laptops and bike travelling

Posted by: peterkern

laptops and bike travelling - 05/21/06 08:37 PM

i just wonder if there is anybody out there who is travelling with a lap top and can tell me a bit about it

First is it worth it
secondly how pratical is it ( like do they break all the time )
which one would you recomment
where do you get the energy from etc
would be great to hear from somebody

Posted by: magnus

Re: laptops and bike travelling - 05/21/06 08:50 PM

Bikers here don't agree often, almost any topic is controversial, except this one (AFAIK): Don't take a notebook with you. They are heavy, require lots of space in your luggage, are expensive, break easily, are a frequent target for thieves etc. Unless you have a really really darn good reason to take it with you, don't. And if you do have to take it, get a panasonic toughbook smile
Posted by: Eizo1

Re: laptops and bike travelling - 05/22/06 06:45 PM

I have used one for the first time during a 3 weeks trip to the baltic states last year. As it has got a VERY SMALL form-factor (like a paperback-book) it is possible to keep it in the handlebar-bag - and therefore you have it with you most of the times when away from the bike. The device is a SONY U71, the tiniest thing running Windows XP on the market. Unfortunately it's not officially available in Europe, I got mine from a company in Germany importing them directly from Japan and who offer a great service (

It's great to have everything with you, sit in a restaurant and being able to check your mails (best if you can use a hot spot through integrated wireless), to prebook a hotel through Internet, have a real PC with a 30GB Disk for viewing and storing your digital photos or even typing your diary with the included foldable USB-keyboard. It's gonna be part of my standard equipment on bike-tours in future!

Need any more information? Check or

PS: A brand new Sony U has just been announced....
Posted by: acanay

Re: laptops and bike travelling - 06/03/06 01:25 AM

Originally posted by: peterkern

First is it worth it
secondly how pratical is it

1. no
2. not at all

why you want to take it ?
Posted by: marcbike

Re: laptops and bike travelling - 07/18/06 10:31 PM

Hi peterkern, I was traveling by bike 2 weeks with my laptop, Sony Vaio 10,6" quite small and not so heavy but not usefull I was more worried for my baggage than normal and in this 15 days I used no more than 2 hours.

Think were you will sleep and if you are going to hotels or hostels maybe you will give more use than me. But in campings I didn't used.

If you want to carry the laptop to download your photos you can do that in a good internet cofe's or in the photo shops for not so much money and more safety for your laptop.

I was carring my laptop during one short tour in Scotland to this time sleeping in Bed&Brekfast for work was so good but not to use internet was inpossible to find wireless and when i founded was with password so not usefull if you want to use internet neets to pay or hotels with the need or go to the internet or cibercafe.

My recomendations is, carry one usb stik, pendrive, mp3 player or similar and enjoy your music and when you can download from your camara the photos and enjoy.

I hope to be usefull

Marc wink
Posted by: mongoose

Re: laptops and bike travelling - 09/18/06 05:37 PM

It depends what you need to do with it.
There are some very light ultraportable laptops nowadays, but in most cases maybe a PDA can be enough.
I have just completed a 2 weeks trip, camping out most nights and I used a PDA and a cell phone to check emails, check weather for the next few days and mainly as a GPS navegator (with a bluetooth GPS). This was very handy to go across cities and when I didn´t have a clue where I was and where to go.
Now I am working on a ultralight flexible solar pannel to feed all these toys: PDA, cell phone and GPS
Posted by: Thums

Re: laptops and bike travelling - 05/27/07 12:21 PM

My recomendations is, carry one usb, pendrive, mp3 player or similar and enjoy your music and when you can download from your camera the photos and enjoy.

Posted by: joefab

Re: laptops and bike travelling - 01/08/08 07:09 PM

A cheap choice with low weight might be the Asus eee-pc . Since it uses flash memory as mass-storage device, it should be more robust then a (sub-)notebook, and its weight is less then 1kg. It is linux based, but a windows xp version has already been announced.

Unfortunatly the battery-lifetime is only 3-4h, so if you really want to be independent a PDA with an external keyboard might be a better choice. To some PDAs (like the LOOX 520/560) you can even attach USB-Keyboards.

Nokia has the internet tablet PCs N800/N810, which could be a good deal, either. The latter includes a keyboard and a gps-device, but I don't think that the keyboard is useful for writing longer texts like travel reports, so again it might be better to use the cheaper N800 in combitation with a bluetooth keyboard.
Posted by: Gerard-de

Re: laptops and bike travelling - 07/10/09 03:56 AM

Originally Posted By: peterkern
i just wonder if there is anybody out there who is travelling with a lap top and can tell me a bit about it

Yes i travell now 2 years with a laptop. I before a 12" hp now i have a 15"(16:9) Toshiba with me.

Originally Posted By: peterkern
First is it worth it

For me is the laptop inportant. I can check my banking account with it. Copy stuff(camera/GPS/films/music). Also I'm a g33k. So it was for me the first weeks without a laptop hard to life on the road...

Originally Posted By: peterkern
secondly how pratical is it ( like do they break all the time )
My first laptop broke the screen, because the wind pushed my bike on the side. The bag was wrong packed. Now i look that the laptop is in a extra bag. I bought this bag from Bolivia. Its thick material. So my laptop looks like new after a couple of months. Look that you have anything between the screen and the keyboard to preserve the screen for scratches. You need a waterproofed bag, if you don't have a waterproofed bike bag(ortlieb or so).

Originally Posted By: peterkern
which one would you recomment

I thing that question is not possible to answer. You have to decide what you need. You can buy a cheap one if you need the laptop only for write reports and surf in the internet... Look that you can install Linux(ubuntu 9.04) on your laptop. So you will have no problems with viruses, trojans and addware. You can install Windows to for programs that not exist in Linux(emulation with wine!)

Originally Posted By: peterkern
where do you get the energy from etc

I recharge my laptop in Hostels or I ask in restaurants or so. You can ask the owners of the house if you camp in the garden of a house. Police stations are also ok. Don't forget the schools.

Sometimes you can find open hotspots. You can hack the networks if you have the right wife card(monitoring), Don't forget that's illegal to hack in secured networks;)
Posted by: RXD82

Re: laptops and bike travelling - 09/10/09 07:24 AM

I've traveled with laptops for many years, and I crashed with a laptop in my saddlebags some years ago (on the side of the bike of course that had the laptop in it). It was carried in one of the flimsy aluminum hard cases which were already installed on the Enfield Bullet when I picked it up in Madras. It was okay because I had it packed it in a padded laptop case, then made sure it was cushioned by my clothes. (I was okay, except for my knee.)
Posted by: outbackjack

Re: laptops and bike travelling - 02/12/10 05:47 AM

If you really need to bring a laptop choose something light and pack it properly so It won't break.
Posted by: Sebastian Wevers

Re: laptops and bike travelling - 03/05/10 07:25 AM

I have travelled for many years with a Macbook. Cycled across Himalayas and Andes. On good roads and on bad. These Macbooks are the best. Now I travel very lightweight (only small backpack) on a single speed bicycle from Singapore to Shanghai with a Macbook Air. This is the ultimate laptop for bicycle travellers.
Posted by: Gündirwas

Re: laptops and bike travelling - 03/31/10 09:13 PM

Whether its is worth to use an laptop on your trip simply depends on you and the way you organize your life. Using the very small Panasonic ToughBook CF-W2 not only during my bicycle tours since four years, I avoid any paper note and channelled anything on this close to 1kg machine/ 12" screen like-
- the entire correspondance
- more than 1500 adresses with detailed information
- Photoshop CS4 for finishing the pictures shot day by day
- all maps for my GPS facility, thousands of prepared tracks and routes, being able to modify whenever I like to
- well performing wireless LAN, enabling to communicate and surf wherever I like to, cheap and fast

As the 1.2kgs machine includes it all, my bike bags save space and weight of papers like land maps, travelling books, adress list, definitely saving more than 1kg.

So referred to my person I revert your question in: How could I tour longer than few days without the Panasonic CF-W2. I admit it is expensive but worth. Although superseeded with the actual release...CF-W8, my good old one performs excellent after all crashes.

Decide yourself and take care.
Posted by: onrbikes

laptops bike travelling - 10/16/10 12:18 PM

I too love a mac, and on the last India trip lugged our ibook but at almost 3kg it was too big.

Enter the Dell mini10v. Have turned it into a 1kg netbook running OS10.6. I followed a few hackintosh websites. Its great!!!!!

That'll be for next years silk road trip.

Posted by: biopilz

Re: laptops bike travelling - 05/25/12 04:28 PM

sure! to be specific: use li-ion lipo balancer charger on a hub dynamo ...

got an asus eeepc 900 and an 900a, beside other equipment,
want to get charging possibilities for mobile use: charge at my bike...
see for more...

nabendynamo, lithium-akkus, balancer, laden, equipment, lampen, gps, netbooks, english