Travel Laptop

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by prophet, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    I am looking for a laptop for travelling. I currently have a Lenovo Thinkpad Edge 15.6", which I totally like, but it is a bit heavy. I am going on a 5-week-trip down under, and would like to take something a bit lighter.

    I will mainly use it to sort and post-process images, plus some email/internet stuff.

    Would do you guys use for such situations?
  2. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    I borrow my daughters Lenovo Yoga (13.3" IPS, i5, SSD disk) quick, light, almost a full day on one charge, can be used in iPad/tablet style.

    Always liked it after we bought it for her and she absolutely loves it.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43
  3. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    My travel laptop might be a bit geeky for you. I have an Acer Chromebook, on which I have replaced ChromeOS with Linux Mint. It is really light, with excellent battery life, and with Linux it is very functional. I wouldn't personally use ChromeOS for travelling, since it is really designed to work online, and that isn't always an option on the road.

    I'd definately suggest something you look at something with a solid state drive (either fitted or as a replacement for what is fitted), as it improves speed and battery life, and keeps working if you drop it :)
    • Like Like x 1
  4. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    I'm considering a tablet/convertible:
    MS Surface Pro 3
    Dell Venue

    I like Android on my phone but I've decided it's probably too limiting on a tablet/PC where I want to be able to run XnView, maybe RawTherapee, ...

    Although when travelling, I mostly would just use it for backing up my SD cards to the internal storage or an external drive, and for general web stuff.

    I currently have a netbook; the size is great but it's getting long in the tooth (slow). My 15" laptop is too big/heavy to travel with comfortably. My wife has an iPad but I find it too limiting.

  5. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    10" Asus T100. I carry a small WD usb3 2tb drive for photo archive. I added a fast 64gb sd card on board to double the HD storage. Cheap. (350) does basic editing just fine. Use it for work with all my windoze programs.

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  6. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Personally I prefer Macs but I also need to have a PC for my business and I just got a Lenovo Yoga 2 13", i5, 8 Gig, 128 SSD for $799 this week at Best Buy.
  7. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    I'm a Mac person too. They cost more, but I have had excellent luck with them and great service from Apple when I did have a problem. So, for me it'd be a Mac Book Air. The negative for me for these super light notebooks is their tiny hard drives, though.
  8. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    Travel Laptop? ... MacBook Air hands down.. Pay more, get more..
    • Like Like x 1
  9. gravijaflare

    gravijaflare Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2014
    A planet called Gaia
    for a really light and small setup, a macbook air 11 in.
    for a better screen but more weight and size, a macbook pro 13 in.
    just get the highest spec model you can afford. :)

    if the mac os doesn't suit you, you can always replace it with windows.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  10. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    I have been using a 5+ year-old Acer 10" Netbook Aspire One that runs on Win XP, for well over 5 years. It has long battery life, plenty of HDD space, built-in SD card slot and wi-fi and is the smallest and lightest little thing I have ever used. That said, it is slow, outdated, slow, cramped and slow. Did I mention slow? I can just barely run an old version of PS Elements for down-and-dirty quick processing but anything more complex must wait until I get home. I am REALLY needing to upgrade so will be watching this thread with interest. Thanks for asking.
  11. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    Thanks for all the input!

    listers_nz: I am also on Linux, and probably geekier than you ;) (customized Debian)

    I am surprised almost everyone suggest a small screen, 13" or below. How is working on images at that size? Do you still get good results when post-processing images and is it comfortable enough to work on when travelling?
  12. I use a MacBook Pro 13 inch with retina screen, that gives extra definition over the otherwise excellent MacBook Air.
  13. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    It is just a real pain to travel with only carry-on luggage and still try to cram in a full-sized laptop. What with cameras, lenses, other electronics AND a laptop, all of which can NOT be checked under any circumstances, the smaller and lighter everything is, the better. Frankly, that is one reason I switched to ILC (first Sony and now OLY) in the first place. My camera/laptop/important stuff backpack always goes under the seat in front of me on the plane and my rollaboard, with clothes and other non-critical stuff, goes in the overhead bin. On smaller regional planes and some international carriers with tiny carry-on allowances, the rollaboard can be gate-checked but the backpack, never.

    I haven't noticed serious problems working on the smaller netbook other than the aforementioned slowness. Since I am out shooting early and late and saving/sorting/working photos in the middle of the day or late at night, my admittedly lazy method is to prop my tired self up on pillows on the hotel bed with the netbook on my chest and work away. I only do basic work on some images so I can use them in my photo blog while I travel and leave the important post-processing work for after I get home, anyway.
  14. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I've found that an HP Chromebook works well for me. Plenty of free post processing options out there for working on the go. Biggest issue would be storage, but that is easily solved with flash drives.
  15. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    What about ThinkPad X240? Built very well, spill proof, good battery, and it's reasonably light. Or just take a Fujitsu Q584 with keyboard with you. Small, light, one usb 3.0 port, dust and waterproof, and high res display 10.1in display.
  16. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Small and light is the key for enjoyable travel IMO. Leave most of it at home. I'll live with the compromises. I'd rather save the post heavy lifting for when I get home. I used Faststone on the little T100 for quick and dirty posts on the road. MS ICE works well for panos on the fly. hugin & LR were too slow. I filled a 128gb thumb drive over 7 weeks so perhaps I'd take two of those next time rather than the little WD Elements HD and save a few oz/g's. The thumb drive was another backup carried by my wife in case the tablet/HD was lost/stolen. And speaking of theft or accidents. Another reason not to take an expensive computer. YMMV.
  17. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 25, 2014
    If you like to lug around a bigger laptop, your choices are actually endless. However, since you're on GNU/Linux anyway, the cheapest and most cost-efficient way would be the ChromeBook+GNU/Linux route. I love my lowly Acer C720 - it's extremely handy, and the battery is great for its size and weight. Fit a sufficiently large SD card into the card reader for more storage, install your distro of choice with a lightweight WM, and you're good to go; on the road, small beats better almost every time, at least in my experience.

    I do all my basic editing on a 11" screen with 1366x768 (glarefree), btw. But then, I have to admit I'm not that much into meticulous post-processing ...

  18. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    +1 for the Acer C720. I replaced the 16Gb SSD with 128Gb, and after trying a few have settled on Linux Mint ( I must admit I haven't really got it setup for image processing yet - but it's on the to-do list.

    Having just been through the exercise of finding a laptop for my daughter for school, which of course she has to carry to and from, and from class to class, it basically comes down to choose any two of: performance, battery life, weight. Unfortunately, a larger screen generally means more weight and worse battery life (particularly since the larger screen ones tend to have faster processors as well). We ended up with a Dell Inspiron with 11" screen, since battery life and light weight were most important, and she is happy with it.

    If going with a smaller display, look for something that is nice and sharp. Size isn't necessarily everything, as I've seen some pretty awful large screen displays in my time - increasing the size by making the pixels bigger and keeping the resolution the same!

    Of course another option is a tablet with keyboard. If you are a windows user then the latest Microsoft Surface Pro 3 looks pretty nice.
  19. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    iPad for me. Great screen. OK editing apps. Bluetooth keyboards if you need a tactile keyboard. Downloads go into the Cloud. Or, you can pack a WiFi drive. If I had to pick a laptop it would be the 12" Retina MBA coming out this spring/summer or one of the current MBA if time is of the essence.
  20. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    You mean that you upload to the cloud? Not an option in many places... and so slooooow.
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