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Graphic Design?: 17.3 vs 15.6 and specs

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January 9, 2013 11:24:30 AM

Hello all awesome people.

I am getting back into graphic design after years away from it, and my mid-level Dell laptop just isn't going to cut it.

I'm strongly considering an ASUS N56VJ DH71 laptop:

Intel Core i7 (3rd Gen) 3630QM / 2.4 GHz... Quad core
8 GB of RAM, expandable to 16 GB
1 TB hard drive (hdd), 5400 rpm
1920 x 1080, 15.6 display
NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M - 2 GB
Windows 8, 64 bit

Are these specs sufficient? I'll be using Photoshop, GIMP, probably Dreamweaver, eventually Illustrator and some amateur video editing. Main importance is graphic design. I've found this laptop for a little less than a grand and really like it. I'm not going to "think different" and go Apple :) , considering their non-interest in affordability and hostility to open-source.

Also, I understand that 17.3 can now be pretty portable given the thinness of new laptops, but I like the idea of having a 15.6 for lower battery consumption and more portability (this will be for freelance). Isn't the PPI denser on a 15.6, thus crisper? Is 15.6 ok in general for design work? Also, is the cooling system better on a 17.3, given that there's more room for one?

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

More about : graphic design specs

a b D Laptop
January 10, 2013 3:42:32 AM

Personally for design work I think I would prefer the 17.3" one. Once you get into video editing you may want to consider a faster hard drive (7200 vs 5400) but the 5400 should work. Asus has a good reputation and should be a good choice.
January 10, 2013 3:51:25 AM

McDougal66 said:
Hello all awesome people.

I am getting back into graphic design after years away from it, and my mid-level Dell laptop just isn't going to cut it.

I'm strongly considering an ASUS N56VJ DH71 laptop:

Intel Core i7 (3rd Gen) 3630QM / 2.4 GHz... Quad core
8 GB of RAM, expandable to 16 GB
1 TB hard drive (hdd), 5400 rpm
1920 x 1080, 15.6 display
NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M - 2 GB
Windows 8, 64 bit

Are these specs sufficient? I'll be using Photoshop, GIMP, probably Dreamweaver, eventually Illustrator and some amateur video editing. Main importance is graphic design. I've found this laptop for a little less than a grand and really like it. I'm not going to "think different" and go Apple :) , considering their non-interest in affordability and hostility to open-source.

Also, I understand that 17.3 can now be pretty portable given the thinness of new laptops, but I like the idea of having a 15.6 for lower battery consumption and more portability (this will be for freelance). Isn't the PPI denser on a 15.6, thus crisper? Is 15.6 ok in general for design work? Also, is the cooling system better on a 17.3, given that there's more room for one?

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.


I would go with Lenovo y500 or y580, cheaper and faster lol.
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January 10, 2013 4:37:13 PM

kenrivers said:
Personally for design work I think I would prefer the 17.3" one. Once you get into video editing you may want to consider a faster hard drive (7200 vs 5400) but the 5400 should work. Asus has a good reputation and should be a good choice.


Thanks alot for the feedback, Ken.

Yeah, I saw the hard drive and thought about that. I considered that unlike the size of the laptop, that can be changed later :) , especially as the 7200s get cheaper. It really appeared to be the only weakness.

Also, I have the same thoughts on the 17.3. I would definitely prefer that size screen for video editing, and I'm used to it since all my laptops have been that size. I actually went ahead and ordered the 15.6, after weighing out batt life and portability vs. screen size. (And actually, I can always hook it up to a bigger monitor later as money and time permits.) I'm going to be doing freelance work for a medium-sized company, so I'll really need portability.

The more I read about resolutions, it appears the PPI will be denser on the 15.6. This is my first true HD laptop and my first with an Ivy Bridge processor, much less a powerful one, so I'm stoked about that. I'll try to stick to my design work :) 

I'm not rich, so the $900 price was to good for me to pass up.

Thanks again, sir.
January 10, 2013 4:57:15 PM

just asking said:
I would go with Lenovo y500 or y580, cheaper and faster lol.


Those are insane deals!- the y500 is almost identical in specs and $80 cheaper than the ASUS, since it's on sale at the Lenovo site.

But, that y500 is 1 lb heavier, and the batt appears it has a little less life. And- that price is only with the 1366 resolution, while the ASUS is 1920, full HD. Plus, I like the appearance of the ASUS better, since all my laptops have been black/dark and show up dust horribly. I went ahead and ordered the ASUS for $900, so I'm not kicking myself for $80 more.

The y580 only has 6 GB of ram, and I need 8 GB minimum, with the option to expand to 16.

I do like the Lenovos, though. Thanks.
a b D Laptop
January 11, 2013 4:50:03 AM

McDougal66 said:
Thanks alot for the feedback, Ken.

Yeah, I saw the hard drive and thought about that. I considered that unlike the size of the laptop, that can be changed later :) , especially as the 7200s get cheaper. It really appeared to be the only weakness.

Also, I have the same thoughts on the 17.3. I would definitely prefer that size screen for video editing, and I'm used to it since all my laptops have been that size. I actually went ahead and ordered the 15.6, after weighing out batt life and portability vs. screen size. (And actually, I can always hook it up to a bigger monitor later as money and time permits.) I'm going to be doing freelance work for a medium-sized company, so I'll really need portability.

The more I read about resolutions, it appears the PPI will be denser on the 15.6. This is my first true HD laptop and my first with an Ivy Bridge processor, much less a powerful one, so I'm stoked about that. I'll try to stick to my design work :) 

I'm not rich, so the $900 price was to good for me to pass up.

Thanks again, sir.



Glad to help. I hope you do well with the design work. I understand about portability, the 17.3" is a bit much to carry around.
!