Which laptop/tablet to bring on a journey..?

Camping, cooking, carrying, recovering, repairing and despairing

Moderator: Spietfriek

User avatar
Don T
Linesman
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:48 pm
Location: Denmark
x 27
Contact:

Which laptop/tablet to bring on a journey..?

Post by Don T » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:38 pm

I like to bring a laptop when going on longer journeys.
I find it useful for mainly 3 things:
- as a backup and tool for GPS related stuff.
- to backup and edit pictures and video.
- writing ride reports.
Besides that I find that it's often a better tool than a phone when searching information, booking accommodation, ferry tickets etc.

For the last 6 years I've been using a HP Pavilion dm1 as my "travel" laptop.
One of the reasons I picked the HP 6 years ago was, that it was the smallest laptop I could find that sported a full size key board.
It has withstood the rigors of travel and served it's purpose well, but it's time to find a replacement as I want something faster and more powerful.

I'm inclined to choose a laptop again rather than a tablet - mostly because a good keyboard is important to me, but also because I want plenty of storage space and USB ports.

Which laptop/tablet are you using when you travel and what are your thoughts on the topic?

My "office" an early morning somewhere in Romania a few years back:
Image
0 x
Riding a Super Ténéré - if it was good enough for Stéphane, it's good enough for me :lol
I adhere to the TET CODE OF CONDUCT (click here)
Paul C
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:17 pm
x 29

Re: Which laptop/tablet to bring on a journey..?

Post by Paul C » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:22 pm

One which will fit in your panniers. I find it useful to backup photo's as I go, check mapping for the next day etc. Plus once on the trail this year to double check...
Image
Last edited by Paul C on Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
0 x
Just along for the ride.
CCM GP450 - GS Adv LC - Moto Guzzi LeMans II
User avatar
Ard
Linesman
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:20 pm
Location: Netherlands/Germany
x 93

Re: Which laptop/tablet to bring on a journey..?

Post by Ard » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:12 pm

I used to have an Asus eeepc 10.1 inch or so when I was travelling around for work for things like the Dakar. I've put a SSD in that so the HD couldn't crash when it was dropped or such. That was 8 years ago though. I'm pretty sure there's better stuff around now but I'd look for something that's got a SSD (Solid State Drive)
As an aside: I recently bought another laptop as my old one was 9 years old and started to fall apart.
I usually buy used pro stuff from good rated sellers. Business stuff is always better spec'd and of better build quality.
The Thoughbook series seems good if a little pricey.
1 x
Life is as good as you make it. Do not expect anyone else to do that for you.

I adhere to the TET CODE OF CONDUCT (click here)
User avatar
Don T
Linesman
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:48 pm
Location: Denmark
x 27
Contact:

Re: Which laptop/tablet to bring on a journey..?

Post by Don T » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:26 pm

There is much to consider when choosing a travel laptop - not least the size.
On one hand it's nice with a small laptop that is easy to pack and don't take up a lot of space. On the other hand it's nice to work with a decent size screen and keyboard.
10-12" screen seems like a good compromise to me.

When I bought the HP 6 years ago I considered SSD vs. HDD, but back then SSD was very expensive compared to HDD so I opted for the later, and besides slowing down things, it has never caused me any problems - but my next laptop will have SSD!

There are several other things to consider - to name a few:

Ruggedness - The pro's of a rugged unit is obvious, the con's are size and price.

Processing power - which is essential especially when editing videos.

Battery life - when travelling on a bike (especially on trails/off road) you don't necessarily have access to a power outlet on a regular basis.
0 x
Riding a Super Ténéré - if it was good enough for Stéphane, it's good enough for me :lol
I adhere to the TET CODE OF CONDUCT (click here)
Phaedrus
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:21 am
x 8

Re: Which laptop/tablet to bring on a journey..?

Post by Phaedrus » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:22 am

Agreed that there are a few key elements to consider for a laptop for use on a motorbike trip - robustness, portability, battery life, data storage capacity.

In anticipation of a bike trip this September, I just recently bought a new 15.6" HP 250 G6 (Core i7 7500U / 2.7 GHz, 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, DVD-Writer). I'd never have been in the market for an i7 with an SSD, but I got this for €600 ex-VAT.

15.6" is the biggest I figured would still fit in panniers; I like a bigger screen and this is also my everyday laptop - I can't afford two...

The SSD was a huge factor, for all the obvious reasons.

8GB RAM + i7 processor should make working on video stuff reasonably enjoyable.

DVD drive cos I already have software I use on CD.

I will be getting a Pelican case (1085 or 1095 - can't remember right now which is appropriate), just for extra protection.

My mate has also recently bought a new laptop, again with SSD - Asus UX305, IIRC. 13" is nice and compact, and he didn't need a larger screen.

I do also have a Linx 1010B Windows 10 tablet with keyboard, which is so lovely & compact, and I do enjoy using it for www surfing and simpler database work, but I'm not sure a tablet would suffice on the road for much more than dumping video & photo content from memory cards to external memory devices? And updating blogs/social media with text & photos maybe?

While the laptop's SSD has its strengths, 256GB isn't huge, so I also plan to bring a 1TB HDD (either my WD Elements or Seagate Expansion - both are compact and USB-powered), and probably multiple USB sticks. High-capacity external SSDs are just a bit spicy in price for now...

One surprising negative about my new HP laptop is battery life - descriptions claim life of loads and loads of hours, but I've yet to get more than 4. To be fair, that's better than a HDD laptop, but still not quite up where I'd been expecting. Not an issue when using B&Bs, but when camping I'll be using one of these: http://www.nippynormans.com/f650gs-08-o ... start-xp-1

Now... How do I transport my trackball, or do I just suffer the built-in touchpad...
1 x
User avatar
Schussboelie
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:23 pm
Location: Lommel, BE
x 22

Re: Which laptop/tablet to bring on a journey..?

Post by Schussboelie » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:45 am

I would select on size (no larger than 13" for me), weight and SSD as the only mandatory spec.
0 x
User avatar
Don T
Linesman
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:48 pm
Location: Denmark
x 27
Contact:

Re: Which laptop/tablet to bring on a journey..?

Post by Don T » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:11 pm

As mentioned in my initial post, I'm in the search of a new travel laptop at the moment.
The last couple of days I've done digging and reading to find the right one.

If money wasn't an issue I would buy a Dell XPS 13 - top specs all around, sized as a 11" but packing a 13,3" full HD screen it hits all the right bottons, but it costs about twice as much as I'm prepared to pay at the moment.

I've also been looking into refurbished laptops. By buying refurbished from a professional company I save more than 50% compared to new, can upgrade processor, RAM and Drive as I like (still at a good price), but so far I haven't been able to find one I really like.

The search continues....
0 x
Riding a Super Ténéré - if it was good enough for Stéphane, it's good enough for me :lol
I adhere to the TET CODE OF CONDUCT (click here)
Gedrog
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:22 pm
x 1

Re: Which laptop/tablet to bring on a journey..?

Post by Gedrog » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:42 pm

Get a refurbished Laptop for travel, a bad fall torn bags and the expensive xps will become your trendy doorstop
1 x
User avatar
DrumBrakes
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:22 pm
Location: Edinburgh
x 2

Re: Which laptop/tablet to bring on a journey..?

Post by DrumBrakes » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:25 am

I use a Microsoft Surface 3 (not pro version) in a UAG rugged cover, inside a thin dry bag, packed between layers of clothes.
It survived plenty of falls in a soft side pannier, so seems tough enough if packed well.

It's basically a medium sized tablet that runs a full PC version of windows with a keyboard and track pad built into the cover.

It runs Garmin basecamp and has a USB port, so can be used to load or edit GPS tracks along the way.

It charges from a Micro USB charger, same as my phone and helmet Bluetooth, so no extra charger needed. (I don't think newer versions do this)
It has limited storage, but you can use external USB 3 hard drives, or a selection of Micro SD cards.

It was capable of editing small video clips, but with the small screen and limited processing, it's not quick.
1 x
Over prepared & under talented.
User avatar
Mariner
Administrator
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:43 am
Location: Athens, GR
x 30
Contact:

Re: Which laptop/tablet to bring on a journey..?

Post by Mariner » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:40 am

Tony, what's your budget?
0 x
Not All Who Wander Are Lost..
- GR Linesman -

I adhere to the TET CODE OF CONDUCT (click here)
Post Reply