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Archive 2013 · Travel laptop
  
 
runakid
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Travel laptop


Being a Mac home user- I am interested in ideas on how big a travel laptop should be? And should I stick with another Mac product?

Since I will be doing all the real editing at home- is 128 gb big enough for emails and viewing photos on trips?

Any feelings on refurbished laptops? I can save $250 if I go with a refurb from Apple.

Retina display is beautiful but...? Should I get a Mac pro or Air or go with a pc?






Oct 11, 2013 at 01:30 PM
glassartist
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Travel laptop


runakid wrote:
Being a Mac home user- I am interested in ideas on how big a travel laptop should be? And should I stick with another Mac product?

Since I will be doing all the real editing at home- is 128 gb big enough for emails and viewing photos on trips?

Any feelings on refurbished laptops? I can save $250 if I go with a refurb from Apple.

Retina display is beautiful but...? Should I get a Mac pro or Air or go with a pc?


I use a 13" Mac Air, I5 processor, 8gb ddr3 with 128gb memory. It works fine. I don't have a lot of applications loaded on it and have about 70-80 gb free for storage, but usually take along an external drive for back-up storage. It is fast enough, although it could always be faster. If I were to do it over again, I'd go for the Mac Pro with Retina. I have no problem with refurbs if you can get the applecare with it.



Oct 11, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Travel laptop


I have a 15" mac pro, retina display that I use and it works great for trips. It's also my main computer at home for "regular" stuff - editing is on another mac.

I'd be a little afraid of 128GB - I just got back from a trip and ended up with around 150GB of files - from just over a week of shooting (hey, when the bears are out, I'm shootin' like crazy).



Oct 11, 2013 at 01:53 PM
OccAeon
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Travel laptop


I definitely would go Mac over PC for a laptop, because few PCs really match the Mac's build quality (and it is always hard to tell which ones are good).

My setup is a Retina Macbook Pro w/ 16gb RAM and a 2.6 GHz i7. I splurged on it because I use it so much (basically all day every day, often in a VM). On trips, I use two 2TB portable drives for photo storage, and I sync them every night w/ GoodSync (a great app, by the way). I try to keep the two drives in separate bags, in case one gets lost -- which hasn't happened yet, but you can't be too careful.

It handles Lightroom much better than my PC desktop did, probably because of the SSD. Photoshop is still a bit slow, but I've used it many times for 20+ image panoramas and 50+ image focus stacking. It works just fine, there is just a bit of a delay on some operations.

I've actually found that the Retina screen is deceiving when it comes to photos. The small pixel size means that everything looks much sharper than it actually is (on a normal monitor), especially when images are viewed at 100% magnification.



Oct 11, 2013 at 02:09 PM
InlawBiker
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Travel laptop


As a Macbook Pro owner, I would get a refurbished Air. Since you're doing the bulk of your work at home Air will be great. I've had the 15" Pro for about a year and I can't wait to move to an Air. I don't like bringing a 15" laptop with me, but on the desk at home it's fine.

I think the latest Airs are powerful enough to be your "main" machine as well, especially with an external monitor. Storage can be an issue though. A small external hard drive isn't too expensive.



Oct 11, 2013 at 02:38 PM
MichGoBlue
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Travel laptop


For anyone going the PC route, I have a Lenovo Yoga 13" with an i7 Processor, 8GB DDR3 and 256GB SSD. Its light at 2.8 lbs and converts to a tablet or tent as well. It runs LR4 fine and has a nice display as well (bright and sharp). I think a 15" would be easier to work on, but I really wanted something pretty light.


Oct 11, 2013 at 02:46 PM
pr4photos
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Travel laptop


Have tried several PC laptops and am now on a MacBook Pro. The Mac wins totally!


Oct 11, 2013 at 02:51 PM
2of9
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Travel laptop


I bought my current laptop right under $500. I7, 750gb hd, 2gb NVIDIA GPU, 15.6 inch screen. Small enough to carry in my backpack. Quick enough for quick edits, enough memory for images. Yes, a bit slow but it's a lot better than most laptops out there for what i got it for. Only downfall is that the colors are not accurate.

But definitely bring an external hard drive for more image storage.



Oct 11, 2013 at 02:59 PM
saaketham
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Travel laptop


I do all my photo editing on a 27" iMac at home. And I went through the same first-world problem as you. I was tired of my 5-year-old Dell 15" Studio running Vista. It ran fine, and kudos to Dell - not even a single issue in 5 years and the screen is still awesome. But, it weighed 5 lbs or more. So when my gf's laptop died, I gave her the Dell since she's saving up to buy a Macbook Air next year. And I was looking at Lenovo Yoga which is a sleek machine, but I just couldn't get myself to like Win 8 - I think it's a horrible OS, cobbled together with weak glue.

I sent an email out to everyone at my workplace asking if anyone was selling a laptop. I got a reply from a programmer saying he was selling his 2011 MacBook Air 13" to buy a high-end Windows laptop. I bought the MBA from him for cheap and now I love my setup - 27" iMac for Photoshop/LightRoom, etc and the 13" MBA for travel - so lightweight, battery lasts a long time, easy to handle and the 13" screen @ 1440x900 is perfect.

My MBA is 128 GB SSD and I haven't loaded it with photos. I plan to only copy the best from each shoot to the MBA and leave the rest on my external hard drives.



Oct 11, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Travel laptop


I also use an iMac for all my editing at home but if you want a machine simply for convenience when in the field then an iPad will do the trick (does for me - just delete unwanted shots in camera and then transfer the rest over each night) otherwise I sometimes use my wife's Air (when I know I'll have a lot more GB than can be stored on the iPad) which is awesome, incredibly light and yet still powerful.


Oct 11, 2013 at 03:27 PM
 

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dasams
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Travel laptop


runakid wrote:
Being a Mac home user- I am interested in ideas on how big a travel laptop should be?


When I went to Nepal two years ago (trekked Everest base camp), I was unwilling to take my high end MacBook Pro due to risk of theft and/or damage. So I bought an 11" Air which which fit into the bladder sleeve of my backpack. Sure, there were times that I'd prefer a bigger screen but the cost and size made it a winner.

I also do a lot of business travel and take it on every trip and it sure is nice to have a separate computer that is private since my employer monitors all email and web traffic through the corp PC



Oct 11, 2013 at 04:01 PM
tony1
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Travel laptop


mac all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Oct 11, 2013 at 04:32 PM
runakid
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Travel laptop


Thanks for all the info- probably will look into a Mac and maybe get a little more memory. 128 might be a little light.


Oct 11, 2013 at 04:36 PM
jc9394
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Travel laptop


Go with the 13" Air and get few 64GB USB sticks, I load all my pics in that and import whatever I need in LR.


Oct 11, 2013 at 04:49 PM
OccAeon
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Travel laptop


Also, as several people have mentioned the Macbook Air, I wanted to chime in and say that before my current Retina Macbook, I used a Macbook Air, and it was awesome. The one problem was that it couldn't quite drive my 27" high-res display quickly. There was a lot of lag in any graphics-intensive application. It did run VMs well, though, and it was plenty fast. I bet that the newer Haswell-based Macbook Air has resolved the graphics speed issue.


Oct 11, 2013 at 05:12 PM
arize84
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Travel laptop


If you don't have any issues with Windows 8. I recommend the 128gb Microsoft Surface Pro. LR runs just fine on it but PS lags. It also comes with a well implemented stylus pen. The screen will only respond to the stylus when in use, so u can rest your palm on the screen while drawing with your pen. And since its a full blown OS, you should be able to run a screen calibrating software on it. It also accepts micro SD cards for additional storage.


Oct 11, 2013 at 05:32 PM
gugs
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Travel laptop


I used to carry a Macbook 17" but at the end I found it too heavy. I switched to a 256GB Macbook Air 13", a wonderful compact and light ! machine. I also always carry a high speed pocket hard disk (500GB to 1TB, form factor matters, I use the smallest ones I can find) with USB3.0, id for the card readers: the copying speed (XQD, CF or SD) is amazing. IQ is not perfect, but good enough for some editing while traveling.

Guy



Oct 11, 2013 at 10:08 PM
cputeq
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Travel laptop


Dude Mac Pro with Retina all the freaking way. Viewing photos on my 15" Pro vs my wife's 13" Air is no contest. Retina will change how you view photos.

I'm rocking a 256GB drive and (only) 8GB RAM, but it's actually my main machine. For real storage, I picked up a Western Digital USB 3.0 powered 2TB drive from Best Buy, $130. It's actually respectably fast and only uses one USB port, very nice, Lightroom performs just dandy (I also have a 27" 2010 iMac, 12GB RAM quad i7 2.9Ghz but prefer the Pro because of the solid state).

Also note, Otherworld Computing has a rather spiffy SSD upgrade specifically for the Mac Pro that's pretty awesome (but a bit pricey) - nice thing is, it includes a matching enclosure, so you can still use the SSD you pull out of the Pro, and use their larger internal SSD.


Retina all the way. Seriously. Not to say the Air's display is bad, it's a very nice ultra-travel laptop, but for about one pound more (I think?), the Pro is very, very nice.

Also, don't be afraid of refurb. Both my iMac and Pro are refurbs, zero problems, same warranty as new and you have the same option to extend AppleCare if you wish.





Oct 11, 2013 at 11:09 PM
sjms
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Travel laptop


arize84 wrote:
If you don't have any issues with Windows 8. I recommend the 128gb Microsoft Surface Pro. LR runs just fine on it but PS lags. It also comes with a well implemented stylus pen. The screen will only respond to the stylus when in use, so u can rest your palm on the screen while drawing with your pen. And since its a full blown OS, you should be able to run a screen calibrating software on it. It also accepts micro SD cards for additional storage.


I opted to throw PSP 6 64bit on mine no lag and works admirably. I have it sold now and await the 8GB 256GB SP2.



Oct 11, 2013 at 11:14 PM
runakid
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Travel laptop


That's the way to go.

Thanks



Oct 11, 2013 at 11:15 PM
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