Laptop for mobile editing

So I've been out of the laptop game for quite some time. Last time I bought a laptop if had a GTX660M in it. It was a Lenovo 15" Yseries. It got too big for me so I then sold it and built a desktop and got a super good deal on a maxed out Dell XPS 12 from ebay. Someone had gotten it super infected and thought it was broke. I just wiped it and reinstalled win8.1. Years pass and I got a good deal on an i7 5930k when it came out for about $150 (intel retail edge program) and so I sold my old i7 4770k for it and built a monster. A couple of months later (Oct 2014) I decided to quit gaming and study and work more hours. I worked up to the lead tech position. That lead to the great job I have now. Anyways, I've been out of retail so long and ignored all this "gaming" crap on youtube that I hardly know anything about modern day laptops. I'm not going to be some idiot just asking what I should get or "how much dedotated wam" kind of stuff. My questions are more of:

  • what do you guys use for your mobile lightroom/photoshop/etc.?
  • I see so many big 17"s why not portable?
  • how much battery life do you typically find yourself needing?

I'm currently trying to figure out what is out there on the market now. Here are the things that im looking for in a laptop. in case anyone knows of one that fits this profile.

  • no bigger than 14" screen, no smaller than 12"
  • At least i5
  • doesn't have to have dedicated GPU but would be nice if under $1k
  • portable & thin
  • at least 5 hours of battery
  • QHD screen or something higher than 1080p
  • replaceable SSD
  • at least 8GB ram, would be nice if able to upgrade
  • not a flimsy plastic thing, preferably metal

Laptops I have already looked at:

  • Dell XPS 13 (no dedicated graphics, but pretty close to what I want)
  • Asus UX305 (core M maybe too weak, but its so much cheaper)
  • Macbook pro 13" retina (I would install windows on it, I love the trackpad, battery life, magnetic charger, but soo expensive, why cant I buy a barebones one for like $600 and add ram and SSD myself?)
  • Lenovo x1 yoga (awesome durability, but $1200 with only a 180gb ssd which I would want to upgrade myself)

I don't own one, but it is good from what I can determine (played with a Y50). It should have all of what you want. I'm not sure a higher than 1080p screen will go well with low price and decent battery life. At 1080p 14" you have a pretty high DPI, so anything higher res is almost pointless.

All the CPU power you need for editing, and an AMD GPU to help with realtime rendering. Don't know what programs you use for editing, so yeah.

Interesting, I had also played with a Y50 before, whilst I was in retail. It was definitely too thick for me though. but if this y700 is just a 14" version with the same thickness then is going to also be too thick. I'm looking for something the same or thinner than my XPS12. I'm not sure about the DPI being too much, I haven't really had any good 4k screens to look at in person. My theory behind that is that my picture's I'm going to be using is a lot more than 1920x1080. so having the real estate for larger images would be nice? idk. So far this seems really perfect tho but maybe a tad bit more than I want to spend.

Ahh, so you are going to the true ultrabook route.

Having more real estate only helps if you have a screen that is also large enough. If you were to get a monitor for the laptop then it might make a difference. Otherwise is just spends GPU that you would not need to spend for a 1080p screen.

Gotcha, so I actually just discovered the current Lenovo X1 yoga. It just came out and doesn't have the OLED screen yet. I think its just FHD 1920x1080. So I'd be good there. I also love the idea of folding it up and using the pen to do photoshop work with brushes. Also, I should mention that I am contemplating selling my desktop in order to purchase this instead of saving for it since I don't really use my desktop whilst at home. I usually only use it for getting files remotely or sending files to it. So it's just an overkill server. I currently have 2 1080p monitors but I'm thinking about getting either a singe 4K or a ultrawide because I love having at least 2 screens. I used to have 3 but one broke and they aren't made anymore. And then getting a Synology 5 disc for my storage. So I can still access it from anywhere and I will feel less bad about running it all the time. I'm about to post to the buy/sell/trade. Idk how much I could sell it all for though.

Yeah, good luck with that. From the sounds of it your desktop is pretty baller (and still is) so it should get a decent price unless you skimped somewhere. I persoanlly like having 1080p monitors, though an ultrawide is even better. 4K to me still seems like a gimick, and a laptop will still struggle to run them properly on integrated graphics. So they aren't really worth it.

You want the biggest screen possible to see what you're doing. Yeah you could edit on a netbook if it had a 980m or whatever, but you couldn't see shit on that teeny tiny screen.

If it helps, I see people at colleges who do video editing courses just get gaming laptops and that works better than the macbook options. I guess the yoga would be good? Maybe? Not exactly strong sounding in terms of speedily rendering frames of a 2 hour podcast but eh.

true, and also for photography, my clients aren't super high-end. So I might be better off with 1080p because that's what they are going to be looking at. If not mostly phone screens. My target audience is travel-adventure lifestyle/ fine art landscape. But at the same time movies would be awesome on a 21:9 or maybe 4K. Or maybe go for a 1440p and above it or down the desk a bit get a 4K TV. idk. But yea, my desktop is so over-kill for what I do now. The only thing that is skimping right now is the watercooler. Its a H100. non-i-version. Its an adequate cooler, its just old now. like 2 years. So idk how reliable it would really be.

I wouldn't be doing any video editing. My picture file sizes are around 30MB. Right now my XPS 12 with its 3rd gen i7 and 8gb and SSD runs everything decently. Yes its slower than my desktop, but I think its less important that portability. I won't be able to match 2011 socket speeds in any laptop really, let alone a ultra-portable.

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What are your render times? Honestly you could just line up your edits and then move the projects to your desktop when home and render when you need to.

He just said he wont be doing video... so it doesnt matter. Photo export times are fairly irrelevant.

What do you mean by render times? I mean every picture is different. Each one varies in size and complexity of the file. I rarely ever do batch editing. But I can tell you that there are hardly ever any loading bars. If there is it only lasts for a few seconds. Even with my old 36MP Sony A7R raw files lol. Mostly all thanks to my Kingston Hyper X predator M.2. SSD. but lining them up is sorta what I do now. I just use my laptop to store the files until I get home. But I'm finally getting to travel a little more now and I would like to get something that I could edit whilst I'm in the hotel or in the living room when my roomate still wants to hang out so that I'm not secluded to my office. My laptop CAN do it. But its battery life is so terrible. like under 1hr. I could just get another replacement battery. But i'd still only probably get like 3-4hrs max probably. That 3rd gen i7 is hungry. All those new intels are so power efficient.

Render Time as in: How long does it take to render an image lol.

I've never seen anything take more than 10secs to completely render an image. Typically in the 4000x3000 thru 7500x5000 range. sometimes as large as This Pano that is 13562x5635

Do you have a microcenter near by?

The dell XPS 15 is a killer laptop. Microcenter should still have an exclusive model for the xps15. It has a 4K screen, 1TB (not a typo) of pcie NVME storage, a 960m, a skylake i7, 16GB of ram, all in an ultrabook form factor for under 1600 bucks.

closest one is about 2 hours away. and close to a Frys. I might head out there eventually and check it out. I really don't think I want 15" tho. But that might change after actually playing with one in person.

That's like, not in budget, lol.

looking at a few videos and pictures now, I'm liking it. I could get that thunderbolt docking station for my desk at home. It's size isn't really THAT huge. I saw a picture of it next to the surface book which is a 13.3". Its slightly larger than that. I wish it could flip back and had a dedicated stylus. I've been doing just fine with a mouse though. So yea, until I can see it in real life before purchasing it, its another great option I'll add to my list.

I kinda sorta don't have a budget. I want to get something that is perfect for me. So once I figure out what that is then I'll figure out how much it is and then just save up for it. That being said. I'll prob max out above like 1800-2000. But I was thinking the 1000-1300 range would (probably) be the cost. That was just a guess. I've been out of the market for so long.

Ahh... I see. There almost is no reason to go above 1.2k USD. Most good laptops end up in that range, at least the ones that are well balanced. If you wish to bump up to a 15", MSI has the GS60 line which is amazing for like everything. Slim, powerful and decent battery. Ofc there is a sacrafice on battery for performance... so yeah.