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
- Meets my criteria 1, 3, and 4
- Can upload from a CF card while still carrying on with photography rather than wait till later
- 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
- 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.
- 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)
I’m 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.