American Computers in Europe

Oct 5th, 2003, 08:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 15
American Computers in Europe

I am planning a 2 month trip through the U.K. and western Europe.
How easy is it to use over there and what about Internet services?
Do the converters really work, or do you run a big risk of frying the machine?
Any comments on past experiences,good and bad, are welcome.
I would love to take it but dont want to lug it around for nothing.
bluewater is offline  
Oct 5th, 2003, 10:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 329
Most computers have a built-in and automatic currency convertor. I use both my laptop and desktop with only the plug adaptor without any problem. Many hotels, and even some coffee shops (Starbucks in London-wireless) offer internet connection-though can be very expensive. I find that when I travel just using internet cafes is the simplest and least expensive way of keeping in touch if all one wants to do is check e-mail every few days.
Nidwaldner_Chris is offline  
Oct 5th, 2003, 11:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I live in Europe and would never lug my PC around unless it were a business trip. As noted above, connections through hotels are expensive. You also run the risk of the PC being stolen. There are hundreds of internet cafes in Europe, take a look at for a listing by country and city.

Also as noted above, your PC is most likely dual voltage (and unless it is older than about 10 years it should be dual voltage). Take a look at the powerpack, it should indicate 100-240 voltage and 50-60 hz. If it is not dual voltage, I definately would leave it a home, as any portable converter you could buy would almost certainly fry it, and a good converter that might would would weigh a ton.
Cicerone is offline  
Oct 6th, 2003, 02:45 AM
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My own laptop is extremely light weight but it is newer and probably more expensive than most.
Ask yourself why you would want it/need it? If the answers are important to enjoyment of the trip then take it..if you're just going to be sending/answering e-mail I would rely on cybercafes, etc.
Agree that you shouldn't need a converster just a plug adaptor..check on the power connection label as indicated above.
Oct 6th, 2003, 04:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
I took mine to Europe for a two month trip last summer, mainly because I was in an apartment in London for two weeks, and one in Paris for a week. No problem in London, but I couldn't get it to reconfigure for accepting the DSL connection in my apartment in Paris -- finally gave up on it there. And in Berlin and Leipzig, despite staying in big "American" hotels with internet connections, I had a lot of problems trying to connect -- even with the help of the hotel's computer engineer. Then didn't have a problem in Munich -- again with hotel's help.

In Paris and other places I ended up using a cyber cafe and it really was a lot easier, and very cheap. The voltage and hookup wasn't a problem anywhere -- the problems were with establishing connections.
Patrick is offline  
Oct 6th, 2003, 09:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 15
Thanks fot the advice.
It is a brand new top of the line laptop so I am sure it is dual voltage.
Will it make my trip more enjoyable?
No! After much deliberation I have realized that the whole reason for the trip is to escape the day to day stress of "normal" life.
Id much rather hang out in a cyber cafe sipping a coffe than wresteling with cords and connections in a hotel room!
bluewater is offline  
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