Art student looking to purchase new laptop. Please help!!!

Alright, so here's my background. I am a Studio Art major in university right now. I am doing a concentration in painting and illustration, and my career goal is to become a creative/art director. I do graphic design as a side job, and sometimes assist on photo shoots as a backup photographer. I love doing mixed media work, for instance, mixing analog photography with digital illustrations, or even multimedia works.
I would love advice on the most appropriate laptop to invest in. Please include specifications necessary for this and price. I also (on a later date when I finish saving those funds) will be purchasing a desktop as well, so advice on both would actually be great. I don't just want the "college kid sufficient" suggestion please. I know what those are and I'm not interested in a just ok system. I'm not just a dreamer, but an achiever. I know that was corny and cliche, but I need my laptop and software system to be able to handle every task and opportunity that comes my way.

Oh and I currently own a 2007-2008? 17" HP dv7 laptop (h.s. graduation present).

Thanks in advance:)
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  1. Could you answer the following questions, it really does help a lot- if you don't want to be constrained to a certain setup, at least give a range, thanks:

    1. What is your budget?

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

    3. What screen resolution do you want?

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

    5. How much battery life do you need?

    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)?

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

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

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

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

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

    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.

    13. What country do you live in?

    14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
  2. @ Sorry hpfreak, I know it has been almost a year, life was a little hectic, but if you're still willing to help I'd really appreciate it.
    1. MY budget maxes out at 2,500 USD.
    2. The size of the notebook I'm considering is either a 15-17 inch. Nothing smaller.
    3. Screen resolution..umm 1920x1080, but I would much prefer a retina display.
    4. I don't quite understand this question.
    8. Nothing less than 6 hours.
    6. Not really. More into movies.
    7. Photo/Video editing, Illustration. Use of the entire Adobe Master Suite really and possibly 3D modeling
    8. I'm thinking 500GB. I also will be using an external hard drive.
    9. Nothing really has jumped out to me. I open.
    10. 4-5 years at the least.
    11. DVD ROM/Writer
    12. MAC because of the maintenance. I loved my HP until it broke down and took 4 visits to an outside tech to fix..and it still doesn't work efficiently.
    13. USA

    Thank you guys in advance:)
  3. @crookedmouth Thanks for your fast reply, and you are right that is narrowed down. However, I am open to PC options as long as they measure up to the appropriate specifications. To be quite candid, I haven't dealt with any other PC's aside from my HP laptop to really have a preference or platform to vouch for their competency. (Family desktop computer is a MAC which I why I can speak on its behalf)
  4. HP was and still remains one of the biggest and best laptop computer manufacturers in the world. HP is a pioneer when it comes to bringing about innovation in laptop technology. It scores in terms of performance but has seen a dip in popularity due to its lackluster customer support. Last week i have used my HP laptop to buy dissertation online from writing service. It's the only laptop computer manufacturer company that can supply you with custom made products according to your requirements. HP still remains one of the best, despite a large amount of competition from other brands. The sheer range and variety of products makes it one of the most unique laptop brands.
  5. @jacobadam Thank you for replying but what model? Do you mind being more specific?

    Anyone else have suggestions?
  6. Heh, I wish I was a moderator.
  7. Lol right?! I began reading that comment like wtf?!

    At any rate, crookedmouth, do you have any suggestions on a PC?
  8. Question 4 is asking, how important is it that the laptop is light and easy to move around with. It looks like you want a laptop, but that it'd mostly stay put in our house and be plugged in... then again you've stated you want 6 hrs of battery life, so maybe you're going to head out to the park, or don't want to carry the power brick with you everywhere?

    One thing you should know about retina is that while the pixel density is high, the effective field of view is the same as 1080 on the 17 in screen and it's 1680 on the 15'6 macbook pro. So while the screen looks better, you have less information being shown than a1080 screen.

    I think the macbook pro is a good option for what you're looking for. All of the high end gaming laptops are probably going to be too bulky, or not have enough battery life. This is one of the few high resolution laptops that isn't a mac.
  9. Oh I didn't even think about weight. Mainly because with my HP I bought an extra external battery in case I ended up somewhere without an outlet.

    I also never heard of less information being shown with Retina display so I will definitely do some research on the matter.

    I don't need my laptop to be stationery I plan on buying desktop in a couple years. So, let's dial the battery life to 4 hours?
  10. The MacBook is advertised as making 8 hours, so that easily overshoots the 4 hour hope. However, since as of now my goal in life is to prevent you from buying a Macbook, look at the Lenovo T540p. The site has a customiser, just get these:

    8GB RAM
    More memory is better for large photoshop files.

    Extended battery
    It can make 15 hours of light usage on the extended battery. Not bad, eh?

    3k screen
    Pretty self explanatory

    Nvidia 730m dedicated graphics
    Not the most powerful GPU out there, but what's better for graphical tasks than a GPU?

    Start with the base model and get those upgrades. You should stay under budget while picking up a good system.
  11. Retina displays are only available in Macs. With that budget you can pick a Macbook Pro 15'' with Retina display. Photoshop is compatible with Mac OS X so that wouldn't be an issue.
  12. The retina display is just 3k IPS, and the Lenovo I showed comes with a screen of great quality. Better battery life, too. Plus, windows, as an OS, is just wider spread meaning there'll be less compatibility issues to deal with.
  13. macs are a fashion statement
    For people who DO there is one choice: Thinkpad W series
    I own a W530 which is a superb machine, but now the W540 is out, I chose the the W530 because I am thinkpad purist, but as you never owned a thinkpad before I dont think you will have any problems with the W540.
    You being an artist I am pretty sure you will fell in love with the W540 3k display.
    Best of luck!
  14. While the 'T' series is more business orientated, the 'W' series is superior in almost every way: thinner, better CPU + GPU for the same price, RAID support, but there's one inferior aspect: the 'W' laptop will make ~6 hours on battery compared to the ~15 of the T540p.
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