Laptops as a desktop replacement, windows and mac

With the release of the new Macbook Pro 16 inch laptop, I think a lot of Apple users will be happy. I’m a very unbiased person when it comes to computer software as I’ve used over 20 different operating systems and they’ve all had pluses and minuses. This post isn’t about that however, but rather the hardware…

The new Macbook Pro 16 inch laptop has soldered components and a battery which will be at 80% of its full capacity after 12 months of use if you’ve kept the laptop plugged in a while. After a few years, it will degrade more, and the SSD will eventually break (they all do eventually; this isn’t company specific) but you won’t be able to replace it because it’s soldered on — good job Apple.

For the consumer this is absolutely fine (apparently people are okay these days with $3k products being treated as a disposable chocolate bar) but for someone running a business, I cannot recommend it. There is a lot of value in being able to walk in a store and have the item replaced very quickly but it’s still a pain if you’ve got a lot of data on there and you have to set up another machine.

I’d quite like to see Apple make a thicker Macbook Pro 16″ with user replaceable RAM, SSDs and a replaceable battery. Obviously they couldn’t charge a ridiculous fee for $100 in component addons but this would be better for the business person in general. They don’t really offer a workstation computer for the professional and this new machine will thermal throttle a lot (when the computer gets hot, it’s told to slow down the processors to cool the machine).

Needless to say, the Apple MacBook Pro 16 is garbage and there isn’t a Windows vs Linux vs Apple debate here because Apple doesn’t actually offer anything of value in this niche (is it even a niche? there’s a lot of people doing video editing these days).

Windows Workstation Laptops

As I’ve been forced into Windows if I want a powerful laptop which will be user repairable, I’ve been looking at various machines.

The Dell XPS 15″ caught my attention first; I’d seen a lot of hype about it on YouTube. It’s pretty poor, thermal throttles badly and they have poor quality control. The Dell Precision 5540 is basically the same machine except a few different hardware options and Dell Support would take you more seriously.

There’s a bunch of others made by Razer, MSI and whatnot. Some have OLED screens which should be avoided (burn in, colour accuracy depends on brightness, etc.) and some have a low colour gamut…

When you’ve filtered out the bad machines, you’re not left with much at all, haha. So I’ve seen the Lenovo X1 Extreme Gen 2, Lenovo P1 Gen 2 and the Lenovo P53. The first two models are similar except they come with different SSDs, the Lenovo P1 Gen 2 has 10bit colour and a different graphics card. The Lenovo P53 has way more options in general and the Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000 card rivals that of some desktop cards.

Unfortunately though the aesthetics of these laptops simply doesn’t match that of Dell XPS computers or the Apple Macbook Laptops. Nonetheless, if you don’t care about that and you need a powerful laptop in a hotel, on a plane or whatever, check out the Lenovo P53. Don’t buy it with extra RAM and don’t get the i9 model (it produces too much heat). Buy the i7, 256GB (lowest option) with 8GB RAM and then upgrade the RAM and storage yourself. It will be a lot cheaper that way.

A brief update regarding Capture One Pro

I’ve been using Capture One Pro for a while now and I love it more and more. For anyone who’s wanting to try it there is a monthly trial available.

The more you use something, the more you get a feel for its speed compared to trying it for ten minutes. It is incredibly fast software, and it has great customisation options which Adobe Lightroom simply doesn’t have. For example, you can set the entire file structure when you import a photograph. At this point, I’d actually like to see Adobe issue a Photoshop only plan for 65% of the cost of the Photography Plan. I don’t need Lightroom any longer.

This isn’t a long review or anything as I’m not ready for that, but I do urge you to try it for a few minutes each day. If you’re a busy professional, it will be slower at first because you’re not used to it. That’s why I think trying it a few minutes each day and watching a video here and there will be good enough to give you a feel for it. The colours are really really good with Sony and I think it quashes the idea Sony cameras have bad colour science.

Capture One Pro & Adobe Software Workflow

I’ve recently been talking to more and more professional photographers about various parts of their business and workflow, and Capture One Pro has rapidly become an industry standard — rightfully so. With Sony and Fujifilm (Adobe has severe bugs when dealing with Fujifilm files) users especially, they should take a strong look at the software as it has many key benefits compared to its competition.

Capture One Pro vs Adobe Lightroom

Over the upcoming days, I will compare the software to Adobe Lightroom and why I think you should use this as part of your photography workflow.

I am not suggesting it replaces the complicated tools found within Adobe Photoshop, but rather that you should have a Capture One Pro & Adobe Photoshop workflow rather than an Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop workflow.

There are three striking differences which stand out to me in particular compared to Adobe Lightroom:

  • Colours and contrast are handled much better with Capture One Pro
  • Capture One Pro is considerably faster
  • Tethering works flawlessly with Sony mirrorless cameras e.g. the Sony a7r IV unlike Adobe Lightroom which is terribleThere are far more differences than those listed above but these features alone make a massive difference. I will make a more comprehensive post in the future, but please give the software a go. You can use it for free for up to a month.