I am not aware of any one laptop that particularly stands out, although I certainly have come across a few to avoid.
If you're a Mac user, the choice is obvious - a Macbook Pro. Be aware
the screens on Macbooks are not great from a colour point of view, even
the 'Retina' one is just mediocre. The price to performance ratio is
often not as good as in the PC world, but the hardware is very nice in
all - it's just a shame about those screens. The Macbook Air is ok for
light work but they do tend to struggle on bigger files/libraries. Oddly
the Macbook Air screens tend to be better than the non Retina Macbook
Pros, but still pretty low end from a colour point of view.
My personal preference on the PC side is for Asus laptops, for an imaging & general quality point of view. Lenovo Thinkpads are very good too. Look for a model with the best screen option - ideally the panel is IPS or at least SPVA, definitely NOT a TN panel).
The laptop should definitely run off an SSD, and as of February 2011 have a Sandy Bridge i5 or i7 processor. I think only Lenovo (used to be IBM) and Asus do IPS screens. If there are any currently available, they will be targeted at 'creative professionals'.
Windows 7 64 bit is the obvious choice, and 3D graphics acceleration
makes Photoshop a LOT nicer to use, so it's worth looking for a decent
video chipset as well. Of course, get as much ram as you can afford.
Those are the key things. Obviously a custom desktop would be the best option form a sheer power/price perspective, but laptops these days are really pretty effective as well.
- Alison Bennett -
I got 2nd prize at the Julie Milliwick Photography Prize!
I wanted to thank you for doing such a fabulous job on the print. It was wonderful to see the exhibition print on the wall.
I am particularly delighted that we were able to hold so much detail in the shadows and I like the matt powdery finish. I had lots of questions about the paper.