People who sign up for my photo tours often ask about bringing a laptop or other storage device such as an Epson P3000.
My personal opinion is that the extra trouble of bringing a laptop along is far outweighed by the benefits it offers in terms of organizing, viewing and sharing your images. A laptop is a very powerful tool for learning....an Epson viewer (or similar), although a decent second choice, falls far short in my opinion.
In the past, I have had clients bring Epson type devices along. The challenge always seems to be trying to select only the images you want to show. I am not aware if that's possible with the Epson...but maybe things have changed.
Anyway, a laptop will be able to do many things that the Epson can't do, like renaming and organizing your photos...something that I suggest doing every night, because if you wait until you get home from a long photo tour or trip, you will have a daunting job to do!
Epson P-3000 40GB sells for about $380 .
The Epson P-3000 is 3.5" x 5.9" x 1.3" and weighs about 1 lb.
If you have not already purchased an Epson and don't want to bring an expensive, large laptop, an option might be the 10 inch HP netbook computer. It's larger than the Epson but still very small and light, yet it offers a 10 inch screen, more storage space and a lot more functionality at a lower price....$374.
The HP Netbook is 10" x 5" inches and weighs 2.45 lbs
Whatever device you bring along on your travels or assignments, check out the PacSafe luggage locking/security system.
I still use the Sony Vaio VGN-S260 (as of April 17, 2009)
The best thing about this laptop is the XBrite screen, a 13.3" widescreen display with Sony’s original XBRITE™ 200 LCD technology for higher brightness levels than standard displays. The result is deeper blacks, brighter whites, true-to-life color, and razor-sharp detail.
The screen has an anti-reflective coating to minimize reflection and provides a beautifully clear image from just about any viewing angle. It does not suffer from that "sweet spot" phenomenon that normal LCD screens exhibit. The Sony XBrite screen always impresses those who see it. A friend describes it as "three dimensional". For visual impact, it stands head and shoulders above any standard PC or Mac laptop screen that I have ever seen.
If you are trying to impress clients with your images, get a Sony' with an XBrite screen.
The magnesium casing, is light, durable, and sleek. The computer weighs in at only 4.3 pounds which is lighter than a 12 inch Mac Powerbook. At one point a few years ago, I almost considered getting the 12 inch Powerbook but when I found out it lacked a PC slot for my CardBus 32, and that BreezeBrowser was not available for Mac, my mind was made up...to stay with a PC
a PC rather than a Mac means you are more likely to be able to find software,
parts and service in the rest of the world, especially in developing countries,
which is where I usually find myself. Some Mac enthusiasts will say that Macs
don't ever need parts or service, but unfortunately, that's just not true.
I paid about $1700 for my VGN-S260, you can get a new, better, faster, cheaper one at www.SonyStyle.com
configuration will run you less than $1400 (as of January 2006)
VGN-S580 LCD 13.3" WXGA XBRite Screen, with Intel 915GM Chipset Integrated Gfx Wireless LAN (802.11b\g) Intel Celeron M Processor 370 1.5GHz, 512 MB DDR-SDRAM (DDR2-400, 256 MBx2) 60 GB Hard Disk Drive and a DVD+R Double Layer DVD+-RW Drive.
Early on with my Vaio, I had a failure while in India....not even the Sony computer techies in Chennai could figure it out. Apparently it might have been as simple as a bad memory connection with the RAM...this guy seems to have a possible solution. I wish I had been aware of his "fix" before I shipped my computer home from India and limped through the rest of the trip with only my accessory drive and the good fortune of borrowing other people's computers. For whaterver reason, since returning from that trip, my Vaio has been working fine (without the modification) so perhaps it was something else.