Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby Vintagetourer » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:41 am

Yes our Smartphones (an iPhone 4s and a Samsung Galaxy) recently worked OK for GPS along the Barry Way where there is zilch mobile phone coverage. Not 100% reliable in the valleys though. And battery life is very iffy.
Paper topo maps: Don't leave home without them if going into remoter parts.
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by BNA » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:27 pm

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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby alanm » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:27 pm

rusteh, Mate, I'd appriciate it if you could explain the steps to enable GPS, reason is, I was going to buy an Ipad (there are some really good deals on the Ipad2!) but I couldn't for love nor money, get a location on my daughters 3G pad unless I had a connection, i.e.wasn't in airplane mode. I then did a lot of research and nobody was able to confirm the presence of a GPS chip. Although one bloke in Melbourne I spoke to about jailbreaking an Ipad swore they didn't have true GPS. It's the reason I went for a Motola Xoom 2, GPS is mentioned in the specs. and I've proven it works :D I didn't want to get out to somewhere like the back of Laverton and find it didn't work. I also wanted to run OziExplorer because I've used it for well over 10 years.

Vintagetourer, If the Barry Way is the one in the snowies, there is signal in that area and the 4S has an increadibly sensitive antenna, the reason the battery life may have taken a hit is when in the valleys you would drop out of signal so the phone ramps up the output to Max in order to try and reconnect. Data only requires a small portion of signal in comparision to voice.. If it was another 'Barry Way' ignore what I just said. :D

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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby Vintagetourer » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:53 pm

In theory there might be phone reception along the Barry Way, but in practice we had next to no signal for most of it.
The occasional text message might get out from some of the ridges but I didn't try.

Even when we reached Buchan, the signal was minimal.

This tour was only about 2 months ago. We had two phones with us. Different networks. Telstra and "VodkaPhone" as the spelling checker sees it. An iPhone and a Samsung. Both sensitive types, but still no reception.

May be I wasn't holding my phone high enough above my head:)
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby RonK » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:33 pm

alanm wrote:rusteh, Mate, I'd appriciate it if you could explain the steps to enable GPS

Enable location services.

Then you'll need a GPS app that downloads and stores maps on the phone.

GPS Kit
Motion X. GPS
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby alanm » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:07 pm

Ron, Re the location services, did that, Re the App, will give it a try next time I see my daughter. Thanks.

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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby clackers » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:16 pm

alanm wrote:Ron, Re the location services, did that, Re the App, will give it a try next time I see my daughter. Thanks.

Al


Yep, without 3G you'd get GPS location but no map. Google Maps can do offline maps on Android these days, but there are other products.
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby WestcoastPete » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:50 pm

I used my Samsung Galaxy S2 during my latest tour for journal writing, image upload, music, web browsing, strava recording and GPS navigation. It did all of these jobs either well, or reasonably well. The revelation was using Swype for text input; this has really made fast text input realistic on such a small device.

My main problem was the power usage when recording the ride with Strava. I managed to nurse it through the entire trip using my Biologic Reecharge, but I did have to use mains power whenever I could to keep both the
Recharge and phone topped up when such power was available. Next time, I'd use a standalone GPS device which is much more efficient power wise, and would allow the phone to last at least two days between charges.

The other issue is having to turn the phone off to swap out the microSD card from my camera, but I just rotated the cards each day for this.

The phone weighs about 150g. That's pretty awesome I reckon got all that functionality. I did take kindle as well, but it's light too. It uses the same cable to charge, as does my Petzl headlamp, and lasts weeks between charges.

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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby il padrone » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:52 pm

Screen shot of the mapswithme app. I have it on the Ipad and on my mobile phone. I think it'll be really handy in towns and cities when we are travelling around Italy.

ImageImage
Last edited by il padrone on Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby iacl » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:53 pm

The newer galaxy note 2 will be available shortly. Better processor and battery (? 2 days worth).

I like my note when out and about, but still default to my ipad/logitech keyboard for anything other than short notes or ebooks.



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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby polishbiker » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:39 am

After reading, comparing and more reading i think going for a tablet device would be my choice in the end, question is which one, with so many of them out there and not knowing much about such technology is a bit difficult. Someone mentioned that a samsung galaxy tab 7" with 3G could be a good option so going to test one soon, from what i understand its got all the basic features such as internet/mail/journal writing and a GPS.

IP - good suggestion with the offline maps, do they require a lot of storage? Also, are they as detailed as lets say Garmin maps, from your screen shot, can you zoom in and zoom out?
If i was in a remote area with no phone connection and using the offline maps, would the tablet still pick up the gps satelite if available and show me where i am on the map?hope it makes sense.

ta.
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby il padrone » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:30 pm

polishbiker wrote:IP - good suggestion with the offline maps, do they require a lot of storage? Also, are they as detailed as lets say Garmin maps, from your screen shot, can you zoom in and zoom out?

All of Italy was ~260Mb I think.

Yes they are quite detailed, not quite as good as the Garmin 1:100000, but very close. In Europe they also show a lot of additional tourist services - supermarkets, bakeries, hotels, B&Bs, camping grounds and other scenic features. I am really quite impressed with the detail of their info. You can zoom out to the world, in to street scale, and on an Ipad you can do this very quickly.

polishbiker wrote:If i was in a remote area with no phone connection and using the offline maps, would the tablet still pick up the gps satelite if available and show me where i am on the map?hope it makes sense.

I'm not sure about this. The maps are not really intended to be used on a GPS I believe, and most tablets don't have GPS (?) Mine doesn't anyway. On the phone the GPS runs with Google Maps or another Maps app.
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby rifraf » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:41 pm

Aushiker wrote:I initially started out with a netbook . I will stick to this formula for the foreseeable future unless I get an Asus tablet.
Andrew

Might this be the beastie to whom you refer?
http://www.dwidigitalcameras.com.au/ast ... B%20Tablet

or one of their other ones?

http://www.dwidigitalcameras.com.au/ast ... .aspx?m=69
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby Aushiker » Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:12 pm

rifraf wrote:
Aushiker wrote:I initially started out with a netbook . I will stick to this formula for the foreseeable future unless I get an Asus tablet.
Andrew

Might this be the beastie to whom you refer?
http://www.dwidigitalcameras.com.au/ast ... B%20Tablet

or one of their other ones?

http://www.dwidigitalcameras.com.au/ast ... .aspx?m=69


No. MOre interested in the ones with keyboards.

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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby wombatK » Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:53 pm

Aushiker wrote:No. MOre interested in the ones with keyboards.

+1

When I see peeps touch typing with their ipad at 41 wpm on peak hour trains, I'll
think about swapping from a netbook. The lightness of the iPad means it will tend
to bounce all over the place, and lack of tactile feedback makes it really difficult
to keep your hands accurately positioned for touch typing. Essentially, the iPad
has no "touch".
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby WestcoastPete » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:13 am

wombatK wrote:
Aushiker wrote:No. MOre interested in the ones with keyboards.

+1

When I see peeps touch typing with their ipad at 41 wpm on peak hour trains, I'll
think about swapping from a netbook. The lightness of the iPad means it will tend
to bounce all over the place, and lack of tactile feedback makes it really difficult
to keep your hands accurately positioned for touch typing. Essentially, the iPad
has no "touch".


Again, just watch someone with an Android device using Swype, and that's what you'll see...

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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby il padrone » Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:30 am

wombatK wrote:When I see peeps touch typing with their ipad at 41 wpm on peak hour trains, I'll
think about swapping from a netbook.

When on a cycletour why would you even be on a peak hour train, never mind touch-tyoing while on it ??

wombatK wrote:The lightness of the iPad means it will tend
to bounce all over the place

Lightness of the Ipad is the big advantage - much easier to pack and carry on a bike. I carry mine in a padded sleeve and it slips down the side of the pannier - no 'bouncing' involved.
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby WestcoastPete » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:44 am

il padrone wrote:
wombatK wrote:When I see peeps touch typing with their ipad at 41 wpm on peak hour trains, I'll
think about swapping from a netbook.

When on a cycletour why would you even be on a peak hour train, never mind touch-tyoing while on it ??

Ha! :grin::grin:


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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby wombatK » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:59 pm

il padrone wrote:When on a cycletour why would you even be on a peak hour train, never mind touch-typing while on it ??

The point wasn't that you'd be on a peak hour train - that's just an example that highlights a drawback. The
lightness and ease with which an iPad can get misaligned with your fingers is a challenge even sitting around
on a log (assuming you don't intend to do anything illegal in NSW, like operate it while riding).

If you want to touch-type on an iPad, the touch-typing skills that worked on a manual typewriter (40 years ago)
were easily and quickly transferred to an electric typewriter, then to punch-card machines, then to interactive
computer terminals and PCs.

iPads and android tablets are different - you need to train yourself in different methods of touch-typing
or swypeing etc.,. And at least for me, that's much slower than I can work on a notebook PC.

Whether the effort of doing that is worthwhile probably depends on how often you go cycle touring, and how
net connected you will be during it etc.,.
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby Andy » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:51 pm

Short on time and didn't read whole thread so apologies if it may have have been noted already,

I bought an ASUS T300 earlier this year because it has a reasonable battery life and it also has a keyboard that adds extra battery power as well as adding a usb socket. Tablet and keyboard weighs about 1100g I recall and has a true gps function but as mentioned you need to save the maps offline if no mobile reception.

It is also good for reading ebooks with a blacked out background but I haven't tested to see if this saves battery life. Sure to be easier on the eyes and better if stealth camping at least.
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby RonK » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:26 pm

Vintagetourer wrote:For travel including cycle touring, I am pretty well unashamedly hooked into the Apple system with an iPhone and iPad because they easily synchronise and back-up stuff such as e-books, contacts, email, pics etc. It is very convenient and simple.

I've given up on e-books. At the end of a long touring day the last thing I want to do is read. So on my recent tour my reading list was entirely audiobooks from Audible, such as the very amusing French Revolutions by Tim Moore, loaded onto my iPhone. Also on the playlist were dramatisations of the Lord of the Rings books- kinda appropriate since I rode by quite a few of the movie locations, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and various others about Mawson's and Scott's Antarctic explorations.

I've always been anti earphones while riding, but at touring pace on quiet New Zealand roads I could listen with earbuds and still hear overtaking vehicles clearly. The books certainly helped pass the time on some of the longer and less scenic stages, such as the kilometer after kilometer of Southland farms I crossed.
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby polishbiker » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:22 am

Well, personally i decided to go with a galaxy tab 7" including 3G, does all the basic jobs i need, has a gps. also tried the mapswithme as suggested and it looks good :)
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby rifraf » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:06 pm

polishbiker wrote:Well, personally i decided to go with a galaxy tab 7" including 3G, does all the basic jobs i need, has a gps. also tried the mapswithme as suggested and it looks good :)


Hi PB,
dont forget to give us a review and your impressions.
Theres so much out there its hard to know where to start making a decision.
All I know is that my laptop was posted to my sisters early in my tour due to being too heavy.
I need to look at something as my lack of internet really frustrated me at times and leaving my bike
outside libraries wasn't an option I wanted to look at..
Personally, I'll be looking for something with a keyboard I think as I struggle with those on screen jobs a bit.
Still I dont really know enough about all the features etc to consider making a purchase yet and I could probably learn to get used to an onscreen job.
Cheers
Aidan :)
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby il padrone » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:07 pm

Just ordered a handy keyboard/cover for the Ipad from Kogan. It should solve most of my problems with the on-screen keyboard.

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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby Andy » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:45 am

What is the ipad battery life like? I think bluetooth can be taxing on battery time.
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Re: Tablet or a small laptop - touring.

Postby iacl » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:20 pm

I use a iPad 2 with a Logitech ultraslim keyboard / cover and get 8 hours plus general use. Never run it flat so can' say beyond that.
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