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Communications Connecting - internet cafes, laptops, Palm devices, cell phones - how to connect, use, which one, and Bike to Bike and passenger intercoms.
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  #1  
Old 16 Aug 2012
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rugged small laptop?

IF i decide to take a bloody laptop along, does anyone make a smallish, rugged, vibration resistant laptop pc? with all the wifi nowadays itd be nice to have i guess. didnt i see an add for a panasonic tuffbook or something. do they take the riggors of our travels?
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  #2  
Old 16 Aug 2012
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When I go traveling all I need to do is transfer photos from my camera, upload photos, email friends and family and check out HU and ADVrider et. al. and post ride reports.

Cheap with long battery life and solid state storage as opposed to spinning hard drive is what I prefer. Although I currently travel with an 11" Macbook Air since I traded tiling a shower for it. But that is probably overkill for your needs. And if you have a GPS and need to use mapsource a small used atom powered netbook on craigslist.org will probably suit you fine. Something cheap and disposable that you won't mind losing.

If no need for mapsource then I would consider the Nexus 7 for 200 bucks from Google/Asus. Or a used iPad.

Or heck android smart phone or an iphone will get the job done in airplane mode with wifi turned on. Two years ago I was emailing and web surfing with an iPod Touch in Central America. It worked just fine and is fairly cheap.

This is not the first time this has come up. But technology changes by the week and there may be other current better ideas.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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  #3  
Old 16 Aug 2012
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I use a Asus Eeee netbook. Fantastic. Cheap. Seems robust. All the laptop you need on the road. And actually I use mine at home too. Keyboard is slightly smaller but I recently finished writing a book on mine, so you get used it! Only real downside is the screen is small for photo editing, but you can probably live with that unless you are a pro.

If you are worried about vibes get one with a hard drive.

I got mine brand new for £170.

Matt
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  #4  
Old 16 Aug 2012
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Quite reistant - anything small with ssd type of drive.
Truely rugged - Panasonic toughbook. I`ve been using cf-18 for quite some time now and its THE BEST laptop I ever owned when it comes to how usable it is in outdoor conditions. DOwnsides are size (quite bulky) and weight. But I would never trade it for something else.

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  #5  
Old 16 Aug 2012
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I would second the comment above. Panasonic toughbooks are built like a tank (and cost about as much). I would go for a normal laptop with SSD drive (Dell do one) as long as you don't want it shock / waterproof to Mil Standards. Put it in a well padded case. Of course, if you have £2000 and weight to spare, look at GRID (you can literally drive a truck over them).
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Old 17 Aug 2012
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dell latitude d630 ATG (all terrain grade) pretty handy small enough spilt free keyborad and can handle enormous ammount of stress
Rugged PC Review - your source for rugged computing reviews and specs and take a look at this website
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  #7  
Old 17 Aug 2012
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Yes, it's called an Ipad with an external storage. Just needs a good water proof bag and don't run over it. Laptops are redundant unless for some reason you need to create content as well as just use applications.

If you can't justify the cost consider that if it is located face up in your pclear plastic map folder on you tank bag it is also your extra oversize and easy to see at a glance GPS, because the screen is much bigger than any other GPS on the market.
Tablet apps are also usualy easier to use and cheaper than PC programs for Weather forcasting, Translating, Messaging and Photoshopping

thommo
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Old 22 Aug 2012
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Asus EEE,Acer Aspire One,Dell Mini ..better with SSD.8-32 Gb would be enough,you don't need Tb on the road.
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  #9  
Old 17 Sep 2012
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Asus Eee Seashell with 10,1" screen... It is dirt cheap, it's got magnificent battery time , it is robust and it is tiny and lightweight (which is all good for us overlanders). You can probably buy five macs for the price of this one - and can then afford to replace it. But, don't expect to do much heavy editing, and please refrain from installing all sorts of "nice to have, need to have- NO!" type of software... that runs in the background strangling your machine. Also, the screen resolution is quite poor, so expect to scroll more than you are used to.

If you swap the internal drive for a Solid State Drive, you will improve performance susbstantially, increase battery performance even more, and make the computer far more durable as you will have no more moving parts. I would personaly go for a small and cheap SSD and sign up for a Dropbox account for cloud storage and backup. Get a bunch of USB storage sticks (dirt cheap and compact - often given away as advertisement)... use these for backup where you don't have access to wifi, or added storage.

I've never had a computer which has been dropped and tossed arround as much as this one, being thoroughly obused by two kids and two dogs... and my wife. Part of the screen is now broken/black
after my two year old daughter thought it funny jumping on it... it is still ticking.

I would buy it again if I was to take a computer on a trip again. For me, my iPhone covers all my needs...
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  #10  
Old 20 Sep 2012
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I'll second, third and fourth the Asus EEEPC range, they're fantastic little machines, cheap to buy and compact to pack. As has been said, instal the minimum you need, avoid programs which run constantly in the background and you'll be just fine.

I've recently installed Android on one of the very early 9" screen solid state drive EEEPC which I picked up for beans on e-bay and it's given it a whole new lease of life. I've got all the basics, plus things like Google Maps & Earth, a simple but effective photo editor in Photoshop for Android loads of space and best of all haven't paid for a single bit of software. Best of all the whole thing cost little more than the price of a round of drinks, and all the software was fee as there's a group of developers who work at porting Android to PC, and release it as open source.

No use if you want to use things like MapSource which need Windows, but for everything else, I'm really really happy.
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  #11  
Old 20 Sep 2012
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As above but the Samsung N150 (netbook). Rode with mine in a rucksack on my dirtbike for 4months across North Asia in all weathers and never had a problem. I had a charging umbilical cord from tank bag into my rucksack which worked well enough.
+++++Pros...
-Great battery life
-"fast enough" for most tasks
-Survived knocks and moisture (I fell off into a flooded ditch and the water didn't soak through quickly enough to break the netbook)
-SD slots (backup your docs rather than an SSD for peanuts)
-Mapsource capable
-Ok for typing on
-USB dongles fine
-Wifi in internet cafes and restaurants
-Cheap to buy off ebay
-Can charge other devices at while you use it on mains

-----Cons...
-not good for 'heavy lifting' (video editing, resizing tons of photos quickly)
-watching HD movies (small screen and choppy processing)
-heavier than a 7" tablet
-needs a powersupply with a "brick" on it unless you only take a 12V car one.
-Poor upgrade path to Windows8
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  #12  
Old 15 Mar 2013
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Rugged

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildlands1 View Post
IF i decide to take a bloody laptop along, does anyone make a smallish, rugged, vibration resistant laptop pc? with all the wifi nowadays itd be nice to have i guess. didnt i see an add for a panasonic tuffbook or something. do they take the riggors of our travels?
I've been on the road for 3 years now with a very rugged notebook.
Support - Netbooks NP-N310 | Samsung Laptops
Very long battery life(They say 9 hrs but you can count on 6 for shure). I up-graded it to 2 GB RAM in Jordan for $30. It has 250 GB HD that didn't fail nor showing any sign of it. There's even a SIM card slot under the battery so you can buy cheap data plans almost every where else in the world than North America. It's much more fun than any multi-task phones or tablets to my usage. Small and sturdy for $500, a very though friend.
I do carry the cheapest possible phone and put a SIM card in it in every country I end-up.
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  #13  
Old 15 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ta-rider View Post
im happy with my samsung nc10 :-)
Me to, 6hrs battery life
and fallen on the floor more times than I dare to say.
Still working great
Typing from it now....


Dog
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  #14  
Old 16 Mar 2013
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there are probably more of us using Asus EEE netbooks (and other similar eqivalents) than any other. Those of the Fruit persuasion use MacBook airs.

All are good.

There is no need for toughened notebooks if you pack properly. Tough books are insanely heavy and have tiny screens. Not to mention, super expensive. A vast pool of empirical evidence from people on this forum going back 5 years and more shows crystal clearly that you do not need special laptops. Regular laptops with regular hard drives do just fine.

Avoid heavy laptops.
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Last edited by colebatch; 16 Mar 2013 at 18:34.
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  #15  
Old 16 Mar 2013
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MacBook Air or iPad with Touchfire keyboard.

No moving parts. Rugged chassis. Light. Long battery life and an LCD much better protected by the stiff chassis, in the MBA's case.

Oh, and they work. ("Windoze, the OS of the damned.")
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