Originally Posted by 99gecko
I hope anyone that buys this realizes the trouble with having a laptop open on a passenger's lap for an 8 hour road trip.
If you have a large enough vehicle, you can purchase a laptop mount that allows the computer to be mounted on the transmission hump between the driver and passenger. The police in Winnipeg use such a mount in their computer equipped Crown Victoria cruiser cars. I imagine a laptop would be good for motorhomes too.. Of course, unless you have no passenger and can set the laptop on the seat beside you, the laptop isn't practical when it comes to subcompact cars.
I have a newer Magellan Maestro dash mounted GPS and I also have a laptop with an older version of Streets and trips, so I've used both.
The display of the laptop is a lot more practical than the standard dash mounted GPS unit. My 15 inch laptop screen shows FAR more detail when zoomed out than My 4.3 inch Maestro screen.
On top of this, it's way more convenient entering addresses using both hands on a full sized QUERTY keyboard rather than hunting and pecking on a little touch screen. The ability to set multiple waypoints with a simple mouse clicks is handy too.
The only big downside is that you can't leave your vehicle parked and unattended for any length of time with the laptop mounted. You can't tuck it in a pocket and take it with you like you can a regular dash mounted GPS. A laptop sitting in plain view is an invitation to a broken window and a theft. Having to packing up the laptop and store it out of sight gets to be a chore after a while. Because of this, it's best for long trips where you are in the car most of the time.
It also makes a good distraction when you fly. I keep my laptop on the tray in front of me and usually watch movies or listen to music, but I also find it somewhat entertaining to see exactly where I am... Below is a screen capture I made while flying from Vancouver to Winnipeg last spring: (Note the speed and altitude