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laptop

I'd like to bring my laptop during my 4 week trip to France this coming fall. I would appreciate any suggestions about the advisability of doing this. Thanks.

Posted by
5 posts

I wondered about keeping it in a hotel room while I take my day tours, the ease of using it versus one in a internet cafe, allowing for adapters and new plugs, etc. I would prefer my own laptop, but I want to be prepared for any problems I might encounter. Thanks.

Posted by
19170 posts

Actually, an "electrical adapter" is the plastic and metal part which accepts American style flat blade on one side and has round pins on the other to fit in European receptacles. If you have a plug with flat blades, you'll need an adapter. An adapter does not change the voltage. Your power supply probably accepts a wide range (120-240) of voltages. Hopefully, if you have a power supply that says "Input 120/240 VAC 50/60hz", you will not need a voltage converter.

Posted by
32265 posts

Linda, I've never had a problem with leaving my Netbook (or other electronic gear) in my Hotel room while out day touring. I usually lock it inside my luggage. Some Hotels provide in-room Safes, however these will likely not be large enough to accommodate a full-sized Laptop. Regarding the electrical issues, it's not a good idea to assume that the Laptop is designed for "world operation". If it's an older unit, it may only be equipped with a 115 VAC Charger. That's something that needs to be checked and verified! I'd suggest that you pack two Plug Adapters, as it's always a good idea to have a "spare". If you happen to be in Edmonds one day, Plug Adapters are currently on sale for $1 in the Travel Store at ETBD. BTW, I travelled with a Netbook on my trip last year, and it will be with me on every trip from now on. I have major problems with the French Keyboards, so it was especially useful during the France part of my trip. Happy travels!

Posted by
45 posts

A couple of years ago I was wondering the same thing. I was worried about it enough to go out and purchase a netbook, and I'm glad I did. The netbook is just the right size to fit easily in a day bag or even a large purse. The battery life is good enough to last all day, and with a tethering device or air card it is really perfect for travel. My only thought now is howe a tablet, like the iPad or Android version, would be a better choice. In any case, if it is small, and easily carried or stored away in luggae, I would not worry.

Posted by
75 posts

Assuming your laptop is dual voltage, you won't have to worry about a converter as others have said. In terms of an adapter though, just be mindful of what type of plug you have on your laptop. Unthinkingly, I picked up a normal package of universal adapter attachments for my last trip, not realizing they were all of the 2 pronged variety, when my laptop had 3 prongs (similar to a microwave or other larger appliances).

Posted by
19170 posts

I have a grounded plug (what you call three prong) on my netbook, and the standard Europlug adapter fits neatly over the two blades of plug and next to the grounding pin. I use it like this. If you try to use a grounding plug adapter, be aware that different countries have different grounding systems. Germany, France, Benelux, and Austria all use receptacles that accept the modified "Schuko' plug. Switzerland and Italy do not.

Posted by
101 posts

Traveling with a laptop, outside of the power-related issues, is no different in Europe than in the US, IMO. I have done both, & highly recommend it- unbeatable as a way of getting information, keeping family & friends updated, entertaining yourself & others, & as repository for the myriad photos many of us take.
Although I could appreciate a netbook or iPad for its smaller form factor, I have a MacBook Air 13" which exceeds all my needs in terms of speed, storage, & reliability, so don't feel the need to spend more money. What I have done, related specifically to the cost of replacing it if it were stolen & my desire not to have to have it as a constant companion, is to buy a PacSafe DaySafe 100 bag, which is itself steel mesh protected & has the added feature of a steel mesh laptop carrier inside, which is removable & has steel cable locks to keep it closed and lock it to a stationary object in a hotel room, car, etc.

Posted by
1446 posts

I have a security cable lock that I bought either from Dell or Tiger Direct online. I admit to lugging it, but only using it occasionally. I am glad to have it though when I feel the need to securely tether my netbook.

Posted by
87 posts

My wife and I purchased a small part-time home in rural France a few years ago, and while she cringes every time I mention it, we often go to McDonalds to use their free WiFi. Before we had DSL installed at our home we would travel 15 Km. to the nearest McD at least every other day. We travel with a PC notebook and a MacBook all over Europe and would be lost without them.

Posted by
19170 posts

I do a lot of typing on my netbook - sending emails, writing my journal, updating my website in html - and I'm a touch typist for over 45 years. Using the iPad's horrible excuse (they call that innovation?) for a keypad would be a total pain.

Posted by
358 posts

I have taken my netbook whenever I travel in europe/USA and the netbook will fit in most of the hotel safes. If not just put it in you luggage locked or unlocked as along as it is out of sight.

Posted by
273 posts

I second Michael's recommendation. iPad!!!! It's like a trunk full of books, games, internet and all in color!

Posted by
1035 posts

"Using the iPad's horrible excuse (they call that innovation?) for a keypad would be a total pain." Why always hating on the iPad?

Posted by
3696 posts

Always travel with a laptop, and since the weight had become an issue with my Dell, I bought a little 2 lb. Acer. It was only about $300 and works great. As I am a photographer I also back up my images on a small external hard drive (Passport). The small Acer cannot burn dvd's, so I take both the laptop and the Passport (about the size of a passport and around $100 at Best Buy.)Great for emails, etc., plus it has a camera for Skype. I bought mine about 3 years ago and have used it extensively.

Posted by
1178 posts

As with a prior poster, I have my "baby" Acer that I take with me. Much easier to transport than the bigger ones! And works just fine. And, importantly, the keyboard is American, not Eurpoean, and the keys are where I am accustomed to them for the main part. No problem with charging the batter with the adapter, and most places have wifi (they call it "wee-fee") and I can make contact with the home land at any time. No problem with it staying in the hotel..if need be, put it in the suitcase and lock the suitcase.

Posted by
976 posts

Linda, you'll be much more comfortable in your hotel room with your feet up checking your email, on your own nice clean computer, than in an internet cafe - every time! It's just my opinion, but internet cafes seem harder to find than a few years ago. Even inexpensive hotels offer wifi -not always free- but available.
I have a 12 " Asus I really like that I bought for travel: money well spent.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for the helpful replies. I'm now checking on netbooks to make the traveling easier, but I'm not giving up on my laptop which I'll just keep at home.

Posted by
32265 posts

Linda, I think you'll find it quite convenient to travel with a Netbook, not only because of the small size but also the exceptional battery life. The model I bought is a Toshiba NB-305 and it's been great so far! Whichever model you buy, be sure to get at least a 250 GB Hard Drive and preferably 2 GB RAM. Most Netbooks these days seem to be sold with Windows 7 Starter. One important point to mention about Netbooks is that although they're great for travel, they don't have the "horsepower" for processor-intensive tasks, such as gaming or Photoshop. Cheers!

Posted by
3580 posts

The small Acer that I carry to Europe weighs about 3 pounds with charger. Like H J, I keep it in my room where there is WiFi and lock it in my luggage while I am out of the room. You will need a single adapter if you stay in France. Other countries may require a different adapter. One advantage of using your own computer is that online banking is simpler. My bank gets "upset" when I log onto my account using different computers. And,it feels safer for me to carry my own security system on my computer.

Posted by
76 posts

The voltage range is printed right on that big bulky transformer on the laptop's power cord. Though I needed a magnifying glass to read mine. I'm trying to decide if I want to go through the extra expense of buying a netbook, or taking one of my old laptops.

Posted by
21 posts

I'm another one that has a netbook I travel with. The smaller size and lighter weight is fantastic when trying to keep luggage light! Can't recommend it enough.

Posted by
19170 posts

"I'm trying to decide if I want to go through the extra expense of buying a netbook, or taking one of my old laptops. I took my last laptop to Germany with me in 2000. It weighed 7½ lb! I've never made that mistake since. Before I got a netbook, I use a handheld - an NEC Mobile Pro, 2#, flash memory, Win CE. I wanted a real OS, so I got a 2nd hand Toshiba Protege w/ Win2000. Again just over 2#, but slow.