Laptop LCD Quality - are any comparable to pro/semi-pro monitors?

LiveAwakeLiveAwake Major grinsPosts: 263Registered Users Major grins
edited August 12, 2013 in Digital Darkroom
Hello all,

I have a monitor that I love (HP LP2475w), as it produces great color accuracy and has extremely impressive viewing angles, with virtually no color shift. Great for photo editing, which is what I use it for.

However, I would like to be able to have a mobile work-station where I can do some of my photo editing on a laptop. My question is, are there any laptops out there with LCDs that compare in quality - specifically with respect to color rendition and viewing angle! - to the monitor that I have? Any that will allow me to calibrate it like I do my current monitor?

I know many people use mac laptops for photos . . . I'm a PC user, but might consider forking out for a mac if I could be convinced that the LCD would have these features. (I know they "look great," but we're photographers here - we need accuracy, not just saturated colors.)

Thanks for your input!
Peter

Comments

  • misterbmisterb Banned User Posts: 601Banned Major grins
    edited September 11, 2010
    Without a doubt- SONY VAIO's
  • LiveAwakeLiveAwake Major grins Posts: 263Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 11, 2010
    Are you saying that all Vaios have pro-quality LCDs? As in, non-TN etc.?
  • racerracer Major grins Posts: 333Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 12, 2010
    Yes, there are many laptops with IPS monitors that are very capable for photography! Most companies list them as business laptops, as "mobile workstations", so if you go to all the different laptop manufacture websites, look for the busness laptops, usally the REALLY expensive workstations for graphics will have IPS (or something similar) monitors.
    Here is one from HP, go to configure and add the dreamcolor screen (and start adding the $$$$)
    http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF05a/321957-321957-64295-3740645-4307559-4138087.html

    My opinion, by the time you add a good monitor and enough power to run PS smoothly, you have a laptop that weighs as much as a small boulder that will suck a battery down in 5min, so you end up with a desktop anyway :D
    Todd - My Photos
  • LiveAwakeLiveAwake Major grins Posts: 263Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 12, 2010
    Hmm, you make a good point (and you weren't kidding about the cost, either!). I'm not looking for this to be a featherweight in my backpack, though, as nice as that would be . . . I just want to be able to get away from my home office sometimes and work in a coffee shop or the library. I wish the manufacturers would be a little more informative in the specs about what kind of displays they have - it feels like a lot of guess work.
  • misterbmisterb Banned User Posts: 601Banned Major grins
    edited September 12, 2010
    LiveAwake wrote: »
    Are you saying that all Vaios have pro-quality LCDs? As in, non-TN etc.?

    I'm not sure about TN stuff, but the Vaio's have the best image quality for laptops that I have seen.
  • colourboxcolourbox Major grins Posts: 2,078Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 12, 2010
    Is the opinion of the Vaio based on images "looking good" or on an objective measurement of their post-calibration gamut and accuracy, as well as the panel type?
  • racerracer Major grins Posts: 333Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 13, 2010
    colourbox wrote: »
    Is the opinion of the Vaio based on images "looking good" or on an objective measurement of their post-calibration gamut and accuracy, as well as the panel type?

    I think only one of the Sony laptops have a IPS screen, that I am aware of.
    Todd - My Photos
  • NewsyNewsy Major grins Posts: 605Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 13, 2010
    I'm not aware of any Sony laptops or any current production consumer grade (vs custom industrial or military) laptop/notebook other than the HP 8740w having an IPS panel. If you have an URL pointing me to specs confirming an IPS panel I'd appreciate you posting it here. If you haven't seen my posts here before, I try to stay on top of monitor & panel trends so as to point people to good product for image editing.

    To the best of my knowledge, all consumer grade laptops currently in production, inclusive of Mac's, use 6 bit TN TFT LCD panels in their screens.

    Just look at the viewing angle specification, if available, to confirm - if it is stated as either 160° or 170° horizontal and 160° vertical, it is a TN panel. An IPS panel will be stated as 178° horizontal and vertical.

    If viewing angles are not available but you have a sample in front of you that is said to be IPS, look at the panel from below the bottom edge. If the image changes to almost like a film negative appearance, you have a TN panel. If not, it is likely an IPS or PVA panel.

    Currently, the HP 8740w offers an IPS panel as an option and the Apple iPad use an IPS panel. Also, the Lenovo X200 tablet may as well.

    The HP only recently starting shipping. I suspect other manufacturers will soon get access to the same 17" IPS panel so it would not surprise me if Sony, or others, have a model on the books or recently introduced. I also suspect it will cost you more than $2000 USD to get an IPS panel in a notebook.

    The HP 8740w will indeed cost you dearly for this pleasure - in excess of $4000 USD once fully optioned.

    It offers a 17" 1920x1200 IPS panel with a wide gamut RGB-LED backlight - you need to select the Dreamcolor WUXGA option. HP also claims this is a 10bit panel but I'm pretty sure what they really mean is that it is an 8bit panel which with the use of electronic techniques, dithering and FRC (Frame Rate Control), they simulate a 10bit space (i.e. over a billion colors vs 8bit's 16.7 million).

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/hp-elitebook-probook/470406-official-hp-elitebook-8740w-owners-lounge-220.html#post6467969

    http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF06a/321957-321957-64295-3740645-4307559-4138087.html

    .
  • racerracer Major grins Posts: 333Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 13, 2010
    Newsy wrote: »
    I'm not aware of any Sony laptops or any current production consumer grade (vs custom industrial or military) laptop/notebook other than the HP 8740w having an IPS panel.

    Note, I am not totally sure what type of screens these laptops have, but they have screens with wide gamuts that make them a choice for photographers. Maybe you will know what type of screens they are? ne_nau.gif

    Lenovo (this one even has a built in wacom tablet and screen calibrator :wow, I want :D)
    http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/special-offers.workflow:ShowPromo?LandingPage=/All/US/Landing_pages/ThinkPad_notebooks/2010/W701-W701ds

    Dell
    http://www.dell.com/us/en/business/notebooks/precision-m6500/pd.aspx?refid=precision-m6500&s=bsd&cs=04

    I dont want to spend the rest of my day looking up laptops, so there is two so far
    Todd - My Photos
  • NewsyNewsy Major grins Posts: 605Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 13, 2010
    racer wrote: »
    Note, I am not totally sure what type of screens these laptops have, but they have screens with wide gamuts that make them a choice for photographers. Maybe you will know what type of screens they are? ne_nau.gif

    Lenovo (this one even has a built in wacom tablet and screen calibrator :wow, I want :D)
    http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/special-offers.workflow:ShowPromo?LandingPage=/All/US/Landing_pages/ThinkPad_notebooks/2010/W701-W701ds

    Dell
    http://www.dell.com/us/en/business/notebooks/precision-m6500/pd.aspx?refid=precision-m6500&s=bsd&cs=04

    I dont want to spend the rest of my day looking up laptops, so there is two so far

    They both use a 6bit TN panel. Yes, they may have a wide gamut backlight but they will have issues with the color/gamma shifting at even small angles off 90 degrees to screen.

    With laptops what I've noticed is that they seem to use a different TN matrix from a desktop monitor. The shift is much more noticeable on the laptop. You can see an effect of a band at the top and bottom of the screen and from side to side there is a perceptible color shift.

    From what I've seen in stores, and not having a Windows type notebook next to them to compare, the Mac notebooks seem to have a better quality TN that offers more contrast and evenness top to bottom. Perhaps it is their glossy front screen that gives this impression. I've not viewed the Lenovo so I can't say much more than I know it has a TN panel.

    You can view the effects of the color/gamma shift in several YouTube "TN vs IPS" videos and also on a number of review sites where they have images of the screens from various angles.

    Here's a couple to play with...

    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews.htm

    http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.php?ty=6&ma1=88&ma2=88&mo2=218&p2=2098&ph=8#

    .
  • LiveAwakeLiveAwake Major grins Posts: 263Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 14, 2010
    Thank you for all of this information - it's very helpful!

    Newsy, I'm shocked to learn that the iPad has an IPS!! I can't imagine doing serious photo editing on the iPad, but that does make it quite a bit more appealing for carrying a sort of "virtual portfolio" with me to meetings etc. . . .

    I've also noticed when looking a a friend's mac laptop that the viewing angle does appear to be much better than most laptops. Very interesting.

    I guess I need to do some soul-searching about how I will really end up using whatever laptop I end up getting. $4k is definitely out of the budget for the moment, so I either need to get something I can use for other work and keep the serious photo editing for my home station, or choose to go without for a while and save my pennies until I can afford one with an IPS panel.

    Feel free to post links to any other laptops that are discovered to have IPS or PVA . . . that way I'll have a list I can come back to if and when I am able to fork out for it. :D
  • Jane B.Jane B. Major grins Posts: 373Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 14, 2010
    My experience is NOT with current equipment but maybe since it has worked for me with two different ones of different eras it will be helpful to some.

    With both a Dell Inspirion (sp?) from I think it was 1998 and a Lenovo ThinkPad R60 purchased in 2003 I found that by having the screen set at a favorate angle (which I can come very close to repeating after having it closed to carry with me someplace) and sitting directly in front (which comes natural for me) I get a very close match to what my printer produces. What I get from a Canon iP6000D printer also matches very, very, closely to what my local CVS does when printing there. Nothing is profiled and when doing photos am pirinting from Version 6 of PhotoShop.
  • chrisjohnsonchrisjohnson Major grins NetherlandsPosts: 769Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 14, 2010
    Jane B. wrote: »
    My experience is NOT with current equipment but maybe since it has worked for me with two different ones of different eras it will be helpful to some.

    With both a Dell Inspirion (sp?) from I think it was 1998 and a Lenovo ThinkPad R60 purchased in 2003 I found that by having the screen set at a favorate angle (which I can come very close to repeating after having it closed to carry with me someplace) and sitting directly in front (which comes natural for me) I get a very close match to what my printer produces. What I get from a Canon iP6000D printer also matches very, very, closely to what my local CVS does when printing there. Nothing is profiled and when doing photos am pirinting from Version 6 of PhotoShop.


    This is a very practical approach. With a laptop you are always dealing with different ambient light so you have to develop a feel for how what you are doing will translate to your eventual output medium.

    I like the Apples because they belt out a bright image consistently and are made for photo viewing it seems. This is more important than the underlying screen technology - I feel. After all the my Apple and my PC both use the same basic screen type but are designed for different purposes: on the pc I can read my mail privately in an airplane, for example, but it is no good for presenting to a group of people.
  • NewsyNewsy Major grins Posts: 605Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 14, 2010
    This is a very practical approach. With a laptop you are always dealing with different ambient light so you have to develop a feel for how what you are doing will translate to your eventual output medium.

    I like the Apples because they belt out a bright image consistently and are made for photo viewing it seems. This is more important than the underlying screen technology - I feel. After all the my Apple and my PC both use the same basic screen type but are designed for different purposes: on the pc I can read my mail privately in an airplane, for example, but it is no good for presenting to a group of people.

    But bright is not necessarily better, especially if post processing. It is good if you are in a bright room.

    Apple just constipates me....

    On the surface they seem to have all this so sexy hardware and then I look into their monitor specs and my desire withers. It's good product but.... I think real serious hard core full gamut photo shoppers would do better with a non-Apple branded monitor.

    .
  • LiveAwakeLiveAwake Major grins Posts: 263Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 11, 2013
    Hey everyone, I'd like to revive this old thread now that some time has passed and new models are on the market. I ended up opting to keep all of my photo editing on my desktop, and using my laptop (with a crappy screen) only for work that does not require color accuracy. I'm now back where I was previously, looking at buying a new laptop with an IPS screen for mobile photo editing.

    The HP "Dreamcolor" monitors seem to be my best bet, so I'm looking into models that have this option. However, due to limited budget, I'm thinking of getting something refurbished . . . one of the challenges I'm facing is that when shopping refurbished, it can be difficult to tell which models have this screen. I'm looking at HP 8570p and 8570w models . . . there seem to be 3 display specs listed in the models I'm seeing: HD, HD+, and FHD. Am I correct that the ones with FHD will have the Dreamcolor IPS display?

    Feel free to suggest other models as well, as I'm sure by now they are out there.
    Thanks!
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,849Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 11, 2013
    LiveAwake wrote: »
    ... The HP "Dreamcolor" monitors seem to be my best bet, so I'm looking into models that have this option. However, due to limited budget, I'm thinking of getting something refurbished . . . one of the challenges I'm facing is that when shopping refurbished, it can be difficult to tell which models have this screen. I'm looking at HP 8570p and 8570w models . . . there seem to be 3 display specs listed in the models I'm seeing: HD, HD+, and FHD. Am I correct that the ones with FHD will have the Dreamcolor IPS display?

    ...

    That does not appear to be correct. You need to locate the models which explicitly state "DreamColor" in the "Display" section of the specifications. (DreamColor displays also have an "UWVA" designation.)

    For the 8570p series I don't see any version or even any option to get a "DreamColor" display.

    For the 8570w series I see only one configuration with the "DreamColor" display; (C6Y89UT)
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • LiveAwakeLiveAwake Major grins Posts: 263Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 11, 2013
    Thanks Ziggy, that is helpful. Unfortunately, sellers tend to give far less information when selling refurbished (including when buying from HP directly through their business outlet). I can't always see all the specs or the configuration numbers.

    Are you aware of any other 15" (ish) laptops with the IPS display so I can broaden my search?
  • NewsyNewsy Major grins Posts: 605Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 12, 2013
    LiveAwake wrote: »
    Are you aware of any other 15" (ish) laptops with the IPS display so I can broaden my search?

    There are quite a few now and also some S-PLS models but unfortunately most of the models under $2000 USD have a backlight that only offers coverage of about 67% of the sRGB color space. To be clear... that is 67% of sRGB, not 67% of NTSC (which is often referenced as being about 100% of sRGB coverage). So a serious deficiency in gamut coverage. Beats me why.

    The reviews on http://www.notebookcheck.net/ usually have a section dedicated to screen and gamut coverage.

    Also,
    http://www.laptopreviews.com/laptop-guide-advantages-of-ips-display-laptops-and-where-to-find-them-2011-12

    .
  • LiveAwakeLiveAwake Major grins Posts: 263Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 12, 2013
    Thanks Newsy. It's so easy to get lost in all of this . . .
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