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Thread: Looking for Travel PC Laptop

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for Travel PC Laptop

    I would like to buy a laptop that is primarily for travel. I would primarily use it for

    downloading images off cards (USB3 hopefully)
    internet/email
    Viewing images
    some quick Lightroom review/minor edits
    light use of MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint

    Trying to keep it under $500 but if not possible can increase budget.

    I'm wondering how much Ram I would need for this with Win8 and light use of Lightroom?

    Also, what's a good compromise on screen size for compact travel and viewing images?

    Thanks
    Doug

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    Doug

    I just got a tiny HP-Mini 210-4004 (Aus release) 10" netbook for the purposes you state. Certainly does a great job with internet etc, but there were additional costs in upgrading Windows 7 Starter to Home Premium and doubling ram to 2gb (cheap on ebay) for it to become reasonably usable for images. It has a 1024x600 screen which prevented loading of Canon software which requires 1024x768, but found a registry mod (set Display1_DownScalingSupported to 1) that also gives you 1152x864 and 1024x768 in a vertically squashed format. So it will then run Canon software. A screen scan/pan app called GiMeSpace is also useful.

    One interesting thing I discovered was that free Windows Live Photo Gallery with the Microsoft Camera Codec pack http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl....aspx?id=26829 will convert many raw file to a jpg which you can then adjust (levels, sat, noise reduction, sharpness, etc) and resize. All very basic but usable.

    Overall I really like the small size and it does good job at web browsing, word processing etc, and at a pinch does allow for basic image processing.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon Bennett; 05-09-2012 at 04:41 PM.

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    Wildlife Moderator Rachel Hollander's Avatar
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    Doug - I just got a Asus 1225B which was just released in the US. I'm not running LR on it but I got it solely for travel and because it has 2 USB 3.0 ports so that I can use USB 3.0 card reader and portable hard drive at same time for backing up photos while away. It has 4GB of memory, a 320gb hard drive,64 bit Windows 7 Home Premium and an 11.6 inch screen with 1366 by 768 resolution. It also weighs about 2.5 lbs (without the cord) which is a big plus for me. There are at least 2 configurations of this netbook out there, one with the 2 USB 3.0 ports and 1 USB 2.0 port, the other has 3 USB 2.0 ports so be careful which you buy. It's under $500 too.

    Rachel

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    Forum Participant Dave Leroy's Avatar
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    Hi Doug,
    The HP Pavilion DM1-4123ca
    I bought for the same reasons as yours. No USB3; it has three USB 2 ports and 4 Gb RAM. I have downloaded a couple dozen RAW files to see how it would handle LR3. It was fine but very slow with the 1:1 previews so i will take a pass on those until at least after the initial edits. Slow processor I suppose.

    The very small screens present limitations on additional photo editing for me.

    Otherwise for travel, staying in touch, initial photo edits, backing up files etc I think it will be just what I was looking for. It also comes with an e-book reader which I have not tried yet but that may also save carrying another device along.

    It seems there are options out there.

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    BPN Member Grady Weed's Avatar
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    Default Added more info

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Schurman View Post
    I would like to buy a laptop that is primarily for travel. I would primarily use it for

    downloading images off cards (USB3 hopefully)
    internet/email
    Viewing images
    some quick Lightroom review/minor edits
    light use of MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint

    Trying to keep it under $500 but if not possible can increase budget.

    I'm wondering how much Ram I would need for this with Win8 and light use of Lightroom?

    Also, what's a good compromise on screen size for compact travel and viewing images?

    Thanks
    Doug
    You are asking for a lot, if you don't mind me saying so. It is almost impossible to get what you would like and stay under $1,000 and get a fast, reliable unit and a good viewing screen. Having been a self employed PC Tech for 23 years now, I've seen them all.

    I use a Sager Notebook NP7762, (sku m770cu) with Windows 7 pro 64 bit, 4 gigs of DDR3 RAM, ATi 512 GDDR2 video card, 17 inch wide screen, DVD-RW +-, 465 gig drive, 3 USB 2 ports, USB 3 was not available at that time, WIFI, Bluetooth, Firewire, RJ-11&45 ports, 802.11 a\g\n, etc, etc, purchased for $1,600. I've never looked back. Now they sell some less expensive models, so choose wisely for your needs.

    The less you pay for a "great deal laptop" the more you pay later in repairs, upgrades to get what you should have gotten, etc. Please do not buy by price, buy by reliability. Windows 8 will need even more power and umph to run efficently. Take a look at http://www.sagernotebook.com . I not benefit a dime by you buying there! Just advice from me to you. If you want more direct advice by phone, all members are welcome to call me and ask questions. It is free for members as a courtesy for BPN.
    Last edited by Grady Weed; 05-10-2012 at 10:29 AM. Reason: Added info
    Wildlife & Scenic Instructional Photography Tours Of Maine
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    BPN Member Sid Garige's Avatar
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    Samsung NP300U1A-A01US Ultra Portable 11.6" Laptop (1.30 GHz Intel Core i3-2357M Processor, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit)

    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-NP300U.../dp/B005HAVW0U
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    Siddhardha Garige
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    BPN Member Roger Clark's Avatar
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    I'm looking too. This looks interesting: Asus U24E XS71

    I7 cpu, 1.5 Kg, 8-hour battery, 1366x768 pixel LED display, 500 GB hard drive, 2 USB 3 ports + 1 USB2 $832 (US only).

    http://www.asus.com/Notebooks/Superi...specifications

    In my opinion, 2 USB 3 ports is the minimum: read from a card, and write to an external disk as fast as possible.

    The U24E also comes in a 750 GByte model, but I have not been able to find one. Says memory expands to 16 GB.

    I've also been searching for instructions on changing the hard drive but have not found that (I want to replace with a 750 GB drive running linux with the windows 7 in virtualbox). I've just spent another morning fighting windows 7 and can't stand it.

    Roger

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    Hi Roger,

    I just took ownership of an Asus (Republic of Gamers) G75V Series with the 3.0 USB ports. So far I am underwhelmed by the USB performance. It's not that much better than my old Dell 6400 portable workstation. I'm thinking it might be a driver issue and need to look into this further. I have the Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Card Reader. I should probably do a direct comparison between my old pc and new one reading a card full of images. Otherwise the ASUS is really nice. (I pulled my 256GB SSD out of the Dell and put it in the ASUS.) Loads incredibly fast!

    Alan
    www.iwishicouldfly.com

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    As a follow-up to my own post, I used a Lexar Pro 600x CF with the Lexar Pro USB 3.0 card reader and did a comparison and low and behold, the Asus with the 3.0 USB downloaded 1.15GB in 16 seconds. The Dell with the 2.0 USB took 40 seconds! So...I guess it is much faster after all. Definitely worth getting a pc with USB 3.0.

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    BPN Member Roger Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Stankevitz View Post
    As a follow-up to my own post, I used a Lexar Pro 600x CF with the Lexar Pro USB 3.0 card reader and did a comparison and low and behold, the Asus with the 3.0 USB downloaded 1.15GB in 16 seconds. The Dell with the 2.0 USB took 40 seconds! So...I guess it is much faster after all. Definitely worth getting a pc with USB 3.0.

    Hi Alan,
    Nice to see the improvement. 1.15Gb in 40 seconds = 28.75 MBytes/second, which is near the upper limit I've seen with USB 2 of around 32 MB/s. Your USB 3 rate is 71.9 MB/s and that is really nice. I've seen disk to disk (USB 3 disks) of about 110 MB/s on linux.

    Roger

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    Wildlife Moderator Rachel Hollander's Avatar
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    Just for comparison sake. I recently did some back ups on the Asus between USB 3.0 portable hard drives and was averaging above 95MB/s with Windows 7 as the OS.

    Rachel

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    Thanks for all the informative responses. I have several things to look into.

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    BPN Member BenBotha's Avatar
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    Spoil yourself and check out the Asus Zen book-ux31. The smaller ux 21 is cheaper. Unfortunately not $ 500.

    Ben

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    According to your profile you own a 5D MkIII and a 7D. Those cameras produce RAW files in the 20 to 30MB range, which are best processed with a 64-bit OS. The laptops mentioned all seem capable of supporting 64-bit, but you need to make that choice on the front. Also, like Roger says, file transfer rates will be important to you with those large file sizes, so make sure that you've got USB-3.
    Dave Stephens
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