It feels like looking for a needle in a haystack

PA Systems

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I've spent several weeks in a frustrating search for a new laptop. One of my main baselines for my search is for a machine with a backlit keyboard. However two things snag the search. One, if I do find a laptop with a backlit keyboard, the machine is lacking other important features such as an optical drive. Two, often, the online retailers such as Newegg or Amazon makes mistakes or lack fully verifiable information that the backlit keyboard is present on the machine. Amazon doesn't even include "backlit keyboard" in its search refinements. Newegg does but still doesn't always get it right. Some model specifications I've seen on manufacturers websites only refer to that feature as "optional on select models". Customer service or sales people on the phone couldn't buy a clue and some are true morons!! They often make the same mistake: confusing a backlit keyboard with a backlit display. I've seen other offers from places like Groupon which reveal themselves to be outright deceptive.

I want a machine with a Backlit Keyboard, an optical drive (DVD multi or better), at least 8GB of ram and sufficient graphics power to run photo editing and image creation software such as Photoshop, Artrage and Filter Forge with no processing time lags. I'd go with either an Intel processor or an AMD processor depending upon which laptop configurations offer the best overall graphics power for the price. My budget is anywhere from $500 to $700.
 

PA Systems

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I appreciate the sentiment and the idea, but Alienware is waaay out of my budget. The highest I would go is $800 and that's pushing it. It seems that a classification of computer should include Image Editing machines, which could be somewhere between Mainstream and Gaming laptops.

 

PA Systems

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I have these on my wish list on Newegg. They are possibilities. I'm not certain as to whether or not they will be sufficient and are an improvement over my current laptop, the HP pavilion m6-1035dx.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834231448

These two hit the absolute ceiling of my budget:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834231448

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834232576

This one comes at a relative bargain price but relies only on the intel 5500 graphics.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834298169

Not too sure about the graphics of this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834298297





 

PA Systems

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Dell has an offer on that machine for $629, well under resellers. I wonder about the video resolution. In a seeming unrelated question; if your laptop has a resolution of 1366 x 768 can you still get a resolution of 1920 x 1080 via an HDMI connection to a monitor supporting that resolution?
 

dudeman509

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Jan 23, 2015
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Sure. I used to do it with my Dell Studio all the time.

If that's what you're looking for, a business-oriented laptop with a docking station becomes a lot more convenient.
 

PA Systems

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I do it with my current machine. I do suspect it may be having more to with my external monitor and what Windows detect.

 

PA Systems

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I found two deals today that are of interest. One is an HP Envy machine.

http://store.hp.com/us/en/ConfigureView?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&catEntryId=913666&quantity=1

The other is a DELL Inspiron laptop. The annoying part of this one is they speak of the keyboard as if it required an UPGRADE to a backlit enabled one.

http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-15-5558-laptop/pd?oc=dndov2310brw7p&model_id=inspiron-15-5558-laptop

another one from Dell with a touchscreen and more specifics on the keyboard.

http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-15-5558-laptop/pd?oc=dndnv2366bw10&dgc=CJ&cid=47997&lid=4279734&acd=12309198375458460&ven1=12255000-227502-F0120005A00C455487C0A01455487C84A01A0A0&ven3=264702918709461739

They all seem similar. I'm not sure which one is best for the money. Also Dells site is confusing and you can fall into a trap there. They offer 4 years of accidental damages services for the price of 3 but what you find out after you've added that to the cost ($79) that it is required that you also add the corresponding warranty service to the total cost. That rubbed me the wrong way a bit.

 

dudeman509

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Jan 23, 2015
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That's poor wording on Dell's part, but the 1558 does indeed have a backlit keyboard standard. I guess they're trying to make it sound like it's an "upgrade" from your previous computer?

Will you ever do any gaming on this computer, or just strictly Photoshop/editing work?
 

PA Systems

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Jun 20, 2013
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Photoshop/editing is my main focus. You may very well be right about their wording. I've noticed that on a lot of sites. Some of them commit what Weird Al Yankovic calls "Word Crimes". They all need a full time proofreader or a cunning linguist.
 

dudeman509

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Jan 23, 2015
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Yeah, agreed - I often find that my 15" 1366*768 display just doesn't have enough screen real estate (HP has the option for a 1920x1080 display too for $60 or so). I think you'd be fine with a strong processor and the Intel HD Graphics for what you're intending to use it for, then.
 

PA Systems

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Newegg has a deal on a lower version. The processor may not be as good, no touchscreen and the display is lower resolution. But no taxes and it's $599.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=34-298-...

I wonder if there would be a considerable difference betwee the above machine and the $699 Dell.


The taxes on the higher end Dell would add $63 to the price. No good!!


 

dudeman509

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Jan 23, 2015
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Does your state do a tax-free back-to-school weekend? VA, NC, and Maryland all do, but that's all I know. If so, it's a great time to buy stuff like that.

If not, the other one's probably fine - the i5-5200U and i7-5500U are very close in performance.
 

velo3100

Splendid
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I would try and get the asus n series if you can. I don't know if they have a backlit keyboard though but all the other criteria are met. This is though the upper range of your budget but it will be well worth it.

This will depend on the complexity of photoshop and the other programs.
 

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