dagoski: Emperor Norton I of the Bear State Republic (Default)
Since I'm looking at replacing my Mac G4, I've been giving some thought at to transporting a laptop/notebook computer on my bike.  Outside of an actual ruggedized notebook, Mac Powerbook Pros are about the sturdiest thing going.  I've carried mine in a simple laptop sleeve and even taken a fall with it in my pannier.  It came through without a problem.  Still, I worry about how to protect a nearly two thousand(or more, way more) dollar investment.  There's a few options out there.  Here's a list of a few that I found without putting too much effort into the search:
  • Arkel Commuter Briefcase.  $214.  Yeah, it's expensive, but these are Arkels.  The panniers I bought four years ago look almost new even with the cats using them as scratching posts.  Also, this thing sports hard sides under the fabric so you can fall on your computer and not damage it.  There's a reason why these things are expensive.
  • Jandd Commuter Briefcase.  $104.95.  Durable, but not armored.  The last pair of Jandd general purpose panniers I owned lasted a good eight years.  These are top notch and you can get a padded insert for extra protection.
  • Burley Travoy Trailer.  $270-$300 + extras.  Expensive, but less than a second car.  I got a good look at this new trailer from Burley at a local bike store.  This is one of the best thought out cargo carrying solutions I've ever seen for a bike.  It mounts at your seat post, it's foldable, can be reconfigured and it needs no extra hardware to mount.  The ride balance looks great too.  For unsupported tours, I'd still go with their Nomad, but for hauling groceries, oversized stuff and boogie boards, this is the device you need.  It's a very stable platform which reduces the risk of tipping and eliminates the need for armor.  Michelle and I are planning to get one of these once we get to LA.  The car will likely be reduced to long trip duty and not driven much at all.  This opens up my second bike choices since it eliminates the need to add panniers to front as well as rear for grocery duty.
The more math I do on the subject, the more it looks like my next system will be the System76 Pangolin Laptop, possibly their Serval.  The Serval just gives an higher res display, but I don't know that I need that much screen resolution for the kind of work I anticipate doing.  Oh, and it's got a Lithium Polymer battery pack.  That oughta give it battery comparable to the MacBook Pro.


dagoski: Emperor Norton I of the Bear State Republic (Default)

July 2011

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