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Old 16-03-2013, 17:46
DeelyBopper
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Hopefully going abroad on extended vacation this year.

I'm a avid PCer. Not a day goes by that I don't use the main PC for something or other.

I'm considering my options while I'm abroad.

Buying a PC while out there is out of the budget I think.

I'm willing to compromise that I won't get loads of functionality while away (such as gaming I'll do without) but I do need basic Internet access.

Seems to be tons of stuff available and I'm having a tough time narrowing down the choice.

What about iPads, some of the Chromebooks look cheap?
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Old 16-03-2013, 17:56
!!11oneone
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I took my macbook travelling with me. A tablet would do basics, but with a laptop you'd be able to download movies and tv more easily, edit and manipulate photos and video etc.

Tablets do all of this, but to a generally more basic level. I also knew I'd miss a keyboard for months if I was typing blogs and emails etc

I'd rule out a Chromebook, simply because depending on where you are you might need more offline functionality than it provides.

So I'd go with a small, light laptop. Not a netbook but a Macbook Air or similar sized (and cheaper) Windows clone.
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Old 16-03-2013, 18:04
IvanIV
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I bought a Series 9 Samsung ultrabook lately, the best laptop I ever used. Might not be in your budget, though. If you want a tablet, an Android one would be cheaper than anything from Apple. Not having a physical keyboard can be annoying though. Netbooks, do they still exist? They used to be quite underpowered anything more than a browser challenged them. Not a fan of chromebooks, they seem too restrictive for me, they basically have just some stripped down Linux and a Chrome browser on them.
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Old 16-03-2013, 18:11
DeelyBopper
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I took my macbook travelling with me. A tablet would do basics, but with a laptop you'd be able to download movies and tv more easily, edit and manipulate photos and video etc.

Tablets do all of this, but to a generally more basic level. I also knew I'd miss a keyboard for months if I was typing blogs and emails etc

I'd rule out a Chromebook, simply because depending on where you are you might need more offline functionality than it provides.

So I'd go with a small, light laptop. Not a netbook but a Macbook Air or similar sized (and cheaper) Windows clone.
Gulp. I just looked up MacBook Air on Amazon. Way out of my budget. If I had that, I'd probably buy a cheap PC and install it in the room I'll be renting.

I bought a Series 9 Samsung ultrabook lately, the best laptop I ever used. Might not be in your budget, though. If you want a tablet, an Android one would be cheaper than anything from Apple. Not having a physical keyboard can be annoying though. Netbooks, do they still exist? They used to be quite underpowered anything more than a browser challenged them. Not a fan of chromebooks, they seem too restrictive for me, they basically have just some stripped down Linux and a Chrome browser on them.
Netbooks from my limited reading seem maybe underpowered. I'm going to read up on the ultrabooks! How do they differ from a regular laptop?

I'm also considering a tablet, something like Asus Google Nexus 7 Inch 3G.

I have to consider how I'm going to access the net. I'm assuming I need to buy a mobile dongle while there?
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Old 16-03-2013, 18:27
IvanIV
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Netbooks from my limited reading seem maybe underpowered. I'm going to read up on the ultrabooks! How do they differ from a regular laptop?

I'm also considering a tablet, something like Asus Google Nexus 7 Inch 3G.

I have to consider how I'm going to access the net. I'm assuming I need to buy a mobile dongle while there?
Ultrabooks are very light, usually without an optical drive, often high-end specced. My Samsung S9 is 13'' and weighs ~1kg, very easy to carry around. You can often get an ultrabook with a simcard slot, which simplifies things. But they tend to be very expensive. About mobile dongle abroad, depends where you are going, it can be quite expensive, you may be better off with free Wi-Fi in restaurants and such, if you don't need to be always online.
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Old 16-03-2013, 18:55
ibatten
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G
Netbooks from my limited reading seem maybe underpowered.
I carried assorted Netbooks, mostly a Dell Mini 9, as travelling machines for some years. Mostly they were running Solaris (hardly famed for its small footprint) but in later years I hackintoshed a Mini 9. It depends which matters more when you're travelling: being light, small and cheap enough that loss or damage isn't the end of the world, or being a rootin' tootin' high performance machine.
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Old 16-03-2013, 19:03
DeelyBopper
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Ultrabooks are very light, usually without an optical drive, often high-end specced. My Samsung S9 is 13'' and weighs ~1kg, very easy to carry around. You can often get an ultrabook with a simcard slot, which simplifies things. But they tend to be very expensive. About mobile dongle abroad, depends where you are going, it can be quite expensive, you may be better off with free Wi-Fi in restaurants and such, if you don't need to be always online.
Having read abit more. UItrabooks might be over specced for my needs.

I will take advantage of wifi whereever possible but might need a solution for the rented room. AFAIK doesn't have broadband. Unless I can persuade one of the neighbours to let me piggy onto their network (which I'd be happy to pay for).

I carried assorted Netbooks, mostly a Dell Mini 9, as travelling machines for some years. Mostly they were running Solaris (hardly famed for its small footprint) but in later years I hackintoshed a Mini 9. It depends which matters more when you're travelling: being light, small and cheap enough that loss or damage isn't the end of the world, or being a rootin' tootin' high performance machine.
Leaning more towards low spec than high (as I can live without some of the features or uses that would require something powerful).

Basic web access so I can look up things to do, where I'm going, reviews, e-mail so I can stay in touch with people on the cheap, maps would be very helpful, store some photos etc. Anything else is a bonus.
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Old 16-03-2013, 21:08
oilman
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Have you considered how you will access web. You can pay a fortune if you connect via a uk mobile. If you dont have free or cheap wifi access the bwat approach is to buy a usb data dongle from local mobile phone companies.

Some uk mobiles are offering deals for international data roaming which may be ok for simple surfing emails etc. Downloadiing and watching videos can use a lot of data.

Always turn data roaming off on your mobile.
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Old 16-03-2013, 21:23
Stig
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It depends on what you want.

A friend of ours went roughing it in South America, and she took a 250 Samsung netbook with her. She found it ideal as it was small and light to carry. She had an external drive to watch DVDs, and could catch up on email at wifi hotspots.

If you take anything too expensive with you it will get lost/broken/stolen.
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Old 16-03-2013, 21:31
DeelyBopper
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Have you considered how you will access web. You can pay a fortune if you connect via a uk mobile. If you dont have free or cheap wifi access the bwat approach is to buy a usb data dongle from local mobile phone companies.

Some uk mobiles are offering deals for international data roaming which may be ok for simple surfing emails etc. Downloadiing and watching videos can use a lot of data.

Always turn data roaming off on your mobile.
I was thinking of buying a local payg sim for a mobile phone and also a local data solution. I think they would be the cheapest options so far as I know.

It depends on what you want.

A friend of ours went roughing it in South America, and she took a 250 Samsung netbook with her. She found it ideal as it was small and light to carry. She had an external drive to watch DVDs, and could catch up on email at wifi hotspots.

If you take anything too expensive with you will get lost/broken/stolen.
About 250 is probably all Iwould want to spend and feel comfortable.

I think I've ruled out Tablets now as I want to do a blog and do more writing and therefore need a keyboard.

It looks to be a matter of the best laptop I can get for 250.
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Old 17-03-2013, 01:30
evil c
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You're not going to get much for 250. The trouble with low spec is that processing power will be very weak and this may well drive you nuts after a while. I've had a good look around at what's on offer at the moment. As you say there's a vast choice, but at lower prices most of them are pretty poor in my opinion and this laptop, the Acer Aspire E1-571 i3-3110 seems the best deal to me. It's slightly ouside your budget, but it attracts some good reviews and this one is an 'open box' but with a 12 month guarantee at 300: http://www.simplyacer.com/Open_Box_-...1_1356040.html. You can buy it new as well from Acer Direct for 318: http://www.acerdirect.co.uk/Acer_E1-...01/version.asp

Reviews: http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/lapto...-aspire-e1-571 and http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-...k.88806.0.html
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Old 17-03-2013, 09:18
IvanIV
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You may have a look at netbooks after all. You get a low price, they are small thus very portable. The drawback is a low computing power. But it's enough for browsing, emails and blogging.
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Old 17-03-2013, 10:14
DeelyBopper
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You're not going to get much for 250. The trouble with low spec is that processing power will be very weak and this may well drive you nuts after a while. I've had a good look around at what's on offer at the moment. As you say there's a vast choice, but at lower prices most of them are pretty poor in my opinion and this laptop, the Acer Aspire E1-571 i3-3110 seems the best deal to me. It's slightly ouside your budget, but it attracts some good reviews and this one is an 'open box' but with a 12 month guarantee at 300: http://www.simplyacer.com/Open_Box_-...1_1356040.html. You can buy it new as well from Acer Direct for 318: http://www.acerdirect.co.uk/Acer_E1-...01/version.asp

Reviews: http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/lapto...-aspire-e1-571 and http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-...k.88806.0.html
You may have a look at netbooks after all. You get a low price, they are small thus very portable. The drawback is a low computing power. But it's enough for browsing, emails and blogging.
Thanks guys, really appreciate the effort you put in there Evil!

I spent a good while reading up reviews and all the varieties open to me.

You're right that I was thinking Netbooks would drive me mental after a while. I'm used to speedy computing (main is i5 3570k with 8Gb memory).

But having not experienced a Netbook firsthand, I don't know how slow they are. It may well be a case of if they will do the job then I'll have to get used to it.

I could as with anything always speed more cash at it but then I really should bare in mind that the primary use will just be for the holiday (even though it might be 3 months) after that, when I get home I have all the computing I need.

It does appear that to get up to the rung of a basic laptop I need to jump to 300 pounds plus. I'm assuming you get alot more power per pound at this level compared to a Netbook?

I could do with going to try a Netbook out and see if it is something I can live with.
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Old 17-03-2013, 11:45
!!11oneone
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I'd go with a a Nexus 7 above a netbook, if price is that much of an issue.
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Old 17-03-2013, 11:47
Dark 1
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I bought my 11" MacBook Air second hand off eBay specifically to take with me on holiday. A tablet might have sufficed, but decided to go with the Air because I can make better use of that afterwards. Goes everywhere with me now in my rucksack.
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Old 17-03-2013, 13:45
TheBigM
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Get a chrome book for that money
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Old 17-03-2013, 13:58
whoever,hey
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What do you need to be able to do on the device you get?

Dont chrome books just surf the web? Maybe a problem for travelling with no wifi hotspots. I'd recommend a tablet because of the apps you get on them.
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Old 17-03-2013, 17:06
DeelyBopper
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What do you need to be able to do on the device you get?
E-mail

Web access (ideally I'd be able to run youTube videos at 480p or 360p)

It will act as my only computer while away (I'll be taking a 'phone).

I'll need to do some writing / blogging with ability to upload and process pictures from either my mobile or dedicated camera. I don't mean process as in Photoshop, just the ability to store, post them to blog, attach to e-mail or maybe resize to smaller format (for web).

If it could playback avi that would be a bonus as I could allow for some entertainment.
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Old 17-03-2013, 17:16
!!11oneone
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I'd get a tablet, not least because you'll use it when you get back.

There'll almost certainly be a net cafe if you need to do other stuff anyway
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Old 18-03-2013, 09:45
DeelyBopper
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I have seen this at the Argos Outlet:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ASUS-11-6-...item4d0a7cc993

Thoughts?
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