Mobile Internet for Laptop
Hello, I have an Acer laptop, and want to use it in my car. What do I have to do / buy, to be able to connect to the Internet?

Thanks .
Best bet for mobile internet access is to visit one of your local cell phone providers. They all offer cards that go into your laptop and provide connectivity to the internet. I use a Sprint EVDO card and get 500-800kbps download speeds. Plan on spending $50 or so a month for service. Some carriers are giving the cards for free with a commitment. Make sure your carrier has coverage where you're going to be driving, or get a plan that includes data roaming. Your speed will drop dramatically when you leave the major metro areas.

If you have a cell phone with data capabilities, you might be able to buy a cable to connect it to your laptop via USB, and use the phone as a modem. This is dicey, since the cell carriers frown on you eating up lots of bandwidth through a phone. This might lead to a HUGE phone bill if your phone data plan charges by the kilobyte. My Sanyo phone worked very well until I got the EVDO card.

I work in the field, and occasionally need to download something that would take too long via cellular. I've always been successful in finding an open WiFi hotspot close to where I'm working. Just drive up to the nearest apartment complex or motel, and 95% of the time you can 'borrow' someone's connection that they have not secured. I'm not recommending you do something illegal here, but if you're in a bind...

Some general questions from a newbie who hopes to buy his first laptop soon, and is considering getting Streets&Trips with a GPS for it. I've borrowed a friend's Garmin many times and love it, and I'm wondering how at 15-inch laptop compares with a 3.5-inch device.

1) How do people use a laptop while driving? Do you let it sit on the passenger seat and hardly ever look at it? The Garmin sits very conveniently under the rear-view mirror, and I fear that the laptop might frustrate me.

2) If my laptop battery is rated to last about 5 hours, and I'm going on a trip that's about 2 hours each way, with little or no chance to recharge the battery en route, that idea does not thrill me. Is it possible to have a laptop plugged into the cigarette lighter for such trips?

why GPS 3.5-inch device cheaper than 4.3-inch

seen i have a laptop i don't want to buy another device
The way i see GPS 3.5-inch device and Laptop with GPS
Laptop get bigger screen, laptop can do more thing at the hotels i can use for internet or play DVD.
the GPS 3.5-inch device only for GPS .

I'M about to put up Laptop stand on my car
for the power i use the inverter 12v to 110v
Originally Posted by S NIMO S
I'M about to put up Laptop stand on my car
for the power i use the inverter 12v to 110v
(1) I was going to ask where to get these, but now that you've told me what they're called, I realized I could do a Google on "laptop auto stand". I found a bunch of sites and it seems that we're talking about something that would cost me over $200, plus installation. For that money I can buy a GPS and not drag the laptop in the car with me.

(2) So, if I'm understanding you right, first I convert 12v to 110v, and then a second device to reconvert it for the laptop. Sounds like a pretty inefficient use of electicity, but if that's what it needs, then maybe I'll just buy a second battery.

Thanks for the advice!
This not my advice
  • I got my laptop,
  • I got AC/DC converter laying in my garage, costs me time to install in the car,
  • laptop stand, I just buy Material it cost me $20 + my time (eBay you can get one under $90)
  • GPS Streets & Trips 2008, I pay $60
My total cost $80, so my laptop over the 3-inch GPS $150+
I have a RAM laptop mount for my vehicle, and it was around $200. If you are using a laptop all day in a car, it is the only way to go.

I have an HP laptop, and the power supply brick came with both AC and DC power cords. I can plug the power directly into the power point in the car, and run all day. I found out the hard way that if you leave the laptop on when you park the car, the car won't start the next day...

If all you want is navigation, using your laptop is serious overkill. The dedicated GPS boxes from Garmin, TomTom, Magellan, etc. are a much better solution. Much smaller, less obtrusive, and easier to use than S&T.

My laptop runs my business, and the GPS functionality is icing on the cake. I receive my dispatch info over my broadband card, and report my time and charges via a web-based application. I can plug my calls for the day into S&T, and it will optimize the stops as well as giving directions.
Here my DIY Laptop stand on TOYOTA VAN
I'm not done with it yet
Just put up see how it look ...
I think it too high
Still thinking how to make it lower problem with Shifting Gears
My Point...Exactly
I second Kcflyer's comment above....for sales people who cover a territory, there is no better product than Microsoft® Streets and Trips. You can import thousands of prospects, assign them unique pushpins that identify their 'sales value' to you, search for best prospects and plan sales calls that group them together. Then you plug in the GPS receiver and the laptop you have to carry with you anyway guides you with GPS turn by turn spoken directions.

Streets and Trips helps reduce the cost of sales by ensuring reps know about all the opportunities in the area - and because they have great planning tools that let them ask questions like "show me how many prospects are within ‘X’ driving minutes of my current location" and more - they can travel more efficiently and see more prospects in the same trip - saving gas and maybe even a return airfare. Reps spend more time in front of the prospect selling instead of behind the windshield driving.

Stand alone GPS devices are great for helping people get to where they want to go. For sales people - the real magic of Streets is the analysis tools that help you decide where you need to go ($) in the first place.
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