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Communications Connecting - internet cafes, laptops, smart phones - how to connect, use, which one, and intercom/radio systems.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  #1  
Old 6 Dec 2013
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Netbook, laptop, tablet or smart phone ??

I've always liked to travel with a netbook. But there is no denying the weight and space in your luggage is SIGNIFICANT..

I'm determined to do my next trip SUPER LIGHT but I really want something that I can use wirelessly in a hostel, cafe etc. For checking mail, writing blogs and booking flights, transport etc.

I'm swaying towards another small netbook......

However, tablets are really powerful these days. Lack of proper qwerty puts me off though..


Any suggestions or ideas ??

Cheers, Ted
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Old 6 Dec 2013
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I've just bought the Macbook Air 11-inch - thin and lightweight but still has the features of a laptop.

I used an iPad on my last trip but I found it lacking for any lengthy typing and also it had some other limitations.
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Old 6 Dec 2013
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I always have my Smartphone with me. It is multi useable as a phone, navigation system, wireless computer.....
Skype, Internet, Mail, data backup, reader....
The only disadvantage is that I do not have the possibility to install any Windows program on it.
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  #4  
Old 7 Dec 2013
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I have Macbook Pro 13".
I chose this computer mainly because of aluminium covers = robust.
Changed normal HDD to SSD.
13" because I want to see my photos from a big display (well, I would prefer 15", but that starts to be too big).
This computer is not light, but it has served me well in the past 17 months. For shorter trip, I would select something smaller and lighter like Macbook Air 11").
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  #5  
Old 7 Dec 2013
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I'll be watching this thread to get ideas/feedback on this. I'm leaning more towards the iPad Air. Used an iPad 2 for a short trip and found with the little stand, it was OK typing once you got used to it. Takes a few days. Does most all what a computer can do, AFAIK.

More and more capability on the latest version iPad, now with Cellular and better WiFi ... so connectivity should be pretty good ... can be used as a phone with an App. Seems well set up for travel.

I've traveled with lap tops. They are good but just a bit large/ heavy and some can succumb to vibration. Also, target for theft ... but I guess they ALL are.

I'm amazed how tough the iPad is. It can take a drop or five and keep going, can be hidden in back pad pouch of riding jacket. My friend's kids (11 and 13) have had a iPad for over a year and can't break it. To me .. says a lot.
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Old 7 Dec 2013
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I thought about exactly this subject and wasted a long time looking at various options. Finally I spent a week noting down what thought I might need "techwise" while on the road (I spent a week as you always think of something later) Having decided what I needed to do, I looked at what was the smallest package to do it all. In the end I settled on my current android smart phone which had cost me £90 with appropriate "apps" ( most free ). It amazed me what apps you could find to do the most unexpected things.

It charges easily from the bike, even while stopped with no problems of flat battery. App for sky scanner for flights is good. Booking.com app or similar for hotels. Wifi no probs. (There may be a blog app) Stick in a plastic zip bag to keep dry. Wrap it in you pants to keep it safe from knocks if you have too. Most take mem cards so you can transfer photos from cameras for blogs, if the built in camera is not good enough. Some cameras have wifi connectivity so link up easily ( prob an app for that too? )
And of course you can make a phone call, store music or "local" language lessons as I do ! ( there is an app for that)

Security wise it is one less thing to worry about, just stuff it in your pocket.
Back up sat nav if required. ( there is an app for that )

One of our trips we took an ipad mini. It was ok but every time we left the bike somewhere we had to carry the thing about with us and constantly think......oh where's the ipad. The little phone did all the ipad could anyway, so we leave it at home now.

We don't blog or facebook or any other "keep home informed of what I'm doing" type thing, other than email which all works fine for us with what we now carry. People do blog using phones so it can be done ok, but its what you find you can get on with.

Yes the keyboard may be an issue for some as it's "virtual" but I did get used to it quite quickly. I have seen flexible roll up/ fold up keyboards which may be an option? All this tech stuff moves so fast these days, so much so, you don't actually need a keyboard any more. Voice recognition is now quite standard on smart phones so you may well find just speaking you blog is an option. There's prob an app for that............

I did post this using a PC and key board, but I do have an app for this
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Old 7 Dec 2013
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180 Grms of smartphone + Monterra. Job's a gud'un
Throw in a few lightweight tools, Ti cookware.... Not quite the bare minimum... but now down to luggage AUW of 22Kgs from an over indulgent 51Kgs!

Last edited by Bertrand; 7 Dec 2013 at 18:49.
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  #8  
Old 7 Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
... I really want something that I can use wirelessly in a hostel, cafe etc. For checking mail, writing blogs and booking flights, transport etc.

I'm swaying towards another small netbook...... .
I sway the same way you do. For detailed blogging on the move and cataloging and storing pics its hard to cut to anything less. When you are storing video too, and needing to pass video files from go pros and other video cameras into external hard drives its essential.
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Old 7 Dec 2013
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I've used a couple of netbooks for travelling; a Compaq (taken over by HP) and lately a Gateway (part of the Acer empire). These things always sounded better in theory than they functioned in practice and I would not recommend them as lightweight travelling devices.

The price range and size may be attractive but this is one of those cases in which you do get what you pay for. They are not that light, have puny processors and in both of mine I found the keyboards awkward and irritatingly glitchy.

The oft suggested alternatives, the Mac Air and the Microsoft Surface Pro, can cost nearly four times the price of a netbook but I do keep noticing lower end quasi ultrabooks from name manufacturers which are reasonably priced.
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Old 8 Dec 2013
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I've just moved from a 13" MacBook Pro to an 11" MacBook Air.
Saved over a kilo and the more I use it the more I love it. Travelling with it in bubble wrap and a double large ziplock bag makes for light waterproof protection.

PN
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Old 8 Dec 2013
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I've got an android smart phone and yes, you can do most things..

But they're crap for web browsing... And yes I've tried.

Trying to book a flight on a smart phone on dodgy wifi will have you ripping your hair out..
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Old 8 Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post

But they're crap for web browsing... And yes I've tried.

Trying to book a flight on a smart phone on dodgy wifi will have you ripping your hair out..
Not a problem when the screen is 14cm diag

"could it be all about the right tool for the right job?" as my old mentor used to ask
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Old 8 Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
Not a problem when the screen is 14cm diag

"could it be all about the right tool for the right job?" as my old mentor used to ask
You got a 'Phablet' ???


I was looking at a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with it's huge screen but still no good for typing I guess...
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Old 8 Dec 2013
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I recently tried a windows tables and to me it's the holy grail. I'm no windows fan, but it's compatible with everything else, small, no hdd, expandable memory, plug and play, hdmi and usb ports often, works perfectly with android. With map source, base camp, oziexplorer, etc you could even full an entire TB external hdd with vector maps and sat imagery to plan or adjust your route each evening for the next day.

Just make sure you can charge it with a 12v adapter. My acer can't (no connector adapter) but my Mrs' samsung can. I think an 8" is coming out soon.

I recommend taking a true bluetooth mouse or stylus with it. The desktop bit of a tablet isn't designed for fingers.
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Old 8 Dec 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulNomad View Post
I've just moved from a 13" MacBook Pro to an 11" MacBook Air.
Saved over a kilo and the more I use it the more I love it. Travelling with it in bubble wrap and a double large ziplock bag makes for light waterproof protection.

PN
I've been using an 11" Air for a couple of years, and nothing beats it ... actually there are a few things which does; Samsung and Asus have similar computers (13" though), more options and more ports....

Just a small hint for protecting an 11", get a book book cover, and an 8L Sea to Summit bag - it fits like a glove.

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