laptop for art student advice needed!

  kaysies 12:03 06 Aug 2007

Hi - I'm trying to help my daughter choose a laptop - she's off to uni studying graphic arts. She does alot of photography and uses photoshop at the moment. She also has ahuge musice collection and woud also like to use the laptop for watching dvds etc... I suppose a mac would be the ideal but very costly especially if you want the bigger screen(better for working on?), also she has not used mac so would be completely new to her. Would value any suggestions.

  2neat 12:44 06 Aug 2007

She will need a laptop with decent graphic card & shed loads of memory.
I have read Vista is very greedy with mem and recommend 2GB Min.
You could buy large LCD monitor & switch laptop to use that. Monitors are quite cheap now.
She would soon get used to using Mac but may find it restricting on software & support.
Look at Dell website for specs to give you an idea.
Also what Laptop mag on the high street may help.

  Belatucadrus 14:13 06 Aug 2007

Check out whatever software is involved in the course then look up the relevant system requirements on the manufacturers website, some of the 3D graphic design software is extremely RAM intensive, so you may need to budget for an upgrade if the standard spec isn't sufficient.

  cream. 14:40 06 Aug 2007

For the price, this is very good. click here

  cream. 14:45 06 Aug 2007

full specifications on the medion are click here. It also comes with a three year warranty.

  keef66 15:03 06 Aug 2007

I'd second what Belatucadrus says. Find out what software she will need to run for the course she's doing, and make sure that you choose a laptop which exceeds the min requirement for the software.

Don't just assume that cos she's doing graphic arts she needs a Macbook; a windows based pc can be just as effective and a lot cheaper

  kaysies 07:46 08 Aug 2007

thanks for suggestions so far - very useful - I am going to take on board and do some homework!!

  Kate B 10:44 08 Aug 2007

For Photoshop you'll need plenty of RAM - and money; it's expensive to buy, though perhaps her university has access to bulk licensing with Adobe, which tends to be supportive of educational needs. I'd also recommend a big hard drive to store her music collection, and I'd also suggest buying a big external hard drive for her to back up her data on to: I've got the 500GB Western Digital one click here which would do the job nicely.

Be prepared to spend a bit of money: laptops aren't cheap anyway and she needs it to perform more than adequately and last. I'd look at a budget of at least £800, possibly more.

If she does want a Mac, she could probably get an educational discount. I would go for the cheapest MacBook Pro click here which with the discount would probably come in at about £1,000. It's powerful, has plenty of RAM, big, bright screen and with the exception of Photoshop does pretty much everything she needs out of the box.

Another point in the Mac's favour is that it doesn't need endless patching, scanning for malware and you don't need AV software for it: Macs are not really the targets of malware writers.

  Kate B 10:45 08 Aug 2007

Oh, and you can also stick Vista on a Mac if you use BootCamp, which is included with it, though you'll need to buy a separate copy of Vista.

  kaysies 11:33 08 Aug 2007

Any thoughts on Dell (1520)???

  Belatucadrus 11:48 08 Aug 2007

Dell do nice laptops, but without knowing what software she'll be using, any comments as to suitability are likely to be guesswork.

In common with most manufacturers, Dells own RAM upgrades are pricey, try Crucial click here instead. Guaranteed memory at a much better price.

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