For those photographers out there who edit their digital photos on laptops on the go, what sort of specs in a laptop do you look for generally? And which features would you deem most important if it came to choosing a laptop with limited preferred specifications?
Ask any graphic designer, photo editor or visual arts expert and they'll more than likely use a Mac.
Photoshop is standard but if it's basic editing, I'm sure Apples own iPhoto has some sort of basic editing facility (I have a mac but I've never edited with iPhoto!) Only thing is, it's cheaper to get a PC laptop than a Mac.
Hope this helps.
Loads and loads and loads of both harddisk space and internal memory - the better to run Photoshop with. (You'd be surprised at how much swap space you'd need to simulataneously edit half a dozen 16-bit raw files - and then you still want to store the pictures themselves.) Processor speed doesn't really matter - some advanced filters/transformations might take a bit longer, but that's mostly insignificant. My Pentium M (Centrino) 1.6Ghz is plenty fast enough.
Laptop screens mostly suck, so getting the color calibrated right is a pain - don't know if there's any laptops which are better in that aspect, but it's definitely something I'd spend some time looking into.
I'd ask some friendly photo/graphics designers if I knew any that weren't too busy to respond. :P
I made a recent puchase of a HP notebook with Brightview and an ATI Radeon XPress 200M graphics card. I figured I'd need to upgrade on RAM since it only has 512 right now (upgradeable to 2 gigs- would be in awhile though) and I'm investing in an external hard drive. Do you think it's wise to install Photoshop CS or PS 7.0 with what I have now? Would it make much difference between the two versions, like making my machine considerably slower unless I'm not doing too much work or having too many applications on simultaneously?
I think the hardware you have now is probably fine. I'd settle for Picasa on a PC. Brilliantly organised and entirely free.
Photoshop is a great piece of software as well of course, but to be honest; for basic photo editing it is overkill. And Picasa does a better job in terms of organising your photos.
If on a Mac, iPhoto would do the trick similarly to Picasa. But the ideal would be their brilliant new Aperture software. Have a look if you feel like drooling.
I'd got with 7.0 over CS - it's what I'm running myself (runs perfectly on my laptop, although I'm definitely feeling the 512MB at times), and from all reports CS is considerably more heavyweight.
Also, CS (as well as CS2) has product activation, and I've seen more than one report from someone stuck in the middle of nowhere when product activation suddenly decided that it'd need to be re-activated and completely disabled the entire product. Not good when you're travelling!
You do good with the PS7 choice, since the difference between PS7 or PSCS is a nonsense for almost everybody. PS7 features are much more than enough for basic photo retouching, as Peter says.
If you want to give a go to a free software, try Gimp.