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Communications Connecting - internet cafes, laptops, smart phones - how to connect, use, which one, and intercom/radio systems.
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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

Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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Old 18 Mar 2016
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Still confussed

Hi all
So this thread has been most informative but I am still unsure what I should be looking for, so here is my shortlist of things I need and I am wondering what you can recommend for me.

I need a laptop, notebook, tablet, which must be chargeable from the bike using a USB cable. I want to blog and as such will need a keyboard, be it attached or wireless. I want to download GoPro footage on a daily basis and upload all things to the blog. I will be travelling light and camping so it could be days between internet cafe's etc.

Do I need an external hard drive to store all the GoPro stuff?

I look forward to hearing from you.........Oh yes it needs to be cheap as well lol.

I am now thinking Samsung or Ipad but do they have suitable plug in bits for camera and GoPro.

Thanks. Ben
To judge a man by his lowest ebb or deed is to judge the ocean by just one wave
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Old 18 Mar 2016
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You can charge any laptop from a bike, why must it be a USB cable?

I hate to say it, but you need to be looking at something underpowered and overpriced like the 12" Macbook and it's windows equivalents. USC-C charging, decent keyboard, and plenty enough power for blogging, and enough for short bursts of video editing (not 4k).

Anything else is going to be much more of a compromise.
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Old 18 Mar 2016
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to help you decide what you need:

- Go record 1 min of video with your go pro at the video quality you like
- estimate how much minutes per day of video recording you estimate you'll be doing
-find the total memory space you estimate you need for your trip:
Total memory size = (memory space for 1min video) x (Nb. of minutes recording video per day) x (nb. of days travelling)

- if total memory size is small maybe you can just dump the video directly from the go pro to usb memory and use a tablet for your trip

if the total memory size is too big, then you'll need to do some video editing to cut the un-needed video footage. This means you need a laptop with a reasonable cpu.

hope this help,
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Old 19 Mar 2016
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Netbook, laptop, tablet or smart phone ??

Havibg travelling with an ipad previously i found it too limiting (i had a card adapter to load photos from the SD card but it was a PITA to get them on flickr and i missed a keyboard).

For my forthcoming trip i bought this and have been experimenting for the last 4 months with it for browsing/email, on my blog, for photos and sorting video (tom tom bandit). http://www.trustedreviews.com/asus-t...ok-t100-review

I have found it does all i want - good cheap solution. I have loaded windows movie maker on it which is easy to use and fine for my needs. It is working ok with the asus so far - i wil be editing hours of footage over easter on it so will get to test it further.

I bought this to read cards http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00L..._1458370210105 (works well).

I will take an external hard drive to store video footage - still determining the right size.

Hope this is of some help - its a minefield!

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Old 5 Jun 2016
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And to think I backpacked around Greece & Oz & NZ in 94-95 without even a phone...

Interesting to see the content of this thread over the 2.5 years since OP - tech may have changed (improved?) and more options/solutions may have come to market and prices may have dropped, but lads still have different needs from their devices. So it's unlikely a question like "which xxxx should I buy" will ever yield an ideal answer unless the asker's requirements are clearly defined.

Reading through the thread, it's clear that some guys are happy with a phone or tablet-type solution, and some need more powerful processing offered by a laptop/Macbook-type solution.

I'm an awful obsessive git when it comes to pretty much everything that takes my interest, and I'm now certain that everything is always a compromise - there's never a single optimal solution. The compromise(s) will usually be functionality vs price, or price vs functionality. All obvious stuff.

My own sentiments are that if I'm undertaking a unique and exciting trip, I'll want to document it - I've been a photography enthusiast for 25+ years, and photography has been an aspect of work I've done over the last 4 years. So coming home with great photos is important to me. I'm also excited by video documentation of a trip - We took quite a few good videos of the last few holidays I've taken with my kids were, and those living memories are wonderful to look back over.

So my own circumstances and requirements are that I want the capability for:
  • Taking quality photos
  • Recording quality video footage
  • Storage options for photos and video content
  • Some basic on-the-road editing functionality for photo & video
  • Full editing functionality back at home
  • Keeping in touch with home - both in urban & remote areas - whether simply social media/skype and/or a blog
  • On-bike charging/powering options for extended periods away from domestic power
  • Reliability and road-proofness of equipment
As it happens, I'm currently on borrowed time with a loaner laptop (run-of-the-mill 2009 Dell 17") while my own (run-of-the-mill 2012 Dell Studio 15") has gone down. Even if that's repairable, I'm not inclined to take it on a bike trip - past reliability issues and HDD make it less than ideal for motorbike travel IMO. So a replacement laptop is on the cards for me in the next year or so. I'm a fan of versatility, so my replacement for my home laptop will also be my bike road-trip laptop.

In photography terms, while I'd love to take my DSLR rig with me, there's just too much involved, even with a "basic" 2-lens set-up, so I'd be looking to a good well-specced P&S, rechargable from the bike via USB cable. My current phone has a decent camera and is IP68 waterproof, so is ideal as a back-up camera.

My video aspirations would be probably very OTT compared to most folk's - multiple on-board cameras aimed to different angles, all powerable/chargable (while in operation) from the bike via USB cables.

So I'd want plenty of storage to dump daily photo & video content.

My current choice of device to cater for all this is an ultra-book. I think that's the correct term? Not an Apple guy, but nor am I a big fan of the latest iterations of Windows. My brother in law is an IT guy and reckons a Linux OS is the way to go for issue-free functionality/operation.

So with all that considered, my research list is topped by stuff like this:

Asus ZenBook (running Linux, not Windows) - https://www.asus.com/ie/Notebooks/ASUS-ZenBook-UX303UA/
Hard waterproof case (as this will be my one-laptop-for-all-applications) - https://www.waterproof-cases.co.uk/p...se-with-liner/
Power supply (rechargable from the bike via USB) - EC Technology Portable 2nd Gen Deluxe 22400mAh 3 USB Power Bank - Black&Red
SSD storage - Sandisk SSD Plus Solid State Drive - 240GB £59.99 - Free Delivery
USB storage - SanDisk 128GB Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive 80MB/s £24.99 - Free Delivery

I'd probably invest in multiple smaller storage devices, rather than one large one, and I might also look at back-up options for during the trip.

As already mentioned in the thread - each to their own. My preferences may be OTT to some folk, but they're my preferences and my circumstances.

There may be something in there that's of use to other readers, and any comments or suggestions are welcome.

Last edited by Phaedrus68; 16 Oct 2016 at 18:58. Reason: OCD
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Old 27 Jun 2016
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I've been using a Chromebook as my home computing device for most of three years and it works great for me. Then again, 99% of what I do at home can be done in a web browser. YMMV.
Bruce Clarke - 2020 Yamaha XV250
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Old 15 Sep 2018
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technical stuff

After riding motorbikes for too many years, and losing stuff, I try to keep it simple
a cheap Nokia phone for phone calls and texts ( whose going to steal that !!)
a small cheapo camera in my pocket
and a decent camera in my tank bag for when I have time
an A5 writing pad hardback and a few Pencils and a pen
I keep this together with some typed out sheets of trip data,locations, and contact details in my tank bag
I find its much easier when sitting in cafes to write notes than to be immersed in a tablet and not make eye contact with other people
I keep small old samsung notepad thingy for booking hotels
spare SD cards for the cameras
and maps
I dont do blogs, if I am travelling its personal and for me, I like to keep notes and then write it up afterwards
I have travelled with a young relative who has all of this technology, but I found him a little distant at times and missing out on his surroundings,I like to integrate and blend in
plus I have the habit of breaking technology maybe due to age ?
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Old 5 Dec 2018
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I have traveled with so much electronic stuff there was no room in one pannier for anything else. I carried a macbook - 15", ipad2, and an iphone. Then we get into cameras, hardrives, GoPros, and the list goes on. Then you need all of the cables to keep things charged. Extra data cards. It gets quite overwhelming.

In the end, I'm happy with just the iphone for general everyday use. I have a case that holds an extra big battery and the phone lives in it. I can go a couple days without charging the phone and have plenty of battery left. I do have to upload phots though for backup, or plug the phone into an external harddrive to save all of the photos. The phone has 256 gig of memory, but I take pictures in the "raw" format, so each photo takes up quite a bit of space.

I am quite happy leaving all of the other stuff home.
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Old 5 Dec 2018
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iPhone + Kindle does it all for me, phone, photos, GPS, backup via ICloud. alldone on one device. Simple cheap reliable.
Slight compromise on photo quality, but one I’m happy to take.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Charles CCM450, BMW R90/6, BMW R50
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Old 12 Jan 2019
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Qualifying my post with not having used it a motorbike adventure but have used it in some pretty rugged circumstances in Uganda whilst deployed on a training team with the Army.

I swear by my Linx 1010 windows tablet; it cost me about £130, came complete with a detachable QWERTY keyboard and is run off a mini usb lead so could share power cables with other devices.

I actually use it as my main laptop for work 9simple Word and excel documents) but can do lots more.

Mine had 64GB onboard storage and has a micro SD card slot which I have another 32 GB in plus a pair of normal USB ports.

Not sure if my model is still produced but specs for a 12.5 inch version can be found below.


its not as polished or beautiful as my IPAD but is considerably cheaper and more flexible to use as a multi task laptop.


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Old 5 Apr 2019
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I use for months a tablet and I don't have any complaints.
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Old 6 Jul 2019
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Netbooks are now out of fashion, so laptop (an ultrabook so it is light and battery lasts for hours) and a phone. I wouldn't bring a tablet anymore unless it is my Kindle because both are more than enough for me.
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Old 27 Jul 2019
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Originally Posted by Sathimpiou38 View Post
Netbooks are now out of fashion, so laptop (an ultrabook so it is light and battery lasts for hours) and a phone. I wouldn't bring a tablet anymore unless it is my Kindle because both are more than enough for me.
Agree. I tossed out my tablet and now solely dependent on my phone. Unless I know that there might be work needed to be done while I'm traveling, I bring my macbook air to be sure.
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Old 28 Jul 2019
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I have the MSI GS65 Stealth 15.6". It has a 6 core i7 processor, 32gb ram and dedicated Nvidia Graphics. I run windows and Linux on it. It's great for video editing on the road and runs Davinci Resolve and Blender without a problem.

I have tried editing video on less powerful systems, but it's not a pleasant experience. This laptop takes everything you throw at it, including 4k without the need to transcode to a mezzanine codec. It was not cheap, but I got a good deal, and in my opinion is much better value than a Mac. Never really got the Mac craze
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Old 16 Aug 2019
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Originally Posted by chilswelluk View Post
I have the MSI GS65 Stealth 15.6". It has a 6 core i7 processor, 32gb ram and dedicated Nvidia Graphics. I run windows and Linux on it. It's great for video editing on the road and runs Davinci Resolve and Blender without a problem.

I have tried editing video on less powerful systems, but it's not a pleasant experience. This laptop takes everything you throw at it, including 4k without the need to transcode to a mezzanine codec. It was not cheap, but I got a good deal, and in my opinion is much better value than a Mac. Never really got the Mac craze
Had great experience with Mac, my Air has been with me many years, but wouldn't say that I am the most loyal customer. I admit that they can really be overpriced. Smooth experience, but I suppose you would have that with any high powered equipment.
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