Freelance webdesigner wants to know brand and model of laptop to be purchased

I am a freelance web designer. I am updating my skills with the help of my sitepoint friends. I am now using a PC which has become quite old and am planning to buy a new laptop I would be using the PC for my sitebuilding. My family members would be using it for regular browsing, their emails etc. I would like to have photoshop, the wampserver, php, mysql, wordrpess and other necessary softwares which I may need in future for my website building.

I would like to know the following:

Which brand and model number would be most suitable for me and would give the best perforrmance? In order to test tbe various sites on different browsers, does the monitor need to be of a particular size?

We had a similar thread earlier. I won’t recommend brands or model numbers purely because it would be wrong of me to claim one is better than the other (they are all about the same when you crunch the numbers). What you should focus on is the specification of the machine. I would get something that has at least a 2GHZ processor, 4GB RAM (to cope with photoshop’s needs), a decent size hard disk (500GB would be best if you have a lot of stuff on the machine) and a decent graphics card (not the on-board one, but an internal separate card with at least 512MB dedicated RAM). That spec is probably close to what most mid-ranged notebooks will cost, but the better performance you have, the faster process intensive stuff like photoshop will run at. As for the monitor, it doesn’t really matter too much, many of your visitors will be browsing on machines with small screens, so it’s not going to really factor in too heavily. :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot. I understand your point about the size of the monitor not mattering much. But I wanted to know what size of the monitor would be the best for testing purposes, say when I want to test a site and see how it fits on the screen. If I am missing something here, please tell me. It is because I am perhaps still a newbie.

I would say having a larger monitor will have it’s benefits (though it’s the resolution that really matters), with larger resolutions you can test the website at fullscreen (for people with large displays) and then resize the browser window to match common resolutions like 1024x768 (etc) and ensure your site works both in large and small situations. If you have a small screen with a low resolution, you’ll only be able to see your work as seen by a small display, not a large one. :slight_smile:

Concerning the size of the monitor, you want the highest you can get, I recommend going no lower then 1920x1200. Most 17 inch laptops offer that even some 15 inch. You pay a little more for the increase but it is well worth the cost. Now this of course you plan to replace your desktop with this laptop…you may be able to sacrifice the screen size if you use an external monitor and this laptop is meant to be highly-portable.

Your post isn’t terribly clear, what exactly will you be using the laptop for? Is it to replace the desktop, and to become your primary machine, or will you be replacing your PC with this laptop?

For your primary machine, a PC is always going to be a lot better. They are much cheaper, and offer far better performance than a laptop. Sure laptops can do many of the things you need, but they are not ideal for day-to-day use. They are designed to be portable and used on the road.

I would invest the money in a good PC system for everyday use, ideally with dual monitors and plenty of memory. If you plan to work on the road a lot, get a laptop that is going to be as easy to carry as possible - a lightweight 15" would be best.

It really depends on what your needs are.

Real question is “is this a desktop replacement that won’t move too much?”

If so, I’d really look at replacing the desktop as it is much, much cheaper for the horsepower and a much better development experience.

Personally, I just got my hot little hands on a Lenovo X301 and I’m loving it.

Thanks a lot for all the suggestions.

Your post isn’t terribly clear, what exactly will you be using the laptop for? Is it to replace the desktop, and to become your primary machine, or will you be replacing your PC with this laptop?

Real question is “is this a desktop replacement that won’t move too much?”

I work a lot on the road and need a portable PC but also spend time at home working on the computer. So, I presume it would be better for me to get a laptop with an external monitor which I can use at home.

My needs of course are as I mentioned above. In the course of my learning curve, I have learnt to make simple sites using html, css, php, mysql. I have been using Photoshop for my graphic needs. I have learnt how to make a photo gallery using php and mysql and also am learning how to make sites using wordpress. Learning how to make a shopping cart is going to be next on my agenda.
On an average, I work at home and on the road for around the same amount of time.

I would recommend getting a laptop based on what I denoted earlier then, you should be able to cover your usage needs at a reasonable price, luckily buying while the economy is so dodgy means that hardware costs have significantly been reduced, you can get some seriously decent machines for a fairly low amount of money (as to what you would have paid 5 years ago). The main thing you want for your monitor is a high resolution, the resolution is X by X (not screen size in physical inches), for example most machines have a base resolution of 1024x768, the higher you can get those values the better for you. :slight_smile: