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Old 10-05-2010, 00:54   #31
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Curmudgeon, how visible is the Vaio's screen in direct sunlight? This is one of the Toughbooks main features along with it's water and shock resistance.

I left a hatch open on a bright sunny day while off the boat for just a little while. My Acer laptop was under it and we got a downpour. The Acer was history. Several weeks earlier whilst asleep we got a heavy downpour and the previous laptop (actually a very good touchscreen tablet) died when the window above it leaked a lot more than the customary few drops. It too was kaput! The Toughbook has breezed through situations a lot worse than these.

I used to strugle with my Navman plotter (small screen and slow refresh) because I dare not bring the laptops topsides in inclement weather and in bright sunshine they were useless (screen too hard to read). Now we have no hesitation in being comfortable with our preferred navigation software (Maxsea) and can check weather radars online when in range or just do something constructive on the laptop whilst keeping watch (in easy conditions only of course).

As for power... it does everything I want at the moment which includes the photo editing and sorting, music ripping and playing, all my Internet needs, and all my communication needs. For entertainment we store our movies in AVI format and copy them to a large SD media card which slips into our TV saving the need to use the DVD drive which has a tendency to overheat. The only thing the old one is a bit slow at is editing and ripping movies but the new one has more power, and capacity so it should cope with that too. The other power is also very good it chews half the amps that my old tablet chewed and on batteries I get a full night sail without difficulty saving my house batteries. We do have two main batteries and a multifunction slot battery though.

You might be surprised how well an old five year old computer can perform if it is kept clean (malware and dust too) and within the parameters of a suitable OS. I dumped Vista a few days after first installing it and am only now trying Win7 in the new CF-30.

The desktop P4 I had when I moved aboard our yacht five years ago now is still going strong with the CPU and RAM we gave it away with. It has external HDDs connected to it now but is perfectly functional. I have no doubt that my new CF-30 will be more than capable of performing my standard tasks in five years and it will still function perfectly well. The new machine has a dual core processor, 4Gb RAM and a 320Gb HDD. I may be a little narrow sighted here but I can't see too many power crunching new capabilities on the horizon for quite a while at least that would be available to us out the back of beyond away from the hoards.

I keep being told how fast the IT industry is moving and the speed with which machines are becoming obsolete but in reality I am doing nothing now apart from the online stuff that I wasn't doing in 2001 when I built my first P4. That computer did rip and edit movies, perform all the office utilities, manage my music collection, etc. It also played 3D games but that side of the industry has come a long way since. It would certainly not cope with the latest MS Flight simulator but I sail for real not fly simulator or play games, in general for me that is not a problem.

In the mid seventies I was a mainframes programmer and the technology revolution was astronomical until about 2002. Since then we are developing, refining and speeding applications up but there seem to be a lot less really new innovative applications becoming available. Google seems to me to be the main innovator now but not many of their applications really need high powered machines to work just a good internet connection.

I think that the new Toughbooks are good enough to convince me to pay the outrageous price. So, I can only say they have won this sailor and is wife (who once owned a computer shop) over. I could not envisage a scenario where I would prefer a non rugged laptop instead while we are on the water full time. When or should I say if I become a dirt lubber again that may change.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:26   #32
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Well, how do you like watching Blue Ray DVDs on your Toughbook? And what processor do you have? Mine is 2.4 ghz, 64-bit. To each his own.

My Vaio lives at the nav station, so I don't need a screen viewable in direct sunlight. My Garmin 545 is fine in the cockpit, so I don't need to carry the laptop up there.

As for durability, I back everything up on a portable USB drive, so if the Vaio gets trashed, I'll just buy another, and I can buy a third if necessary, all for less than the price of your Toughbook.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:47   #33
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Is it size and speed that matters or what we do with it that counts?

As a cruiser I enjoy not having to do things with a tight time frame so my slow 1.6 ghz processor is ample with XP Pro SP3. If I'd still had Vista in it that may have been a different story. As for Blue Ray we have an excellent collection of AVI movies that are clear and sharp on my tiny 19 inch TV screen on our TV. You can fit a lot of entertainment on a few Terra bytes of drive space and the slower processor doesn't seem to slow down the movie at all!

I am happy with my setup as you obviously are too with yours, but I could not be persuaded to go back to a regular notebook at a 70% saving and that is my viewpoint along with I'm sure a few other toughbook owners. Any other Toughbook owners feel this way or am I alone?
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:53   #34
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I have a panasonic but I wouldnt have ANY laptop in the cockpit while sailing. It is asking for trouble.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:18   #35
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I recently bought a CF-28 off ebay. They are generally sold SANS HD (and the shock-resistant case it's housed in), RAM, charger or battery. I now have it working fine, but it wasn't quite as painless as I imagined.

Rather than go into all the details of the trouble-shooting, I would just warn that there's apparently a lot of bad, cheap, RAM out there and I picked some up. $30 for RAM! Too good to be true. Now, I have Kingston RAM (cost $80) and all is well.

Total cost was about $300
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:20   #36
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I'll just buy another, and I can buy a third if necessary, all for less than the price of your Toughbook.
really? My toughbook was only $700.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:45   #37
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really? My toughbook was only $700.
Hmmm....

Panasonic Toughbook 52 - Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz - 13.3 " - 2 GB Ram - 160 GB HDD

The toughbook 52 has a slower processor, poorer video, less RAM, and a tiny HD compared to my VAIO. I guess th 74 is faster, but now you are pushing 3 grand.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:42   #38
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We almost bought a toughbook. We opted for the Dell Latitude XFR 6400 instead, because of past good experience with Dell customer service.

What a horrible $ 4,000 mistake. It is a year old. It is on it's third hard drive, second mousepad sensor, and it needs a new motherboard. And it doesn't move, or get transported anywhere, and is sitting on a desk inside a home office. I shudder to think what it would do if we actually took it outside.

Dell service has been outstanding, as usual. the product, however, sucks.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:57   #39
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Hmmm....

Panasonic Toughbook 52 - Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz - 13.3 " - 2 GB Ram - 160 GB HDD

The toughbook 52 has a slower processor, poorer video, less RAM, and a tiny HD compared to my VAIO. I guess th 74 is faster, but now you are pushing 3 grand.
Yup I bought a used cf 18 for $680 on ebay. It doesn't have a cd-rom or dvd. It only has a 60GB HD and it is not a zippy computer. But I am not looking for any of those things. I was looking for a water resistant computer that had an internal GPS and that could stand up to the rigors of my lifestyle.

Trying to compare a toughbook to a vaio is like comparing apples to oranges, they are just two totally different beasts. To each his own indeed. I, for one, am extremely happy with my computer.
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Old 24-06-2010, 15:17   #40
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cf-28 inside the boat and connected wireless to cf-vdw07 touchscreen in the cockpit ! both cheap at ebay.
both work stable direct on 12v (without need a of 12v car adapter to 15,6v). just the laptop battery is not charged or very slow when running on 12v.

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Old 24-06-2010, 23:44   #41
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cf-28 inside the boat and connected wireless to cf-vdw07 touchscreen in the cockpit ! both cheap at ebay.
both work stable direct on 12v (without need a of 12v car adapter to 15,6v). just the laptop battery is not charged or very slow when running on 12v.

wow where did you get the mounting bracket. I looked all over for one but all I could find was that RAM stuff and that costs as much as the cpu itself.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:50   #42
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the mounting bracket was included when I bought the screen,
reference is: Tormaxx GmBH, easymount display halter, artikelnr: EDH-DH-1-CF070 . (suppose made in Germany)
looks quite expensive too, massive aluminium.
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