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34 replies
Bringing a "good" laptop on a trip?
Feicht
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So pretty much no matter what, this summer I’m going to need to bring A laptop with me to Europe (doing “work” while I’m there). Thing is: I don’t own one yet. My desktop is on the downturn (might even die this week) so I was thinking of just replacing it with a nice laptop, nice and portable. However, the more I think about it, the less I like the idea of carrying around a computer worth $1k while I’m over there. I’ve met plenty of people in Europe who had a laptop with them, but I’ve also met people who’ve had these kind of things stolen from them. I guess the other option is just springing an extra couple hundred for one of those little 9” cheapie ones that don’t even have a CD drive, but again I have reservations about that just because I can’t see myself really using it any other time once I come back.

Decisions, decisions.

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I looked at a mini-notebook today and I’m seriously thinking of getting one for travel even though I have a newish laptop and an “old but still does the job” desktop. Personally, I think I’d spend the extra money for a windows operating system and a 160 gig hard drive. That seems to be about $50 US more than the basic models that use another operating system and SD cards for storage or maybe a 10 gig hard drive. You might look at some of the reviews about the products. Part of the reason I think I want a windows OS is the reviews at target.com. The tech center at my University bookstore had the best prices (faculty/student price) on the systems I was looking at. Target was cheaper for the base model.

Another upgrade is to blue tooth technology which allows you to add wireless mouse, speakers, etc. I think I’ll stick with my $5 wired kit that includes a 4 hub USB port, mini-mouse, earbuds/microphone, number pad, printer cable, ethernet cable and light.

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Well I guess my other option is replacing my desktop with another desktop, which will be cheaper than getting almost the same thing in a laptop…. and just buying one of the little minis at the same time. I seriously won’t need it to do anything other than “not crash” while I’m writing emails from Germany.

As long as I can hook a flash drive to it or my mp3 player to it, I should be good… funny that those things have more storage space than a base-model mini notebook or whatever they’re called…

But yeah… with my way of thinking it’s like, it’s not the end of the world if I get robbed of something worth about $300. But 1200, might make me go on a murderous rampage

I am traveling for 51 days
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You should be able to get something with a non-windows operating system for around $250. $300 will get you windows and a good sized hard drive hard drive.

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I would wait and see how the netbook market changes. There is talk of some netbooks taking on Google Android which would significantly decrees the cost of netbooks making some in the sub $200 price range:

http://portablemonke…

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Be careful using laptop on late night or overnight trains. A local businessman was using his laptop and when he arrived in Zurich, 3 guys approached him off the train and held him at knifepoint and they got all his electronic gear. Be careful posting any valuable or identity theft information on laptop. The 3 guys were pacing up and down the train looking at what there was to rip off. Unfortunately no police in site.

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All the more reason to have password-protected data and not to stick out like an easy mark. Was this guy gassed in his compartment while sleeping? Coz I think I heard about him… but I thought it was in Italy?!

Feicht, you might see something interesting here: http://www.dealsofam…

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Wow Don, that first one on the top of the page is one helluva deal! What’s with that site, is it legit? Never heard of it.

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They just search out and list the best deals. Careful: netbooks I’ve seen don’t always have XP or Vista — the cheapest ones are usually Linux which could be good or bad, depending on your perspective.

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Quote:
Careful: netbooks I’ve seen don’t always have XP or Vista — the cheapest ones are usually Linux which could be good or bad, depending on your perspective.
I’ve read that this can be a problem doing anything that isn’t just basic e-mail and web surfing. If the perfect job shows up, you may not be able to submit your resume from a non-windows application. Also the 512 memory and small hard drive may make it difficult to deal with photos and camera software if you want to attach photos to your e-mails.

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Well I just purchased this one http://www.newegg.co… from Newegg.com at the behest of my computer-pro friends.

Looks like a good little machine for 350 Smile Windows XP, 1GB of RAM, 160gig hard drive… 10” screen. Lots of room for pictures and Microsoft Word, and I won’t go as blind as I would with the slightly smaller one A couple guys I know have these Asus netbooks and have never had any problems, so knock on wood…

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I like the 7 hour battery life on the one you bought. The one I was looking at only has a 2 1/2 hour battery.

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Yeah that was the major selling point. I like the thought of not having to be sitting at some stupid internet cafe with a power plug just to use my computer

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Now that I’ve got my new computer though I’m wondering…. how widespread is wi/fi (especially FREE wi/fi) these days in Europe? I’ve never even paid attention to it before, because I never had a laptop with me

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I also “never needed wifi” but it seems to be common in hotels and I see it listed in the write-ups about many hostels. I’ve had experiences in out-of-the way places where WiFi was easier to find than an internet cafe.

And: There’s almost always a McDonalds by the train station.

This old post doesn’t seem to offer much help: http://www.eurotrip….

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Yeah I saw that thread, that’s why I figured I’d just tack it onto this one.

If I’m honest I don’t know how much time I’ll really “need” the wi/fi… I just have to keep a log of things while I’m there, so I really can type it whenever, and upload it to the internet in a few minutes, but I kinda has to be at least every other day…

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I noticed that Swill posted that there was WiFi access at a lot of hostels in a thread about IPhones…..

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Please let me know how your Asus netbook is working out for you. My boyfriend is looking into buying either that one or the comparable Acer one in the coming week, for our trip to Europe later this month.

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I was also considering buying the 9” Dell Mini. I would bring my laptop with me so that I could look up information the next cities I would be visiting and to book hostel reservations since my trip mostly has me moving on to my next city when I feel like it instead of a strict schedule.

I heard a lot of trains on the Eurail pass have wi-fi. Is this true?

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I think “a lot” would be a pretty big stretch. Some trains do, but usually the premier name trains and sometimes only in 1st class. This pasted from the German rail website

Quote:

You can access the Internet in all DB Lounges and on all trains which feature the HotSpot logo on the following routes:

* Dortmund – Düsseldorf – Cologne (also via Hagen and Wuppertal) * Cologne – Frankfurt am Main Airport * Frankfurt am Main – Stuttgart – Munich * Frankfurt am Main – Hanover – Hamburg

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lanem688 wrote:
Please let me know how your Asus netbook is working out for you. My boyfriend is looking into buying either that one or the comparable Acer one in the coming week, for our trip to Europe later this month.

It’s working out good so far, only complaint I have is the damn shift button on the left is shrunken to 1/3 its proper size in order to fit the arrow keys. Not sure why they did this, as I’ve seen minis with normal sized shift bars before. But other than that, it’s fine. Might go blind if it was your primary machine, but it’s great for on-the-go stuff Smile

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Personally, if I was taking a trip/holiday/etc then I know I wouldnt want to bring my work with me. So I would be hestitant to taking it around.

I guess if you really must have to, then the major issue is going to be security, and keeping your laptop safe from prying hands. Most hostels do have lockers to store valuables in. But if your traveling by train or bus, you may want to keep a good eye on it at all times. And invest in a good lock or too.

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Thanks we just bought the new asus 1000HE with the n280 processor! Found it online for around the same price as the older model. I think netbooks are a great idea for travel. Since we travel a few times a year I’m sure it will pay for itself.

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I’m using my Mother’s Day gift. I got surprised with an MSIU100 netbook. Takes a little getting used to, but I’m sure I’ll love it!

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Wow, that’s awesome

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I haven’t travelled to Europe so obviously my input is a little on the inexperienced side – but I have travelled throughout the USA with my Dell-mini. I know, I know “Its a dell?” but to be honest I have pretty basic needs. It 2 lbs (uhm conversion?) and its got a 12.5 inch screen (again forgive the lack of conversion), but I’m excited to bring it to Europe with me next summer.

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You’ve really got something that weighs 2 pound with a 12 inch screen? My 10” netbook weighs 3 pounds (because of the 5+ hour battery) 9” ones with a 2 hour battery weigh just over 2 pounds.

I haven’t decided whether to take it on my next eurotrip — 2 or 3 pounds plus weight of power supply cords is a lot — particularly since you’ll be carrying the computer virtually all of the time.

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Same here, Oldlady. What really kinda bugs me is I got the “seven hour battery” which doesn’t ever seem to last more than 4.5 hours Frown

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http://www.dell.com/…
Maybe its actually 3lbs, but I haven’t weighed it with the battery (6 hours if I’m not watching some crazy high-def movie thats already on my HD). But I mean, its not really any bigger than a physical notebook – I use it at the moment primarily for school but I tend to be one of those classic “addicted to being connected to ppl” types of people so I’m stilllll contemplating bringing it to Europe with me and him (but obviously we have a whole year to work it out). I’m still going to have to read up on like adapters and stuff for power, I’ve never been out of the USA (don’t even have a passport – top of the list lol) so I’m not really well versed in this aspect of travel. Frown

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Feicht wrote:
Same here, Oldlady. What really kinda bugs me is I got the “seven hour battery” which doesn’t ever seem to last more than 4.5 hours Frown

What you find is no matter what the battery life is, it usually halves itself within a year. I know my laptop had a 4 hour battery life, now i’m lucky to get 2 hours. Its what happens when you use things continually, same things happen with phone batteries.

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trent84 wrote:
Feicht wrote:
Same here, Oldlady. What really kinda bugs me is I got the “seven hour battery” which doesn’t ever seem to last more than 4.5 hours Frown

What you find is no matter what the battery life is, it usually halves itself within a year. I know my laptop had a 4 hour battery life, now i’m lucky to get 2 hours. Its what happens when you use things continually, same things happen with phone batteries.

Yeah that’s what I’ve heard, however unfortunately I’ve only had mine for like a month and a half!

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Feicht wrote:
Same here, Oldlady. What really kinda bugs me is I got the “seven hour battery” which doesn’t ever seem to last more than 4.5 hours Frown

The claim probably states “up to seven hours”. The purchaser assumes seven hours.

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

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Yeah basically. Except that there’s a sticker on the damn thing that says “ALL DAY COMPUTING! 7 HOURS BATTERY LIFE!” haha

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In that case, I’d tell ‘em I want a new battery. If they don’t try to take care of you, call the attorney generals office and complain. The paperwork isn’t too bad and the company might fix the problem. After all, you are paying for what they advertised.

Companies get away with stuff like that because so many people don’t stand up for themselves.

These corporate practices tick me off. It’s basically tell whatever lie you want to sell the product. A lot of companies get away with it because the law is set up to favor the entity with the advantageous position.

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

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Don’t get me started….

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