What computer to carry???

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by biosci, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. biosci

    biosci Tumbleweed54473

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    196
    Location:
    Central WI 54473
    I am looking for suggestions / advice regarding what computer to carry on my DR bike when tripping.

    I use Garmin Map60CSx on the bike, however I feel that my HP laptop (with CN, Topo, & MapSource) at home is too big to take in a Wolftail tailbag, and expedition drybags.

    I do not want to take the homebound HP laptop on the bike and break it in a dirtnap. Am thinking of up to $300 or so.

    I think I would need:
    -WIFI for internet stuff (download tracks / routes, email),
    -ability to have CN and MapSource,
    -connectability to the gp
    -am I missing something....


    What questions should I ask salepeople?

    Do I look at android stuff or avoid it (compatability issues)?

    Point me in the direction of something that would work at a restaurant, and also in a tent.

    Thanks,
    #1
  2. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,185
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    I have an Asus eeePC900 which is basically a netbook. They go for less than $300. It has no moving parts and so is fairly robust. I'm upgrading mine with a new solid state drive (from 4Gb to 32Gb) and changed the memory from 512Mb to 2 Gb (cost for the upgrades around $85). I plan on taking it on a trip from South America back home. I haven't finished all the upgrades yet (having a bit of trouble getting it to recognize the new SSD). It has wifi, a camera and microphone for skype, but has no cd, disk, or hard drives so you need to either download everytning from the internet or get it set up at home with an external drive before you leave (which is what I'm doing). Asus has newer versions as well but I don't really know about them.
    #2
  3. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    112
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC
    Like jonz, my recommendation would be to find an inexpensive netbook PC. I have an HP Mini 210-1040. It came with 1Gb of RAM, which I upgraded to 2 Gb. It also came equipped with a hard drive, which I replaced with a 90Gb SSD. My final upgrade was replacing the Windows 7 Starter Edition with Windows 7 Professional. The netbook has a web cam, microphone, ethernet port, a SD card slot (great for transferring your camera photos), and three USB ports. Battery life is very good (6 hours+).

    I have the Microsoft Office installed, Garmin BaseCamp, and a number of additional GPS/mapping utilities. I pack the netbook in a padded slip case and keep a small zipper bag with a mini-mouse, the power brick and cables, my USB cable (for the camera and Garmin Montana GPSr), and a short ethernet cable.

    This has been a great tool to have on extended trips, and it's not so expensive that I will cry if something happens to it.
    #3
  4. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,529
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    I have an HP netbook as well. Works great for Mapsource, websurfing, etc.

    With the new solid state drives out there, it would be easy enough to convert it from a hard drive to SSD and get rid of that potential source of failing.

    As of now - there is not a mapsource android or apple app available, so you are stuck with a netbook as your smallest form factor for tripping.
    #4
  5. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,155
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I carry an ASUS notebook. I got if for about $250 a few years ago. Don't know what the new models are or what they are going for.

    I think the unit has a hard disc drive. At least I have ~80G of storage available. I have never had any problems with it. I pack it in the middle of my spare clothes. I have about 10,000 miles of dirt road riding on it.
    #5
  6. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    633
    Location:
    central Illinois (Bloomington)
    I carry an HP netbook with MapSource and Google Earth loaded on it, tucked away in a Pelican 1075cc water/dust/crush proof hard case. The Pelican is inexpensive (around $40 @ Amazon) protection.


    Brad
    #6
  7. BKMLWR

    BKMLWR Wondering around...

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,071
    Location:
    North Carmel
    I'm happy with my Asus EeePc Model 1011CX paid a little over $300 on bestbuy.com
    340gb hard drive, 2gb ram, wifi, network adapter.
    plenty of room for any programs I want.....used it to do daily loading of tracks to 60csx and 276 on 1000 mile dirt tour
    was able to get wifi in restauants and campgrounds for weather checks, etc...
    big key is the 6 cell battery which can get up to 11 hrs of operation so you can go days without recharging
    pack it in middle of tailbox always turned off...
    #7
  8. biosci

    biosci Tumbleweed54473

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    196
    Location:
    Central WI 54473
    Thanks folks, exactly the info I was seeking.

    Now to go shopping.

    Have a Happy Holiday season...
    #8