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High end laptop (music/web design)

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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April 29, 2011 12:20:46 PM

1. What is your budget?

£1000 - £2000

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

~13.3" - 15.6"

3. What screen resolution do you want?

as high resolution possible in 13-15" range!

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

portable

5. How much battery life do you need?

1-2 hrs is enough as I will be powering it direct mostly.

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)?

No interest in laptop gaming what so ever. However I will use Adobe CS (especially After effects for video editing) and do 3D modelling. For this a reasonable GPU will be required.

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

Watching youtube tutorials while working on my desktop computer.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

500GB+ - more if it isn't expensive

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

amazon.co.uk, ebuyer.com, ebay (for used)

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

~2 years

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

none, unless necessary.

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.

Not interested in Macbooks the interface would be a burdon. I have always used windows OS! :) 

13. What country do you live in?

England

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Have done some research but I'm overwhelmed by the selection of laptops out there. Ideally if a ~£1000 laptop can match my aging desktop (Q6600 @ 3.0GHZ/6gb RAM) then I'll be very happy with it. Intel i7 range seems most suitable and 8gb RAM will be optimal for music/video editing. If it is considerably cheaper/better value for money then I'll go i5/4gb RAM. Money isn't an object but I do not want to pay significantly more for a small performance increase. If completely necessary - I'll go for a larger screen size (17") to meet my requirements for a high resolution.

So, I'm quite undecided on screen size, specs at the moment and need to learn more. I hope to fine tune through discussion! :) 
April 30, 2011 4:29:18 PM

Maziar said:
Have a look at Kobalt GS150
http://kobaltcomputers.co.uk/gs150_overview.html
Customize it with 8GB RAM/i7 2630QM and you're good to go :) 


Thanks I am very impressed with that

Display:
1920x1080 resolution (if you customise) on a 15.6" display surprised me. Does anybody use a small display with such a high resolution? What is it like for web browsing etc? It'll sure be enough room for my web/music software. Seems excellent!

I hope it isn't "glossy" to the extent in which I can't work with it without barricading the windows first. Also mid-high display quality will be of importance considering I will do some multimedia authoring on it.

Processor:

Why the 2630QM? Is this the price/performance king for laptop processors?

Graphics:

2GB gpu on a laptop seems overkill. My understanding was anything above 1GB GPU memory was for resolutions above 1920x1200. I'm not interested in gaming horsepower (unless the price/performance is really good) it doesn't seem like I can opt for anything else though.


Wifi:

Not sure about the options here? Will default integrated wireless be good enough? I have a 50MB internet connection but I will likely be migrating large files to and from this laptop (50GB+ uncompressed video files!) This said, I suspect my wireless router will be the bottleneck here.

In all, it seems very good. Thank you for the suggestion. Nice price of ~£1090 with 2630QM/8gb memory/1920x1080 Matt LED Backlit display. This should outperform my desktop computer as well and I was uncertain whether that was possible at the lower end of my budget.

Please advise regarding my queries above. I must learn as much as possible before investing my money :sol: 
Related resources
a c 244 D Laptop
May 1, 2011 10:31:31 AM

1)1920x1200 is a little too much for 15.6" but gives you much more work space than other typical 15" models with 1366x768 resolution
2)Yep,2630QM offers the best price/performance ratio
3)The capacity isn't much important these days, other specs mater(such as number of stream processors etc.) GT 555M is a good mid-range GPU
4)Due to lack of fast connections in my country,my knowledge is a little limited on these things. But I think 802.11 b/g/n Wifi suffices.
May 1, 2011 5:15:36 PM

If you're going to be moving files in the 50GB range, if you're doing it to/from some computer on your local network, you should probably try to use gigabit ethernet if you can as that will be several times faster than WiFi. While My internet connection isn't quite that fast, I have always found a bottleneck on wireless N instead of the internet, although I rarely can leave my laptop right by the access point and I use crappy consumer grade wifi cards and access points.

tl;dr: if you need to move any real amount of data around, wired will be a lot better. For normal web surfing wireless should be perfectly fine.
May 1, 2011 7:00:53 PM

Maziar said:
1)1920x1200 is a little too much for 15.6" but gives you much more work space than other typical 15" models with 1366x768 resolution
2)Yep,2630QM offers the best price/performance ratio
3)The capacity isn't much important these days, other specs mater(such as number of stream processors etc.) GT 555M is a good mid-range GPU
4)Due to lack of fast connections in my country,my knowledge is a little limited on these things. But I think 802.11 b/g/n Wifi suffices.


You are really helpful, thanks Maziar! :)  Since it doesn't appear to be a massive issue I'll have to go with 1920x1080 just because I've used dual displays on my desktop (27" 2560x1440/24" 1920x1200) for so long I'll probably suffer with any less.

One question about Kobalt, I noticed their desktop computer prices are considerably more expensive than building from scratch (unlike laptops, I am very familiar with desktop components). Are their laptops the best value for money or are "kobalt" similar to dell/alienware in which the consumer pays extra just for the brand name? Are there better options out there? Are the components they use of high quality?

I just want to gain more perspective on everything.

scotu said:
If you're going to be moving files in the 50GB range, if you're doing it to/from some computer on your local network, you should probably try to use gigabit ethernet if you can as that will be several times faster than WiFi. While My internet connection isn't quite that fast, I have always found a bottleneck on wireless N instead of the internet, although I rarely can leave my laptop right by the access point and I use crappy consumer grade wifi cards and access points.

tl;dr: if you need to move any real amount of data around, wired will be a lot better. For normal web surfing wireless should be perfectly fine.


Aha, I should have thought of this. Of course I'd use a direct wired connection for large file transfers. Well I won't have to upgrade anything then, as long as it supports my internet connection :) 
a c 244 D Laptop
May 2, 2011 9:01:59 AM

wildpluckings said:
You are really helpful, thanks Maziar! :)  Since it doesn't appear to be a massive issue I'll have to go with 1920x1080 just because I've used dual displays on my desktop (27" 2560x1440/24" 1920x1200) for so long I'll probably suffer with any less.

One question about Kobalt, I noticed their desktop computer prices are considerably more expensive than building from scratch (unlike laptops, I am very familiar with desktop components). Are their laptops the best value for money or are "kobalt" similar to dell/alienware in which the consumer pays extra just for the brand name? Are there better options out there? Are the components they use of high quality?

I just want to gain more perspective on everything.



You can't compare desktops with notebooks because you can't build notebooks as easy as desktops;therefore, buying prebuilt desktops always cost way more than building it yourself
But that's not the case with laptops.You have to buy them and it's hard to build them.
You can't find any laptops with the same specs as Kobalt GS150 with the same price.
Sager/Clevo(known as Kobalt in UK) laptops offer an excellent price/performance ratio
May 3, 2011 7:31:32 PM

Maziar said:
You can't compare desktops with notebooks because you can't build notebooks as easy as desktops;therefore, buying prebuilt desktops always cost way more than building it yourself
But that's not the case with laptops.You have to buy them and it's hard to build them.
You can't find any laptops with the same specs as Kobalt GS150 with the same price.
Sager/Clevo(known as Kobalt in UK) laptops offer an excellent price/performance ratio


thanks, that appeared to be the case. As for the Kobalt GS150 I would be surprised if it was on it's own for price/performance. Which laptops in the same price range give it the toughest competition? I wouldn't mind reviewing them :) 

There are three options for 1920x1080 displays. Significant difference between prices! X-Glass LED/MATT LED NTSC 60%/MATT LED NTSC 95%. I don't want to compromise on display quality because the type of work I do, but at the same time I wouldn't pay extra if it wasn't worth it. Anyone have any suggestions? I could probably review the displays in person at a hardware store but I am more interested in what people think after long term use at home/work.

a c 244 D Laptop
May 4, 2011 8:16:07 AM

If you can afford the MATT LED 95% then go for it,it's totally worth it
August 3, 2011 10:44:50 PM

I did not follow through with this because I deemed a desktop upgrade the better investment after a lot of research.

I am now on the hunt for a portable computer again. Considering the pace new technology becomes available I do NOT expect the Kobalt GS150 is still the best deal out there, what alternatives are there today? If the Kobalt GS150 is still the best value for money within the high end range, then I will wait until it gets replaced by something else or drops in price significantly.
!