Touring - Carrying a netbook on tour?
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08-06-09, 12:41 PM
I have a 10" Asus EEE netbook I want to pack on me for long distance tours. Anyone else done this? IF so what did you use as a case? I have looked at everything from generic $10 sleeves up to a waterproof pelican hard case that weighs over 2 pounds. Any suggestions?
08-06-09, 01:22 PM
Can't you just wrap it up in your clothes and pack it in the middle of your pannier? No case needed.
08-06-09, 01:36 PM
If it was me I would use a neoprene sleeve (you know, the ones that are like a wet suit) and additionally pad it with some clothes in a pannier. If you don't trust the pannier to be dry put it in a big ziplock bag.
That said the netbooks are more than I am willing to carry and with a 2 pound Pelican case it would be way too heavy to suit me. I do take a little 7 or 8 ounce Nokia N800, but it weighs the same as a paper journal and a pen and serves more functions than the pen and paper. The N800 worked out very well for me especially since it takes the same SD memory as my camera making it easy to upload pictures.
08-06-09, 01:41 PM
I followed these instructions, using a VERY thin piece of foam and lots of duct tape. Computer (w/regular HD, not solid state) survived 2 months of road touring with a few hours of of gravel road.
08-06-09, 01:47 PM
Something like this is what I had in mind:
There are a variety of brands and styles and they are usually fairly cheap.
08-06-09, 03:08 PM
My old 9" Fujitsu (a "netbook" from the days before they invented the word "netbook") has survived 100+ days of touring over 5 years simply wrapped in a homemade bubble-wrap envelope carried in my handlebar bag.
And really, I think the pouch is even mostly psychological comfort for me rather than any protection for the computer. It's just a flat piece of bubble-wrap taped together to make a form-fitting sleeve. The bubbles tend to flatten over the course of a tour, and though it maybe could add a little water resistance, but it's certainly not waterproof. My water-resistant handlebar bag w/ raincover takes care of that aspect. I like the easy accessibility where I can slide it out of the sleeve on the side of the road and have it up-and-running in seconds to check a turn or the location of the library.
You won't be able to fit a 10" eee into a handlebar bag though, so I agree with others, just throw it in with your clothes, maybe inside a Ziploc if you don't do a great job of keeping water out of your bags.
08-06-09, 03:17 PM
We are using a case made of memory foam and then packing it around clothes and stuff. It's worked well for nearly 10,000 miles so far.
08-06-09, 03:19 PM
the case it came with should be enough for general protection...
then i'd just put it in a 2-gallon Ziplock freezer bag and save some change for the road!
p.s. if i were to carry a 'net-capable device, it would be my Nokia N800 or an N810 w/built-in GPS (both have the same MP web cam built in)
08-06-09, 03:21 PM
Why not stitch a sleeve on the inner part of your pannier (near the wheel) so that the netbook is suspended a couple inches from the bottom and the sides? Then all you have to do is pack your soft clothing and such around it. Putting a little flap or snap on the top of the sleeve would shed any water or debris. Maybe put a little foam on the inside surface if you think there is a chance you'd lay the bike down.
08-06-09, 03:23 PM
I take my netbook with me on a lot of rides... I just pack it with my weather gear in it's sleeve cover and it has been fine.
08-06-09, 03:25 PM
Whatever it is, saltwater (your sweat) is absolutely the worst thing to get inside electronic components, so make sure it's water-tight.
08-06-09, 03:33 PM
these are great - toughest, most shock-absorbing thing i've found in a minimalist, lightweight design
all of the cheaper notebook sleeves i saw had foam that was too thin/soft to absorb much shock - they tended to be heavy/bulky too.
shinza zeroshock - i got mine from this guy at ebay, he had the best price i could find too
the pocket will hold a small (laptop) mouse, flat-ish items only - my charger doesn't actually fit in it well (i have a toshiba, not a asus, yours might be different)
I've ridden with computers in netbook form factor before there were netbooks (and before they were as inexpensive...for example a 10" Sony Vaio around Australia in 2001. I've used foam padding inside a large ziplock bag. On the Australia trip, the disk drive eventually went - but on similar trip across Russia with new smaller Vaio in 2007, all survived some rough roads. Since then I've also taken a real netbook through ~2000 miles in foam padding and ziplock bag without problems.
I normaly use a ziplock for this kind of thing. I once was horsing around with glad ziplocks, and I had one inflated like a pillow, and for a joke sat on it. I weigh over 200 pounds. Sure, the bag burst almost immediately, but it supported me for a second. I was pretty surprised at how strong it was.
08-06-09, 09:35 PM
I did this on my last tour with a Samsung NC10. It was actually so I could do work on the train to/from the start of the tour - sick, I know. I had a brilliant solution for a waterproof cover: the drybag from my Exped Downmat. The downmat itself is waterproof (ie, doesn't need to be stored in the drybag), but you use the drybag to inflate it with. It was a really good fit.
I stored it on the inside of one of the panniers, vertically. That way, it got a bit of extra shock absorption, and survived some pretty rough roads.
We've found a waterproof plastic container for our Asus eee 901 plus the sleeve cover it came with and enough extra room on the side for the cable. You can check out their catalogue below. We have also added a few silica gel sacks for good measure.
08-07-09, 08:53 AM
I did this on my last tour with a Samsung NC10. It was actually so I could do work on the train to/from the start of the tour - sick, I know. ....
No, that's the only reason I carried my computer on my last tour - so I could take care of stuff at work, thus enabling the tour.
08-08-09, 06:54 AM
We've been carrying that exact computer since Singapore, about 8 months now, and we have it in a soft case from a company called SF Bags (SFbags.com). I don't think you need any special protection, just something to keep the dust and dirt off it. We tend to make sure it's tightly packed as well so it doesn't wiggle around.
08-08-09, 03:57 PM
I carried my Asus Eee PC 900--the one with the solid state drive--in my front Ortleib Sport Packer pannier down the west side of the Olympic Pennisula in the rain and then further down the Pacific Coast mostly in the rainy fog to San Francisco. It and the charger were just thrown in along with a few clothes. No problema. I was careful about opening the pannier when it was wet.
08-09-09, 03:58 PM
I take my giant and archaic Tecra A3 (must weigh 5 lbs) with me and just wrap it in a pair of fleece pants inside an Ortlieb. Been through some nasty rainstorms without probs. Had the bag torn off several times and crashed several times but no damage. It's also good because if it gets cold my ass won't freeze....because of th' pants ya know.
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