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Author Topic: Laptop Advice?  (Read 2909 times)
AndrewKulin
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« on: June 20, 2009, 12:04:21 PM »
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Background:

I will be heading out to Europe for a 1 month vacation later this year with the family and plan to take a large number of photos.  I also plan to back these up as I go along and am looking for options that are light and not so bulky - I will have enough to deal with what with camera/lenses/tripod, clothing, wife and kids to bring along too.

I do not wish to bring my current laptop (17-inch HP) which is about 3 years old and heavy at 17 pounds (weighed it this morning on the scale - that is laptop, carrying bag, assorted loose stuff like chargers, mice, etc.).   I have a 500 GB WD Passport Elite (USB hard drive) - small and light and purchased for this trip

What I am looking for is:

1 - something that would let me upload from CF Cards via a Card Reader (Sandisk Image Mate 6-in-1)
2 - something that would be capable of transferring (backing up) to the portable USB hard Drive (which needs to be powered via the USB)
3 - something that would allow me to view photos that are saved in RAW format (I would prefer not to do RAW+JPEG to economize file storage)
4 - something that weighs less than 17+ pounds and that has to be carried in equivalent of an overnight piece of luggage

What I have considered were:

Colorspace HyperDrive UDMA
Pros
-   Meets my criteria 1, 3, and 4
-   Can upload from a CF card while still carrying on with photography rather than wait till later
Cons
-   I do not think it would power up the USB Hard-drive (Criteria 2)
-   I have heard (on the LL site and on a few topics in these forums) of problems with the product including poor user documentation
-   Somewhat expensive considering it is a 1-trick pony so to speak - ~$650 Canadian for the 500 GB version

New Laptop
Pros
-   Would be bought to meet Criterias 1-4 above (Criteria 4 I would not reasonably expect to be much less than 10 pounds total, with bag, power supply etc.)
-   Would let me install Photoshop (CS3) plus other photo workflow software for added versatility while overseas (nice to have but for most part I do 95% of my PS on my desktop)
-   Have seen some smaller sized laptops at places like Best Buy running for $800 Canadian or so and then up, but strikes me as much much better price/value than something like the Colorspace
-   An upgrade to my existing laptop, and thus able to be used for other tasks surfing, work-related tasks, etc.
Cons
-   still bulkier/heavier than something like the Colorspace

Based on the above I believe a smaller, lighter laptop is the way to go.  But now the question becomes which one, and it is opinion/advice from folks on the forum I am asking for.  On things such as:
-   Size (I am thinking 14-15 inch  smaller/lighter but still not too small a screen)
-   Any come with screens that are not high gloss my current laptop has the Ultra-bright (glossy) screen and it is absolutely unusable in bright environments/outdoors
-   Other things to look for in the screen (on a laptop) have seen some things about some units not being calibratible (I have an eye-one that I would use to calibrate)
-   Laptop Brand?  Any to stay away from or preferred?
-   Processor?  Intel Core 2 T6400, AMD Turion, other? Which gives most bang/buck from a PS point of view
-   RAM/HDD I intend on 4 GB RAM with 500 GB drive, and video chip that does not share this RAM
-   Operating System - I would prefer XP Pro, but probably stuck with Vista on a new machine (which version would be best) and is Vista going to cause me grief?
-   Price as low as I can go I am not looking for a $2500 unit, more along the lines of something in the $1000 (Canadian) range, knowing full well, there will be some price creep (upwards)

Im early in my research and will be looking into these things over the next few weeks, but will appreciate any feedback/comments/advice that will help me focus my research.

Thanks

Andrew
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jing q
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2009, 04:09:15 AM »
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I believe there's a pretty good Lenovo laptop that has a matte screen. X series? 3 pounds

I'm using a Sony SZ650 and I do alot of photo editing in cafes.
it packs alot of power into its frame, weighs about 4 pounds.I can't think of other laptops in that weight range with that kind of power (core 2 duo 2.2ghz on mine, I think it goes to 2.4ghz on a better model?)
The Sony Z series laptops are really really compact, they shaved an inch off the height of the computer and screen so it's a 13inch display but very slim.

was looking at netbooks in general too, but the Atom is not really made for alot of photo-related work...viewing RAWs may take much more time.
But if you're going on a trip I don't think you want to worry too much about your equipment so maybe a cheap netbook is the way to go.



Quote from: AndrewKulin
New Laptop
Pros
-   Would be bought to meet Criterias 1-4 above (Criteria 4 I would not reasonably expect to be much less than 10 pounds total, with bag, power supply etc.)
-   Would let me install Photoshop (CS3) plus other photo workflow software for added versatility while overseas (nice to have but for most part I do 95% of my PS on my desktop)
-   Have seen some smaller sized laptops at places like Best Buy running for $800 Canadian or so and then up, but strikes me as much much better price/value than something like the Colorspace
-   An upgrade to my existing laptop, and thus able to be used for other tasks surfing, work-related tasks, etc.
Cons
-   still bulkier/heavier than something like the Colorspace

Based on the above I believe a smaller, lighter laptop is the way to go.  But now the question becomes which one, and it is opinion/advice from folks on the forum I am asking for.  On things such as:
-   Size (I am thinking 14-15 inch  smaller/lighter but still not too small a screen)
-   Any come with screens that are not high gloss my current laptop has the Ultra-bright (glossy) screen and it is absolutely unusable in bright environments/outdoors
-   Other things to look for in the screen (on a laptop) have seen some things about some units not being calibratible (I have an eye-one that I would use to calibrate)
-   Laptop Brand?  Any to stay away from or preferred?
-   Processor?  Intel Core 2 T6400, AMD Turion, other? Which gives most bang/buck from a PS point of view
-   RAM/HDD I intend on 4 GB RAM with 500 GB drive, and video chip that does not share this RAM
-   Operating System - I would prefer XP Pro, but probably stuck with Vista on a new machine (which version would be best) and is Vista going to cause me grief?
-   Price as low as I can go I am not looking for a $2500 unit, more along the lines of something in the $1000 (Canadian) range, knowing full well, there will be some price creep (upwards)

Im early in my research and will be looking into these things over the next few weeks, but will appreciate any feedback/comments/advice that will help me focus my research.

Thanks

Andrew
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mike.online
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2009, 08:33:33 AM »
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my lenovo quick review

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=35233
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 08:34:19 AM by mike.online » Logged

mmurph
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 09:55:42 PM »
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I just bought a netwbook with a 160gb hard drive.

Refurb Acer AOA150 with 8.9 in screen, 1GB RAM, 160GB hard drive, 3 pounds,  3 USB sockets, video out, SD card socket (I also have a Canon G10 for family pics that uses SD.))\

$220. Very nice, small unit! I am going to use it as a tethered unit for shooting in the field. But it  obviously works well as storage and transfer to an external HDD. Plus e-mail, Excel, etc. Really small and light. A delight to use. Highly recommended!

Best,
Michael
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elkhornsun
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2009, 02:18:18 AM »
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Quote from: mmurph
I just bought a netwbook with a 160gb hard drive.

Refurb Acer AOA150 with 8.9 in screen, 1GB RAM, 160GB hard drive, 3 pounds,  3 USB sockets, video out, SD card socket (I also have a Canon G10 for family pics that uses SD.))\

$220. Very nice, small unit! I am going to use it as a tethered unit for shooting in the field. But it  obviously works well as storage and transfer to an external HDD. Plus e-mail, Excel, etc. Really small and light. A delight to use. Highly recommended!

Best,
Michael


The only problem with a netbook is if you move the image files off the CF cards and then reuse the cards. If the netbook is stolen you have lost all your pictures. I take 10 DVD's and backup images to both the hard drive and the keepers are burned to DVD's. The DVD's are kept in separate luggage and are not an item too many thieves would want to try to sell. If I take a netbook I am also taking sufficient CF storage so that I will not need to reuse the cards.
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ChrisJR
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2009, 05:08:20 AM »
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I'm entirely a Mac user now (will never go back to PC but that's another story) but my memory of PC's is to stay away from Toshiba and Asus laptops. I had a Toshiba that crashed within a week of buying it and Asus are horrendously unreliable.
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mcbroomf
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2009, 09:28:10 AM »
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Quote from: elkhornsun
The only problem with a netbook is if you move the image files off the CF cards and then reuse the cards. If the netbook is stolen you have lost all your pictures. I take 10 DVD's and backup images to both the hard drive and the keepers are burned to DVD's. The DVD's are kept in separate luggage and are not an item too many thieves would want to try to sell. If I take a netbook I am also taking sufficient CF storage so that I will not need to reuse the cards.

I agree.  When I'm on long trips I use 2 backup methods.  A 12" Lenovo X61, a refurb from ebay that was reasonable and quite poweful, so I can do a lot more then just viewing thumbs.  And an Epson card reader (although I'd probably get a Hyperdrive now).
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Mike Broomfield
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AndrewKulin
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2009, 01:10:45 PM »
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Thanks for the comments everyone.  I ended up ordering a Lenovo T500 on-line with 4 GB RAM and a T9400 cpu, etc (~$1300 CDN plus taxes).  It should be delivered this week.  Should be fatser/lighter than my 3-year old laptop.

I'll pick up a second 500 GB WD passport HDD as a second storage source as the laptop was either 160 GB/7200 (which I chose) or 320 GB/5400.

Andrew
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