Touring - OLPC Laptop for touring?
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I know this is not the intended use for the laptop, but it might be a good option for the someone who wants a laptop on tour.
09-24-07, 05:46 PM
Sounds like a good idea, on a similar note the $100 (production cost) laptop, which may well be the same thing you link to, will be selling in quantities of two for $400. You get one laptop and the other is donated to a child in the developing world.
I wonder if they'd let you deliver it yourself.... on bike?
09-26-07, 12:58 AM
Hey, i was thinking this too. I'm definitely going to buy one. If you go to the website, you can sign up to get notified before they go on sale. Starts Nov. 16th.
Reminds me a bit of the Apple Newton. I'm thinking of doing the "donate one, buy one" thing too. Thanks for the heads-up!
Here is another option.
A lot of my circle of friends have gotten sucked into the development, and it looks like a pile of crap. I'm amused that they insisted for so long that they wouldn't sell them to the general public (poor non-white children only!), and then suddenly when no governments were taking them up on their minimum order of a million units that they made this public offer.
The thing's a brick and I wouldn't want to carry one around for a tour- if you want a linux machine for about the same price look at the Nokia n800 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_N800) . There's an active hacker/development community for it, if that's your thing.
09-28-07, 11:36 PM
I like the fact that it doesn't consume a lot of power. I would buy one for that reason alone if I was in the market for a computer. I doubt I'd take it on a tour. But I wouldn't carry a tablet either.
10-02-07, 08:47 PM
2nd 8bit's suggestion. http://www.mobiletechreview.com/Nokia-N800.htm
I try to keep my eyes open for what might best suit me as a take along computer for a future coast to coast. The OLPC was intriguing in some respects, but limited in others, e.g. the keyboard is reportedly too small for touch-typing. That would be the draw back on the Nokia N800 as well--lack of decent keyboard. I'm indebted to the post that mentioned the Eee PC http://eeepc.asus.com/en/ I wasn't familiar with it, but that appears to be just the ticket for my needs and I see New Egg has them just coming on the market this month for about $400. Looks like a great little machine!
11-06-07, 04:37 PM
In my personal opinion it sounds like the Asus Eee PC would be the best match for the kind of "travel computer" most bike tourers would be looking for (light weight, solid state Flash-based hard drive so less susceptible to vibration/impact damage, small, CHEAP). $399.
Like others have mentioned, the Nokia internet mini-tablets (N770, N800, N810) could work as well. They have similar advantages as the Asus, but they are smaller, they are *not* full-fledged computers (however the latest N810 does come with a slide-out thumb keyboard.) Newer models cost in the higher $300s, older ones should cost in the lower $200s or less.
Some folks have recommended the Nokia version of the "Blackberry" phone for travel computing / internet browsing / note-taking, etc.: The E61 and E61i (upgraded version). Has the advantage of also functioning as your cell phone so you don't need two gadgets. These should cost in the high $200s or low $300s.
Likewise, if you're aiming for a phone/computer combo, the latest US version of the N95 is hard to beat. It's got integrated GPS and mapping software, great high-speed internet (if you're on AT&T), or medium-speed internet (if you're on TMobile). Downside 1: for typing you'd need an exteral fold-up bluetooth keyboard. Downside 2: costs >$450.
Lastly, there's the OQO 2 -- a full-fledged Windows XP computer crammed in a tiny <1lb. package. Apparently the screen and keyboard are fantastic (as far as thumb boards and small screens go.) Most fully-capable computer available in a small package. Should be slightly bigger than the Nokia N800 internet tablets. Downside: costlier ($1299-1799 new). Used units should be available at somewhat lower prices (Used model 2s, I wouldn't recommend the model 1.) I'm personally holding out for an OQO 2 at $1000 or less, no luck yet though.
Sony has an OQO-esque little handheld computer too, the "UX" series. Similar overall design, higher resolution screen. Some have integrated 3G if you have the right type of phone plan/carrier. These are very similar in functionality, but most people don't like the keyboard as much. Used units should go for significantly less than the OQO on Craigslist/Ebay.
Hopes this helps?
I've been puzzling over what type of tiny computer to get for use on tour too... I'll post again if I actually get something.
11-06-07, 05:03 PM
I think a Windows Mobile Phone and a bluetooth foldable keyboard would be your best bet....way eaiser to protect.....next would be a Asus Eee PC....
11-08-07, 09:59 AM
the smartphone is ok for some things. I definitely wouldn't want to type out a blog entry on it or surf the web with any regularity. The upside is if you have a data plan, you can access email and the web anywhere you can get a signal (of course in most cases, you can pair a cellphone with a laptop to get access too).
Personally, I think the eee is way overpriced for what you get, but I must admit it is a slick little machine. Too gimped in its current form. Can't upgrade hard drive (soldered to mobo).
Nokia has the upgraded version of the 800 out, which is the 810 which includes GPS and a slide out qwerty keyboard (still too small like a smartphone). Also way too expensive (damn you crashing dollar!).
If the eee has drivers to pair cell phones (it is linux based, so it should be doable) that's probably the way to go. I'll just have to wait for a black one.
11-08-07, 03:11 PM
FWIW the Alphasmart Neo is probably the best option, if you do not already own a laptop and want a cheap word processor on tour. 3 AA batteries = 700 hours.
Personally I can't imagine why you'd want a full laptop on tour. Too heavy, too bulky, always needs power.
11-08-07, 05:52 PM
I used a Nokia E61i smartphone on my 10 week tour this summer. I brought along a folding bluetooth keyboard for typing up blog entries and replying to emails. I was pleasantly surprised at how many places I found free wi-fi to keep connected with folks back home. I liked the phone because it was very small (I could easily carry it in my handlebar bag) and I easily charged it with my folding solar panel. It's not quite as good at web browsing as a laptop would be, but it got the job done.
11-08-07, 05:56 PM
Skip the Sony Mylo.
Check out the iPod touch though.
Oh, and call this another vote for the EeePC.
My preference would be for the Sony UX (http://b2b.sony.com/Solutions/product/VGN-UX390N) series, followed by the cheaper but larger Asus R2H.
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