WLTM laptop for days of CS5 and evenings of Skyrim <$1000
April 20, 2012 8:27 AM   Subscribe

My 8 year old Dell 8600c laptop while still working, no longer has a screen and so is retired to desk work only tethered to an external monitor. Now I need a laptop that I can move around again that'll play nice with Adobe CS5, run some decent games, and will cost no more than $1000.

I'll mostly use it for PhotoShop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Some video work with Sony Vegas. I'd like one that would handle games solidly on respectable (high?) settings.

A recent previous question where someone wanted a laptop for Skyrim ended with them getting a Asus G53SW but those seem to be out of stock everywhere and hey it's 4 months later so technology is even better right?
posted by merocet to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
for graphics you're gonna be thrilled with all the pressure-sensitive convertible tablets out there (i got the (now discontinued) hp tm2t...that you can get up to core i7 (i believe...core i5 definitely) on ebay for well under $1000 ($600 a year or so ago for the core 2 duo model...more than powerful enough for my needs, YMMV)...it's kind of a niche market, so you're gonna have to do your research...check out tablet pc review and their forums (though you will have to wade through a lot of ipad and android tablets that arent as relevant)
in a nutshell, they are computers you can paint on...the current state of hardware and software will blow you away...it's like having a wacom cintiq monitor you can carry around (most of the screens, like the one on the tm2t, are made by wacom)...and the screen is touch sensitive too (the switching when you bring the pen near is seamless)...it will change your life.
(on the software end, be sure to check out artrage (mainly for painting...the paint physics is really neat and fully adjustable in the (very inexpensive) pro version...from thick goopy acrylics to soft watercolors...there's even an option to leave your water dirty) and autodesk sketchbook pro for drawing. I usually use one of these two programs before moving into photoshop for touchups and effects and such...since their focus is more narrow, the interfaces are much leaner and less in the way)
don't be afraid of ebay...you can score a great deal.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:13 AM on April 20, 2012

I bought a gaming laptop for my wife this Xmas, and at the time nothing could beat the Acer units for price/performance ratio.

Mind you we are talking about Canadian dollars here, but for $700 we got a 17", Core i5 with 6GB of RAM, 750GB HDD and a dedicated Radeon mobility 6850 GPU w/ 1GB of VRAM. The key for gaming on a laptop is getting good dedicated GPU, nothing integrated, and stay away from the AMD Fusion A6/A8 processors which really don't have gaming chops.

Just taking a quick look at what they have out now, this would fit the bill.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 10:17 AM on April 20, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for both of the recommendations. I'm intrigued by the idea of going the tablet route and knowing that the Radeon mobility cards are good enough for gaming (and ergo good enough for design work) is great. Thanks.
posted by merocet at 8:11 AM on April 25, 2012

Response by poster: After lots of confusion I finally upped my budget and went for this Toshiba. Thoroughly recommended. It's a gorgeous machine.
posted by merocet at 3:36 PM on May 21, 2012

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