In a year, give or take a bit, I am thinking about taking a long term auto tour of the USA. My “home base” would be wherever I happen to have stopped driving at the time so I would be processing photos on the road. I'm not planning on camping (much) so I will have access to power and hopefully wi-fi.
Right now I am using a 9 year old desktop, a Dell Studio XPS 435MT which has a first generation i7 processor. I have upgraded memory to 12 GB and installed a 2 TB hard drive but that's about it. Oh, I also upgraded from Vista to Win 7, and then Microsoft kindly upgraded me to Win 10… I'm learning to live with it.
But, now my computer has started making noises—never an inspiring situation. I'm not sure it is a drive problem because even while making the noise (kind of a screeching friction sound plus a bearing rumble) I checked drive status with wmic and got a string of OKs. This computer model has a history of fan problems so it could be that, but I still decided to do a hard drive backup. Following that, the noise predictably stopped for a couple of weeks but it just started up again, intermittently today. So, I am about due for some new hardware.
Since I expect be traveling a laptop would probably be the best bet. I may have room for my Dell U2412M monitor but I would want a decent screen on the laptop. Probably a recent i7 processor as well. I do have a laptop but it is probably 4-5 years old with a 3rd generation i5 processor and the screen isn't very good. So I would be shooting for one computer to replace both my antique desktop and the laptop. I did read the last “what laptop should I buy” thread but it is over 2 years old so I thought I would revisit the question. I don't really want to spend $3K, but I am willing to spend enough so that I'm not wishing for new hardware in a year. I only process photos for my personal use. I do expect my photo volume to go up during my travels, but not to professional levels. So speed really isn't important except that it drives me crazy watching that circle go round and round. I do want to improve processing speed for my sanity's sake.
Right now I am using Lightroom 6.13 standalone with an occasional jump into Photoshop CS6. But if I get to the point that I need newer post processing software I may switch from Adobe rather than go with the subscription (a subject for a different thread at another time). For right now I get what I need from my versions of Lightroom and Photoshop. I only edit photos, no video. Otherwise I will use the computer for web browsing, document generation (probably a free Office alternative program) and maybe a few games that are not video intensive. I may also use it for Skype and possibly streaming some videos.
So, if anyone has any suggestions for laptops, preferred brands, how they should be configured, or anything, I am interested. Except, I am not interested in switching to Mac. Old dog and all that.
Thanks in advance.