Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Senior Member Bentley6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Winchester, Il.
    My Bikes
    Many
    Posts
    169
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Acer Aspire One Computer question

    I'm thinking about purchasing the Aspire One Netbook for my tour next year. My local Walmart has it for $289. It has XP Home, 1GB memory, 160GB hard drive but only a 3 cell 2.5 hour battery. Other than the battery life I think this would be a good purchase for the trip. Do any of you have any advice about this computer? I'd like to upgrade the battery to at least a 6 cell and possibly add an extra 1 GB of memory. Also how is the best way to transport it on the bike to give the computer a safer and smoother ride? Do you think it would ride better in a front pannier or a rear? My touring bike does have front suspension on it so that might absorb some of the bumps. Thanks for any advice you have.

    Mark

  2. #2
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    on my bike between North and South
    My Bikes
    which one?
    Posts
    2,364
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am just on my way to the post office to send ours in to the repair shop - it died two days ago. That being said, we've carried it all the way down to Colombia from Wyoming, so I guess it's pretty durable. We carry ours in a memory foam case and pack it flat in the BOB with lots of padding. It seems to do OK with that.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Cambridge UK
    Posts
    440
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you're travelling within the States, I'd sack that idea and rely on an iPhone and internet cafes. If you're travelling outside of the US, just use internet cafes. Is there a pressing reason for you to take a computer with you on a cycle tour? Me, I'd prefer to travel light and break as many of the chains that bind me to my 'normal' life as possible!

  4. #4
    getting bent Engyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    My Bikes
    2008 Rans V3, 1984 Trek 620
    Posts
    241
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bentley6 View Post
    I'm thinking about purchasing the Aspire One Netbook for my tour next year. My local Walmart has it for $289. It has XP Home, 1GB memory, 160GB hard drive but only a 3 cell 2.5 hour battery. Other than the battery life I think this would be a good purchase for the trip. Do any of you have any advice about this computer? I'd like to upgrade the battery to at least a 6 cell and possibly add an extra 1 GB of memory. Also how is the best way to transport it on the bike to give the computer a safer and smoother ride? Do you think it would ride better in a front pannier or a rear? My touring bike does have front suspension on it so that might absorb some of the bumps. Thanks for any advice you have.

    Mark
    Hi, Mark -

    One thing that might make a difference is to find oen with a solid state hard drive - they are more expensive + less capacity, but they are much more tolerant of vibration and shock than a "standard" hard drive. If you don't expect to need too many GB of memory, this could be an option.
    Namaste, Engyo
    2008 Rans V3 - steel steed
    1984 Trek 620 - old warhorse

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bentley6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Winchester, Il.
    My Bikes
    Many
    Posts
    169
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Al Downie View Post
    If you're travelling within the States, I'd sack that idea and rely on an iPhone and internet cafes. If you're travelling outside of the US, just use internet cafes. Is there a pressing reason for you to take a computer with you on a cycle tour? Me, I'd prefer to travel light and break as many of the chains that bind me to my 'normal' life as possible!
    The main reason would be to update a journal or blog every night if possible on the road. Don't know how many internet cafe's I'll be able to run across thru lower Nebraska then back across central Kansas.

  6. #6
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,359
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you want to update while actually doing the ride, I'd recommend an iPhone over a netbook -- that is, if AT&T has decent coverage out there. Less weight, fairly robust. It should be more than capable of updating a blog, and even taking photos on the iPhone & uploading them. Keep in mind that if you use a netbook and want to update while traveling, you still have to figure out a way to connect to the Internet. Not a problem if you are staying hotels, tougher if you are camping.

    If you still prefer a netbook, I agree that a solid state drive will be a little more robust. Make sure to turn off the wireless network card when you don't need it -- wifi will chew through your battery life. Extra ram will help.

    I'd also do what you can to try it in person. I wound up with a Dell Mini 9, which works fine for my purposes but the keyboard is a little cramped.

    As far as protection, a padded sleeve (or a cheap equivalent) should be sufficient.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    My Bikes
    Cervelo RS, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Schwinn Typhoon, Nashbar touring, custom steel MTB
    Posts
    5,089
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    If you want to update while actually doing the ride, I'd recommend an iPhone over a netbook -- that is, if AT&T has decent coverage out there. Less weight, fairly robust. It should be more than capable of updating a blog, and even taking photos on the iPhone & uploading them. Keep in mind that if you use a netbook and want to update while traveling, you still have to figure out a way to connect to the Internet. Not a problem if you are staying hotels, tougher if you are camping.
    I took my iPhone with my on my recent Pacific Coast tour, but left my laptop at home. The iPhone is great for short (think: Twitter-length) updates. I use my iPhone frequently, but still can't type quickly and accurately enough that I'd want to use the phone to regularly write blog-length text. The camera on the iPhone is also fairly limited. As a photographer, I find my iPhone 3G's camera frustrating when compared to the digital P&S or digital SLR that I normally use.

    A netbook has the advantage of a real keyboard and the ability to download, edit, and post pictures from just about any digital camera. Many netbooks have built-in or add-on 3G wireless modems, so connecting to the Internet from a netbook isn't necessarily any more difficult than it is from an iPhone.

  8. #8
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,423
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bentley6 View Post
    I'm thinking about purchasing the Aspire One Netbook for my tour next year. My local Walmart has it for $289. It has XP Home, 1GB memory, 160GB hard drive but only a 3 cell 2.5 hour battery. Other than the battery life I think this would be a good purchase for the trip. Do any of you have any advice about this computer? I'd like to upgrade the battery to at least a 6 cell and possibly add an extra 1 GB of memory. Also how is the best way to transport it on the bike to give the computer a safer and smoother ride? Do you think it would ride better in a front pannier or a rear? My touring bike does have front suspension on it so that might absorb some of the bumps. Thanks for any advice you have.

    Mark
    Asus seems to have a better reputation than Acer, and they make some great netbooks.

    The 10.1" screen size is a bit small for some people. I took a serious look at them, and compared them with slightly larger screens. Even the jump to 11-12" screens is a big improvement, for some people at least.

    Netbooks have some other limitations as well, including slow processors and no DVD drive, and more limited RAM than most small notebook computers.

    There is a small notebook made by HP (the dv2) that is about as small and light as the netbooks, but is more full featured. There is a professional reviewer who kept mentioning the dv2 in his reviews of netbooks, suggesting that people have a look at it before pulling the trigger on a netbook. It has a much better screen, and comes with an external DVD drive, faster processor, and more RAM.

    If battery life is important, there are some other netbooks (including highly rated models from ASUS and Toshiba) that have 8+ hour battery life, and some slimmed-down, lightweight (13.3") notebooks that also have very long battery life.

    Toshiba and ASUS have models that consistently turn up at the top of the reviewers' ratings of netbooks.

    And some of the smaller notebooks might be worth considering.

    If you want to go really small, there are more compact machines than the netbooks.

    Some cyclotourists value going ultra-light (or ultra-compact or ultra-simple) more than others. Some carry full-sized laptops; others balk at carrying a Blackberry.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 10-03-09 at 04:12 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Cambridge UK
    Posts
    440
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    Some cyclotourists value going ultra-light (or ultra-compact or ultra-simple) more than others. Some carry full-sized laptops; others balk at carrying a Blackberry.
    I expect this has been done in another thread which I've missed, and I'm sorry for going slightly off-topic, but for me it's not about weight, or space, or simplicity. It's about trying to escape from as much of my everyday life as possible. Having a computer (or phone) in my bag would make me feel too close to home!

  10. #10
    eternalvoyage
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,423
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Al Downie View Post
    I expect this has been done in another thread which I've missed, and I'm sorry for going slightly off-topic, but for me it's not about weight, or space, or simplicity. It's about trying to escape from as much of my everyday life as possible. Having a computer (or phone) in my bag would make me feel too close to home!
    I hear this. Sometimes I don't want a phone or a computer or anything else that ties me to the world (certain worlds at least).

    I want to be free of it. Communication devices keep me tied.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,565
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We have an Acer Aspire One, and it worked well on a 450 mile tour this summer. We have the 16 GB solid state HD for all the reason stated above. It is great for downloading pictures,uploading to our blog site, and checking weather. We also got the 6 hr. battery which adds a little weight. I really didn't mind the extra weight at all-- my wife carrried it! She put it in her rear pannier, padded in a neoprene case and clothes. It weathered the trip with with no trouble. I wish I could say that about my front wheel. If you want something with a "real" keyboard it is a nice little machine. The solid state HD is a little slower than the 160 or 180GB, but how much speed and capacity do you need?

    I have seen dogs, mandolins, guitars, folding chairs, and a cast iron frying pan loaded on a touring bike. People in this forum talk about carrying hatchets, survival knives, large tents, and 35 mm tires, all of which weigh about as much as a netbook. I think a small netbook has a lot more utilitarian value on a bike tour than a hatchet of rambo knife. Like every other aspect of bike touring "extra" weight is a personal preference
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Grants Pass, Oregon
    My Bikes
    Hard Rock Sport, Peugeot Triathlon, Schwinn Paramount Series 7
    Posts
    671
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    On my Pacific Coast tour last year I kept my journal updated daily with a phone, and I wrote a lot. It worked, but typing with my thumbs and trying to scroll through large web pages with that little screen can be very tedious and time consuming. I would have killed for a netbook.

    A couple I met and rode with on that tour ended up buying an Aspire One and used it all the way to Tierra del Fuego. They loved it and highly recommended it. They had the 16 gig solid state drive with some flavor of Linux as the OS. They also had a 16gig SD card in it, I beleive. They said finding WIFI was not a problem at all, and I believe they bought the thing in Mexico and used it all the way through Central and South America. I asked them why they didn't just continue to use Internet Cafes and they said they got tired of riding into a town after days on the road, then spending hours upon hours in front of a computer inputting their blog and catching up with business when they would have preferred to mill around the town and find out about the local flavor. With the netbook they could do most of the writing offline, little by little, as they went, then upload it when they had WIFI.

    I can understand why others want to cut the ties to technology when they tour, but it isn't practical or desireable for me, especially when I'm going to be gone for a month or more. For one thing, I still have bills to pay and finances to deal with that don't go away while I'm touring. For another, I love having the ability to research the areas I'm in or am headed, check weather updates, get the latest news for the areas I'm headed, as well as to keep in touch with friends and family.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •