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by Phil Ball

Q. I will be travelling and plan to buy a small laptop to backup and edit my images while on location. Any recommendations?

A. Make sure you get a real computer and not a netbook. The small size of the netbooks is attractive but they really don’t have the horsepower to run a photo editor for more than occasional work. Most new laptop computers should be able to keep you happy with image editing. A small one is easier to carry but will have a small screen which will be harder to see. Be careful about making color or brightness adjustments because the screens on laptops look different when seen from different angles. The image can look dark or light depending upon where your eye is in relation to the screen.

Mine has a glossy screen and so I put something dark onscreen and look for my reflection. If it is dead center of the screen, then I can make an accurate adjustment. I find it easier to paint using the touchpad on my laptop than using a mouse making one less thing to carry. While shopping, consider the size of the laptop’s charger. Since you have to pack it along; size matters here, too. I like to travel light but I also like to double-backup my images to be safe. The main backup is the laptop but I also carry a small USB thumb drive and copy all my images to it, just in case.

Published: Courier 6/20/10 - Page 7C