Several years back, I had picked up an Epson P-3000 to do field backups of my photos. The unit cost about $500 and came with a 4-inch display and a 40 GB hard drive.

I am starting to get ready for our trip down to Arizona next week. I plan to take a lot of photos and I was concerned about whether a 40 GB backup would still be able to handle the load. Since the initial purchase of the Epson P-3000, I have gone through two camera bodies and the current one uses about 30 MB per RAW image. 40 GB would last me about five 8 GB memory cards of exposures. I expect to shoot somewhere between ten and fifteen memory cards next week.

Rather than buy a new Epson unit, I opted for the Acer Aspire One netbook. It comes with an 8.9 inch screen and a 160 GB hard drive all packed into a very compact 2.2 pound package. And, unlike the Epson, I can also use it to browse the web, keep up with email as well as listen to music and watch videos. All this for under $400. The 160 GB Epson P-7000 lists for almost $1,000.

The netbook runs Windows XP. When I shoot next week, I will use Google’s Picasa to store one copy of the images and the second copy of the images will be stored on a 160 GB HP Pocket Media Drive.

The cool thing about the netbook is its size. Very easy to take along when traveling. Having worked with the netbook all week-end, I can see the appeal for business people. Keyboard and screen is larger than a RIM, functionality is close to that of a full-sized laptop, and its size and weight makes it very easy to take along when traveling.