So, I'm about to pull the trigger on a new laptop for image processing and I'd like some outside opinions.
Firstly, I am a PC user. I actually like the workflow vs. Mac (yes, I have used both and actually switched from Mac after about 10 years of use... no, I am not insane) All of my machines at work are PC. Our lab printing equipment uses PCs. My database, email, web, and FTP servers are PCs. My retail POS system is PC. I routinely use GoToMyPC for remote connections to work and GoToMeeting for customer trainings (both PC only). But, I am willing to explore all the options given that I can run Windows on a MBP. I know there is a general MBP bias around here, which is fine, but I want input anyway.
I was able to spec out a Dell Precision M6400 with QX9300 Quad Core 2.53Ghz, 8GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro FX 3700M with 1GB, dual 320GB 7200RPM drives in RAID 0 or 1 (hardware), 17" RGB LED 1920x1200 screen with 100% AdobeRGB color gamut, firewire, USB, DisplayPort, eSATA, SD card, and ExpressCard with 3 year next business day on-site warranty for $2800.
The top-of the line MBP 17" comes with dual core 3Ghz, 4GB, single HD, 9400M + 9600M with 512MB for $3000. Obviously, everyone here knows the spec of this machine as many have it.
The advantages of the Dell are 100% color gamut anti-glare screen, dual hard drives with real hardware RAID, the fastest GPU on the market today with 1GB VRAM, quad core processor, and additional ports. The 3-year NBD onsite warranty is a nice plus. And, the Dell with take up to 16GB RAM (4 slots, which make getting 8GB way, way cheaper).
The disadvantages are that the dell is thicker and heavier (8.5 lbs vs. the 6.6 lbs of the Mac), and the battery life isn't as good. The M6400 gets about 3-4 hours vs. the 7-8 hours of the new Mac. Also, the Mac would be able to run both OS X and Windows.
With so much emphasis on multi-core processing and GPU acceleration in apps (like CS4, Lightroom) the faster processor and graphics card seem to be a real plus. The 100% gamut screen could be like working on a portable Eizo.
I'm obviously leaning towards the Dell, but I'd like real-world opinions from those that have the latest 17" MBP on how it handles large MFDB files with regards to workflow, processing and multi-image stitching in CS4.