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Laptop recommendations please

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Chris Knight

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I shall be visiting Australia during February next year seeing old aunts - and new cousins, discovered courtesy of my genealogy interest.

I take lots of pictures when I travel - currently I am using a Nikon D100 that shoots 9mb raw that I wish to store and process on the go, so to speak. So I need to run Photoshop (preferably in tandem with a couple of other photo cataloguing and processing programs I use) and store maybe 10GB of photos until I am back home. I also want it to store a similar amount of music to take with me that I can transfer to an Ipod.

I want wireless connectivity with zero hassle (ideally, sitting in an airport, I don't want to have to do anything another than login to UKW to keep an eye on you lot, or to share goodies found along the way :wink: ) I should like to use it to watch DVDs on the long flights and so screen quality and battery life start to seem important.

I should of course like it to weigh nothing, cost nothing and look good - however, it strikes me that at least some of these wishes might be incompatible. Having said all that, can anyone suggest what I should be looking for?

Thanks!
 

Steve Maskery

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Hi Chris,
Well I'm no expert on laptops (or PCs of any kind these days - amazing how quickly one becomes a dinosaur) but I've just bought SWMBO a Tosh for Christmas, and from the little time I've spent playing with it getting it loaded up etc, I'm pretty impressed, and it was not a high-end one either. Wireless connectivity is easy, but it's not a Centrino, so battery life isn't great.

For screen quality nothing comes close to a Sony Vaio. But, of course, they have a price-tag to match.

Seems that your demands (at least, your technical ones) are not too onerous.

Hope you have a great trip,
Cheers
Steve
 

wizer

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I'd agree with Steve about the Toshiba. I have a Toshiba Portege M200 and it's treated me very well indeed. Been on 4 holidays, playing DVD's, 60gb storage for photos on the go, centrino for wireless, 4hr battery time, great screen. It has an onboard SD Card Reader, Firewire, USB, Bluetooth and it's not as heavy as the Dell equivalent. The good ones can be expensive but well well worth it. Toshiba will always be my first choice. Dell Laptops are ok but suffer from bulkiness/weight and I have never liked the 'feel' of them (Dell are the prefered supplier of my employers, I see literally 100's a month). You will, however, get very good support from them. Personally, I am not a fany of Sony laptops, I just think they are not as good as they seem and very expensive to fix.

As I say, you can not go wrong with Toshiba. My dad has one and so has my sister. Once I set them up I have never been asked to look at them again. I get a called at least once a month for their PC's!

I'm sure you're more than capable of setting it all up, but if you need a hand then lmk.

I am sure the Mac fans will be along soon to sing the praises of the powerbook ( :-# )
 

tim

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What about an ipod Photo? Obviously you can't manipulate the photos on the go but it may be a possible solution - 60 Gb and at the end of the trip you have an ipod rather than a laptop which you may not need.

Someone more techy will probably be along to explain that it won't connect straight to a camera but I bet an interface is available and at a much lower price tag than a laptop.

Cheers

Tim

edit: didn't see the bit about the ipod in your post Chris - but do you already have one? In which case birds 0 stones 2.
 

Freetochat

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We have two Sony Vaio's in the house and find them extremely good. Wife does wedding photography professionally and finds this laptop up to the demands of photoshop, although we did upgrade ram to 2Gb to speed raw file refreshing. On the move she uses a Flash Trax the smaller unit not the xt.
 

Alf

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tim":2xd37kk0 said:
Someone more techy will probably be along to explain that it won't connect straight to a camera but I bet an interface is available and at a much lower price tag than a laptop.
Fwiw, there is.

Cheers, Alf
 

Shady

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Provided that you're not too concerned about size, the Acer Aspire series is very good value for money. I have used 2 now, and they are excellent pieces of kit, imho. Check specs to make sure its got wireless embedded, and a big enough HDD for your needs, but here's an example:

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=99085

Mine has a CD RW+/-, and I've watched DVDs on it. USB2 ports, firewire etc. Recommended, with as I say, the caveat that it is a 'full size' laptop. I actually prefer this - big hands, and I like a large screen.

(edit - beware on the battery life: I don't know of any laptop that will run DVDs for a full flight to Oz: I reckon about 4 hours is your absolute best bet - maybe 5? Still the weak point for true mobility...)
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Chris

I had a similar requirement to you as I use mine when travelling down to town on the train.

I ended up with the Fujitsu-Siemens Centrino which weighs in at 1.7Kg. The bag to hold it is 1.6Kg. Battery life is five hours.

Whatever you buy, just watch the weight of the CD/DVD writers.

I use the gigabyte sticks to hold/transfer data.

Times have moved on, here is the equivalent of the model I have. The only item I'd add is the extra memory.

Enjoy your trip.

Cheers
Neil
 

Chris Knight

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Thanks for the recommendations everybody - now I am more confused than ever :? It does seem as if most makes will do what I need which is a good thing I guess. The Ipod was a nice idea Tim and if Santa brings the right one it may be workable - however, I also want to take along my genealogy stuff to show the relations and that needs a computer.

I shall wait until the Christmas rush has died down and then mosey along to PC world to get a bit of a hands-on with the things before I then buy online for the cheapest price I can find. Hopefully there will be some sales bargains.
 

Waka

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Chris

Not sure what class your travelling, but most airlines now have provision for you to plug in your laptop. Another alternative is a couple of spare batteries.
 

RogerS

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Chris

I'd go for a laptop that (a) has the highest amount of RAM already fitted and/or has the capacity to use a goodly chunk of RAM. Beware in case all available slots have been filled ..meaning that you have to throw away the lot when you want to upgrade.

if you are thinking of using Firewire on the move be warned. very few laptop Firewire ports have the necessary 6 pins to feed power to the external device. Most are only 4.


Why not consider a Mac? No virus/trojan/spyware worries :wink:
 

devonwoody

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All the above seem good choices but............

I bet you cant purchase the laptop that is not preloaded already with windows and can only be returned to the supplier for any serious service?

(by the way you should need more than 10gb)
 

mahking51

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Chris
I use a laptop for work when taking video from a Panavision camera, editing on the fly and playing back a rough cut for the director, fairly demanding in terms of both capacity and speed. Use PShop a lot and cataloguing systems.
I have a Dell Inspiron with Pentium M 1GB RAM and 60GB disk which is fine BUT what is invaluable is a 500GB LaCie external firewire drive which was only about £200 odd. Great for high speed access of large multi layer PShop files or video and vast storage. It is mains powered though.
Have a good trip and keep in touch.
Regards
Martin
 
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