Computer suitable for outback travel

Submitted: Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 13:43
ThreadID: 77205 Views:3261 Replies:16 FollowUps:4
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We are planning a trip around Australia in a Jurgen stargazer. We have only been on short trips so far; have never had a van before. We have never used a laptop before and are not familiar with their use, thus I am looking at laptops suitable for use in the outback. The one I have looked at is one of the latest Toshiba's with a TV tuner in it. Do I need a satellite dish connected to it to watch TV on the computer, or just some sort of an aerial? Will a solar gorilla recharge the battery of this laptop directly if we do not have access to AC power? Thanks
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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 13:49

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 13:49
We find the Toshiba Satellite the most popular to take the knocks of rough road travel. We use NextG internet through a small Telstra modem which plugs in to the laptop USB port and requires no external power source. The computer runs and charges from a 12 v power source with cig plug. We can play DVDs through the laptop, but do not watch television.

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 13:52

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 13:52
Did you see this similar question asked a few days ago Kaybee? Lots of answers there

which laptop thread
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Reply By: kaybee07 - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 14:06

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 14:06
Thank you. No, I missed it. This is the first time I have joined the site. Do you have an item number for it, so that I can look it up please?
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Follow Up By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 14:40

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 14:40
click on the blue underlined link "which laptop thread" in motherhen's reply, it will take you traight to it.
regards
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Reply By: kaybee07 - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 14:46

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 14:46
Thank you, what an interesting forum. Does anyone know anything about Toshiba Qosmio F60/00Y and using the TV tuner? We haven't bought anything yet. Just looking. The replies for Glenda was very informative.
AnswerID: 410492

Reply By: Rossco 09 - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 14:53

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 14:53
From experience (10+ years) Toshiba's have always handled the knocks with good humor. Particularly the Tecra series (but hey they are a business line which = twice the price).

Best example from a far away desert land; a girl had poured hot chocolate through her Tecra 8200 so we stripped it down, hosed it off and let it dry for a day in the full sun. It worked fine.

JMHO.
AnswerID: 410493

Reply By: kaybee07 - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 15:38

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 15:38
Thanks, that was one on my list to look at.
AnswerID: 410499

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 15:50

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 15:50
I've been using Toshiba Satellites since the early nineties for digital mapping, just upgrade every few years. I've never broken one despite many thousands of k's of corrugated roads. When we get home I just blow the dust out with an air hose and wipe it down.
All except the last/current one were secondhand to start with, mostly with an indeterminate history but none ever gave any trouble.
The current one is a basic $550 jobbie with inbuilt wireless, DVD player etc and we connect to the net via Telstra Next G.
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Reply By: DIO - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 16:54

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 16:54
If you intend to watch TV off your laptop you will need an external TV antennae in order to get a decent signal. Make sure that the tuner also has the capacity to tune into analogue as digital TV is very questionable once you move away from the major cities. As for satellite TV you will need an appropriate dish, cables, monitor and receiver. These can be purchased as a package. Suggest you read some of the archive threads on this forum in order to get an overview on the hows, whys and wherefores etc. This LINK will help you to understand some aspects.

In general, TV, unless it is satellite is hit and miss when in most country areas. Satellite is far superior once you master setting up etc. Good luck.
AnswerID: 410511

Reply By: kaybee07 - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 17:01

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 17:01
Thanks Peter.
What sort of vacuum cleaner do you use if you don't have 240 volt?
AnswerID: 410513

Reply By: kaybee07 - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 17:08

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 17:08
Thanks DIO.
I had already looked at that site. The computer we are looking at has an integrated TV tuner digital/analogue, but not knowing what else one needed with it to make it work in the bush - resulted in me seeking advice in forum.
Cheers
AnswerID: 410514

Reply By: mikehzz - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 18:55

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 18:55
Hello,
I work in computers and deal with a lot of laptops. Toshiba's are good and I prefer the Satellite or Tecra. I'm not a fan of the Qosmio. I've had a few that froze for no real reason where the others have benn fine. Tv on the laptop is good in theory but the aerial needs to be really good. How good a picture do you get at home if you unplug your roof antenna and plug in a little indoor one? It depends how far you are from the transmitter. On the road you are usually a long way from anything. Satellite reception is expensive and requires more equipment than a laptop I'm afraid.
Mike
AnswerID: 410531

Reply By: kaybee07 - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 20:06

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 20:06
Thanks Mike,
Sounds like I am back to a Satellite or a Tecra

Are there any that have Intel core i.7 .2.66/3.33Ghz, good pixel screen - one fellow from forum recommended 1680 x 1050 being good for photos, a good daylight screen. For someone who knows nothing, I am learning fast.

I also want to be on the computer for live video classroom streaming that goes for 3 hours a session. Do you know how much gig would that use in one session? I have just bought a telstra turbo wireless thingo, but have no idea how much to put on it or what plan to buy.

Do you know if the solar gorilla by powertraveller can charge either of the two mentioned Toshiba's directly?

Cheers
AnswerID: 410549

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 09:29

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 09:29
You certainly wont need an i7 chip to do what you want.

I think the salesman is just selling you what he wants you to have cos there is more in it for him

An i7 at the moment is horrendously expensive and a cheaper i3 is about 3 beats of a flys wings slower and several hundred dollars cheaper.

Go to a specialist computer shop not a chainstore that sells you what they want you to have.


A friend of mine is into flight sims and is running Flight Sim X on an i3 and says it runs scenery and everything at the max no trouble

You will need plenty of bandwidth to be on streaming for that long everyday.

The lappys have batteries and are normally charged off the power supply that comes with them dont think you would use anything else

No lappy screen is good enough to use outside in direct sunlight and try and get one that DOESNT have a shiny surface



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Reply By: kaybee07 - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 11:55

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 11:55
Thanks Graham.
What is band width? I only want to live stream maybe twice a week, but still for the same length of time. As I said, I know nothing about laptops - or computers really. I turn on the switch at home and it works!!!!!!!!!

Unlike my adult children, I have not had a great exposure to the world of computers.

Thanks for the info, every little bit helps. At least I will have some questions to ask when I go to the shop, even if it is to ask what different things mean and what is the difference between this and that.
AnswerID: 410642

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 12:37

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 12:37
Bandwidth is the speed of your internet connection.

A fast computer doesnt mean fast internet. Its the speed of the modem that governs that


Any old machine is basically good enough for email etc. Its what you do off line that you need the speedier machine for.

As I said the i7 is the top of the line and very expensive.

Ask your kids They will have a nerdy friend who knows what to ask for.

Dont believe a salesperson They will sell you whatever they make the most out of.

My daughter worked for one of the big stores and she left because they were told "Sell these this week".

People like you who are novices are prime targets for this.

Where are you I only know good shops in Brisbane.



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FollowupID: 680533

Reply By: vk1dx - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 14:40

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 14:40
Just be a ware that when you are travelling and log on anywhere you could be telling the world that your house is empty.

Read thread 77227

Phil
AnswerID: 410662

Reply By: kaybee07 - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 14:50

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 14:50
We are in Perth Mike. Thanks for the advice Phil - house always full. That's why we are going away.......
AnswerID: 410663

Reply By: kaybee07 - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 14:52

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 14:52
Sorry Graham H. We are in Perth.
AnswerID: 410664

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 13:06

Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010 at 13:06
I notice today in a Auspost flyer that HP notebooks are for sale at$1199

They have an i5 430 chip 2 gig ram 500gig HDD wifi and win7 1 gig dedicated graphics


Would say it will do what you want and despite my not liking HP very much it is

A far better buy than what whowever was trying to extract $2500 out of you


AnswerID: 411058

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