Recommend a laptop for traveling freelance graphic designer

requirements:
-PC (windows 7)
- decent processing power, ram
-decent graphics (but does not need to be *gaming* good)
-good battery life
-build quality that could handle some traveling/backpacking (i would prob also get a laptop pelican case or something)
-I am hoping to keep weight down-does NOT need to have a CD drive

-budget is 1,000-1,500

I am used to building my own desktop and i think my expectations have been skewed a bit, i initially was looking at the asus zenbook ux31 which seemed great until saw the processing speed of 1.8 ghz.
I love the size, form factor, and build quality of the 15" macbook pros but i prefer windows and dont know its worth spending the money on a macbook pro if im just gonna run windows on it...

and just in case it helps, I primarily use:

AutoCAD
Photoshop
Illustrator
Dreamweaver
(cakewalk sonar recording software, but thats pleasure more than business)


anyone have any recommendations?
5 answers Last reply
More about recommend laptop traveling freelance graphic designer
  1. Mac book air or Mac Book pro, Apple has and can provide everything a graphic designer wants. Both 2 can run the programs you want with no problem!
  2. Hi, have you checked out some of the custom laptop builders? With your experience in building, you'll get a very good idea of what is available in your target price range (I used pcspecialist for a custom laptop build last year - uk builder). Make sure you check out a reasonable number of these builders just to ensure you get a good range of bulds & costs.

    With some Adobe products there you might want to consider nvidia gfx for cuda support - providing the functions accelerated by cuda are those important to you (not every function is accelerated).
    I don't know much about macs but, of course, check these out to.
    Good battery life is always a compromise with cpu speed, gfx horsepower, and the software you are running - only you can make that choice.
    720p or 1080p screens? - wouldn't the higher res screen would be better with photoshop & autocad? 1080p, however, might mean a 17" laptop (not always), thus heavier.
    Just some thoughts.
    p.s. I do a bit of sonar recording myself. The usual cpu horsepower rules apply to multiple plugin use - either tracking or playback. If you are using an external audio interface check out it's pc connection - e.g. firewire? Of course, there shouldn't be much of a prob if using Propellerhead stuff in isolation (appart from storage considerations for your sound libraries).
  3. im reviving this thread since my search continues,

    i dont necessarily need a high res display, given the option id prob pass on a 1080 glossy and go with a non reflective matte screen with lower res, (usually still plenty good enough)

    I was almost completely sold on the newer dell XPS 15 laptops but then i started reading poor reviews on the wireless, apparently theres a common issue with it being really weak signal.

    any input on what people think min. specs should be if i plan to run adobe CS.5 is also welcome. I have a hard time with all these new CPU architectures since clock speed has somewhat plateaued.

    Thanks
  4. These are worth checking out: http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=category_browse&selected_cat=3
    Of the programs you listed I would think AutoCad would be the most demanding. Which suite of CS 5.5 will you be running? I only ask because the requirements for the Design Suite may not be as demanding as Production Premium.
  5. well there is a chance i might not even have a copy of AutoCAD, so im not going to worry too much about that... if i had it i would only be using it as another tool in my graphic design arsenal (not heavy architecture/survey drawings).

    Its the CS 5.5 design suite
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