Laptop Research

Do you have questions about Desktop Video, Converters, Routers and Monitoring?
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Laptop Research

PostWed Jun 14, 2017 10:13 pm


First things, i did hesitate before posting here. So, if you think my questions are not suited for the forum, don't answer, i'll understand.

I'm looking for a new laptop, and i would like some advices. I'm a student, in cinematography. I'm following the "camera crew" way, but i'm trying to be a jack of all trades, and will be joining Mikros as a trainee. I have been doing research around a proper color correction workflow, i have been reading and getting advices before : which means, i tried to do my homework.

I have a macbook pro (late 2013). I'm looking to replace it. It don't want a desktop, for many reasons, but most of all, because i can't afford not to have a laptop, and i can't afford two computers.
I have been doing screen calibration, using black magic cards, having a regular workflow etc.. I'm mostly working (not professionaly, for school, and the sake of learning, student projects etc) on DaVinci, Photoshop, and i'll begin tryin Baselight / Lustre etc.. I'm also using, on a smaller scale, Blender & Cinema4D for example.

I can spend around 1250 euros (1500 US dollars), if i manage to sell my macbook afterward..
I don't specially care about OS X, or Windows. Either way are good.
I'm looking for something to do color correction, not a professional grade (not being paid for grading).
I'm not looking to become a colorist, i'm only want to learn to become a better operator in the future.
And i know it won't be a proper configuration, but, trying to spend my few bucks wisely :
if you were to advise a laptop, without any external monitor (relying on laptop display & scopes) or external GPU, which one would you advise ? I may buy an external monitor and GPU (so thunderbolt would be nice) in the future, but, it may very well not be the case (money, again, not complaining, got everything i need :) ).
I'm looking for something with a good display, trying to get the most of what i can gather, something that'll try to be a little closer to something right than a classic macbook pro display or any other laptop. Maybe something like 100 Adobe RGB and a fair amount of contrast values, or is there something much more important ?
I was thinking about at least 8GB Ram / I5 6th Gen from Intel / Nvidia GTX 960M or something else / a small ssd for OS and HDD (500 GB or 1TB would be nice).
I don't mind second hand. At all. I will prefer something not heavy and bulky, to take it to school and Sets.
I can get an X RIte i1 Display Pro for calibrating my screen, with display cal, with my school.
I have been looking already : i was thinking Dell XPS 15 9550 (2016) maybe, with 100% Adobe Rgb covering (available around my budget, second hand)
Some advised me, in any order : HP Z Book, and HP Workstation (Dream Color ?)
Or Dell Precision Workstation / P50 Thinkpad from Lenovo / Or Razer Blade (not a fan of the gaming design, nor the price) / Microsoft Surface Book (really expensive) / Gigabyte Aero (more on the gaming end, don't really think that the display will be any good) or even MSI.. Most of them are windows laptops, because they seem to get most recognition over mac, in regard of an "accurate" rendition.

I'll stop there, it is already far too long, i think that you'll get the idea. Thanks to people who will give an advice.
Good evening from France,

Matthieu Abily
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Fred Rodrigues

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Re: Laptop Research

PostSat Jun 17, 2017 4:49 am

I own a razor and price for quality it beats the MacBook pro imho. The 1060 is pretty great for resolve work and the laptop is great to use. I don't know all of the machines you mentioned but I don't think any of them off this much GPU power.

Sent from my ONE E1003 using Tapatalk


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Re: Laptop Research

PostSun Jun 18, 2017 10:34 am

Hello Fred, thanks for the answer. Yeah, i tought about getting a pwoerful laptop and hooking up a decklink and a monitor. The Razor is a little expensive for me, but i'll think about it.

Anyways, thanks for sharing !
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Laptop Research

PostSun Jul 02, 2017 10:50 am

I don't think it can be done inexpensively, but I'm negative that way. I think you can edit and color-correct very light-duty ProRes HD files, but much beyond that and the laptop is just not going to be able to handle it.

This is not the only issue in post where the only valid answer is to throw a lot of money and hardware at the problem in order to solve it.
marc wielage, csi • VP/color & workflow • chroma | hollywood

Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Laptop Research

PostMon Jul 03, 2017 1:07 pm

Well, you can get laptop which will handle quite a lot (way more than 1200 euro), but it will cost small fortune (at least 1.5-2x more than same power desktop) and will be quite heavy.


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Re: Laptop Research

PostThu Jul 06, 2017 3:50 pm

Hello Everybody, thanks for the answers.

I have decided to sell my macbook pro, and to get an even older one, from 2012, slightly more powerful, letting me work in, a more confortable way, without breaking the bank. With the money i kept, i'll try to get an aja cqrd, or mini monitor from blackmagic, and something like a dream color in a the future. I'll say to people looking for the same thing as me, meaning not having the money for a desktop and a laptop ; get a the best cheap laptop you can find, and try getting a mini monitor and the beggining of a correct desktop monitor to hook it up trough thunderbolt. It won't be real color grading, but will be closer to what professionals do for grading dailies. Don't bother, keep your laptop nice and easy to carry, but powerful enough according to your taste, and be ready to sacrifice 4k, real time playing etc..
thanks Mr. Wielage and Mr.Kolakowski

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