best laptop computers for ID (the list)

There is a whole bunch of links to reviews and comparaisons available at

OpenGL based mobile solutions include (list possibly not complete):

o Dell M60
o HP/Compaq N800w
o IBM R50p, T42
o Fujitsu Siemens Celsius Mobile H

old ones:

o Dell M40, M50
o IBM A31p

Have a look at the link in my sig

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All this company makes is computers for designers, and other creative professionals. I have one of their desktop workstations and its ridiculous.

Boxxtech GoBoxx 2300

Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor with HT Technology up to 3.8GHz
800 MHz System Bus
NVIDIA Quadro® FX Go1400 / NVIDIA GeForce™ Go6800 Ultra
512MB PC2-4200 (533MHz) DDR2 Memory expandable to 3GB
Built-in 2.5" 9.5mm SATA drive
Optional 2nd Drive (IDE or SATA) Up to 200GB total storage
Built-in DVD/CDRW combo drive
Optional DVD+/-R/RW Burner or Double Layer DVD+/-R/RW Burner
17”1920 x 1200 WUXGA GlassView Type Active Matrix Display
15.48"(W) x 11.75"(D) x 2"(H)
11.3 lbs. with Battery

Base Price: $3011.00

…and I thought, designers were all about the apples??

nobody working with the powerbook? I am, and I love it!!

I have the Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet. I’m surprised more product designers don’t use them. Great screen resolution, 128MB video card & a decent processor. It sketches very nicely, handles heavy CAD like Catia & renders well in Rhino/Flamingo.

Not the lightest or cheapest but a true portable studio.

I’ve got a Power Mac G5 and a Dell i9300 laptop. I prefer the Apple, but the fact is that there are very few mainstream 3D apps on OS X. Pretty much the only ones are Lightwave and Maya, which are definitely geared more towards animation than surfacing or CAD. AutoCAD, 3DS Max, Alias Studiotools, Solidworks, Rhino – all unavailable on the mac platform.
On the mac you have Form-Z, Vectorworks, C4D, the Ashler-Vellum stuff, EIAS – some of those are used a lot in architecture, but not in ID. The fact is that there are no good surfacing apps on the Mac, and the lack of Solidworks really hurts. You need to use a windows computer for those.

HOWEVER – my G5 is leagues faster than the PC when I run Photoshop and Illustrator. It also has more accurate color-matching. There’s no question which system I’d rather do flat work on.

A tool is a tool; use the right system for the job.

Right, a tool is JUST a tool!!

a friend of mine and make a trans-sketch look superb with a wet beach and a stick!!

one of my teachers used to tell a kid in school: “good tools makes thinks easier but bad tools are not an excuse for bad design”[/quote]

I just bought a Gateway M7515 for $1200 at Best Buy with the following specs:

Athlon-64 Mobile 4000+
100GB HD
Dual Layer DVD/CD Burner
ATI X600 Mobile chipset with 256Mb of video RAM
15.4" Display running @1280x800
USB 2.0 and Firewire
MS/SD/CF/PC-Card slots

I run Rhino, 3DS Max, Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere with no problems.

Have a look at the link in my sig

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I have a hooked up Dell I9300. Awesome machine FOR THE MONEY.
Yes Boxxtech is the best mobile workstation on the market, but not for the hefty cost. I’ll prob replace my Dell in 2 yrs and won’t have lost alot of money on it.

I run 3D Studiomax Adobe CS2 and AutoCad 2006 on it. Runs great!
Rendering is slightly slow, but I take the models to work when I have a big one to render.

Bottom line: Dell notebooks are the best for a student or professional who want to use 3D apps that the rest of the design world uses.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that simply is not true. Read reviews on your system at There are numerous complaints about the LCD display having light “leak” issues when compared to older 9200 and 9100 series models.

The Gateway system I talked about above easily outperforms your system. I have run video encoding benchmarks and my system is only outperformed by 8xx series P4’s.

Video card performance is extremely important to 3D work (Rhino, Max) and the 9300 only has the ATI X300 chipset. The Gateway has a newer X600 chipset.

Finally, 17" laptops are hardly considered portable.

15" notebooks are too hard to work on. Great for chedking your email though!
Get a gym membership and you can step up to a 17"
My Dell 9300 has an Nvidia GeForce Go 6800. No ATI crap card.
Gateways are not bad starter computers, like E-machines.

I just bought a Thinkpad T42P, and had an A31P… The new one is way better. Not the fastest there is out there, but solid recomended hardware (Alias&Pro) and built thin and tough

2.2 Ghz
2G ram
128 mb Mobility Fire GL
Bluetooth, wifi, Gigabit
titanium covers

all for around $2k

17" or more

And designed by M3 in austin texASS

I say quit reading reviews and design some shit on the 9300!

I still think the tablet pc’s are the way to go when working it tandem with a good desktop or desktop replacement… I’ve had one for almost a year now and it’s been great except when I lose the damn pen. I just order the Cross Executive Tablet Pen as a replacement. for those interested here’s a link to an informative site on tablet pc’s: Tablet PC Buzz - Tablet Computer News

Boxx rawk, too.

Toshiba Tecra M4

So, basically you’re spending 2x as much money on a 17" laptop when a desktop would do the job? :unamused:

17" laptops are not considered portable in any way and do not make sense to carry around in an airport.

I also don’t see you’re logic behind the statement 15" notebooks being too hard to work on. Apparently all the people buying 15" PowerBooks don’t agree with you since that is Apple’s best seller. I am also willing to bet that most of those people are creative professionals as well.

Ah yes, what was I thinking!!!

Typical “poser” ID mentality - image is more than substance. I assume you think Karim Rashid and Philippe Starck are the greatest designers ever as well.

Go on and use your overpriced laptops. I’ll keep on using my Gateway and actually have more money left over from my consulting fees because I didn’t pay an arm and a leg for my laptop. I also won’t be sending my system back for service since it doesn’t score so poorly in terms if reliability.

The main thing to look for in any PC (laptop or not) is that its graphics card support Open GL, it makes a huge difference when running 3D CAD programs. Also another factor to consider in a laptop is the screen resolution (at least 1280 X 1024, preferable 1600 X 1200). My dream machine right now is the HP nw8240, but I also hear that Intel should be coming out soon with a duo core processor for PC’s, just like the ones found in the new Apple laptops.

There is an interesting review/comparison between five single-cpu workstations (4 desktop types and the nw8240) at

Apart from that just found out about the new Lenovo T60p which features a duo core Intel CPU and the new ATI Mobility FireGL V5200 w/ 256Mb of VRAM. Sounds pretty cool…