In need of a new laptop for Photoshopping

JMeans345

Estimable
Apr 15, 2014
4
0
4,510
0
Hello all,

I have gotten good advice from this website in the past, so I thought I'd ask for help here once again. I have two computers at the moment:

1. A half-decent desktop that I primarily use for Photoshopping and digital painting with a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet.

The specs are something like:
OS: 64 bit on Windows 7 enterprise
RAM: 8GB DDR3
CPU: i5
with an AMD Firepro V4900 plugged in the as GPU
(Its nothing crazy but it seems to get the job done.)

2. And a Samsung Chromebook that malfunctions when i plug in the charger.


Basically, I'm on the market for something portable that isn't the Chromebook so I can continue to Photoshop my heart away whilst traveling/on the go. But I'm also not trying to break the bank by investing in a brand spankin new gaming laptop. My budget will most likely range from $200-$400(max).

Questions would be:
Is this even possible?
If so, what should i be looking for?


Any advice would be much appreciated.
Hope to hear back from some of you soon.

Thanks,
-Jaz
 

cryoburner

Distinguished
Oct 8, 2011
85
0
18,660
31
From the look of it, the K55A officially supports up to 8GB of RAM. It would probably be worth bringing it up to that amount, and I imagine that should be enough for most Photoshop work.

It sounds like that system may come with a single 4GB stick of DDR3 1600, and should have an additional RAM slot available, so you might just be able to buy another 4GB stick and add it there. You should verify that first though. One free program that can show you what kind of RAM you have is HWinfo64, which you can find at its official site...

https://www.hwinfo.com

Another option is to simply open the laptop's case and have a look at the RAM modules, to see whether one or both slots are filled, and read the label on the RAM to see exactly what speed and capacity it is. Here's a video explaining how to get to the RAM in K55-series laptops...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND6EA9GHz_s

I also see some reports online of people who have upgraded their K55A to 16GB by replacing the existing RAM with a pair of 8GB modules, though that's not officially supported, and might potentially not work.
 

cryoburner

Distinguished
Oct 8, 2011
85
0
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It's possible to find some 2-in-1 convertible Windows notebooks in this price range that might potentially be worth looking at. These can be converted between a small notebook and a tablet either by removing the keyboard, or flipping it around back, depending on the model.

Most notably, some even include a pressure-sensitive pen, or can have one added, which might be useful if you wanted to work in Photoshop without dragging your Intuos around with you. I highly doubt that it would be as good as an Intuos, but it does allow for drawing directly on-screen, a bit like a budget Cintiq. I haven't personally tried one of these 2-in-1s with pen input, so I can't say how well it works for that purpose.

One example of these would be the Asus Transformer Mini, which has a 10 inch diagonal screen, runs Windows 10, and includes a pressure-sensitive pen...

https://www.pcmag.com/review/349819/asus-transformer-mini-t102ha-d4-gr

The biggest drawback with these types of 2-in-1s is that performance will be limited though, as they tend to have low-powered Intel Atom processors and relatively low amounts of RAM, and screen resolution will also tend to be rather low. So, I'm not sure how well they would perform in Photoshop. It's similar to the kind of hardware that you'll find in Chromebooks. To get more performance around this price range, you would likely need to look at much bulkier, more traditional laptops. I just thought I'd put the option out there though.
 

JMeans345

Estimable
Apr 15, 2014
4
0
4,510
0
UPDATE:

I bought an Asus K55A on craigslist for $75.

Specs are:

OS: windows 10 64bit
CPU: i5-3230M 2.6ghz
RAM: 4GB
Graphics: Intel HD 4000

Any chance i can upgrade the ram to a point of Photoshopability?
If so how much should i upgrade to work comfortably?
Anything else i can buy in terms of hardware that might make it easier to digitally paint?

I appreciate any and all feedback.

-Jaz
 

cryoburner

Distinguished
Oct 8, 2011
85
0
18,660
31
From the look of it, the K55A officially supports up to 8GB of RAM. It would probably be worth bringing it up to that amount, and I imagine that should be enough for most Photoshop work.

It sounds like that system may come with a single 4GB stick of DDR3 1600, and should have an additional RAM slot available, so you might just be able to buy another 4GB stick and add it there. You should verify that first though. One free program that can show you what kind of RAM you have is HWinfo64, which you can find at its official site...

https://www.hwinfo.com

Another option is to simply open the laptop's case and have a look at the RAM modules, to see whether one or both slots are filled, and read the label on the RAM to see exactly what speed and capacity it is. Here's a video explaining how to get to the RAM in K55-series laptops...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND6EA9GHz_s

I also see some reports online of people who have upgraded their K55A to 16GB by replacing the existing RAM with a pair of 8GB modules, though that's not officially supported, and might potentially not work.
 
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