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Thread: Traveling with a Laptop

  1. #61
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    If E-mail is ones major reason for a laptop, Second hand, allegedly refurbished laptops from local computer shops can be had for very reasonable prices.

  2. #62
    Registered User richardak's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion.

    I think a cheap netbook is still a better traveling device especially for longer trips. I have an iPad and it it useful for short business trips when all I need is email and web or maybe to watch a movie on a flight. More than adequate for that. In fact, my phone is adequate for that but the larger screen makes things much easier and faster. For longer trips or non-business, I usually want to be able to link to my Garmin 60CSX to download waypoints or upload tracks, backup/upload pictures from my camera or upload my running to the Nike+ site. For this I use my Dell Mini9 hackintosh (PC hardware with OS X installed) with modest sized SSD, no optical spindle or 3G. The Dell is only 2 1/4 lbs or only about 3/4 lb more than the iPad so weight really isn't an issue. The Dell does have a lower resolution screen, much shorter battery life and is over twice as thick but I think its flexibility makes it much more suitable for any bike trip. The only real limitation is insufficient processor to watch movies full screen. To watch DVDs I would also need an external optical drive. Since I rarely watch movies, this isn't really an issue for me.
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  3. #63
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robnye View Post
    I don't quite understand the I Pad.
    Apparently you are not alone. It is not a laptop replacement. It is not an iPhone replacment. It fits in between. I'll not have one any time soon because my needs are more toward laptop use. My wife, on the other hand, will likely have one before the year is out. She has no need for a laptop, but would like to wirelessly peruse the net and read ebooks from other than sitting in her office. I'm sure there are apps that currently run on her iPhone that would be nicer on a larger screen, too.

    The ebook thing is important to her because here native language is Japanese. When reading English the ability to highlight a word and bring up a dictionary entry is very important to her. If the iPad book app would let here use an English-Japanese dictionary today she'd probably already have one.

    Quote Originally Posted by robnye View Post
    Go with one of the netbooks or if you can handle the weight and bulk you can now purchase the same Panasonic Toughbook I have on my RTP (refurbished) for under 1k, sometimes as little as 700 bucks. XP pro 2gb ram and you can dump a can of soda on it. Very good computer to have at campgrounds, no issue with dust or moisture.
    Netbooks are too under powered for anything more than reading mail and the web and the iPad would do that. A toughbook is probably overkill for most folks. I've commuted and traveled with a regular laptop (Toshiba, Thinkpads when they were still IBM, and Fujitsu machines) in a bike side case since the late 80s and have never had to to replace a machine for any other reason than a need for more processing power, memory, or disk space. That's likely why I don't like netbooks... why start out with an underpowered machine?

  4. #64
    Got curvy roads?
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    options

    I have looked at several options. I take my work laptop back and forth to work in my top case without issue. Both of them, Dell & IBM (depending on the day which one I bring home).

    Not so sure the I Pad is what I want. Maybe to demanding of the product. Considering a Netbook instead for just that bit more.

    Toughbook - $$$$ Have them at work but can't justify it for personal use. They do handle abuse well. My boss took one and threw it down the hallway with it off and there were only minor abrasions to the case. Everything worked great upon boot.

    Looking at a nice small laptop or possibly a Netbook. Either case it won't have the Umph to handle big applications like CS4 or the new CS5. Save that for when you are back home and have the time for editing and the necessary horsepower.

    Watch the RAM. 32 bit OS will only work up to 4 GB. 64 bit OS a lot more than you will want to purchase or can afford.

    Look at the newest Netbooks with the dual core Atom processors. +1 to maxing the RAM. +1 on the larger number of cells on the battery unless you want to be tied to an AC outlet.

    Notebook hard drive manufacturers have done an incredible design with locking the head when the unit is powered off. Definitely do a full shut down and wait for the heads to stop and be parked (15-30 seconds). They know how to protect themselves from usual abuse and bouncing around.

    Get a nice case (foam or neoprene) to help prevent any direct bouncing of the unit and scratches.

    Maybe you will want to look at a MiFi option from one of the major carriers on a monthly basis to provide connectivity, even though it might be slow, better than nothing.

    Good luck and good computing...

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  5. #65
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bezdelnik View Post
    Watch the RAM. 32 bit OS will only work up to 4 GB. 64 bit OS a lot more than you will want to purchase or can afford.
    Actually, 32-bit Windows OS's (XP, Vista, and Win7) will only recognize 3Gb of RAM.

    Look at the newest Netbooks with the dual core Atom processors. +1 to maxing the RAM. +1 on the larger number of cells on the battery unless you want to be tied to an AC outlet.
    These could be fun, but it sounds like they won't be out until in this quarter, so you'll need to be looking for the new product announcements.


    Good luck and good computing...

    Most of all --- Safe riding...

    +1
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  6. #66
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchyman View Post
    Netbooks are too under powered for anything more than reading mail and the web and the iPad would do that. A toughbook is probably overkill for most folks. I've commuted and traveled with a regular laptop (Toshiba, Thinkpads when they were still IBM, and Fujitsu machines) in a bike side case since the late 80s and have never had to to replace a machine for any other reason than a need for more processing power, memory, or disk space. That's likely why I don't like netbooks... why start out with an underpowered machine?
    For me the clue is in the name: "netbook". They are for just the things you mention. And, they have a real keyboard which the iPad doesn't. The other thing is size. My Acer Aspire One is so small it fits just about anywhere I want to put it. Also, because the dimensions are so small, the lid is more rigid than my ThinkPad and is more resistant to packing pressure pressing the screen against the keyboard. Finally - there's the battery life. I can get up to 7 hours on mine with judicuous use. When I'm on the road, it's email, word processing, spreadsheets (simple ones), PowerPoint, and web browsing, and the little Acer is "adequate" for my uses. YMMV.
    Greg Feeler
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    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  7. #67
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    Acer

    The only gripe I have heard about the Acer line is that if any service work needs to be done is that you have to send it back to the homeland for repairs. This will cause a long turn around time. No remote service or parts.

    My Win 7 sees all 4 GB, but the XP and Vista only saw 3 GB. Ugh...
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  8. #68
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bezdelnik View Post
    The only gripe I have heard about the Acer line is that if any service work needs to be done is that you have to send it back to the homeland for repairs. This will cause a long turn around time. No remote service or parts.

    My Win 7 sees all 4 GB, but the XP and Vista only saw 3 GB. Ugh...
    I don't know about the Acer repair question, although I tend to doubt that - Acer does a lot of business in the U.S. and it would seem they would need "local" service. However, I do stand corrected on the memory access for Windows 7 - all 32-bit versions (other than Starter) are rated to access 4Gb.
    Greg Feeler
    BMW MOA Director & Ambassador
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

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