Originally Posted by MARIO K
Oh, and one more thing.. Do you guys use Mac or PC to edit? Some of my processed pictures look great on my Macbook Pro, but when I view them from my Sony Vaio they look horrible.. and vise versa. Now before I upload a photo I send it to both laptops just to compare, which is becoming a hassle :/
I agree with others who stated this is most likely a monitor/LCD screen calibration issue. Also it very much depends on the hardware if going PC.
For example, a business oriented laptop will usually have less emphasis on screen and graphics (read: will have a crappy screen and graphics card
In contrast, a dedicated workstation machine may have an excellent LCD display, a killer graphics card, lots of memory, etc. The screen is #1 and in my experience only the high end laptops have decent screens. Macs are known for being graphics oriented historically, hence they don't skimp in this area.
Dedicated gaming laptops, such as Alienware, will be great for this because modern games are extremely demanding on hardware, particularly graphics, and gamers expect the best screens as well just like graphics artists and photographers do.
I run a Dell Precision M6500 "mobile workstation", which is my workhorse laptop as I am in a technical field of work, specifically software. I also wanted to use it for my photo editing as well. It seems to be one of the last of a dying breed of laptops that has a 17" screen with a native 1920x1200 resolution. Many newer models, including the Dell M6600 (replacement of mine a year newer) only have 1920x1080. Not a deal breaker and has no bearing on screen quality, but I like my screen real estate
It also has an LG LCD that was, as the laptop, designed for heavy oil and gas exploration industry, AutoCAD and similar, video editing, graphic design, and photography in mind. I find colors on my laptop similar to my external Dell 2707WFP monitor, which also is known for excellent color reproduction, as are all of the high end Dell screens.
I am also running Win 7 64bit, with an i7 920X processor (2 generations old now, I think, but still plenty fast), and currently 16GB of ram which I am going to upgrade to 32GB. Probably overkill for photo editing but I run virtual machines on my laptop for work which take up lots of RAM.
Two bits of advice -
1. As I think someone else mentioned, you can get a calibration device such as a Spyder, to calibrate your screens and normalize the color reproduction. It comes with software that you install which works with the device, it's pretty straight forward to use.
2. If you don't already have one, get a Solid State Drive (SSD) for your laptop. It is the single most awesome thing you can do to improve speed of most, if not all, of your workflow. Opening files, saving files, batch operations, etc., even opening Photoshop, is all blazing fast. Anything that involves reading or writing data to and from the hard drive is noticeably going to be faster over a standard hard drive. Extremely, not subtly, noticeable.
My laptop has 3 of them, 2 of which are in Raid0 which basically combines them into one, even faster drive
Ok done beating my chest about my laptop now. She's my baby, my wife hates her guts though.
Hope you find some of this helpful.