Need help when purchasing the best laptop for my travel blog with pictures.

blueskyguy

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I'm going to travel throughout Mexico, taking pictures of almost everything I see from the people to the beaches to the mountains to the food to the cities and the architecture. I'm going to blog with specific comments on the photos I shoot. The reason is, I've read many magazines and other publications that have beautiful photos, but do not let the reader know where that photo was taken and in some cases, even what the photos is about or even is! I would really appreciate help in purchasing the very best laptop for my blog. How much memory I should have, both for graphics which will take up most of my hard drive and other tasks. Size hard drive I should have, what kind of software would be optimum. And maybe most important, should I try to find someone who would be willing to build a laptop from scratch or buy one off the shelf? My budget is limited, of course, but adequate I believe. I'm new to this site and this forum, so thanks very much to everyone who reads this and sends me their ideas.
Tom Moore
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alceryes

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Ugh! I hate it when manufacturers do this. These laptop specs looked great, right up until I saw the 1TB 5400RPM hard drive.
With the 5400RPM drive this laptop is like having a rocket car stuck in the slow lane on the I-10 out of the West Valley at rush hour. (yes, that frustrating)
However, I still think it's a great price, even when factoring in the cost of good SSD drive to replace the dinosaur spindle.
But, unless you know how to mirror the drive to an external SSD and then replace the drive in the laptop yourself, you'll need to add tech costs on top of that. At that point it's not a good deal, sorry.

Edit - For your 'better than i7' question, I'm not sure what you are referring to. Maybe AMD's new Infinity Fabric?
 

alceryes

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Custom built laptops are exorbitantly expensive and won't really get you anything extra (except a lighter wallet).
What's your budget? One trade off that you will need to decide up front is performance/screen size vs. portability. 11", 13.3", 14", 15.6", how portable does this laptop need to be? ...and by extension how powerful (mainly CPU and GPU)? Make sure you actually go to a store and 'feel' the size of these laptops. Looking at a picture on Amazon isn't enough. Then we have functionality. Do you want touch screen? ...tablet mode? Personally, I'm partial to the Lenovo Yoga models but the Dell XPS models are just as good.
Give us some answers to the above and we can help further.
 

blueskyguy

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blueskyguy

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Hey, thank you so much. That's exactly the type of information I'm looking for. You made an excellent point about going to the store to check out the feel of the various sizes and that I will do. Regarding portability, it should be portable, at least to the extent I can carry it when I'm walking up cliffs or perhaps even on a beach to get a better viewpoint for some of my photos.
The power should be enough to handle as many photos as I may take in a couple of months traveling. And have the ability to send them to various destinations. I really don't know much about CPU or GPU except what I've read recently, and that is that a GPU seems to be much more important than a CPU, but that a combination of the two in a laptop makes for optimum performance. So I believe I would need as much memory as is possible to get in a laptop, although I may be wrong about that and masses of RAM will not increase the workability of any laptop I may decide upon.
Speaking of touch screen and tablet mode, I really don't know what would be best. Maybe just a plain old laptop with as much power for the operating system and as much power for the Graphics display as I can afford. I don't know.
My budget would be no more than $1000, but naturally would like to keep it as much below that amount as is possible while still getting everything I would need to make my blogging trip a success.
I liked what you said about custom laptops being expensive and that they would not give me anything but a lighter wallet. I live in Tucson and have some feelers, entertaining the possibility of finding someone I could trust to build a laptop for me. So far I've nothing and that makes following your advice about custom jobs much easier.
 

alceryes

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If you will just be storing, viewing, and sending the pictures then that's easy enough with a medium performance range laptop. Will you be doing any touching up or editing of the pics? Also, you said this laptop is for a trip for a blog. What will happen to the laptop afterwards? If it won't be used much after the trip and you don't mind some slow performance at times you could go for a cheap bargain-bin laptop. If this laptop is for the trip AND continual future use I would suggest you get something that will still hold it's own 2 years from now.
As far as screen size goes, how's your vision?
Smaller laptops with QHD screens fit more stuff on the screen by cramming more pixels in a smaller amount of space, making the text, icons, basically everything, very small. Windows 10 counters this by 'zooming' the screen a bit, but it leaves things (mostly text) a little fuzzy (this is the first thing I turn off on new laptops). I have very good eyes (20/17 in my left and 20/20 in my right) and, in my experience, QHD screens on a 14" or less laptop is a waste. Not only does QHD eat up 10-15% more battery but many people who use them have to squint or turn up the brightness to be able to view the screen properly. Reading them in a brightly lit store is one thing. Reading them in road-warrior mode on the top of a hill with tons of sun glare is another, entirely.

So, first thing is to go look at some laptops and determine the size you think you can work with on the road.
 

blueskyguy

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Hello again,
I will be working with Lightroom and maybe Photoshop as well to make all the photos stand out. And since I'm going to be spending a great deal of time with this laptop, it will probably continue to be used with the same purpose, only not in Mexico.
My vision isn't too good and I haven't yet gone to check out the feel of laptops like you suggested...maybe get to that later this week. But I seriously doubt anything smaller than 15.6 will work for me. I have a 22" monitor on my desktop and even that seems small at times.
I understand that something new has come out with Dell...a faster processor than even i7. Do you know anything about it? Regarding a GPU, what would you recommend in an off the shelf device? I think the best way for me to go is get the most power I can get for the price I want to pay. Of course, with that said, what other way is there to go...lol? What I'm going to do now is head out to Bestbuy and get that feel for the various sized laptops.
You're a cool guy. Thanks very much. I'll be in touch in the next day or two...
 

blueskyguy

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blueskyguy

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Hello,
Here's the laptop I'm seriously thinking would be good for me. https://www.costco.com/.product.100337893.html?&EMID=B2C_2017_0403_1235_Dell, would appreciate your thoughts, comments, etc
 

blueskyguy

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Wow! I wondered about the hard drive myself, although I do not know enough to be sure it wasn't a good deal. Thanks very much for that info. I do believe that you can order a custom built, or at least some custom features, if you go directly to Dell. Do you know anything about that? Speaking of mirroring the drive to an external SSD, that is way beyond my capabilities. Especially the part about replacing the drive in the laptop myself.

The question about something better than i7 came to mind when I saw a commercial on TV talking about some feature that would be faster than anything presently available, although i7 was not mentioned specifically.

As you know, the link I sent connected to a COSTCO ad. If I'm going to purchase a machine from a store, I'd rather do it thru COSTCO. They have a 90 day return policy where Bestbuy, for example gives much less time. I checked Amazon for prices on SSD drives and although expensive for those with more storage, some are less than $100. Since I'm going to have photos on my drive, I would imagine one with more storage would suit me better. If I wasn't so damn old (I'm 76), I might take the time to learn some of this stuff, but now I just want something that works for me and will handle the requirements I outlined earlier.

I am really glad I ran into you...you seem to have unlimited knowledge about computers and all things connected. I know that 's probably not true, but you obviously know a lot more than I do and it's a pleasure to know you. I'm in Tucson, by the way...

 

alceryes

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Ha! Trust me, the more you know about computers, the more you know you don't know! Luckily, I see it as a challenge more than a detriment.

Yeah, Costco's really good with returns. Maybe see what systems they offer with SSD's and go from there? You can probably estimate how much space you'll need by looking at the space usage on your current rig(s). I doubt you'd fill up a 500GB SSD unless you were taking thousands of 50+ megapixel pictures during your trip and had no where else to put them.

You're welcome. I'm glad I can help. I'm in the tri-state NYC area.


Edit - Some Dell systems are configurable some aren't. Dell also regularly bundles otherwise great systems with slow spindle hard drives.
 
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