Mobiles/netbook or notebooks?

We are going away in the caravan for 8 weeks and want to be able to send and receive emails and use skype to call the UK. We are also going to change our mobiles as we are with vodaphone which is useless. when travelling
We will be buying everything we need new to do this.
What do we need? Can anyone help - we will always be in caravan parks and not in any remote areas. Please in simple language - as we are not up with technical terms. Many Thanks
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Reply By: Stevesub1 - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 15:34

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 15:34
Go with Telstra Next G for best phone coverage.

If you can do without a PC for 8 weeks, get a Smart Phone. My Nokia 5800 (does not work on NextG) does email, Skype over 3G and WiFi, GPS turn by turn, etc etc. Maybe an iPhone although Skype over 3G may be a problem.

I had a choice of a high end Netbook or low end laqptop recenlty when I had to replace my 6 year old Sony - went for a low end 14" Compaq laptop which has better features than a netbook and far better spec'd than my year old work Dell that cost twice the price. 1Kg heavier and I have 2 batteries to get around the same battey life as a netbook. Happy as with my decision.

AnswerID: 421853

Reply By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 15:41

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 15:41
Totally agree, If you want a small netbook with a next g usb wireless dongle, if you want research new destinations/ entertainment/ skype/ email/ blog/ navigation software.

shop around you can pick up stuff cheap, graysonline has cheap netbooks/ laptops.

I hope this helps.
AnswerID: 421854

Follow Up By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 19:34

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 19:34
iF YOU RUN A TELSTRA ACCOUNT YOU CAN USE mCDONALD'S FOR FREE, sorry had caps lock on, but only if you have a telstra account, not sure if it is still telstra only thou???
FollowupID: 692259

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 23:30

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 23:30
Maccas all totally free wifi now. No need for any account. Mike
FollowupID: 692291

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 23:32

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 23:32
Should have added can't use Skype on maccas wifi as the ports are mostly blocked. Email and web only last time I tried. Mike
FollowupID: 692292

Reply By: Member - Tricky Dicky (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 16:29

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 16:29
hi Belfastgirl

have to agree, go with telstra for phone and internet ( wireless) for your trip, i have optus at the moment and when my contract is up i am changing over to telstra.
We have just had 4 weeks through NT and Queensland and only Telstra worked in the remote areas.
Talk to them and explain where you are going they will help
AnswerID: 421857

Reply By: DesF - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 17:38

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 17:38
Hi, I have a Acer laptop & a Nokia 6720 next G phone with a data pack which we use for exactly what you have asked about. have had it for over 2 years.
Last August we travelled up from SA to Brisbane ( 4x4 and van) and back down to central NSW and were very happy with the coverage,
We are on a plan with home phone etc and the data packs are cheaper than with a Pre paid dongle( stick) .
We get 200 meg for $10.00 a month and you can turn it on and off when you dont need it,
Just plug the phone in ( or use the bluetooth) and you are connected in 10 seconds,
We found that amount was ample to check the Emails everyday and check the net for maps and info, also talked to family in WA & SA on Skype , a bit of Google Earth as well and we never used anywhere our allowance.
I usually check the mail on my server page and delete the singing and dancing jokes and Emails , anything with music and video's uses a fair bit of data,
also if the laptop has wireless built in a lot of C/parks have free internet , we used that when ever it was available.
Happy with that set up , works well, you can get bigger data packs , $20.00,- 500, $35.00 - 1gig, & so on.
When you get home , ring and they just turn it off untill you are off on holidays again.

Cheers Des.
AnswerID: 421863

Reply By: Cruiser 2091 - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 18:51

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 18:51
Telstra has the best coverage. So get a telstra mobile and Telstra wireless broadband in the form of a USB stick.

About an hour on Skype will use about 100MB of data. So 1gig of data should be enough

The upload and download speeds vary with wireless so on some occasions Skype might be a bit iffy but mostly ok.
AnswerID: 421867

Follow Up By: Cruiser 2091 - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 18:55

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010 at 18:55
I should have also added that netbook or notebook comes down to personal choice. Large screen is great, particularly for editing photos but if space is a problem then netbook has the advantage.
FollowupID: 692257

Follow Up By: Signman - Thursday, Jun 24, 2010 at 11:29

Thursday, Jun 24, 2010 at 11:29
Hi Cruiser,
Dumb question here...
Whats the diference between a netbook and a note book ??
FollowupID: 692340

Reply By: chingate - Thursday, Jun 24, 2010 at 11:33

Thursday, Jun 24, 2010 at 11:33
Telstra next G only real option for telephone.

Then either Internet kiosks/cafes, or USB dongle or data pack for email.

Netbook or Notebook?

Lots of bulldust flying around about this subject.

Essential specs for both are USB2 and Windows XP, hard drive at least 160gig. Personally I'd avoid Windows Vista (too slow on low end computers), but Windows 7 probably ok.

For netbook, most brands are ok, I recommend you buy cheapie say $300-$400. Atom 450 processor preferred, Atom 280 ok. Remember they are only 'Internet appliances' and are excellent for emails and photo downloads. They can do some regular PC stuff as well, but can be slow with movies. Most too slow to run TV dongles. No DVD options. Look for long battery life, 4-8 hours may be possible.

Notebooks are good desktop replacements, and 90% of them have DVD burners, and play movies ok. Get a Pentium or Core 2 or better processor. I'd avoid the slower Celeron. Some can run TV dongles. Get XP or Windows 7. Battery life way lower than netbooks, but 2-4 hours is possible.

Don't get snowed by people trying to sell you 'top end' and 'high spec' 'futureproof' stuff. These things are cheap and therfore disposable, last about 2-6 years.

Personally, I'd be getting a netbook for travel, 'cos it's small and cheap.

I'd avoid the 'does everything' box. If you want movies, get a TV/DVD as well.

Recommend you buy at large retailer with professional assistants like Harvey Norman or Officeworks.

Yes, JB hifi and Dick Smith are also possibles, but I've found that the young gelled-hairs serving at JB Hifi treat me (54 years old) like a fool (maybe because I ask critical questions), an I reckon many Dick Smith assistants are just not qualified.
AnswerID: 421955

Follow Up By: belfastgirl1943 - Thursday, Jun 24, 2010 at 16:40

Thursday, Jun 24, 2010 at 16:40
Many thanks for all the very helpful replies - we have read and tried to digest all the info and have printed them all off and will take them shopping when we go. Cheers and thanks.
FollowupID: 692360

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