Gadgets & Gizmos

BIG OR SMALL? MAKING IT WORK FOR YOU AND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY!

Mobilestudio Pro In 5 Configurations

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Big or small, having all your editing tools out on location or simply on your lap is a great way to work. But which is best for you? By Peter Eastway.

A confession up front: I went for the big one! I use the 16-inch Wacom MobileStudio Pro, but my reasons for going big might be different to your reasons for choosing small! One of the pleasures of travel photography is being able to look at your work in the evening, pick out your best shots and, if you don’t fall asleep, perhaps edit a few of the photos that really inspire you.

The Large Screen

So, when I’m in my hotel room or perhaps working with other photographers, I want to have a large screen with lots of monitor real estate. I want plenty of room for my palettes and, importantly, a good size reproduction of the image I am working on.

I’m often leading a group of photographers when I’m travelling, so having a large screen to show them a Photoshop technique, play an audio visual or give a Powerpoint presentation is really helpful. So I rationalised that I needed the larger MobileStudio Pro.

But there are a couple of compromises, the most notable being its size and weight. Didn’t I just say I wanted a bigger screen? Yes, but when I’m sitting on a plane travelling, I think I’d prefer a smaller unit – although I have to say that, now I have mastered Wacom’s ExpressKeys and the Pro Pen 2, I am pretty efficient with Capture One, Photoshop and InDesign, even within the confines of a ‘cattle class’ seat.

And there’s also the little issue of price - the top of the range 16-inch MobileStudio Pro costs $4299, compared to $2649 for the entry-level 13-inch MobileStudio Pro.

But even the entry level MobileStudio Pro is a dream machine. Its specifications outshine top of the line laptops from only a few years ago, so how much power do you really need? I could do most of my work with it, certainly when editing my smaller Canon and Fujifilm files. It’s only when I’m playing with 100-megapixel Phase One files that I absolutely have to have the 16GB RAM.

So, perhaps we should look at the range of MobileStudio Pro computers and see what we need, starting with the 13- inch models.

The 20MP Photographer

If you’re shooting with a 16-24 megapixel camera, you don’t need heaps of power or RAM to run Photoshop, Lightroom or Capture One.

The Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 i5 128GB (RRP $2649) features an Intel® Core i5 processor with a 128GB solid state drive (SSD) for storage, so it will romp through your raw files, especially with 8GB of memory on board.

Wacom describes the smaller size MobileStudio Pro 13 as being compact, but not compromised and this is a great description.

Physically, the screen size is 13.3 inches (33.8 cm) diagonally and the pen computer measures 367x229x16 mm (14.4x9x0.6 inches). It has an Intel Iris Graphic 500 card which shows 96% of the Adobe RGB colour space (it looks superb) and offers WQHD resolution or 2560 x 1440 pixels.

Importantly, the MobileStudio Pro 13 is really cool to use. The etched glass surface makes it feel like you’re working with pen and paper by providing a balanced amount of resistance to the Pro Pen 2’s tip. Plus, multi-touch gestures make zooming and rotating your images as simple as pinching and swiping on your smartphone.

In summary, the 13-inch MobileStudio Pro is a fully fledged Windows-based computer which will run all your editing programs (and everything else), plus it has this amazing interface based on a beautiful touch screen and supplemented by a pen, ExpressKeys and on-screen controls.

A Little More Space

The reality for all photographers and video producers is that no laptop ever has enough storage onboard. At some stage, you’re going to need external storage and there are a number of options.

Wacom from time to time packages its MobileStudio Pros with LaCie Rugged portable HDDs, which have capacities up to 4TB. Another option is to use the SD card slot on the MobileStudio Pro and slip in an SD or MicroSD card – capacities of up to 400GB are available.

However, if you did want a little more storage onboard (and perhaps a little more power), there are two other 13-inch models, the Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 i5 256GB (RRP $2999) with a 256GB SSD; and the Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 i7 512GB (RRP $3499) with a 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM and the faster i7 Intel Core processor. The latter is a speed-demon, but if you’re spending $3499, you could upgrade to a 16-inch model for the same price.

More Real Estate

At RRP $3499, the Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16 i5 256GB is incredibly tempting. The 256GB SSD is combined with an i5 Intel Core processor and 8GB RAM, but it’s the screen you’ll fall in love with.

Powered by a NVIDIA Quadro M600M graphics card with 2GB GDDDR5 VRAM, the 15.6-inch (diagonal) screen offers UHD resolution (3840x2160 pixels) displaying 94% of the Adobe RGB colour space. The resolution and colour accuracy need to be seen to be believed, especially when you consider this is a portable device.

So, how portable is it? At 2200 g compared to 1420 g for the smaller MobileStudio Pro, it’s not a lightweight tablet. If your locations are in hotels or different rooms of your house, then the 16-inch model becomes hard to resist, but if you’re travelling without a base for days or weeks on end, then maybe the smaller, lighter MobileStudio Pro makes sense – because it has the power to do what you need it to do.

The Ultimate Machine

Assuming weight is manageable, a larger size desirable and you need to process larger files for stills and video, then step up to the Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16 i7 512GB (RRR $4299). Not only does it have a 512GB SSD, it offers a massive 16GB RAM and the faster Intel Core i7 processor. It really is a seamless device and can happily replace your desktop computer too.

And with USB-C connectivity, attaching an external drive for extra storage, archiving and backing up is really easy and practical. So, which MobileStudio Pro is right for you?

For more information, visit www.wacom.com. And to purchase a Cintiq, MobileStudio Pro or Intuos Pro, visit the Wacom eStore at www.buywacom.com.au, or selected retailers.

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