In a world searching for the best tablet for photographers, you cannot deny the place of the new iPad or the tablets with a 10 inches screen size. But can they serve the purpose?
But so far no one single tablet has impressed me so much to replace the functionality of a normal computer (be it a laptap, netbook or desktop). I have to stick to the traditional environment where you sit in front of a computer to do serious job of photography processing. We have to get something we feel right for us. To me a netbook is just right in terms of weight, affordability and convenience when you prefer to travel light.
Don’t laugh at me using just a netbook. My Samsung netbook NF210 is capable of handling the saving of all my image files. It has a SD card slot so it is just fine for accepting the SD card from my Leica M9. In the past I have attached a USB card reader to one of the USB ports to import the images from the Compact Flash Card of my Canon 1D. A small 125 GB hard drive in this small netbook is barely enough for a short trip of 2 weeks depending on the RAW file size of the images . Normally an external portable USB-powered hard drive is needed for backup. I use one of 500GB, which is far larger in volume than my netbook. In the past, some suggested using a portable data storage such as Epson P3000. With the introduction of small portable netbooks or light laptop such as Macbook Air, a mobile data storage no longer meets our needs nowadays for there are too many better options. If you think a 500GB portable hard drive is not big enough, get a 1TB one or get two 500GBs. Using two 500GB portable hard disks are making sense because you can have 2 volumes of backups, keeping the eggs in two baskets.
However, many of the netbooks have one drawback: the CPU speed is too slow and the RAM is inadequate (many of them has only 1GB on board). Running Adobe Lightroom is just fine because I have increased the RAM of the netbook to 2GB , but viewing on its 10 inches screen is a challenge. Sometimes to magnify an image on Adobe Lightroom “Develop” module also takes a considerable time. But at least it works in most of the situations to modify an image, exported as a copy and ready to be uploaded to a featured image of a post. Moreover, WIFI is available in many hotels or even B&Bs. I have no trouble getting my post written and updated during my trip.
That said, when you are on a mission, you want to focus entirely on taking photographs and travel light. Writing a post requires quite some time to think and revise the content. A netbook is enough to store and well keep the files to let you do seriously on post processing when you can return home and work on a normal computer later.
If we are not earning for a living, the professional gears are meaningless to us. This is true. Every now and then new devices are announced and it is impossible for us to keep up. I once thought of buying a Macbook Air for the photography missions. But hold on, a Macbook Air is almost triple the price of my Samsung netbook. So far my netbook is serving the purpose and performing flawlessly. It is even doing things better than the tablets. Do I really need a tablet? I would not. At the moment it does not meet most of my travel needs.
Let us wait and see. If you want to keep up, you will be busy in the coming months.