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what computer to buy?

Well, I'm currently saving for a new computer for myself. I do web design on the side, so I'll need something capable of running photoshop and possibly illustrator. I do a lot of my work while NOT home, so I would prefer to have a laptop for mobility, but I'm wondering if laptops are up to the challenge. I know laptops have come a long way, but I'm still unsure.

Recommendations, anyone?

Also, I've seen some pretty impressive laptops around town. One I recall belonged to a guy who flipped the screen back so it was flat as a book (with the screen pointing out), and then drew on the screen's surface like a wacom tablet. What in the world was that? Can anyone tell me?

I'm really helpless when it comes to computers--I feel like I know next to nothing about them.
Those are actually called tablet notebooks. They aren't the most powerful due to the weak graphics they typically have, but they do have that nice function. If you're into that I recommend looking at Lenevo's thinkpads for a good tablet notebook. I think it's under the x-series? You'll notice once you look. I'm not really sure how powerful the graphics need to be to run photoshop or illustrator but if you need a little more power go with discrete graphics and forget the tablet idea. cyberpowerpc has decent asus laptops with mid-range graphics cards.
One thing to keep in mind with notebooks and graphic design is that you won't get accurate color representation. It's not so bad on regular LCD monitors, but on laptops it starts from bad and goes to worse. If this is at all a concern, I would suggest at the very least to plug a monitor into the laptop when you're doing this kind of work.

Also, from what I've read, the accuracy of tablet notebooks for drawing is often not so great. If you do go this direction ( a very expensive direction ) make sure to look for this in reviews. I may be wrong, but it's a pretty important thing to be concerned about if your main usage is Photoshop.
buy a dell laptop.. it is good one.. and get a preloaded vista
hm... Toshiba is a good choice (I use satellite A100-P543)
I use it for web design, manga type setting (put words on the bubbles at manga/comic), some anime/J dorama soft subbing, and a little (very very "little") 3D rendering, watching anime etc-etc-etc

and it's already 1years, and I had no problem for it (I'm using windows XP sp 2)
Any new laptop will be up to the challenge. They come with processors that are (or can be0 as powerful as the desktops sold beside them. What you'll want to do if you're doing a lot of graphics, to avoid lots of disk swapping, is get it loaded with lots of RAM.
I suggest u the best motherboard

ASUS p5n-e sli

All the features u need

High performance.

Less cost.
Dell sucks. If you're going to get a laptop that does heavy duty photoshop and other graphics intensive work go with a higher end sager, lenovo, vaio, toshiba, in that order.
Thanks for all the advice... Can I assume I wouldn't have any problem getting a wacom tablet (if I didn't go with the tablet pc) to work out with just an ordinary laptop?

How much ram?

What about a mac?

...and really, Toshiba? I had a toshiba laptop a yr or two ago and it was the worst thing I ever bought, and their customer service is complete garbage.

Does anyone else agree about the Sager?
Ram: 2gigs is good

Wacom Tablet: You can get their basic Graphire for as little as $100 USD. Their Intuos is a lot better quality but it also starts at $230 USD.

Toshiba has gotten a lot better as of late. Their build quality and usability has improved markedly. Especially some of their business oriented models are definitely well received by the professional community.

You can get a Macbook for $1400 at the Mac Edustore if you are a student. Even if you're not a student you can get a Macbook at a very fair price. For $1400, you can get the following specs:

C2D T7500
2 gb ram
120 gb hd
8x superdrive
free ipod nano

I know this because my sister recently purchased this model at the price listed above. Pretty good deal if you ask me. Personally, I would never buy a mac just because I'm a complete anti-apple person, but if I wasn't one I'd jump for a macbook.
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