Laptop Sizes: 15 inch or 17 inch?

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    Laptop Sizes: 15 inch or 17 inch?

    So I will be needing to purchase a laptop for school soon, and I will be doing digital artwork (both 3D and 2D) on it.

    I am concerned because I will need to carry it with me on a bus to get to school. There is no convenient place to drop it off such as a car. I will also be bringing a tablet with me, hopefully in the same bag.

    So it comes down to: Is a 17 inch too bulky to carry and set up efficiently? Does the bigger screen on a 17 inch really help a lot with painting?



    Also, what is the difference between a "LED BrightView Infinity Widescreen Display" and just a plain "LED BrightView Widescreen Display" for digital painting purposes?



    EDIT: I originally thought that because I was asking about sizing (and screen type) related to painting that it belonged in this forum, but on second thought maybe the lounge would be better...if a mod comes by feel free to move it.

    Last edited by Matani; February 4th, 2010 at 11:56 PM.
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    Depends on the weight of the model and the size of your backpack. The resolutions of the screens should also play a role in how much screen space 'real estate' you'll be getting. Which two computers are you deciding between?

    If you won't be doing much painting on the go, I'd stick with the smaller screen and invest in a desktop monitor for your work space (you can get some pretty good monitors at surprisingly cheap prices).

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    I sometimes work on a 15 inch laptop. It gets the job done, but can get very crowded with PS options. If it all comes down to size, I'd suggest the 17 inch. A little extra weight will only strengthen your drawing arm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexokinase View Post
    Depends on the weight of the model and the size of your backpack. The resolutions of the screens should also play a role in how much screen space 'real estate' you'll be getting. Which two computers are you deciding between?

    If you won't be doing much painting on the go, I'd stick with the smaller screen and invest in a desktop monitor for your work space (you can get some pretty good monitors at surprisingly cheap prices).
    I'm considering the HP models right now, and the 17 inch only weighs about a pound or so more. The laptop will weight like six or so pounds already, so I suppose a bit more isn't going to make or break it?

    The 15 has a 1366x768 display and the 17 has a 1600 x 900 one. When I multiplied it out I realized that it actually is quite a bit more space.

    I wish I could get a desktop too, but it looks like I will be doing some painting on the go. x)



    Thanks for the input, Irishdrunk. I suppose that if CA's atelier recommended a 17 inch it must be better art wise at least.

    For now I'm leaning towards getting a 17 inch for the sake of having it function better when I do use it (and having the bulkiness be worth it), but if anyone has anything to contribute about it possibly being broken or damaged on my travels on bus because of the size (or even possibly by foot), please do say so.

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    I have a 15 inch Toshiba, and let me tell you, 5-6 pounds doesn't sound like a lot, but carrying it around with a sketchbook and other supplies, it gets very heavy very quickly.

    My advice is get the lightest model you can find.

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    I've been sporting a 15" toshiba for the past 4 years. It weighs 7.5 lbs w/o the power adapter. You WILL notice the weight. I'd advise against anything more than 7.5 lbs in weight if you plan to be carrying this thing around with you on a daily basis.

    I'm running with a 1280x800 resolution. Photoshop does feel a bit crowded. However, I've done all my painting on this monitor and I lived. For 17" I'd expect a 1900x1200 resolution, but it's really up to you. Be sure to check out some display models in person with the same resolutions and screen size to see what feels comfortable.

    My question about on-the-go painting was referring to whether most of your painting would be done at home, or if you'll be doing a lot of painting outside your home base. If you're leaving your tablet at home most of the time, you could get a comparable 13" computer and with the savings invest in a $200 23" external monitor. If you're carrying your tablet around with you as well, then getting the most screen resolution on the laptop that your eyes can comfortably read is a must. Be sure to check out similarly priced and spec'ed computers from other manufacturers - you may find what you're looking for but with a better screen.

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    get a macbook pro

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    macbook pro... droool.

    I would love one of those. Gotta save up I guess. I think I am going to be going that route, I too am looking for a new computer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexokinase View Post
    I've been sporting a 15" toshiba for the past 4 years. It weighs 7.5 lbs w/o the power adapter. You WILL notice the weight. I'd advise against anything more than 7.5 lbs in weight if you plan to be carrying this thing around with you on a daily basis.

    I'm running with a 1280x800 resolution. Photoshop does feel a bit crowded. However, I've done all my painting on this monitor and I lived. For 17" I'd expect a 1900x1200 resolution, but it's really up to you. Be sure to check out some display models in person with the same resolutions and screen size to see what feels comfortable.

    My question about on-the-go painting was referring to whether most of your painting would be done at home, or if you'll be doing a lot of painting outside your home base. If you're leaving your tablet at home most of the time, you could get a comparable 13" computer and with the savings invest in a $200 23" external monitor. If you're carrying your tablet around with you as well, then getting the most screen resolution on the laptop that your eyes can comfortably read is a must. Be sure to check out similarly priced and spec'ed computers from other manufacturers - you may find what you're looking for but with a better screen.

    Yes, I am going to be taking my tablet with me to paint outside home, so the separate monitor isn't going to really work out for me. Thank you for the suggestion however, as I may need to use it someday.

    Good point about the resolutions. It hadn't quite occurred to me before that there would be a difference between 17 inch screens. Is a bigger resolution always better? I definitely need to get myself to a display.

    I'm starting to think maybe a MacBook Pro would be the ideal choice just for the size and weight (A MBP 17 inch weighs 6.6 lbs and has a 1920 by 1200 resolution). Not necessarily a choice I can afford, but I'll keep it in mind as I look through other manufacturers.

    Last edited by Matani; February 6th, 2010 at 02:40 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridis View Post
    I have a 15 inch Toshiba, and let me tell you, 5-6 pounds doesn't sound like a lot, but carrying it around with a sketchbook and other supplies, it gets very heavy very quickly.

    My advice is get the lightest model you can find.
    Pish posh. One grows stronger back-muscles from it, it is just heavy in the beginning but after a while you adapt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LORD M View Post
    Pish posh. One grows stronger back-muscles from it, it is just heavy in the beginning but after a while you adapt.
    Exactly. I used to scare my co-workers with my muscles from carting a 20lb plus baby around and babies don't get lighter - ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LORD M View Post
    Pish posh. One grows stronger back-muscles from it, it is just heavy in the beginning but after a while you adapt.
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    Exactly. I used to scare my co-workers with my muscles from carting a 20lb plus baby around and babies don't get lighter - ever.

    You guys are making it sound like I should just go the extra mile and get a 9 lb. 18 inch. x) Good input though.

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    i think portability's a factor, too.
    my friend's 17 inch mbp is just a little too large to fit in any of his bookbags. it's kind of a bitch.

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    Bigger resolution = more workspace

    However, bigger resolution also means that default font sizes will be very small and could strain your eyes if you don't have good eyesight. You COULD always adjust that within programs for the most part.

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    17 is BIG, but that's just my opinion. I suggest you go to your nearest electronic store and test of some laptops in person.

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    Hmm. If the school does not require it to be a particular model or maker of the notebook, and if you do not need accelerated 3D, there may be an entirely different choice you are overlooking.

    Instead of a notebook, you can get an old Compaq TC1100. They are still available from eBay, as well as replacement parts. This is an old tablet PC model, it has only 1 MHz CPU so it will not handle industrial-strength 3D but would run something like SketchUp or Wings3D. And it runs Painter, Photoshop and ArtRage just fine. It has a 10-inch screen which is small for a notebook but just the right size for handheld reading and sketching.

    Where you'll win: it weighs just 1.3 kg and includes a Wacom digitizer. You'll be able to draw right on screen with the stylus, and carry just one thing instead of laptop and tablet.

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    Thanks a bunch guys for all your opinions and info, and especially you, Hexokinase. It was all rather educational and informative about all the different options there are with art laptops. Previously I hadn't truly understood resolution in relation to screen size, but now I am very glad I do.

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    It depends on what kind of laptop... for a mac, 15 INCH all the way. Why pay an extra 2000$ for a bulky big screen?... for a pc Just go for the bigger screen, way cool.

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