Help deciding on a new laptop (Graphic Design)


Oct 22, 2012
Hi, all.

I've been doing a little poking around for a new laptop as my desktop is starting to do the "I'm old, replace me" song.

To start off, I'll use the list provided in the FAQ:

1. What is your budget?
Under $1500, preferably, though there is some fudge room.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
I'm open to size, though I would like something around a 15" screen.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Not sure.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Desktop replacement. I won't move it much, but I would really like the option to go from one room to the next (watch some football while I work).

5. How much battery life do you need? Not too concerned on this as I should usually be near an outlet.

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)?
Not really a computer gamer anymore, but I would like the option. Nothing too graphically intense (I'm mostly a console gamer these days). The one game I would like to be able to play again is the Total War series, which, if I remember, was a little demanding.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
The main use for this computer is work. I teach online, so I use the computer heavily. But I also freelance as a graphic and layout designer, running the Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator) as well as the standard Word and Internet browser.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
This is fudgable. Anything at, or over, 500GB is fine. I have a 600GB now and I only use half of it.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Not considering anything specific. I poked around a little and got way overwhelmed.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
As long as possible. 5 years would be great.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD Rom/Writer would be great as I have a lot of music/files backed up on DVD (easier to put on the new computer)

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.
This is why I'm so lost. Years ago I used to know what brands were good and which were iffy. Dell used to have its problems, but it looks like they've cleaned up their act. I had a Gateway laptop years ago that was great for a year then just stopped doing anything correctly. I know these things change over the years, so I'm open to any brands (except Mac, and that's only because all my software is PC. . .and I don't like Mac's OS).

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I think that about covers it. I'm just looking for something durable and powerful, but I don't know what specifics that would relate to. If it makes a difference, I plan to use the screen from my Desktop and a second monitor for doing some of the bigget graphic design projects, so screen size really isn't that important, but I will need to be able to connect the screen (VGA at least) to the laptop. Otherwise, I'm open to any suggestions to get me headed in the right direction.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!



Oct 5, 2009
I would recommend a Lenovo W series. I've had a W520 and some of my friends have also had W series laptops, all of us have been happy. They're not uber-portable as they do weigh a good bit, all mobile workstations do, but for that you get super durability and reliability. You can get one from Lenovo's outlet for under $1500:

Scroll down a little, you'll find one for roughly $1500 (i7-2960XM and a Quadro 1000M with 1600x900 resolution). There's even some for cheaper. Lenovo outlet isn't bad either, I've ordered from them tons for work.