Jan 16, 2012
Hi I'm looking to buy a laptop or tablet hybrid for university for Interior Architecture although I'm looking for a companion to my desktop. Turns out I'm going to have to be in the studio more often this year.

1. What is your budget?

I don't really know to be honest, since I'm willing to buy a laptop off of ebay. gumtree or a refurbed model. But lets say about £600 -£850, lower is better though.

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

Preferably 12" - 14" since a 22" monitor will be bought and used along side the laptop.

I can consider 10"-11".

15.6" I find a little big for portability but willing to consider it to save money

3. What screen resolution do you want?

(this is where most of the budget will go to be honest)

Must be the minimum of FHD 1920x1080, I don't like working with resolutions below.

IPS panel is a must too, or it's cheaper variant is okay like e-IPS

I would like the screen to have a minimum of sRGB of 80%, higher colour accuracy is better

This screen will run in dual screen with a separate FHD monitor

Preferably the screen won't be too glossy

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

Portable, the laptop will be a companion to a desktop and will mostly remote desktop.

5. How much battery life do you need?

Doesn't really matter, there's always plug near by along with the portable chargers I have.

6 hours is good enough.

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)?

Most probably not, perhaps on occasion I would. If so low to medium will be okay. Anyway if I did play games on the laptop, when I'm completely away from my desktop, I would probably play games like Trine, Strife or Civ V. Games that aren't GPU intensive.

But gaming is not of importance on this device, plus if I wanted to connect it to the TV when I'm home I would Steam stream.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)

Here is what runs on my desktop: Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, VectorWorks, 3DS MAX, Sketchup, Rhinoceros + the CPU based rendering engines Vray and Maxwell along with HDR LightStudio. Rendering will be done on this machine along with modelling. But I would like do some 3d modelling on the laptop.

All above applications run fine in remote desktop. There only seems to be 2-4ms latency or something on wifi connection both ways.

Natively I would like to be able to run Photoshop CC (occasionally Illustrator CC), Indesign CC, Sketchup (which works fine on almost anything), Office applications and Vectorworks. If remote desktop has too much latency then occasional touch up in Rhino. But that will mostly be done on the desktop, the laptop would be used to start renders remotely.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

I would like to have an SSD installed instead, 256gb SSD is perfect. Since no important files would be saved to the SSD but NAS drive instead. So lower may do.

If a macbook is considered, then 256gb may be needed for dual boot OS.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

As long as it's safe I'm okay with it. As I'm more willing to buy a used laptop, tablet hybrid or macbook off ebay and the like.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

Perhaps 2 years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?


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.

Don't mind what it is as long as it does what I need it to do and is not too heavy.

Although I don't like
Acer - I've had a bad experience with them
Samsung - doesn't feel good to type on
Low end Toshiba's - bad experience, although high end ones are great.

13. What country do you live in?


14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

To help here are the desktop specs:

CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K (will be overclocked)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus V Gene
GPU: Nvidia GTX 580 1.5gb Reference
RAM: 16gb DDR3

This desktop is the main system, when I'm not in the studio I would be on this system instead. Whereas when I'm in the studio (around 6-9 hours a day) I'll be on the laptop and remote desktop to the main system. The laptop will also use a second screen in the studio.

I have considered the Lenovo Thinkpad Helix and S1 Yoga. But it seems too expensive just for the Wacom gimmick but I do like the pen system .The Surface Pro 2 and 3 have been considered as well. Additionally Macbook Air and Pro have been taken in to consideration.

Also I don't if I should even buy a laptop right now with broadwell based laptops being released literally around the corner. If it's only 2 month wait I could get by with that. Currently I'm borrowing my brother's Lenovo Flex 14" but I can't borrow it forever.

Thank you in advance for the advice

(Also why does the preview button not work for me? )