For a while now my trusty old Sony Vaio T-series 13” Ultrabook has just about got me by in terms of my editing needs. It’s a few years old but still has a great spec as it was top of the line when I originally bought it – Intel i7-3537U CPU @2.00GHz, 8GB RAM and a recent upgrade to a 500GB Samsung EVO 850 SSD. Despite this I find that clicking through images in my Lightroom library, processing and exporting final edits was becoming increasingly arduous mainly down to the older
model CPU and slower RAM. Alongside this the battery life of this laptop is simply
appalling – I’m only able to get around 30 minutes Lightroom editing before the
battery fully drains - DREADFUL!
|My Sony Vaio T-series|
In recent months I’ve found that I’ve been travelling around the UK a lot (and, briefly in New York) on various photography shoots so a small, powerful and portable editing station is essential to carry alongside my usual photography equipment that I cram inside my Lowepro Flipside 500AW backpack. The kit that I usually take to every shoot consists of two camera bodies – Sony A7R and Sony A77ii, several lenses - Samyang AF 50mm f1.4, Samyang AF 35mm f2.8, Sony Zeiss 24-70mm f2.8, Sony LAE-A4 adapter (depending on assignment I may also include the following in my bag – Canon 16-35mm F4L USM, Samyang 24mm f3.5 Tiltshift, Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro) so the backpack immediately becomes pretty heavy with just those lenses and bodies and that’s without adding batteries, Speedlites, Lacie Rugged hard drives and other miscellaneous items. Once I add in my Sony Vaio which weighs 1.65KG then I’ve got a pretty backbreaking trip on my hands. With this in mind weight and size were at the forefront of my mind and would play a massive part in my final decision when purchasing the upgrade I desperately needed.
Dell XPS 13 (9360)
2018 Dell XP 13 (9370)
HP Spectre X360 13
The HP Spectre X360 13 from videos, pictures and seeing it in the ‘flesh’ is a stunningly designed
ASUS Zenbook 3 Deluxe
The ASUS Zenbook 3 Deluxe out of all of the laptops that I considered was in my opinion the best looking – beautiful contrasting navy blue with gold accents in a super slim unit. The top spec version has the same Intel i7-8500U processor, 16GB RAM and a 512GB PCIE SSD which from the reviews/websites I did research on suggested had the fastest read/write speeds out of all the SSD contained in all the laptops I looked at. This laptop only has 3 USB type-C ports with no USB 3.0 ports (so I couldn’t plug my wireless mouse dongle in without using another dongle first). Why the hell are there no USB type-C mouse dongles on the market? Logitech sort it out!
ASUS did well with this ultrabook by fitting a 14” screen in to system the same size as a lot of laptops that have 13” screens. It's also the lightest laptop that I looked at weighing in at 1.1kg which is a big plus point for me. The major downside
with the screen is that they only have a 1920x1080 full HD resolution display –
a little bit of a shame considering that this laptop was released in a time where a lot of laptops of this size and spec offered 4K or a QHD display. However, I have read that due to scaling issues Lightroom is throttled a little when used on a 4K display. I don't know how true that is but I'm sure this will be something that Adobe will more than likely be looking to support as more and more photographers choose screens with higher resolutions. Let's not forget that even at 1080p this is still an improvement on my Vaio which only has a 1366x768 resolution screen. From reviews I’ve read the colour accuracy isn't as good as the Dell and the brightness of this screen wasn’t
as bright as some of other laptops that I looked at in this article.
Macbook ProA lot of you reading this will no doubt be screaming at me saying that the only way to go is Apple Macbook Pro! Well, let me explain my reasoning for not even entertaining Apple's flagship laptop. First of all I am not a Windows/Android fanboy or anti-Apple in any way. I own several Apple products - iPads, Apple TV and for the last 7 years have only used iPhones as my mobile phone of choice. I love all these products and they function great for me. I love the design of Apple products whether it be the Apple Watch, iPad or iMacs and I am totally sucked in by their marketing which makes me want every new product they come out with.
Other noteworthy mentionsThe following laptops were also considered but quickly ruled out for one reason or another.
Dell XPS 15 - Available with a great spec but too big and heavy for my needs.
Microsoft Surface Laptop - Beautiful design and lightweight but expensive for the high spec I wanted.
HP Zbook X2 - Stunning design and features. Top spec is a very powerful computer but comes at a very high price. Also pretty bulky and heavy when used as a laptop.
Lenovo Yoga 720 - Not available in the spec I wanted. Couldn't get 16gb RAM
Razer Blade Stealth - I read a lot of good things about this but I didn't like the design and it weighs a little more than most of the laptops above.
My Final Choice
|Dell XPS 13 9370|
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