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Thread: Quick Laptop Recommendations

  1. #1

    Quick Laptop Recommendations

    I'm in a pickle. My Newtek dealer is out of town and I need to purchase laptop tomorrow (Thursday) for an out of town job.

    -I need to utilize SpeedEdit. (Simple Editing)
    -I will be downloading a number of 1080i clips and would like to review them.
    -Lastly, I will more than likely have to purchase this from a Best Buy store here locally.

    With that said, what laptop does Best Buy carry that you would purchase. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Ron

  2. #2
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    I had a simular problem about a year ago I just went and bought a $1,000 HP Entertainment laptop... it worked out great for the gig (which was editing hours of 1080i video that I was capturing. It lasted me 1 year before the video card had major issues and now I am back to using a desktop...
    Brett Beanan

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    I don't know anything about best buy laptop product lines, but I do know that you should be looking for a machine with the following specs as a minimum.

    17" Widescreen, display with a resolution of at least 1440x900 and some kind of Trubrite technology or at least a contrast ratio of 1:10000.

    Intel centrino core 2 quad processor.

    2GHz or higher.

    Windows 7 64bit version.

    4 gig ram min (Windows 7 64bit allows you to expand this later if necessary. 32bit doesn't).

    120 gig internal HD.

    0.5 - 1 Tb external HD (for the really BIG files).

    4 USB ports (2.0 or preferably 3.0).

    E-Sata ports? Maybe, but if it comes with USB 3.0 ports, E-Sata will be irrelevant anyway.

    HDMI out.

    S-video out.

    Bluetooth.

    Wi-fi.

    Multimedia card port (very important).

    Ethernet port.

    Previewing on an external TV/broadcast monitor, while you work may be a problem as firewire previewing on laptops are very hit and miss, and a store with a name like 'Best Buy', I would imagine that you're more than likely to find their laptops will be a miss in that department. External boxes like the BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle may be a solution to the problem, but only if you have a USB 3.0 laptop.

    Hope this helps

    Shabazzy

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    for the external drive I ended up getting a G-Raid from a local Apple store the original 1tb drive I picked up for the project was a single drive that just could not keep up so I sent a running over to the apple store and that is fixed it right up...
    Brett Beanan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shabazzy View Post
    I don't know anything about best buy laptop product lines, but I do know that you should be looking for a machine with the following specs as a minimum.

    17" Widescreen, display with a resolution of at least 1440x900 and some kind of Trubrite technology or at least a contrast ratio of 1:10000...
    While Shabazzy's preferred minimum features list isn't at all bad, obviously, all those specific features aren't necessarily a requirement for everyone, even the original poster.

    Assuming we'd agree on that, permit me to point out one glaring issue to be careful of, when choosing from among notebook computers, flatscreen TVs and Monitors, etc.: that of the manufacturers' stated "Contrast Ratio" specs. These numbers are very often uber-inflated, and that, to the nth degree.

    These are often little more than marketing hype -- especially when expressed in "Dynamic Contrast Ratio" numbers -- as seen in many widescreen television sets' specs. These are derived from varied electronic tricks to fool the eye into thinking it's seeing blacker blacks and whiter whites, especially with moving images.

    Be careful about rigid adherence to the contrast ratio spec, and perhaps some others I could pick on, when making a purchase decision. Judge for yourself by examining multiple displays' performance in a brightly lit room, like the showroom floor if you feel you must (provided you're also able to play with the notebook's display settings), but ultimately, your surest bet is to test the unit in the type of lighting environment you're actually going to be using it in.

    Now, if you're going to use the notebook outdoors quite a bit, you might be well advised to consider a notebook equipped with the newer LED family of displays -- because of their greater ability to spew out crisp images with richer blacks and more -- with the caveat that their life expectancy currently, is said to be shorter than that of more conventional flat panel displays.

    For more on the subject, you might go here: http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/contrast_ratio.php

    Q1
    Last edited by Quiet1onTheSet; 08-11-2010 at 05:33 PM.

  6. #6
    GREAT info gentlemen and many continued thanks.

    What about the processors. I know that I need a dual core, but what about them...anything preferred.

    Ron

  7. #7
    Sorry Shabazzy, I was reading so fast I missed you recommendation. I quickly glanced through the laptops and their processors and I don't think I saw one with the Intel centrino chips...I could be wrong however.

    Ron

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    Hi Q1,

    Quote Originally Posted by Quiet1onTheSet View Post
    While Shabazzy's preferred minimum features list isn't at all bad, obviously, all those specific features aren't necessarily a requirement for everyone, even the original poster.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quiet1onTheSet View Post
    Assuming we'd agree on that, permit me to point out one glaring issue to be careful of, when choosing from among notebook computers, flatscreen TVs and Monitors, etc.: that of the manufacturers' stated "Contrast Ratio" specs. These numbers are very often uber-inflated, and that, to the nth degree.

    These are often little more than marketing hype -- especially when expressed in "Dynamic Contrast Ratio" numbers -- as seen in many widescreen television sets' specs. These are derived from varied electronic tricks to fool the eye into thinking it's seeing blacker blacks and whiter whites, especially with moving images.
    Couldn't agree more. However, they do provide a useful guide when comparing differing displays. They aren't to be treated as definitive comparison guides, just an indicator of what you should be looking for when choosing your laptop. Assuming this laptop is not going to be Ron's main workhorse, he's going to want something that comes close to his main display, and 10000:1 is probably the minimum starting point. But as you say, 10000:1 on one machine can look very different to 10000:1 on another machine. Even from the same manufacturer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quiet1onTheSet View Post
    Judge for yourself by examining multiple displays' performance in a brightly lit room, like the showroom floor if you feel you must (provided you're also able to play with the notebook's display settings), but ultimately, your surest bet is to test the unit in the type of lighting environment you're actually going to be using it in.
    Definately. This is always a 'Best Practice' to adopt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quiet1onTheSet View Post
    Now, if you're going to use the notebook outdoors quite a bit, you might be well advised to consider a notebook equipped with the newer LED family of displays -- because of their greater ability to spew out crisp images with richer blacks and more
    Hmm, even these newer LEDs are not without issue when it comes to bright outdoor usage. The only ones I know that can deliver are 'Transflective displays' and I'm not sure how many manufacturers incorporate them. Not many newer LED screens perform all that well in bright daylight. Not even OLED or AMOLED.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Kirby View Post
    Sorry Shabazzy, I was reading so fast I missed you recommendation. I quickly glanced through the laptops and their processors and I don't think I saw one with the Intel centrino chips...I could be wrong however.

    Ron
    Hi Ron,

    I'm assuming you mean you looked through Best Buy's laptops range. Well, these are the ones I would NOT recommend.

    Any processor by AMD.

    Any Intel Pentium Dual or Pentium Quad

    Any Celeron of any type.

    Any processor less than 2.0 GHz

    If that's all they stock, find another store.

    For everything else, take out the BarclayCard.

    Hope this helps some.

    Shabazzy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shabazzy View Post
    Agreed. Couldn't agree more. However, they do provide a useful guide when comparing differing displays. They aren't to be treated as definitive comparison guides, just an indicator of what you should be looking for when choosing your laptop...
    Ah, but there's the rub: there's no definitive standard actually practiced across manufacturer lines -- nor within a manufacturer's product lineup, to truly provide a useful guide when comparing different displays, particularly with respect to those specs which are really not real; namely that "dynamic contrast ratio" thingy discussed earlier.

    Do you really believe a stated contrast ratio of 800:1 on one manufacturer's display, serves as "a useful guide when comparing" another manufacturer's display, whose stated contrast ratio is at the supposed, magical 1,000:1 contrast ratio?

    I'm all the more jaundiced in my view of electronics industry practices, by the way, when I consider their stated specs -- let's just say -- er, for contrast ratio! Think of it: all those specs, throughout the industry -- just happen to hit exactly, those hundred marks!

    i.e., 400:1, 800:1, 900:1 Contrast Ratio -- or as I have silk-screened here on my 25.6" and 22" Samsung displays, respectively: "3,000:1 and 20,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio.

    Sheeesh! C'mon! Who're they kidding?!


    Q1
    Last edited by Quiet1onTheSet; 08-11-2010 at 06:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiet1onTheSet View Post
    Sheeesh! C'mon! Who're they kidding?!


    Q1
    LOL.

    There's no doubt that the businesses (of any sort) will pull 'magical' marketing jargon and concepts out of the air (Coca Cola's rendition of Santa for one, the Steve Jobs distortion field for another), all of which hide the truth, which is that the Emperor has no clothes. However to say that contrast ratio's have no significance, I believe is not entirely true.

    For the lay person, who does not have access to test instruments or calibration tools that accurately measure and refine a screen's display settings, I do believe that these numbers help provide an indication (or even reinforcement on a psycological level) of what their eyes are telling them.

    Most people will look at one screen in a store and walk to the other aisle to look at another screen and find it difficult to compare the picture quality of the two. But when you put the contrast ratios in down, it helps reinforce what their eyes are telling them and thereby their buying decision.

    I'm not saying this is an accurate way to make your buying choice or even a correct way, because you've already pointed out the most common sense approach. Unfortunately, we don't live in a world that respects common sense and as such idiotic, non sensical practices are the norm and are extremely effective in prevent people executing totally reasonable and logical requests (such as going to a department store and asking to see two different screens side by side in bright daylight or under strong lighting. 9 times out of 10 the answer will be ..... sorry, can't do that).

    So given that this is the world we live in, then yes, I believe contrast ratio's do give your average consumer some guidance. Maybe not the best guidance, but some at least.

    Shabazzy

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