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What laptop are you using for travel?


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#1 aprest

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 09:06 AM

I just got back from Grand Cayman. I shot a lot using my new Seacam 5D housing and Canon 5D. I brought along a 4 pound Averatec 3700 12 inch laptop computer (with 512MB of memory and Windows XP) but found that the computer bogged down when using Adobe Photoshop CS2 to work on RAW images. It seemed to get slower and slower the more images I worked on even after closing each image before opening another image. If I rebooted it wasn't so slow until after working on more images. In addition image on the screen changes dramatically depending on viewing angle. I have thought about doubling the memory to 1 GB but because of the compact design of this laptop major surgery is required to do so.

This leads me to my question: What light weight laptops are people using for travel?

#2 3@5

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 09:28 AM

I just got back from Grand Cayman. I shot a lot using my new Seacam 5D housing and Canon 5D. I brought along a 4 pound Averatec 3700 12 inch laptop computer (with 512MB of memory and Windows XP) but found that the computer bogged down when using Adobe Photoshop CS2 to work on RAW images. It seemed to get slower and slower the more images I worked on even after closing each image before opening another image. If I rebooted it wasn't so slow until after working on more images. In addition image on the screen changes dramatically depending on viewing angle. I have thought about doubling the memory to 1 GB but because of the compact design of this laptop major surgery is required to do so.

This leads me to my question: What light weight laptops are people using for travel?

i have a sony vaio tx3xp the ultra light one, but i don't touch photos on a trip a part from going through the raws with breeze browser after the days download to delete all those i don't want.
i'd rather work on them as i get back on a large colour corrected screen at home....
it could run PS i think and do some raw processing (it's got 1 gig ram) but nothing major.
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#3 jlyle

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 09:52 AM

Sony VAIO - expensive, but light and powerful.
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#4 TheRealDrew

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 09:59 AM

This leads me to my question: What light weight laptops are people using for travel?



Sounds like memory issue as you said. As to laptops I am a Mac user primarily so there is no option that is small as I would really like, and have travelled with many models [Used a G3 iBook for photos for not a speed demon but it was fine and the machine was ALOT slower than anything out now from Apple]

I put my laptops in a backpack or briefcase and it is usually not a real pain - the weight difference beween them is rather negligable between them in the grand scheme of things, partly because Apple does not currently have a real light portable - the current models range from the 13.3" MacBook (5.2 lbs) to the 17" MacBook Pro (6.8 lbs). I curse everything (weight and size) of everything I bring when going to and from plane and to and from hotel or wherever, but once settled the bit of headache (I travel with the 17" now) is worth it, at least for me. ( I find that packing the cables, extra hard drives, power supplies usually become more problematic for me as compared to the laptop itself it terms of size and weight. Also have a 15" Dell laptop, but that never comes along on a trip. I have PCs (laptops/towers) but overall I just prefer Macs, the OS and the way they work.)

That being said, I am also looking at maybe picking up a demo/refurb MacBook - it should be okay to do what I want and I am trying to ween myself from spending too much time attached to the computer when I am diving/on vacation, and when I am in front of a 17" screen I can lost easily as compared to working on a smaller screen :rolleyes: I use the laptops basically for emails and to review things, do quick reviews of material/edits/corrections, make backups etc., but then when I get home do the finishing touches as needed.

Not sure if you are near an Apple store, but you may want to take a look, ask them if you can load some of your photos and play with iPhoto and CS3 (when they start adding it to the machines). Note you can also install Windows on the new Macs either natively or via emulation.

As an aside, you may be able to crossgrade to the Mac versions of CS3, if you decide to look at Macs. Adobe used to let people cross over like that, do not know if they still do.

You should see if you get your machine running (no need to spend extra money if you do not have to, sounds like it something that has an answer) but if you are going to look at another machine, you may want to check out the Macs.

#5 jugglematt

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 04:10 PM

(Edit : Post deleted) ... oops, not me ... someone's been using my PC :rolleyes:

Edited by jugglematt, 07 April 2007 - 11:16 PM.


#6 Lndr

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 04:18 AM

(now me as me B) )

I have a Sony TX27 & love it :rolleyes: Been using it for 12 months and it hasn't missed a beat.

They seem expensive, but were the only lightweight with a built in DVD burner at the time. But now they have a cheaper starting TX model which may be worth checking out.

(external DVD drives are another bit to carry & are not in the weight of other "ultralights")

The screen is lush. Has all the mods cons, but I found the wireless network, bluetooth, PCMCIA, SD and Memorystick slots really handy. The only downside for me was only two USB ports (but then there is not a square mm to fit anything else ... so I don't mind :ninja: )

I extended the ram to maximum when I bought it - 1.5GB

It handles my 12.4 MP RAW in Bridge and PS fine (not blisterering fast, but very workable for me) ;)

#7 The Octopus

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 04:22 AM

Currently, I use a 15.4" voodoo 534 (compal HEL80). The specs were supposed to be 6 pounds weight, 1900x1200 screen resolution. It actually weighs 7.2 pounds with 1600x 1280 resolution, I have a T7600 processor and 2GB ram with a 100GB 7200rpm hard drive (partitioned with a 5GB "scratch disk". It works flawlessly, My only complaint is the weight. wish it was under 4 pounds, 2 pounds would be ideal travel weight. When I carry it with the rest of my gear in the lowepro computrekker plus backpack it weighs in at 44 pounds.
Windows really needs at least 1GB to run smoothly and not bog down, 2+ GB is ideal when using photoshop. Dedicated videocards also help.
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#8 hoovermd

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 02:37 PM

15" MacBook Pro
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#9 cor

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 03:32 PM

Sony Vaio SZ3 for me, and my wife is now using an ultra light Thinkpad X60 (3.5 lbs)

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#10 pmooney

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 04:13 PM

!5'' MacBook Pro

Edited by pmooney, 08 April 2007 - 04:15 PM.


#11 Drew

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 04:50 PM

Apple 15" Macbook Pro, 3GB RAM, 160GB drive.

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#12 hoovermd

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 06:34 PM

Apple 15" Macbook Pro, 3GB RAM, 160GB drive.



Oooooh... I couldn't wait and had to buy mine from te Apple store :D
Therefore I only got 2Gb and a 120Gb drive.
I'm relatively happy with this since we only really use this machine for travel and everything gets transferred to the G5 tower wen we get home.
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#13 loftus

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 02:09 PM

Apple 15" MacBook Pro, 2GB RAM with Aperture and Photoshop loaded. Works great for me when travelling. My only reservation, is that the machine MUST be kept well protected; the case looks good, but dents and scratches easily.
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#14 Rocha

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 03:11 PM

I currently have a 12'' powerbook G4, but I am looking into upgrading to a MacBook Pro. For all you owners, is the DVD burner any faster on the new ones? The burner I have on the G4 takes forever to burn backup DVDs and I go through a lot with my D2x files...

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#15 cor

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 03:16 PM

I currently have a 12'' powerbook G4, but I am looking into upgrading to a MacBook Pro. For all you owners, is the DVD burner any faster on the new ones? The burner I have on the G4 takes forever to burn backup DVDs and I go through a lot with my D2x files...

Take a small harddisk instead :D probably weighs less than a stack of DVDs anyways.

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#16 3@5

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 12:30 AM

I currently have a 12'' powerbook G4, but I am looking into upgrading to a MacBook Pro. For all you owners, is the DVD burner any faster on the new ones? The burner I have on the G4 takes forever to burn backup DVDs and I go through a lot with my D2x files...

i'd go for one or two backup drives as well, and if one of them has OTG USB or a card reader it's even better that way you can continue to download cards even if the notebook gives up on you for any reason :D

Edited by 3@5, 10 April 2007 - 12:30 AM.

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#17 Rocha

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 01:57 AM

That's a good idea, what drives do you guys suggest? Reliable, thin and light is better!

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#18 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 02:15 AM

I also use an Apple Power Powerbook G4 12". It is about 2.5 years old. The screen is not great for editting images (in fact I do not have a RAW converter loaded to avoid the temptation). Also it over heats and crashes when downloading images in air temps above about 30˚C - needs it air conditioning!

Not one I'd recommend.

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#19 cor

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 02:33 AM

That's a good idea, what drives do you guys suggest? Reliable, thin and light is better!

Mine is 130 grams. I put them together myself. Buy a 2.5" laptop harddisk, then buy a case for it. Previous thread can be seen here.

You can also just buy a Lacie travel disk.

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#20 uw_nikon

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 08:09 AM

I also use an Apple Power Powerbook G4 12". It is about 2.5 years old. The screen is not great for editting images (in fact I do not have a RAW converter loaded to avoid the temptation). Also it over heats and crashes when downloading images in air temps above about 30˚C - needs it air conditioning!


Are you using a USB2.0 memory card reader or a firewire memory card reader?
-USB2.0 uses the CPU extensively to xfer stuff
-Firewire is peer-to-peer (so, it uses direct memory access to xfer stuff _and_ very little CPU >> meaning the powerbook probably won't overheat using the firewire memory card reader)

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