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Potential travel laptop! What do you guys think?

Travel Forums Travel Gear Potential travel laptop! What do you guys think?

1. Posted by fuzzypuppy (Budding Member 62 posts) 9y

I hope moderators don't consider this an advertisement...I do actually make useful (I hope) posts on this forum.

One thing I've noticed is that every few weeks there's another post asking "should I bring a laptop?", "is it safe?", "is it worth the hassle?" etc...

Today, when I was looking at hard drives, I stumbled upon this baby:
Asus Eee PC 4G Super Mobile Internet Device

This thing looks perfect for travelers!

  • It's cheap (compared to a normal laptop)
  • It's small (7")
  • It's light (2.0 lbs) for those minimalist backpackers
  • It has a solid state hard drive (like your camera memory cards, no moving parts so less chance of shock or vibration damage)
  • It runs linux! (okay, I'm a geek)

I admit, there are some faults, probably as a result of trying to get the laptop so small:

  • Because it's using a solid state hard drive, its only 4GB. You'd have to carry around a bunch of extra memory card or usb flash drives just for your laptop so that eliminates the advantage of the laptop storing your pictures to free up memory card space
  • No optical drive, If you don't carry enough memory cards you'd have to buy a separate USB optical drive if you want to burn your pictures to disk
  • Piddly little 4 cell battery that gives you 3.5 hours. There's no reason they couldn't have gone with a 6cell or 9cell battery to give you longer life (well, I guess they were looking to minimize weight, but still). As it stands, I would probably have to buy a larger battery separately, if they even offer them

So, while this thing certainly isn't perfect, it looks like a really promising machine. My gripe about the hard drive being small will probably resolve itself in the next few hardware generations, the technology will get a lot cheaper and smaller. As for lightweight, long lasting battery technology, who knows. I've been waiting a while and I'm sure I'll wait a while longer.

What do you guys think? would you consider traveling with one of these?

2. Posted by michael_us (Budding Member 19 posts) 9y

I love the 2lbs (with battery) feature! Also cool not to pay the Microsoft tax.

I mentioned in another thread (to some technophobe chick's annoyance) that I travel with a MacBook Pro and discovered the damn thing is just barely too big to fit in a hotel safe. But I do prefer some kind of Mac because I give presentations using Keynote using the remote control. The OpenOffice equivalent isn't as good, and MS PowerPoint is a nonstarter.

Another OS X feature useful for travellers is the iDisk synching. Each time I connect to the internet my files are backed up to my iDisk so when my machine inevitably gets stolen or dropped I shouldn't lose anything. There's probably a way to do this with Linux; I've been out of that scene too long.

In London I was surprised to see lots of people using those coin-operated computers at a cybercafe. I thought only third world countries still had those.

3. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

Personally I wouldn't travel anywhere without my macbook pro, but that's because I really need it for work stuff and I rarely take a full week off work... that looks like a nice travel alternative though! At today's exchange rate it's very cheap too for anyone not making money in USD.

4. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

Of course if you are a mac lover and willing to take a gamble and wait, then this rumoured new mac laptop seems like the true ultimate travelling machine to me! This just broke yesterday after I read your post; how coincidental!

If this is true it's going to be a beaut of a light machine. Seeing as I hardly use the cd/dvd drive I might be sorely tempted to 'upgrade' in the new year... rumour has it, it will have a hard disk though (more harddrive space but slightly more chance of shock/vibration damage-although I do expect Apple's shock hard drive protector would be built in).

Can't wait for January!

5. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 416 posts) 9y

Actually there are a number of ultra lightweights that are easy to travel with.

I didn't like the Asus or the Toshiba because of the tiny keyboard which I found impossible to really use. The Toshiba at least does ahve a real HD. Both are 2 lbs.

The Sony viao is still too expensive IMHO, but at 3 lbs I did really like the Fujitsu Lifebook which is a full function laptop with a HD as big as 100gb, slots for many different types of memory/camera cards built in (which meant I didn't carry a card reader), and a DVD RW drive which allowed me to back up as needed. I thought it was a great travel machine though it wasn't a mac.

It handled RTW travel and 18 months on the road with no major hardware issues and I really liked it. Still I'm glad to be back on my Mac at home.

6. Posted by sapphyre (Respected Member 418 posts) 9y

The Asus mentioned was made for kids which is why its so small and light! To promote computer literacy.

7. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 9y

The OpenOffice equivalent isn't as good, and MS PowerPoint is a nonstarter.

You may already be, but if not, i'd suggest the NeoOffice version as opposed to the OpenOffice brand one - for the Excel equivalent, at least, it is vastly superior to OpenOffice on the mac.

Asus Eee PC 4G Super Mobile Internet Device

I've been looking at it as well, and must admit that for travelling it does seem perfect. the size and weight are a huge bonus, obviously, but not having a HDD means that one of the most likely things to break on a laptop being lugged around isn't an issue.

However, you can get very small portable HDDs, flash disks etc, and these days there are enough websites etc where you can upload large quantities of photos means that not having them all locally isn't the end of the world.

When I travel (for pleasure, as opposed to also including work, which is most of the time), if i do carry a laptop - i try not to - all i want is something that i can add some photos/MP3s to, write a blog etc, and get online, though in fairness most of the places I do want to get online are too remote/obscure/undeveloped to currently have wireless so it won't make a huge difference that way. And for that, the Asus sounds perfect.

As most of my travel is workbased, the asus wouldn't help anyway, though at the moment, for frustrating reasons, i'm more or less forced to carry both my macbook (13") and samsung pc laptop (12", and much lighter, so i much prefer to travel with that), which is a pain in the ****

8. Posted by buscando (Budding Member 38 posts) 8y

I took my labtop to Europe with me and Im thankful I did! Not only was I able to to upload all my pics after my excursions throughout all the cities I visited; but I was able to go online in many places and just be able to stay in contact with my part of the world was great! Considering my labtop is a bit bigger then your ususal laptop, I wouldn't have left home without it ! take care!

9. Posted by fuzzypuppy (Budding Member 62 posts) 8y

One of my cons has even been fixed:
Asus has announced that they're going to offer a 6 cell battery as an accessory. (when I first posted asus had said that they had no such plans)

@sapphyre
And no, this laptop isn't intended just for children. One of their marketing photos has a picture of a blond woman with large breasts using it on the beach

10. Posted by sapphyre (Respected Member 418 posts) 8y

Quoting fuzzypuppy

@sapphyre
And no, this laptop isn't intended just for children. One of their marketing photos has a picture of a blond woman with large breasts using it on the beach

How about one for the ladies now?