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Advice needed -- shopping for a video editing laptop

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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December 14, 2009 4:35:23 PM

Hi, all -

I'm shopping for a new laptop. Based on my research thus far, I think my finalists are the Dell Studio 17 w/ the i7-820QM and the HP Pavilion dv8t w/ the i7-820QM, but I'm definitely open to other suggestions.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/advice you can offer!


1_What is your budget?

~$2500

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

17-18" display

3_What screen resolution do you want?

The higher the better, but 1080p is a must. Ideally I'd like an LED-backed display. Support for dual monitors would be nice, too.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

This is definitely more of a desktop replacement. I want the ability to work from my couch rather than a desk. "Portability" is important in that I want to be able to take my laptop out of my house to work, but I'm not concerned about the inconvenience of carrying around a bulky/heavy laptop.

5_How much battery life do you need?

I expect to be using AC power 90% of the time. If I'm in an airport or coffee shop and can't get an outlet, I'd love to have a couple of hours of battery life, but I'm willing to pony up for an extra battery if I need one.

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

I'm not much of PC gamer (particularly not FPS or MMO). I think the last thing I played on a PC was Portal.

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)

The main considerations are video editing/rendering (regular and Blu-ray), photo editing, and print layout. I'll also be watching movies, listening to music and typical web browsing.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?

I'm guessing a minimum of 500GB, but ideally closer to 1TB. I'm intrigued by the idea of pairing a smaller solid-state drive with a big drive, or of setting up two 500GB drives as RAID 0, but I'd love to hear thoughts on whether the real-world performance is that noticeable. (I plan to backup to an external drive.)

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them.

So far I've just been window-shopping at HP, Dell and Apple.

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?

At least 3 years. I need to be able to upgrade to future versions of the software I'm using without wanting to cry. I realize there's only so much future-proofing one can do, but I'd like this to be a viable machine for a while, and I'm willing to pay a bit more now to do it.

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

Blu-ray & regular DVD reader/writer.

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

The IT guys at work like working with Dell support, and have told me good things about their non-corporate support/parts experience, too.

I've never owned or used anything from HP. Their prices seem a bit lower than Dell's, and my company has an EPP discount there, so that's a plus. However, I've been hearing not-so-flattering things about their service/parts.

I'm open to the idea of a Mac, but I don't want to pay a cost premium for it. Booting to Linux doesn't matter to me.

13_What country do you live in?

USA

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I know there's no such thing as great sound from a laptop, but I would love to have speakers that don't actively suck.

December 14, 2009 9:10:27 PM

Since you are doing video editing, whatever make/model you end up going for, the more memory it comes with the better 6GB+ is recommended, Intel i7 processor or Quad core processor and a decent dedicated gpu processor, considering the budget Solid state drive is a must, 2 years warranty advisable.

Browse through the following links for more confusion.

Toshiba Qosmio X505
Intel® Core™ i7-720QM, 6GB DDR3 memory, 64GB solid state drive, 320GB hard drive (7200rpm), NVIDIA® GeForce® GTS 250M (1GB GDDR5), Blu-ray Disc™ ROM and DVD burner, Native 1080p support, 802.11n & Bluetooth® wireless, HDMI-CEC port, LED backlit keyboard. Warranty extensions available.
http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptop/toshiba-qosmio-x...
http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/laptops.to?category...


ASUS G72GX-A1
Extras;Good warranty, 2 years (first year accidental). ASUS 30 Day Pixel Guarantee .Quality Asus G Series Mouse and bag Customiseable to requirement
http://www.xoticpc.com/asus-g72gxa1-order-p-2722.html?w...

Sager NP8760.
Customiseable to requirement
http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8760-built-clevo-w870cu-...

15.6” laptop
http://www.xoticpc.com/asus-g51ja1-p-2674.html
http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/asus-g51j-a1.as...



December 15, 2009 2:47:14 AM

what about the quality and customer service/tech support from
hp vs Dell as mentioned by angrynerdgirl - any input on that?
Related resources
December 15, 2009 6:50:55 AM

Toshiba makes (markets) reliable laptops, even their entry level machines are well build. Asus makes good laptops too, but I don’t think the build quality is as good as Toshiba. Recent survey sheds some light on these opinions. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/most-least-reliable-no... HP, Acer, Gateway were at the bottom of reliability list.

As for customer services, My experience is been good with Toshiba, but never dealt with Asus.

Dell has resonable customer service.

Apple is very smart though , charge 50-75% more and provide good service :sol:  .



December 15, 2009 2:23:18 PM

Thanks for the links, ibnsina! I took a look (see comments below). What are your feelings on Dells, in general?

ibnsina said:
Since you are doing video editing, whatever make/model you end up going for, the more memory it comes with the better 6GB+ is recommended, Intel i7 processor or Quad core processor and a decent dedicated gpu processor, considering the budget Solid state drive is a must, 2 years warranty advisable.

Browse through the following links for more confusion.

Toshiba Qosmio X505
Intel® Core™ i7-720QM, 6GB DDR3 memory, 64GB solid state drive, 320GB hard drive (7200rpm), NVIDIA® GeForce® GTS 250M (1GB GDDR5), Blu-ray Disc™ ROM and DVD burner, Native 1080p support, 802.11n & Bluetooth® wireless, HDMI-CEC port, LED backlit keyboard. Warranty extensions available.
http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptop/toshiba-qosmio-x...
http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/laptops.to?category...


The Toshiba looks nice, but doesn't seem to offer a Blu-ray writer (I could only see a ROM offered).

ibnsina said:
ASUS G72GX-A1
Extras;Good warranty, 2 years (first year accidental). ASUS 30 Day Pixel Guarantee .Quality Asus G Series Mouse and bag Customiseable to requirement
http://www.xoticpc.com/asus-g72gxa1-order-p-2722.html?w...


This looks pretty cool. It comes to right around $2500, including the 80GB SSD and a 500 GB second drive. How do the Core2 Quads compare to the i7 chips? (I used the P9700 in my pricing, but I don't really know enough about those chips to know which I would want.)

ibnsina said:
Sager NP8760.
Customiseable to requirement
http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np8760-built-clevo-w870cu-...



The Sager looks awesome, but when I configure it with the i7-820QM, 6GB memory, the 80GB SSD and a Blu-ray burner it's topping out at >$3K, which is a bit over my budget. :( 




Oddly, the smaller g51 costs several hundred dollars more than the g72 (above) when they're kitted out to basically equivalent levels. I guess the difference is i7 vs. Core2?

Thanks again for your advice! I'm definitely going to look a bit closer at the Asus g72.
December 15, 2009 3:36:29 PM

1. Dell is alright, not the best build and not the worst, is somewhere in between.

2.All the Toshiba Qosmio X500 or X505 comes with blue ray. http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/laptops.to?category...


3. i7 720QM versus Quad Q9000

SuperPI 1M............i7 720QM 37.5% slower
SuperPI 2M........................36.84% slower
SuperPI 32M......................48.36% faster
3dMark06CPU....................7.36% faster
Dhrystone..........................7.33% faster
Whetstone........................10.89% faster
Cinebench Single...............26.7% faster
Cinebench Multi................10.61% faster
wPrime 32.........................35.48% faster
wPrime 1024.....................38.53% faster

source : http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmar...

Forget about T9600, P9700 , T9900 upgrades, these are all dual cores, the reason they are more expensive is because they consume less power and produce less heat.

(you can compare more cpu’s, make sure to select “Show only notebook CPU” and click restrict.

4. I agree Sager is overpriced.

5. The Asus G51J-A1 laptop, with i7.720QM, 6GB Ram, nVidia GeForce GTX 260M, 2X Blu-Ray Reader + 8X DVDRW, 80GB Intel X25-M Solid State Drive, 500GB 7200RPM HD, Asus G Series Gaming Mouse, ASUS 30 Day Pixel Guarantee. FHD Screen 1920x1080. 2 years warranty . Total : $2010.81.

Is not easy to make a choice,but as it stand for 17”+ display I will go for Qosmio X505 Q850. And for smaller display ASUS G51J-A1.

Also do check it out in a electrical store before you it.
.........................................................................................................................

Remember doing memory upgrade yourself is so much cheaper. 4GB (204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM) prices start from $180 on newegg. xoticp is charging too much. But the problem is, these laptop comes with 2 or 3 memory slots, so all of them will be used up when you get.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
!