Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Photographers’ Laptops

By Jon Canfield Published in Computers
Photographers’ Laptops
Dell XPS M1330
Weight: 4 pounds
Size: 12.5x9.4x1.3 inches
List Price: From $949

Dell offers a wide range of laptop models, but the XPS series is the most interesting for photographers, thanks to the higher-powered CPU and graphics, along with greater expandability. All models use Intel Core 2 Duo processors. The 13.3-inch XPS M1330 includes 3 GB of shared RAM to help power the integrated graphics adapter, a 250 GB hard drive and a DVD burner. Memory can be increased to 4 GB, and a more powerful NVIDIA 8400M graphics adapter with 128 MB of dedicated memory is available.

Dell XPS M1530
Weight: 7 pounds
Size: 14.1x10.3x1.4 inches
List Price: From $1,449
The larger XPS M1530 in its Powerhouse configuration offers a 15.4-inch LCD, up to 4 GB of RAM and 320 GB of disk space, along with NVIDIA graphics using dedicated memory for better performance. Both Dell laptops include USB, FireWire 400, ExpressCard/54, HDMI and an 8-in-1 card reader.

HP MINI 1000
Weight: 2.3 pounds
Size: 10.3x6.6x0.99 inches
List Price: From $399

The HP Pavilion series has a wide range of notebook computers with lots of customization options. For ultimate mobility, the HP Mini 1000 series is incredibly small, with screen sizes of 8.9 or 10.2 inches. The specs aren't up to serious imaging work (RAM maxes out at 1 GB), but if you primarily want a place to review and organize photos and stay connected when on the go, this is an affordable and affable travel companion. We strongly recommend upgrading to the 60 GB hard drive so you'll have room for archiving photos.

HP Pavilion DV4T
Weight: 5.2 pounds
Size: 13.1x9.5x1.4 inches
List Price: From $599
For a better balance between performance and portability, the Pavilion dv4t offers a 14.1-inch display, with the option of LED backlighting; 1 GB of RAM is standard, but it can be upgraded to 4 GB. Hard-drive capacities range from 160 to 400 GB, so you'll have plenty of room for photos and other media. You also have the option of Intel Core 2 Duo processors from 2.0 to 2.53 GHz. These are solid specs for a portable PC, and should be able to handle most, if not all, of your photo workflow.

HP Pavilion DV7T
Weight: 7.6 pounds
Size: 15.6x11.2x1.7 inches
List Price: From $799
Excellent as a desktop replacement, the dv7t includes Intel Core 2 Duo processors from 2.0 to 2.8 GHz, a 17-inch HP BrightView display, an NVIDIA 9600M graphics processor with 512 MB of memory and disk space up to 640 GB. Unusual for a laptop, you can have up to 8 GB of RAM installed, ideal for Vista 64 and Photoshop CS4.

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