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Bowen in Tyler, Texas listens on KTBB and asked: “I’m looking for a good general laptop. I do a lot of photography and send a lot of my photos to a magazine online. My computer is very slow at it. Just good graphics, but I don’t need a terribly expensive computer. And just general use. Other than that, I do some drawing on my phone and I’d like to start doing the drawing on the computer. And I watch lots of videos. Looking for under $1,000.”
Bowen, $1000 is not a very high budget for a professional laptop, so this will all come down to how intensive your photo editing is. If you’re editing very large RAW files, a sub-$1000 machine may fall short on performance, but if you’re thinking of something simpler, you should be able to find something for that price.
For example, a brand new, powerful Microsoft Surface laptop can cost twice as much as you’re willing to pay, but a previous generation Surface Pro 6 for example, can be had for around $700 and they’re reasonably competent machines.
A Surface Laptop 2 will cost you a little bit more, maybe $800, but it should also be a capable laptop.
A 15” Dell XPS will be close to the top end of your $1000 budget too, and it should come with enough RAM to handle fairly intensive editing.
This all assumes that the editing you do requires some power, either due to the size of the image or to how complex the work you do is. If you’re sending this magazine images that are 1000 x 1000 pixels then… well, pretty much anything will do, and you can look at laptops that will cost you less than the ones we mentioned.
As for drawing on your laptop, a good drawing pad will make your life much easier. Wacom has an endless number of those, so they should have something that matches your needs, including tablet types with built in screens – though those will run you considerably more.
By the way, if you want to stretch that $1000, powerful desktops are cheaper than powerful laptops. It may be worth adding those to the list of potential buys.
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