choosing a laptop for travel

emi eden

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Hi all, I wonder if someone could please help me with regards to choosing a budget laptop for travel (india) and Lightroom. Unfortunately I have 5 days to find one and have it sent (my previous laptop broken), and I am also at this point unable to afford a Mac. I found an Asus for 329 which had everything it seems apart from the size 15" and screen (dim and not sharp). Obviously looking for second hand/ reconditioned. After looking extensively on the specs it seems that above 2ghz, I4, 6-8gb of ram is a must, which seems easy enough but the screen seems probalematic. Any help would be fabulous. Many many thanks emi
 

Paul B

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Hi Emi

A few thoughts on the travelling angle (and your answers may help inform other replies):

How long are you away for? What sort of travel are you doing? Backpacking, luxury, somewhere in between? How will you be carrying the laptop? When it's not with you, will it be secure and will it be protected from knocks? I would not want to take more than a 13" if I was travelling with it in a rucksack (backpack). And by the sounds of your budget I would personally put more focus on a machine with a smaller screen with more processing power/RAM than a larger screen with poor processing power/RAM.

What exactly do you want to do in LR while you're away? Just dump your pics and have a preliminary view or do you want to do some serious editing? That may affect what performance you want out of the machine.

If you are backing up your pics how are you doing it ... is the laptop just a backup to your camera's cards or will you have to flush the camera's card when it's full? If you're intending cloud backup then bear in mind that depending on where you are in India you may not have a reliable connection for parts of your trip. This may be an issue if you have a large number of pics that you want to back up.

How are you getting around? A smaller screen is easier (and lighter) to keep closer to you on a bus or train.

And of course whatever you pick you will have your main machine to come back to for editing. EDITED: Arrrggh just re-read; sorry. Will you get, or have access to another machine when you get back or will this become your new Lightroom machine at home?
 
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emi eden

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Hi Paul,

Thank you so much for responding. I'll be away 3.5 months and staying in various home stays and an Ashram, perhaps also a couple of guest houses. I'll be carrying in a rucksack although I've bought a lightweight little trolley should it get a bit heavy. I'm hoping that I'll have somewhere secure to store things as I have a good DSLR.

Yes I'd prefer a smaller screen definitely. But I do want to do a bit of editing for sure. I'm not a professional but I use lightroom more or less on all my shots to alter colours, sharpen, crop etc. I was going to take a hard drive but to also back up on the cloud. I don't have another machine at the moment as it broke hence having to get another but when I return I will probably want to splash out on a mac as I will be going to the US after that as a photographers assistant and producer.

Basically I would like to start my own photography blog so ideally I would like to do as much over there as possible.

I don't suppose you know of any types of laptops that would be suitable please?

For instance I have found this (although too big) Lenovo Quad Core - 8GB RAM - 500GB 7200RPM HD - 5G + 2G WIFI E/L Gaming Laptop | eBay

TOP RANGE HP ELITEBOOK 8470P LAPTOP-i5 2.6GHZ-8GB -RADEON HD 7570M 1GB-1600X900 | eBay

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 3 Core M-5Y10 8GB RAM 128GB SSD Windows 10 11.6" Ultrabook | eBay

Many thanks
 
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I use and recommend the 13" screen size for travel. It is immensely portable and big enough to do real work in LR. Take a look at the specs for the SurfaceBook or the MacBookPro. You'll need at least 8GB of RAN and a 512GB SSD. It is the hiDPI screen that makes the small size so useful for LR. I understand that both the SurfaceBook and the MacBookPro are out of your stated price range, but there are other manufacturers that produce similarly spec'd laptops at a lower price point. The ThinkPad Yoga 460 might fit your price range.
 

Paul B

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Given your aims then you do need a bit of oomph in your laptop so you can develop and blog as you go and it sounds as though a 13" is the right size and weight to be lugging around. But also assuming from your timeframe that you'll have a bit of time in each location, so it's not like you're moving every day and need to be ultra-portable.

I can't really comment on specs, I don't know enough about Lightroom performance to know what you can get away with to give reasonable performance, but Cletus has already given you some pointers there.

Assume from your links you're in the UK; have a look at the following:
Cheap Laptops, Tablet PC, and Cheap LED TVs | Ebuyer.com
PC Systems & Components | Overclockers UK
PCSPECIALIST - Top Spec Custom PCs & Laptops Built to Order (they have a 'next day' category)

I'm also off to India in a couple of weeks ... with a mountain bike, just a bridge camera ... and no laptop ;) Only for three weeks though; quite envious of the length of your travels.

Hope you get a laptop sorted and do have a fabulous trip!
 
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ErinScott

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This thread is good timing for me. I'm looking for the smallest/lightest laptop to do full image processing with while I'm in the field doing PJ work. I'll look into the suggestions here, but if nobody minds my hijack and wants to throw in some more options I would be grateful! It would just have to be carried in my gear bag for a few hours at a time when I need to shoot and edit immediately.
 
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This thread is good timing for me. I'm looking for the smallest/lightest laptop to do full image processing with while I'm in the field doing PJ work. I'll look into the suggestions here, but if nobody minds my hijack and wants to throw in some more options I would be grateful! It would just have to be carried in my gear bag for a few hours at a time when I need to shoot and edit immediately.
I still stand by this answer provide last year: #4
 
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