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Motivator 10 Nov 2009 15:54

Laptop choice
 
Like many people I want to access the internet whilst on the road (blogs, e mails, etc) Can anyone recommend a small, robust laptop (oh, and cheap too!)

MikeS 10 Nov 2009 16:19

Just use internet cafes, cheap and plenty about. Plus saves lugging around all that extra weight, carrying adapters etc. The only place I found few internet cafes was N America as its mostly wi-fi however there are places if you look. 3rd world countries have shed-loads of internet cafes and are dirt cheap.

gixxer.rob 10 Nov 2009 16:39

Eee PCs
 
I am a big fan of the ASUS Eee PC range. They are really small and light.

I took 701 model with a cigarette adapter to charge it on the road on a recent trip. It went in the tank bag with all the other electrical items. Maybe a bigger battery or second would help too.

You can get quite a few diff models too. All pretty cheap.

What you are looking for is called a "Netbook" not a notebook or laptop. they are smaller and not as full featured as the other two.

Cheers

Bobduro 10 Nov 2009 16:53

Laptop choice
 
+1 for the Eee Pc. We've bought the Eee PC 1000 HE after much research. It would seem to be the benchmark at the moment; only 10 inches wide, with an almost standard sized key board and a real world 10 hour battery life. Apparent works well with Windows 7 if that's your cup of tea.

Just incase you're wondering the other we were considering was the Samsung NC-10.

I know people talk about using internet cafes but we want the freedom to carry additional software (maps etc), and carry our photos.

MikeS 10 Nov 2009 17:11

Don't forget you can always get a small portable USB hard drive to back up photos to and then burn to dvd & send home or have software on etc. All your important documents should be scanned and emailed to your own Hotmail (or whatever) a/c.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobduro (Post 263515)
I know people talk about using internet cafes but we want the freedom to carry additional software (maps etc), and carry our photos.


gixxer.rob 10 Nov 2009 17:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeS (Post 263519)
Don't forget you can always get a small portable USB hard drive to back up photos to and then burn to dvd & send home or have software on etc. All your important documents should be scanned and emailed to your own Hotmail (or whatever) a/c.

That's a very good point about having the scanned docs on your hotmail, gmail or some sort of web accessible resource.

On the USB drive note, I copied all my photos to a nice new 500gb USB Hard Disk. Unfortunately it failed half way through the trip. Luckily I am a paranoid type and didn't delete them from the cards.

I say do all three. Upload at least the important docs, copy photos to an external drive and carry lots of memory cards.

markharf 10 Nov 2009 17:23

Everyone draws the line somewhere. I have no GPS, but I carry a netbook and will no longer leave home without it. I journal, back photos, compose, do paperwork of various sorts which should have been completed before I left home, store documents and scans.....

Yeah, I could do all this in internet cafes and photo shops. But I like doing it over dinner, a beer, or in my lodging. I like sharing photos full-sized with people I meet. And lots of places have wi-fi--not just North America. I find wireless access far more convenient than internet cafes, even at their best and most plentiful.

I use a slightly-antiquated EEE PC (i.e., a year and a half old). I have no tolerance for Windows, so mine has Linux. That means no viruses, and no hard drive either--it functions fine on a pure solid state drive, which means no moving parts to foul up as I bounce from tope to tope and slosh through rough tracks here and there. These things now cost under US$200, which is less than half the cost of the GPS I left at home. Mine weighs an even kilogram, just like a good book.

Hope that helps.

Mark

Alexlebrit 10 Nov 2009 17:28

+1 for the EEEPC range, I'm now using a 1005 HA, which is fantastic and running very well on Windows 7. It's got 160gb of hard-drive, and ASUS have cleverly put the system back up ON the hard-drive so if everything goes wrong you just hold F9 down as you boot the computer and it will do a factory reset.

The hard-drive is partitioned into C and D, the best thing is to store all your data on D, leaving C for Windows and your installed programs. Factory reset only affects the C drive, so this way you can get your computing back from a catastrophe in about 30 minutes.

Another option worth considering is something like Portable Apps Suite. The idea is that you can put all the programs you need on a portable drive like a USB memory stick or SD card, plug that into ANY windows computer and you can use those programs directly from the memory stick with no installation at all.

With my EEEPC I've gone one stage further, partioned my hard-drive into C, D and E. Windows is on C, all the data is on D, and Portable Apps on E. Touch wood if I ever factory reset, I'll be up and running again in about five minutes.

gixxer.rob 10 Nov 2009 18:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alexlebrit (Post 263523)
+1 for the EEEPC range, I'm now using a 1005 HA, which is fantastic and running very well on Windows 7. It's got 160gb of hard-drive, and ASUS have cleverly put the system back up ON the hard-drive so if everything goes wrong you just hold F9 down as you boot the computer and it will do a factory reset.

The hard-drive is partitioned into C and D, the best thing is to store all your data on D, leaving C for Windows and your installed programs. Factory reset only affects the C drive, so this way you can get your computing back from a catastrophe in about 30 minutes.

Another option worth considering is something like Portable Apps Suite. The idea is that you can put all the programs you need on a portable drive like a USB memory stick or SD card, plug that into ANY windows computer and you can use those programs directly from the memory stick with no installation at all.

With my EEEPC I've gone one stage further, partioned my hard-drive into C, D and E. Windows is on C, all the data is on D, and Portable Apps on E. Touch wood if I ever factory reset, I'll be up and running again in about five minutes.

Nice work Alexlebrit. :thumbup1:

buebo 10 Nov 2009 18:37

Just to throw something else in there. I use a MSI Wind U100 and it's been great so far. It's a bit bigger and better featured than most EEEPCs, since I like to have at least a 12" screen for basic image editing.

I'm also not a fan of solid state drives, granted they have no moving parts, but most laptop harddisks are pretty tough and once they are in parking position (meaning the computer is turned off) there's nothing moving in there as well. So as long as you don't leave your computer running while you bounce over african streets you should be fine with both.

Of course solid state drives are still a bit harder to break but in comparision they are pretty expensive (measured by what you pay for the acutal GB) and still very small compared to even cheapish hard disks.

On my Wind i have around 20 Gigs of Music, a couple of Videos, around 12 Gigs of whatever and either a full fledged Linux or Windows XP.

EEEPCs who can do that raise your hands now please.

Obliviously both concepts have their pro and cons and my next trip will be without a netbook and with one of these:

http://www.preisbewertung.de/wp-cont...nokia-n800.jpg

See ya!
buebo

gixxer.rob 10 Nov 2009 19:08

You can get touch screen kits for the Eee PCs quite cheaply which work really well (would better if the screen swivelled like a tablet) for GPS / Sat Nav type activities.

Bubeo you are right about hard drives being cheaper per Gb but I think the robustness of the SSD is worth it. My Western Digital USB hard drive failed mid trip, it was new before the trip and it lived in a neoprene stubby holder while in transit. I think my was bad luck but it shows what can happen.

The Eee PC 10 or 11 series have hard drives 160Gb and up. The problem is once you get a bigger hard drive or screen you want to do more with it and then you want it to do it faster, then the battery runs out to quickly. All this means the Netbook gets bigger and more expensive. This then starts to blur the line between a Netbook and a Notebook.

All depends on what you want it to do. For me it was email, a bit of web surfing, simple photo stuff and blog / journal. The little 701SD Eee was small and light as markharf said like a book.

Horses for courses.

Sirakor 10 Nov 2009 20:15

If it's only for travelling (emails, blog, etc), I'd say seriously don't bother! The cost, the weight, the worries about having it stolen or breaking it on bad roads are not worth it. Plus, with a laptop you are more likely to get stuck in your room instead of going out and meeting people, or getting some well needed sleep. I have been on the road for almost 3 months now from Germany to Nepal, and in terms of pure travelling I was glad not to have taken a laptop.

Having said that, recently some important issues have come up with my company and I needed to start working again whilst on the trip, so I bought a laptop on the trip. If it werent for work, I wouldn't have, but currently there's no choice. I shopped around (in India) for various netbooks, and if you ask me they're all pretty much the same. No matter what company, they all come with nearly identical specs and nearly identical price tags, so it's hard to recommend one. The EEE PCs score with more robust, but smaller solid state hard drives, the new BenQ Joybooks are equipped to take UMTS/HDSPA modems (rather than a USB solution) and the Samsung N120/N128/N130 etc range comes with a nearly full-sized (97%) keyboard. Apart from that they're all the same. In the end I went with the Samsung because of it's keyboard: I can touch type without making adjustments at full speed, which is worth a lot when doing work (programming). If you don't have specific needs, probably anything will do, it's hard to go wrong - competition has made them all alike.

ozhanu 10 Nov 2009 21:25

go for a netbook. not notebook or laptop as mentioned above.
i have two asus eeepc 900. one is eee 900a and other eee 900ha which are less then a kilo weight and really small. the 900a is with 4gb solid drive and i put additional 8gb ssd. as it has solid drive there is no need to care about vibrations. however, it is running on linux and you cant install mapsource, nokia pc suite, etc on linux. i have installed windows xp on the 900a, however, it really slowed down and had lag while opening programs and editing (any idea how to sort it out by the way??). i took the 900a to morocco and have not any problem with it.

then i bough 900ha which has 160gb hard disc drive and running on windows xp. no lag or what so ever. quite nice and small gadget.

about using internet abroad: i dont trust internet cafes as they may have spy programs. using external hhd or memorystick in internet cafes might be end up with virus effection. and i always carry 2 8gb memory sticks to back up my photos and scan of my documents. i also back up my documents to my gmail account.

i also have nokia e90 communicator. it has wifi and good for checking e-mails and skype. however too small and slow for blogs, building webpage, etc.

almost all the netbooks have same hardware configuration and uses intel atom n270 or n280. so go for cheaper and lighter one.

Alexlebrit 11 Nov 2009 05:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by gixxer.rob (Post 263538)
You can get touch screen kits for the Eee PCs quite cheaply which work really well (would better if the screen swivelled like a tablet) for GPS / Sat Nav type activities....

...The Eee PC 10 or 11 series have hard drives 160Gb and up. The problem is once you get a bigger hard drive or screen you want to do more with it and then you want it to do it faster, then the battery runs out to quickly...

The EEE PC T91 looks like a very good solution for anyone who wants a dedicated travelling computer. A while back I posted about drawing up a list of ideal features and it's almost as if they read it (maybe they did?).


Swivelling touch screen, 16gb solid state drive, wifi, bluetooth, 3G+ modem, GPS (oh and a TV tuner,if you really wanted it). All in less than a kilo.

But it is of course, more expensive than a normal netbook, although no doubt less expensive than buying all the gadgets seperately. Then again, eggs in one basket.

PS. Bubeo, my EEEPC is raising its hand.

gixxer.rob 11 Nov 2009 11:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alexlebrit (Post 263593)
The EEE PC T91 looks like a very good solution for anyone who wants a dedicated travelling computer. A while back I posted about drawing up a list of ideal features and it's almost as if they read it (maybe they did?).

Swivelling touch screen, 16gb solid state drive, wifi, bluetooth, 3G+ modem, GPS (oh and a TV tuner,if you really wanted it). All in less than a kilo.

But it is of course, more expensive than a normal netbook, although no doubt less expensive than buying all the gadgets seperately. Then again, eggs in one basket.

PS. Bubeo, my EEEPC is raising its hand.

I like it Alexlebrit, I like it a lot.

I think I was talking to you in that thread...or another with the same topic.

I am off to check how much those T91s are :thumbup1:


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