I recently had decided that I wanted a way to be able to back up my images on location. Although size was important consideration, so was overall usefulness of the solution as well as transfer speed. I wanted to share the research I went through in case it might help someone in the future.
My basic choices were:
- Personal Storage Device (HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA)
- Laptop with Card Reader
- Netbook with card reader
The clear advantage of the hyperdrive was size. It is clearly smaller than a netbook and card reader. The problem was, i was left with a device of limited use and it only had an antiquated usb 2 connection. It also was expensive, with the unit without hard drive costing $250. After much deliberation, I just didn't feel comfortable spending over $300 for a drive with a tiny screen and old technology. For those that value space above all else and weigh their equipment by the gram or ounce, this is a valid choice.
A laptop obviously allowed for a much bigger screen, but overall was just too big and would add too much to the amount of space needed in my kit. Also, getting a decent laptop that had a usb 3.0 connection (I wanted the fastest possible transfer speed) would cost a good chunk of change.
A decent quality netbook that had USB 3.0 seemed the right choice. a thin 10 inch model has a big enough screen for me to do some basic reviews of the images and use it for other mobile computing needs while fitting easily inside my admittedly large camera bags. 250GB (the size hd in the one I purchase) isn't a lot of space, but I wouldn't be keep images there for long.
So, I began looking for a netbook that had USB 3.0. and was cheap. This was easier said than done. But it was possible. I ended up buying a used one (rated 9+ condition) from BH Photo for $250. It was the ASUS 1018P-PU37. This is one of the few models out there that is this small and has USB 3.0 It also has a decent processor(ATOM N570) for a netbook, so doing basic review shouldn't be too painful. It is slim at less than 1" and light at 1.1kg due to the slick aluminum casing. I added a usb 3.0 CF card reader for another $30 and upgraded to 2GB ram for another $15.
So, for less than the cost of a Hyperdrive colorspace UDMA, I was able to get a well equipped aluminum clad netbook with USB 3.0 card reader. This gives me a lot of advantages over a PSD with just a little extra space. I am certain I will appreciate the extra utility and far faster file transfers.
So, for those looking at a PSD, choose wisely. I have no doubt that some need to save space and weight above all else, but I think anyone else would find it far more useful to have the extra speed and utility of the solution detailed above.
I will try to remember to report back my findings once I have had the chance to try it out