sharp, and exceedingly bright, capable of displaying far more than the typical 40 or so percent of the color gamut normally visible on a laptop display. The following is a list of the top 5 laptops for any serious photographer. Most of the best screens come on larger laptops in the desktop replacement category – if you’re looking for a portable laptop, it is possible to find one with decent color but none will be as good as the laptops listed below.


5. Acer Aspire 8920G

The Aspire 8920G is one of the larger laptops on the market, weighing in at 9lbs with an ample 18.4” LCD. It packs an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and up to 4GB RAM and a 512MB GPU, but most importantly, it contains an HD ready 1920×1080 resolution and an LCD capable of displaying 90% of the color gamut.


4. HP EliteBook 8730w

HP has developed some new technology for the EliteBook 8730w, which they call DreamColor. A collaboration between HP and Dreamworks Animation, it selectively backlights the LCD and claims to be able to display over 16 million beautiful colors. The EliteBook has a 17” LCD with an ample 1920×1200 resolution, and can come packed with high end features such as an Intel Extreme Quad-Core CPU, 8GB RAM and a 1GB GPU.


3. Lenovo ThinkPad W700

Another seriously bulky laptop, the W700 tips the scales at 8.3lbs while supporting a 17” display with a 1920×1200 resolution. A bright and improved LCD makes it capable of displaying up to 72% of the color gamut, but the W700 was built with designers in mind and is unique in that it comes with an integrated Wacom digitizer and color calibrator. It can sport some impressive specs as well, with Intel Extreme Quad-Core processors to go with 8GB RAM, 1GB GPU, and nearly a whopping 1TB in storage space for all your high resolution photos.


2. Dell Precision M6400

The Precision M6400 is a laptop that was built for high powered design. Along with the Intel Quad-Core Extreme processor, 1GB GPU and fully 1TB HDD, you can also get up to an astounding 16GB RAM if you want. The 8.5lb laptop also happens to sport a 17” 1920×1200 LCD capable of displaying a perfect 100% of the color gamut.


1. Sony VAIO AW

The VAIO AW manages to keep a larger display than most of our entries – with an 18.4” 1920×1080 LCD – while simultaneously staying lighter at 8lbs flat, which alone serves to make it an attractive option. However, the most important feature on this laptop is an advanced display capable of representing an unbelievable 137% of the gamut. The laptop is quite capable too, featuring an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 8GB RAM, a 512MB GPU and up to 1TB of HDD space.




2 responses

4 04 2009

I really wish the HP HDX 18T was tested. It’s Ultra Bright View screen is supposed to give 72% higher color gamut. Would love to see a comparison of that vs the Sony. Especially since the Sony isn’t offered in a Quad-Core configuration at this time.

12 05 2009

Acer Aspire One AOD150-1165
I was looking for a compact laptop that I could use between home and work and also take on my frequent road trips to visit my family. My biggest gripe about laptops in the past has been the short battery life, so I was very pleased when my Acer came from Amazon yesterday (April 9th) with the 5800mAh battery. I don’t know about speed with the standard 1GB memory because I replaced mine with 2GB (so easy a caveman can do it) before I ever turned it on. But it boots up fast and is surprisingly quick. I love the size. It fits perfectly in my leather notebook. I touch type and while the keyboard is a little small it is very easy to get used to. Like some have reported, the touchpad buttons are a little stiff but they have a positive feel to them. It’s a non-issue with me because I hate touchpads in general and use them only in a pinch. I found a nice little Logitech USB mouse for about $19 that’s even a perfectly matching cobalt blue. The first option you will need for most any of these netbooks is a good USB DVD burner to load your software and make backup emergency disks. I bought one just before I bought the netbook. The 10″ display is bright and extremely sharp. The setup was simple I was up and running on my wireless network in less than 5 minutes. Most of my time was spent removing bloatware and building emergency recovery disks. This is really a great little computer with a solid feel and very attractive to look at. At the price you cannot beat this little netbook.

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