If you’re an engineer or graphic designer or specialize in digital content creation you will benefit from a workstation laptop.
Many people use laptops as a convenience and rely on a desktop machine to handle the heavy duty graphics workstation type tasks since they can’t be beat if you require top end performance. Workstation class laptops are becoming quite powerful and depending on your requirements you may be able to take your workstation wherever you want.
Laptops for the Photo and Video Editor or 2D Graphics Artist/Designer
Graphics and photo editors such as Photoshop can be demanding on the processor and memory but less so on the video card. Due to this you can normally use a regular high end laptop with lots of RAM and a fast CPU. Otherwise you’re good to go as long as it also has all the connectivity you need for your various digital devices such as USB 2.0/3.0, Firewire (otherwise known as iLink or IEEE1394), and Thunderbolt.
Laptops for 3D Design and CAD Engineers
There isn’t a laptop that can compete with a desktop workstation designed for 3D modeling and rendering, but there are options if you really want to do this type of work on the road and want the convenience of bringing your workstation to and from the workplace.
A workstation class graphics card will be needed besides the obvious requirement of a fast processor, large amount of ram, and large hard disk. These do exist!
The two major manufacturers are the familiar AMD with their FirePro line and Nvidia with their Quadro line of hardware.
All graphics cards or chips are based on mainstream counterparts from each manufacturer but are optimized for professional applications. These optimizations are mostly through ISV (Independent Software Vendor) certified drivers which provide stability and accuracy in specialized software applications. Workstation class graphics solutions are faster than the mainstream counterparts when it comes to professional 3D applications.
Workstation Screen Characteristics to Look For:
- Large high resolution screen so you can see more of your work without having to scroll up/down/left/right all the time.
- IPS or at least RGB LED/B+RG LED type of screen for better color gamut.
- Tablet PC’s available which are laptops with screens you can rotate, flip back down, and use a pen type input device.