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Lenovo - X220t Tablet versus W520 Powerhouse?

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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April 3, 2012 7:37:04 PM

I'm stuck! I'm considering two different laptops, one tablet, or one powerhouse. I'd use the tablet for fun, easy games, school notes, etc... I'd use the other mainly for photos. My previous laptop was super-duper slow when it came to developing photos, etc. Not a thinker, lets say... So the dilemna is: which one should I get? Curious as to what the community suggests.

Mainly I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for my photos. I do a lot of panoramics and photo merges of pictures that are like 12 mb, merging them used to take forever. I know the W520 is better when it comes to CPU's, but do you think the speed would be noticeable enough to augment the ease and accessability of a tablet?

Also, how about the graphics card capabilities? I don't know too much in this arena.

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ThinkPad X220t (Tablet)
Processor: Intel Core i7-2640M Processor (2.80GHz, 4M Cache with Turbo Boost up to 3.50GHz)
Display type: 12.5" Multitouch HD (1366x768) LED Backlit Display, Mobile Broadband Ready, 2x2 Antenna
System graphics: Intel® HD Graphics 3000
Total memory: 4 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz SODIMM Memory (1 DIMM)
Hard drive: Intel 160GB Solid State Drive, Serial ATA
Battery: 6 Cell Battery X52+
Integrated WiFi wireless LAN adapters: Intel CA-N+WiMAX 6250 MOW
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ThinkPad W520
Intel Core i7-2860QM Processor (2.50 GHz, 8MB L3)
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) LED Backlit Anti-Glare Display, Mobile Broadband Ready
NVIDIA Quadro 2000M Graphics with 2GB DDR3 Memory
4 GB DDR3 - 1333MHz (1 DIMM)
Intel 160 GB Solid State Drive, Serial ATA
Intel Centrino Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250 (2x2 ABGN)
------------------------------------
Processor comparison:

Cheers and thanks!
a c 223 D Laptop
April 3, 2012 8:09:41 PM

If you work on the laptop keyboard and screen a lot, the larger one would be much better to use when working with photos.

Speed between the two would be pretty close.
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April 3, 2012 8:38:09 PM

Two completely different systems, that are both excellent in their own way.

The workstation has a quad core CPU and the tablet has a dual core. Big, big difference there for heavy photo editing. The workstation also has a separate powerful workstation graphics card, which Adobe products can take advantage of. The tablet has a standard on-board graphics card that's nothing special. There will be a noticeable difference in performance for sure. In terms of rendering stuff and merging panorama's we're talking maybe more than twice as fast.

Don't get me wrong though, the tablet is very fast and would most likely satisfy all your needs, but the other one is a totally bad-ass, mean, evil, violent machine that would beat the *** out of my current desktop. But, it's big, heavy, runs warmer, has less battery life and has no touch screen.

It really is your call :)  apples and oranges really.


I bet you there are a lot of cool touch-screen PC's coming out once Windows 8 arrives. Asus has a tablet that you can click into a keyboard so it turns into a laptop, but it runs on Android. Imagine that with Windows. Awesomeness.
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a c 223 D Laptop
April 3, 2012 8:43:46 PM

Hm, that i7 in the tablet is a dual core, I though all i7s were quads and the i5s were dual core. Damn Intel marketing. Makes the larger laptop more suited for heavy editing of large files and video compression and such, in addition to having a more usable screen.
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April 3, 2012 9:50:23 PM

hang-the-9 said:
Hm, that i7 in the tablet is a dual core, I though all i7s were quads and the i5s were dual core. Damn Intel marketing. Makes the larger laptop more suited for heavy editing of large files and video compression and such, in addition to having a more usable screen.


On the desktop all i7 CPU's are quad cores. On laptops only the 7xxxQM chips are.
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April 3, 2012 10:32:28 PM

I fixed the processor comparison link. Not sure why it didn't take the first time.

Dickstar said:
It really is your call :)  apples and oranges really.

True that, I simply want apples AND oranges! But I know that's not happening. I hadn't really considered Windows 8. I don't know much about it at all... you really think that merges, etc. would be nearly twice as fast, huh?

308694,2,601647 said:
the larger (screen) would be much better to use when working with photos.
quotemsg]

The screen size you pointed out is definitely something I hadn't considered enough. That's a very important thing for photos, next to processing power. Also the graphics card, that'll make a big difference.

So I think I'm gonna give up on the tablet, though the screen would definitely be fun and nice for everyday things. Picture-power it is.

Thanks all.
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April 4, 2012 12:33:45 AM

You can always get an Android tablet. Get something that runs on ICS aka Android 4.0 like the Asus Transformer Prime or the Samsung Galaxy Tab. They're pretty cheap and do anything you would want a tablet to do.
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April 4, 2012 1:00:43 AM

BeamsBox said:
I fixed the processor comparison link. Not sure why it didn't take the first time.


True that, I simply want apples AND oranges! But I know that's not happening.


Well, I'm sure we'll get there eventually. We're already pretty close, quite frankly. I'm constantly amazed by how fast small, energy efficient laptops are these days.

Quote:
I hadn't really considered Windows 8. I don't know much about it at all...


You can try the beta for free here:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/consumer-p...

It has a touch-optimized interface. It's going to shock a lot of people for sure when it comes out.

Quote:
you really think that merges, etc. would be nearly twice as fast, huh?


Yeah, probably more than twice as fast. Good editing software like Adobe's takes really good advantage of multicore cpu's. The workstation has twice as many cores, so that part is already about twice as fast. On top of that there's an Nvidia Quadro graphics chip in there, a bad-ass one, too, which sole purpose is to render things. It's really good at that because that's pretty much the only thing it can do. The CPU is a much more complex chip that can do a lot of different things, but will do all those different things slower than a dedicated chip for one task. That's why even a simple photo camera processes the raw sensor image into a nice optimized Jpeg faster than the fastest i7 processor can.


The latest few versions of Photoshop can utilize Nvidia Cuda. Be sure to tick it in your settings, it makes a huge difference when you're doing things with large images. Video rendering is also fantastic with Cuda. You'll be able to play the latest games on this laptop too, by the way.
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