Recommendations for lightweight computer for travel

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by tcyin, Jul 6, 2022.

  1. I am hoping to go on a couple of extended photographic trips in the next year and I have decided to buy a lightweight PC laptop in order to monitor and transfer photos onto an external hard drive. It would be helpful if the computer can handle Lightroom and email. Can anyone recommend a good candidate? My present Dell XPS 15 laptop is just way too heavy. Thanks.
  2. Bejesus and begorra, get an iPad Air (or Pro if $$$ no problem) and LR mobile (a subscription gives you cloud storage, free version doesn’t). Import your photos in LR and then export (share) them to an iPad internal drive + external drive.

    Email work too via Mail, GMail, etc apps

    Edit: An iPad mini 6 would work as well. It’s tiny
  3. Also the MacBook Air.
    glen_h likes this.
  4. +1 for iPad - there are many bluetooth options if you need a keyboard.
  5. Sorry, not up to date / down to candidates.
    • E-mail is a piece of cake; any pre-owned Netbook (50€/$) will do fine.
    • Data transfers: USB 2 is sluggish. But how / where are you going? Cycling into an unplugged tent? Or sleeping near rented wall sockets, where transfer time doesn't matter?
    • No comment on LR. Resolution and screen size will matter.
    I 'd hit a couple of electronics malls etc. and ask around, after(!) figuring out how to open a gnarly test image on demo devices, to look which screen convinces me. You need an early / easy search hit for that purpose.
    MacBook Air might be the elephant in the room? I poked for keyboard replacement cost and ran for my life.

    I 'll stick to my Netbook. Peace of mind, while leaving it somewhere, is unpayable.
  6. Before Apple, I preferred Lenovo (IBM) Thinkpad laptops for their build quality and general compatibility. However "light weight" was not in their description. The Thinkpad battery alone weighs more than my MacBook Pro. Ab15" screen is best used at home, a smaller 12"-13" screen is much easier to travel with. I also carry one or two 4 TB WD Passport hard drives, and back up my photos each evening.

    You can get a subscription to Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom for $15/mo. Lightroom Classical (local) is better than the cloud version (you get both) on the road, where fast internet isn't always available.
  7. Can you do fine photo editing (cropping, cloning, etc) with a laptop? Can laptops be paired with a Logitech mouse? Minimum size screen needed to get the job done. The Apple mouse is an ergonomic disaster that cuts into my fingers, a case of style over function.
  8. If Logitech is your ideal, you might want to try some new 'mice' and other stuff.

    Sounds to me like you're imprinted on hardware you got when you were a mere boy. :)

    How hard are you grasping that mouse anyway?
    PapaTango and Sanford like this.
  9. Then pick another one.
  10. I have always used PC, not Apple. I know that one can run Apple computers in PC mode but does one lose any functionality? Is it pretty much transparent to the user? I'd rather not have to learn a new operating system on the road. And I have used PS/LR for years. The point is not to do any serious editing on the road but to transfer files and have a first look at them every night. One of the trips is trekking in Nepal where there will be power available at least every few days.

  11. Forget about Win v Apple, the iPad is very easy to use (it’s all touch screen and blindingly obvious ).

    If you want a lightweight functional Win 11 machine take a look at the Microsoft Surface Go/Pro range of products.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022
  12. I believe lots of portable laptops available now, plus get portable HD for storage they are chip and small, add mouse and you are good to go. Win 10 works fine.
    Like this
    Microsoft Surface 3 - 13.5" PixelSense Touchscreen Laptop - Intel Core i5 Processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD
  13. Roughly 10% of photographers can do fine editing. Roughly the same percentage can do it on a laptop.
    Whatever you can afford and fit in your space.
    Or possibly a case of user malpractice. :)
    Sanford likes this.
  14. PapaTango

    PapaTango I See Things

    Second on the M$ Surface Pro line. I have had one for years, and I also use it to control the camera.
  15. Dupuytrens Contractures...but I still think it's poorly designed.
  16. I agree, try an IPad or the Surface. IPad is the best Apple product IMO. Could you not look at your photos on the camera's screen too? Would allow you to delete the useless, repeats, or out of focus ones which is a big help.
  17. Thanks to all for your inputs. Not sure why it's necessary to be so argumentative and defensive when we are just looking for opinions and information.

    @Ludmilla et al - isn't it the case that iPads do not have USB ports? Saving to the cloud can be problematic when traveling so I want to save to a hard disck. Do the Surface devices have USB output ports?

    @robin - of course I peek at the camera screen but that is not an efficient way to check if focus is tack sharp. Also that eats up camera battery which is a problem when one may be several days between possible charging.
  18. Both iPad and Surface have a USB-C port. No worries on that front.
  19. Not to be argumentative but my iPad that I am using right now doesn’t have a USB port. I had to deal with this exact issue a couple of years ago. My solution was a small lightweight Dell laptop and both a stand-alone hard drive and a couple of thumb drives. Not much space on the computer but it does what I want, fits easily into my bag and cost less than $200.

    Rick H.
  20. @rick maybe the latest iPads have USB ports but I know the older ones do not, which is exactly why I didn't consider them. What model is your Dell?

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