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Best laptop for Graphic design/DTP

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Mar 30th 2003#97748 Report
Member since: Aug 9th 2002
Posts: 32
Hi all,

I am looking for some input from seasoned design veterans like yourselves. I am an advanced, cross-platform computer user who is becoming increasingly involved in graphic design and DTP

I am looking to buy a new laptop, and want something that can handle 2D and some 3D graphics very well. (Now, before someone says it, I know that a desktop will do those tasks better, and I already have one that does them quite well, so, I only want advice about laptops, please)

So far, here are my top choices:

Dell Precision M50 mobile workstation:
http://www.dell.com/us/en/bsd/products/model_precn_2_precn_m50.htm

Apple Powerbook G4 1Ghz either 15" or 17" (leaning toward 17"):
http://www.apple.com/powerbook/index17.html


Dell has a higher resolution, while Apple, obviously has a bigger screen (but lower resolution). Dell also has a better vidio card, but apple has the superdrive...etc, etc...

Any opinions? Has anyone used a laptop for their graphic design/art projects? Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark, InDesign?

Thanks for your input!
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Mar 30th 2003#97750 Report
Member since: Jul 14th 2001
Posts: 2019
i didn't read anything else in your post except the title and the apple link. I say go for the 15" although i heard that the gfc4 go is a step down fromt he radeon. who knows...the Ti 15" shouldn't have any problems by now...except cosmetic issues. Read the discussion boards.
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Mar 31st 2003#97797 Report
Member since: Mar 18th 2001
Posts: 6632
Without getting into a Mac vs. PC war, I think the Powerbook is definitely the way to go between those two machines. That Dell actually seems really expensive compared to the Apple. The Dell is a full two pounds heavier than even the 17" powerbook. It's also 3/4" thicker. No bluetooth that I could see... Looks like the Dell does have built-in wireless networking. So does the Apple, along with bluetooth. Then you have the larger screen, DVD burner like you said, Firewire 800, most likely longer battery life since the dell is running on the P4. Plus you have all of Apple's integrated apps bundled with the powerbook and everything.

If you get the 15", I would wait until the next Apple conference to see if they update it with a lighted keyboard like the 17", along with firewire 800 and bluetooth. They will also probably put it in the aluminium case, instead of the painted titanium one, which has had paint chipping problems for some people.

Oh, but if you are a serious Quark user, realize that it is STILL unavailable for OSX. They have posted screenshots of it recently though, so it should be out soon I guess. But if it is essential that you use Quark out of the box, you'd have to run it in classic mode on OSX. Which may give you problems. Or may not. I don't know. Or you could just do what everyone else seems to be doing, switch to InDesign.
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Mar 31st 2003#97830 Report
Member since: Mar 18th 2001
Posts: 1604
bleah, quark...

i agree with deke, i'd go with the powerbook as well. i'd strongly suggest checking one out in person tho and seeing how you like the keyboard, proportions, etc., as typing on a laptop is different than on a desktop due to the keyboard size. if you add a mouse that's really the only noticeable difference tho.

btw, tho i'm not a huge fan of alienware they do have a sweet-looking pc laptop.

chris
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Mar 31st 2003#97841 Report
Member since: Mar 18th 2001
Posts: 6632
the alienware is cool, except that it weighs almost TEN freakin' pounds. And battery life is terrible with that Pentium 4 in there. Plus it gets really hot because of the P4 and graphics card. Great for mobile LAN gaming though.
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Mar 31st 2003#97842 Report
Member since: Mar 18th 2001
Posts: 1604
wow, that's a freakin' rock and while it is cool and techish-looking, it doesn't quite have the sex appeal of that 17" powerbook...

chris
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Mar 31st 2003#97843 Report
Member since: Mar 18th 2001
Posts: 6632
Nothing has the sex appeal of a PowerBook.

I don't know why all those buttons are on the front of the Alienware. I could never see myself controlling the cd player from there. Seems silly.
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Mar 31st 2003#97883 Report
Member since: Aug 9th 2002
Posts: 32
Cool. Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I did see the alienware notebook, but, like many of you, i ruled it out due to its ureasonable weight.

The 17" PB is definitely the best looking laptop around, and as far as performance is concerned, I did find a test which showed them actually FASTER at some photoshop processes than the dual 1GHZ powermac. So, I guess no worries there, except for the relatively low resolution.

Now, I am not a "switcher", per say, I prefer to stay cross-platform, so I can't help but wonder why Apple has such poor warranty. You only get ten days to see if you like the thing, and then it's only a year for parts/labor, unless you want to shell out another $350 for AppleCare. Given that notebooks are more prone to failure than desktops, and that apple apparently failed to resolve the TiBook paint issue for what sounds like hundreds if not thousands of TiBook owners, I am a bit concerned. The 17" has just come out, so who knows what problems it may develop say, three months from now, and who knows how Apple will respond. So far, I have not read many positive posts about Apple's desire to go the extra mile for their consumers.

But then, of course, most people who are perfectly happy with their Apple experience don't go and vent their feelings on the forums....
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Mar 31st 2003#97890 Report
Member since: Mar 18th 2001
Posts: 6632
Dell has an extended warranty plan too, that they try to push on everyone. I would pay for the applecare if i were buying a laptop. there is just too much that could go wrong with it as compared to a desktop.
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Mar 31st 2003#97893 Report
Member since: Sep 16th 2002
Posts: 1876
Toshiba all the way. We have owned 2 Sonys, 3 Toshibas, and an HP laptop. Toshiba beat them all.

I'd look into that.
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