Author Topic: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks  (Read 18768 times)

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Offline Mattie

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2011, 04:43:40 pm »
The Netbook + Garmin GPS system + Google Earth certainly works. Netbooks such as those by Samsung are fairly cheap, plus a budget plug in DVD drive means you can load any software from a disk onto your Netbook. The DVD drive can be left at home.

You can then access the internet whilst you are away and put waypoints into your GPS, as you wish. The set up is not hugely expensive to set up and run, a few hundred dollars, and so would not be a huge deal if it were lost or broken - you would still have the GPS unit and Garmin software.

If you were to be going for a longer trip, and you wanted to edit pictures to a decent standard while you were away then a better class of Netbook would be required such as the incomparable MacBook Air. But to loose it would be a harsh loss as it is a much more expensive item.

There is also a whole world of smartphones out there that have mapping and GPS functionality that may be suitable for shorter tours.

For myself I have chosen the Netbook-Google Earth-Garmin approach which has worked so far.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2011, 09:14:17 am »
I love my iPad, never thought a single devicewouldhave such an impact on my technical life. ihatetyping on it. It is not a full blown computer, it's just a cool piece of electronic jewelry that I am carrying with me more than I had imagined I would when bought it.

I would never consider taking it on a bike trip, backpacking, or even on a raft trip where I don't have to carry my gear.

I've traveled with many gps freaks and I have no clear idea what they find interesting or necessary in their little toys but, liketheiPad, if I had a gps unit, I'd probably have a different opinion.

Head to you library and checkout all of their gps books and seeif they have some videos.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2011, 12:48:11 pm »
Russ, thank you for the information. Are you using a Schmidt Dyno Hub? If so, where did you purchase it. So, if I understand you correctly, the next time I go to Europe I should pick up the ewerk and cache battery over there.

I use the Shimano DHN70 or something generator hub.  I think it was bought from Peter White back in 2006 by a friend.  I acquired it from him.  I bought a Shimano DHN80 generator hub from Starbike last year and built it into a wheel for a friend.  Bought the rim and spokes there too.  No problem at all with the order.  I buy lots of bike stuff from Europe.  No problems.  No need to travel to Europe to buy from there.  Have never used the Ewerk thing.  But I think it has gotten some talk on the randonneur forums.  They are concerned with charging the GPS units during 90 hour rides.  Pretty sure the Ewerk will plug into any generator hub.  Just like lights fit any hub.  Its not Schmidt specific.  Starbike also sells the Schmidt generator hubs for much less than Peter White.  They can build entire wheels too if you don't do that yourself.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 12:54:35 pm by RussSeaton »

Offline hpscott

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2011, 12:55:50 pm »
I carried an iPad for the entire Northern Tier last summer, and I got all the power I needed for it, my camera batteries and my cell phone from my front hub generator and an E-Werk.  I imported my photos and wrote a blog entry every night in my tent and uploaded it whenever I could find free WiFi.  Only in Glacier NP was I unable to find free WiFi.

I didn't use a GPS, so I can't comment on that, but I very much liked the iPad for daily blogging and annotating photos.  This was particularly valuable for me because I'm a college professor, and I teach a course entitled "Geology of the National Parks" each semester.  I visited Olympic, North Cascades, Glacier and Acadia National Parks along the way (plus many other examples of interesting geology in between) and did a LOT of photography for classroom use.  

It was great to be able to do some photo editing along the way and even create annotated presentation files (using Keynote) that I'm using in my class this semester.  I was self conscious about the daily blogging, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much support I received from my university. I suppose it helped to demonstrate that at least some of my two-month vacation was of value to my teaching :)

I would not want to have done this with a smart phone / camera combo. Although I didn't carry an SLR-type camera, I used a high-end compact, which was much better for my purposes than any phone-based camera.  It was great to be able to pull the photos from the camera each day.

Anyway, my point is just that whether or not carrying a computer or tablet is worthwhile for you depends on what you want to do with it. It was definitely worth it to me, but it wouldn't be worth it for many.  

I found carrying the iPad to be quite trivial: I got a cheap padded zippered case for it, and it nicely slipped into an integrated sleeve in one of my front panniers.  Although the typing experience isn't ideal, the lack of keys or a hinge makes it very easy to care for. For me, the iPad was a great compromise between weight, power management, ease of protecting and usefulness.

If interested, here's a link to the blog:

Offline mucknort

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2011, 08:08:53 am »
I ended up buying an Asus Eee PC netbook for our trip last year:

-top rated by Consumer Reports
-cheap enough to not be the end of the world if lost/stolen/damaged while on tour ($250-350)
-long battery life (11-14 hours)
-small/light for a netbook
-decent "real" keyboard (compared to phones/ipad)
-SD card slot for storing photos on a regular basis (and to edit on the road)
-built in camera works well for skyping friends/nervous relatives

Offline janetanorth

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2011, 12:07:55 pm »
I had an Asus eee tiny pc for a bike trip in Japan 2 years ago. it was easy to carry and worked well. However, now that I have an iPad with 3G I wouldn't consider any other device. It would make the need for a gps obsolete, as there are a ton of gps and tracking apps. The only concern might be data usage in Europe when not on wifi. I have heard about cheapish temporary data plans out of England that might work and could probably be found if googled. The original iPad is being sold off for sale prices in some locations.
I have my iPad in the apple case, which fits in a padded sleeve and then a 2 gallon ziplock for pannier/backpack/dry bag travel.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2011, 10:14:46 pm »
RussSeaton, thanks for the info on the hub. I have a Breezer with the Older Shimano N30 and there is definately some drag. I was thinking of the Schmidt, for my Co-motion but I keep thinking of half the price on the Shimano. When riding with the Shimano 72 or the 80, did you notice any drag? Also thanks for the resource, Starbike.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2011, 09:36:16 am »
When riding with the Shimano 72 or the 80, did you notice any drag?

IMHO the drag fear is greatly overblown.  Couple of weeks ago I pulled out the bike with the '72 hub for a weekend ride.  37 miles later, including a climb of the local "mountain," I noticed I still had my light on from the evening ride a couple days earlier.  Took the other bike out the next day, and kept trying to turn the light off.  This bike doesn't even have a generator hub, but the Top Contact tires generated more buzz and drag than the hub with the headlight on the other bike with smoother tires.

Offline DebKirk

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2011, 12:47:06 am »
We have discovered that having a small, limited capability laptop is a nice thing to have. With an aircard, we can surf the net, look up technical data on repairs, upload and edit photos taken during the day, and of course get news and weather. The plus side of the little netbooks is that you can get 8-10 hours of use per battery charge, whereas our full size laptop was only good for 2 or 3. The absence of a disc drive in the little ones means no DVD movies at night.
We are convinced that if we were to venture out on a planned trip of over 4 or 5 days, we would  take a solar charger capable of charging up the notebook computer (a solar charger for your cell phone is a must in our opinion) and thereby charging anything that charges with a USB.
After 40, crashing does not hurt as much as getting up

Offline mikeedgar

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2011, 03:28:49 pm »
I have an iPad and plan to take it on my extended trip. It does not have 3G capability, but I'll be able to access the net via a Verison Hotspot. You can get them on eBay for about $90 and then Verison charges about $35 per month for web access. Verison seems to have the best coverage.

I looked at netbooks, but all the carriers wanted a 2 year contract or the monthly access rate was just ridiculous.

I hate typing on the iPad, so I bought a Zaggmate keyboard and cover. It is aluminum and so it is a perfect visual match to the iPdad. I'll put my iPad in a ziplock bag to keep it dry.

Offline Chuck_Harmon

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2011, 10:05:53 pm »
For me, part of the joy of bicycle touring is to relax, shut down and get away from being constantly in touch through all of my electronic gadgets.  I do travel with a cell phone (a basic one, not a smart phone) and that's about as much connectivity as I desire while out on tour.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2011, 10:50:45 pm »
After reading all the above, I still have no interest in carrying any electronic device other than the little speedometer on the handlebar and the point and shoot camera (that I don't know how to attach to the PC at home). At the end of the day all I need is a beer, a campfire, a good book and some conversation about the beauty of the day's ride.

Offline DaveB

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2011, 08:54:23 am »
One way to "keep in touch" without carrying a lot of heavy and expensive electronic gear is to use local libraries along the way.  Most have internet connected computers and will let non-members use them for a limited time at no charge.   You can check your e-mail and send mail to family and friends. 

Also, carry a thumb drive and use the library computer to download photos to it if your camera has limited capacity.   

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2011, 06:40:40 pm »
When riding with the Shimano 72 or the 80, did you notice any drag? Also thanks for the resource, Starbike.

No.  I have used the 70 Shimano generator hub on several 1200k and 1000k brevets and many shorter ones.  I never noticed any drag whether the light is on or off.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2011, 08:03:03 pm »
I love my iPad, etc.

Anecdotal addition: I recently finished a tour in northern California, 150 of us. Several iPads, couple of Kindle-like devices, a hundred smart phones, dozens of sophisticated bike-style GPS units, even a few laptops.
The tour team set up a charging station each night to satisfy the demand for energy. First night, a bunch of phones rang incoming calls and dozens of alarms went off. Annoying as heck. (note to tour operators: put a sign on your charging station reminding people to silence their devices.)

We had two digital casualties: an iPad was dropped destroying a corner of the glass and one Android phone got busted.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent