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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Netbooks - can you edit on one?
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12/26/2009 01:38:11 PM · #1
I'm contemplating a Netbook, mostly because they're a LOT lighter than a laptop. Normally I don't do a lot of editing when I travel, but I do need a platform to dump cards to - I'm guessing a Netbook would give me that function. But could I do rudimentary review and delete, maybe very minor editing for web posting? If so, what software? Wouldn't think I'd want to load Photoshop on a Netbook... Just now starting to look at these things so don't know much about them.
12/26/2009 01:41:06 PM · #2
I think Picasa would be great for that.
12/26/2009 01:43:42 PM · #3
Picasa would almost surely work. I'm not sure how much horsepower GIMP needs but that might work, too.

~Terry
12/26/2009 01:44:57 PM · #4
Hadn't thought of those two - and yep, they'd both probably work just fine. Maybe I'll go netbook shopping.... :-)
12/26/2009 01:46:50 PM · #5
Have fun!
12/26/2009 03:00:57 PM · #6
I have a 1.2 Ghz Acer that I've upgraded with 2Gb of Ram and Windows 7. It's the model with the larger 11.6" screen, but a slightly slower processor than the others. PaintShop XI pro runs decently on it, probably about the speed my 6 year old Athlon that I used for a long time. (I run XI on it, since XI is not as resource hungry as version XII) I can certainly see the difference when running something CPU intensive like noise reduction, but it's acceptable. Biggest issue is not the resolution, but the small physical size of the screen. A great little travel computer.

I have a never-used copy of an older version of Photoshop Elemenst (It came with the camera I bought from Scalvert). It would likely be ideal for a netbook. If you'd like it, let me know and it's yours.

Message edited by author 2009-12-26 15:06:23.
12/26/2009 03:11:26 PM · #7
When we were travelling, we downloaded the trial version of ps (cs4) onto our 2008 Asus netbook and it worked just fine. Didn't have a problem with the screen but for extended use would want a real keyboard and mouse.
12/26/2009 03:11:35 PM · #8
Elements might indeed do the job - I was wondering about that. I will let you know - that's a very kind offer, thanks!
12/26/2009 03:58:46 PM · #9
Penny got an Acer with the full-size keyboard and the 11.6" screen for her Australia trip and it worked great for downloading pics. She didn't put any editing software on it but she did load up the full open office suite so she could do some work, and it handled that just fine. I'm sure it would work OK with Picasa and almost sure it could handle Elements. It's a great little tool.

R.
12/26/2009 09:22:07 PM · #10
I have one of the Acer netbooks and I take it on shoots with me. I cannot edit using Adobe Lightroom 2 because the netbook doesn't meet the minimum resolution requirements. I do use it for backing up photos that I've taken.
12/26/2009 10:11:50 PM · #11
My girlfriend bought a Toshiba netbook for school, and one thing that I immediately noticed was the screen itself. Its colors were way off; maybe they can be fixed with calibration, but I my guess is that perfect color reproduction is relatively low priority on a netbook, the screen looked quite inadequate for editing. Maybe if you edited only B&W on it, it would be ok :).

Just something else to consider...My $.02
12/26/2009 10:28:01 PM · #12
I have been contemplating this very issue for months. I would probably use it mainly for backup, as it is much cheaper than a photo viewer/backup device. What about using it teathered on location can it manage?

Not sure if the memory can be upgraded. Any one know?

12/26/2009 10:39:18 PM · #13
Originally posted by LVicari:

Not sure if the memory can be upgraded. Any one know?

They usually have a single socket for RAM, and can be taken to a maximum of 2 Gigabytes. My Acer orginally came with 1 Gb. I bought a 2Gig module for $35 on Amazon.

Message edited by author 2009-12-26 22:40:08.
12/27/2009 12:48:18 AM · #14
I take a 9" Acer Aspire One on trips for exactly this - I'm currently on vacation and my last two challenge entries were edited on my netbook.

Screen resolution is limited, but I use ubuntu netbook remix which helps a lot to cope with the smaller screen. I use RawTherapee for handling raw files. The latest release has been optimized to some extent for netbooks - all dialog boxes fit on the screen and the ability to hide side and bottom panes means that you can make the most of the tiny screen. I also use GIMP with a small icon theme and tiny fonts for further editing.

The little netbook works fine for this - I certainly would not want to do all my editing on it - when I'm back home, the bigger screen is a huge relief, but I have not found anything that I like to do but couldn't on the netbook.

One thing particular to my netbook is that reds are very unsaturated on the screen. I have not tried to calibrate the screen yet, so I don't know if it is possible to compensate for this.
12/27/2009 04:46:26 AM · #15
One of the stores here has a Boxing Day sale on this weekend. They are selling a HP Netbook for $289.00 NZ dollars. Not sure of the model number, My Bro inlaw picked one up. Still waiting to find out how well it works. I was going to get one also. But was scared off by the fact that it is preloaded with Windows XP. Makes me think that it is a fairly older model. Considering most computers haven't come bundled with XP for a couple of years.

My wifes cousin picked up a Asus eee which is quite a nice little machine. it has a Atom 1.6 gig processor, 1 gig of ram, a 250 gig HD, built in camera and mic, preloaded Windows 7 and a really long battery life. Max of 10 hours. I believe he got that for around $700.00NZ I am thinking about getting one, But Might wait awhile longer for more features.
12/27/2009 05:00:21 AM · #16
You might consider a small laptop instead of a netbook. I have a 13" MacBook that I use for pretty much everything. It's a lot smaller/lighter than a larger laptop, yet makes fewer compromises in terms of performance.
12/27/2009 05:50:40 AM · #17
I have a not-too-big laptop now. To really make it useful for editing it needs to be bigger but I don't wish to carry around a bigger one. The little ones appeal because they'd provide the needed net connection and a way to dump cards, without costing a fortune. There are times when less is more!

Good info shared here - thank you kindly, folks! I don't really need one... my European travels are over for now and I just have the VERY long trek back to the US. I'm actually contemplating shipping the laptop or sticking it in my checked baggage, as the hour and a half battery time does me very little good on a 12 hour flight.
12/27/2009 09:03:15 AM · #18
As mentioned, there is a category of 'small laptop' which doesn't quite come under 'netbook' - The main advantage is more memory and faster CPU.

For example; Samsung P210 - 12.1" screen, but has up to 4Gb ram

As I do dev work, the big limitation for me is the 1Gb limit on netbooks.
12/27/2009 12:12:11 PM · #19
Originally posted by Melethia:

I have a not-too-big laptop now. To really make it useful for editing it needs to be bigger but I don't wish to carry around a bigger one. The little ones appeal because they'd provide the needed net connection and a way to dump cards, without costing a fortune. There are times when less is more!

Good info shared here - thank you kindly, folks! I don't really need one... my European travels are over for now and I just have the VERY long trek back to the US. I'm actually contemplating shipping the laptop or sticking it in my checked baggage, as the hour and a half battery time does me very little good on a 12 hour flight.


They have power utilities installed in armrests on airplanes. I haven't used it myself, so not sure what all you'd need for that, but something to consider.
Also, there are various very portable options for full-powered laptops. Lenovo's X200 weighs in at 2.95 lbs and still has a 2.4 Core 2 Duo and integrated graphics (formerly the Thinkpad X-Series). But then, they cost as much as a normal high powered laptop does too...
12/27/2009 12:21:51 PM · #20
I've been looking for a laptop for travel as well. Having seen the notebooks I have decided that a laptop that is 13" or bigger would suit me better than the smaller netbooks and a laptop (IMO) gives more bang for the buck.

If you believe the stats, netbooks seem to have less reliability than their bigger siblings.
12/28/2009 06:24:08 AM · #21
Seems netbooks are dead, according to this article.
12/28/2009 09:48:44 AM · #22
Originally posted by spiritualspatula:



They have power utilities installed in armrests on airplanes.

I'm going to wager this does not exist in cattle class, which is where I end up sitting. Business class, sure. If only I could travel business class....
12/28/2009 10:08:45 AM · #23
I posted a thread the other day about using netbooks as huge memory cards when shooting events, I guess it could work for anything though. Just shoot tethered all day!
12/28/2009 05:06:17 PM · #24
I was considering the purchase of a Epson P-4000, in late 2008, for offloading and backing up photos from memory cards. At near $500US you get 80 GB storage and a 3.8" viewing screen. I saw the netbooks, with 160GB storage and 10" screen for $300US. For $200 less, I get a multiple use device, with internet access, 3 USB ports, SD card reader, and can handle PSE 7.0. Barnes & Noble has a free for download e-book reader and the e-books are cheap ($10 for new release, less to free for others) and movies can be converted to view while traveling. A second backup is made using a WD PassPort USB HDD each evening. Battery life is good. I have since bought 5 of these, for personal use or as gifts, and all are working fine. Two have been upgraded to 2GB memory. When traveling for work, I use my laptop; but the netbook accompanies me when traveling for pleasure.
Down side? Since there is no CD/DVD drive, software must be installed using a portable, USB drive, and there is no Compact Flash card slot, so a CF card reader is needed.
12/28/2009 05:24:40 PM · #25
Excellent info - thanks!
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