Looking for a portable, powerful Laptop (Office, Photoshop, Light Rendering)

Firefly2511

Commendable
Apr 5, 2016
3
0
1,510
0
Hi guys, I am looking for advice on laptop buying (obviously).
Up until now, I have always made do with low-budget office consumer laptops, but they no longer fit my needs and left me hanging high and dry after 3 years at the very latest. What I am looking for is a sturdy machine that offers a reasonable compromise between power and portability.
Most of the time I'll be using it for internet and office programs, but I need a laptop which is also able to handle large Photoshop files and a bit of 3D modelling and rendering without getting all choked up.

Standard FAQ:

1. What is your budget?
€1, 000 - €2, 200

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15"

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1980x1080 or slightly more. 4K is out, because I am mainly using old programs which won't scale well without the menu becoming to tiny to click.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portable, weighing less than 2 kilograms. Less than 1,5 kilograms would be nice.

5. How much battery life do you need?
5 hours+, the more the better.

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)?
No, except maybe for older games with low to medium demands on the GPU.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing, watching movies, etc.)
Main use will definitely be office use. I also use it for Photoshop and I plan on going into rendering, the operative words being “plan on going”, i.e. no need for heavy rendering yet.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
256 GB SSD as boot drive.
A minimum of 500 GB to save my clutter. Again, the bigger the better.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I've taken some sites into consideration, but I'd like to hear some other opinions before posting my own ideas.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
As long as possible. 4-5 years as a minimum and I am ready to pay more for a sturdier machine.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need?
An optical DVD/Blu-Ray drive would be great, but it's not a knock-out criterium if it there is none.

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.
No preference, although I am not a friend of Apple's price-performance ratio which is why it wouldn't be my first choice.

13. What country do you live in?
Germany

Other technical stuff:

14. Type of GPU
I'd prefer a dedicated nVIDIA GPU, because it's better with cycles rendering than AMD. Then again, it's something I read on the internet and I can be convinced otherwise.
Basically, I need a GPU which is able to handle moderate amounts of photo editing and 3D rendering.

15. Type of Processor
Intel i5 or i7 or anything that's on par with them.

16. RAM
8GB+

17. Ports
3xUSB as a minimum. No Type C.
1xHDMI

18. Screen
Since I'll be doing some working with Photoshop, I'm looking for a screen that covers a big part of the Adobe RGB colour gamut. (>65%, the more the better). Matte/Anti-glare would be great.


Please note that only very few of the specifications I made are absolutely obligatory. I am well aware that you can't demand a laptop with the hardware build to curbstomp any resource-heavy processes to have more than 10 hours of battery life and vice versa. I can compromise on almost everything, what I want to do is merely to find a laptop which comes as close as possible to the stats mentioned above.

I did a fair bit of research myself and I've come up with some results, but I'd be interested in what you guys manage to dig up and generally, your opinions.

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

AdriansNetwork

Estimable
Jul 17, 2015
12
0
4,570
1
I would go with this: http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/xps-15-9550-laptop/pd?oc=cax15w10s1630&model_id=xps-15-9550-laptop

It's thin, has good battery life, is very powerful, has beautiful 1080p or optional 4K screen, awesome keyboard and very reliable.
It comes in different configs at different pricings.
I have had two ASUS high performance laptops and both has failed me so I would not recommend Asus personally. But if you have not had a problem with Asus, check this one: https://www.asus.com/se/Notebooks/ASUS-ZenBook-Pro-UX501/ (It has a 4K screen and 1080p options available)
 

AdriansNetwork

Estimable
Jul 17, 2015
12
0
4,570
1


Yeah, the Razor blade 14 is a good choice also but it has a slightly smaller screen yet larger footprint because of the big bezels compared to the XPS 15.
 

Firefly2511

Commendable
Apr 5, 2016
3
0
1,510
0







Thanks for your replies, I had a look at each of them and they were good suggestions.
The Dell XPS is a series I found as well which incidentally met most of my requirements. The only thing that gives me a slight stomach ache are reports of those Dells still being a bit unreliable (what comes with being a relatively new series and such).
Customer reviews especially on the German site tend to name this as a downside of the new XPS.

The other thing I am still considering is the OS. I know that Windows 10 is widely rumoured to be the most stable and well-developed Windows OS in a long time. The thing is I have been fighting a long and tiresome battle with Windows, mainly relating to registry-related issues, UAC and generall OS-instability.
I haven't done a lot of big tweaking around the OS, but Windows's stability leaves a lot to be desired, especially after having run a few years.

I know I said that I was not overly fond of Macs, but I'd nevertheless be interested in hearing your experiences with Linux and OS X. I'm seriously considering leaving Windows behind me.

Thanks again

 

Firefly2511

Commendable
Apr 5, 2016
3
0
1,510
0
Hello guys,

it's me again.
I want to thank those who already suggested solutions and I must say that I've grown really fond of the thought of owning a Dell XPS.
One thing that's bothering me though is the limited number of USB ports and the lack of a DVD drive.
I know that you can't fit everything in an ultraportable, but has anyone come across a laptop with decent battery life, screen and 3 USB ports and a DVD drive? I'm aware that this rules out most ultrabooks, but I've looked the internet up and down and I could not come up with a laptop that seemed good enough. I just want to get some perspective on this.

Thanks in advance,
Firefly
 
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