Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 14-10-2012, 21:52   #1
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
Toughest Laptop

I thought it would be a good idea to discuss Laptop brands onboard.
So here is how I would like to see this thread proceed...
1) How long have you had your Laptop onboard.
2) What problems have you encountered with that Laptop
Not necessarily interested with your Laptop at home. More interested in real world use.

I have a Dell 1505which is 7 years old, used on the boat. It's held up pretty well but the hinge points are falling apart and I'm ready for something new.
__________________

__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 00:45   #2
Registered User
 
resilientg's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Townsville, Qld, Australia
Boat: William Bollard, Gypsy Wave, 28'
Posts: 144
Re: Toughest Laptop

I have had heaps of different types, but now i always stick to the little net books.

There small, there really cheap, they can have solid state memory in them so what ever you do the hard drive doesn't die.

They can last 7-8-9 hours on a battery, and they take the least amounts of amperage to charge them, 1- 1.5amps.

Current one has got all the bits with wifi, bluetooth, webcam, good graphics, lan, etc etc.

I have thought about those army style tough books but at around $4000, they are way overpriced, and i could replace my net book 30+ times over for the cost of one of those.

Matthew
__________________

__________________
Do but once what others say you cant, and you will never be judged by their limitations again.
resilientg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 00:55   #3
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,618
Re: Toughest Laptop

Laptops on board and seem to have the same sort of life they would have at home.
Power consumption and screen brightness (because they used outside a lot ) are more important than durability.

Best so far has been the iPad. A tablet is much better when lounging on the cockpit. The built in GPS and cheap marine maps are also ideal for planning the next anchorage.

I think the (almost) non replaceable battery in the iPad will limit its life to 2-3 years, but replacement is cheaper than a laptop so the overall cost is low.

A good tip is to ask friends to give you their old laptops rather than throwing them out. You don't need too much processing power for most boat related things. Photos etc can be kept on one of the USB external hard drives, and if the batteries are dead it is still useful powered with a direct 12v feed.
__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 01:46   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Melbourne Australia
Boat: Paper Tiger 14 foot, Gemini 105MC 34 foot Catamaran Hull no 825
Posts: 1,616
Re: Toughest Laptop

I had a lenova 17 inch lap top, I just plugged it into the invertor, It had my chart that I got down loaded by a cruiser in Vanuatu, it got a bit wet when I got washed up on the beach, but it dried out okay and still works,
__________________
Mr B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 09:33   #5
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,033
Re: Toughest Laptop

So you aren't asking about the toughest laptop at all, but really asking for who has the most pampered laptop on a boat.

How long they last really depends on how well you treat them. Treat 'em like an expensive porcelain plate and they last a long time. Get 'em wet or bang 'em around, and you can break the best of them.

If you just want the toughest laptop, you buy a Panasonic ToughBook. That's the only ruggedized production laptop from a major vendor. Next step down might be an HP Elitebook, their semi-milspec'd series of business class machines, 2-4x the price of their consumer machines.

And then there are consumer grade machines from everyone. If a $500 computer will do your job, buy two, have a hot spare, don't spend $3500 on a tough laptop and read up on which brands are most reliable (the trade press counts and scores that) instead of asking who pampered their last one.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 12:58   #6
Registered User
 
Celestialsailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
Posts: 8,013
Images: 5
Re: Toughest Laptop

Thanx for the above opinions. In regards to the porcelain plate scenario, I agree to a point. Some laptops have stonger hinges than other. Some drives take banging around than others. So I think I am probably looking at the quality of the hardware used. For example...my Dell, although lasting this long, has had a hinge problem. Lets call it limp hinge. The display flops back and forth from its center and inch each way. Another good point which was brought up was battery life or maybe better expressed would be power draw. A lot of that depends on the hardware installed such as drives and the power required by the mother board.
__________________
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"

http://wwwjolielle.blogspot.com/
Celestialsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 13:46   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cayuga Lake NY - or on the boat somewhere south of there
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 1,096
Re: Toughest Laptop

I had a toughbook and it was great - went on ocean passages, survived a year in the Caribbean, etc.

Then it got stolen.

Now I go with $200-300 netbooks. They do everything the toughbook did except play DVD's and if they get stolen it isn't nearly so painful.
__________________
sck5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 14:25   #8
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Port Orange Fl
Boat: Morgan 321 - 32'
Posts: 66
Re: Toughest Laptop

I have HP right now, but I live on dirt. It has lasted 5 years, which I think is great. I watch TV and DVDs on it alot. BUT, I have not looked at the net books, if you can get one to do what you want for $300 - I would buy a couple so you'd have back. I should research that for me too.
__________________
S/V Therapy, Morgan 321
http://amzn.com/B009RCO02G
www.Facebook.com/IslandFeverCruising
sloopygirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 15:10   #9
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,033
Re: Toughest Laptop

Celestial-
I think all the consumer grade laptops simply mount their hard drives "hard". No one uses vibration bushings or gelpacks anymore except for the 'ruggedized' machines. But OTOH, almost all drives automatically detect shock and park their heads, internally, so it would have to be a real cheapass computer that lacked that kind of drive protection. Of course every drive maker will also tell you the portable hard drives are supposed to be moved or used--not both at once. So you really want an SSD primary drive if you are going to use the computer while in motion.

Battery life? or optimization? All you can do is buy a low power CPU with a small screen and an optional big/extra battery, the rest would take so much research for so little gain that it is negligible. You're on a boat, buy a DC power brick and don't worry the battery.

Hinges, cases? Yeah, some are better than others but I've seen plenty from plenty fail. My laptop has great hinges, but the screw holding one into the case walked away, and the hinge came loose anyway. Again there's only so much you can compare without going crazy. Pick a price point, point a machine, go sailing.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 19:02   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Melbourne Australia
Boat: Paper Tiger 14 foot, Gemini 105MC 34 foot Catamaran Hull no 825
Posts: 1,616
Re: Toughest Laptop

Google, Whats the best lap top,

That will give you more answers than you can poke a stick at,
__________________
Mr B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 19:09   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,949
Re: Toughest Laptop

I found that the hard drives die on ordinary laptops, which is one reason to buy several generic laptops that use non-proprietary hardware for the most part. I would recommend carrying at least two identical ones, if possible. Had a hard drive fail on an HP laptop and an Apple, but I could easily get the HP fixed in Colombia while I was SOL on the Apple iBook, which still makes a very slick looking paperweight. My current Toshiba is now about 6 years old and lived onboard for the first couple of years of its life. So far no hardware issues with it. I agree on going the netbook route, but it is nice having the larger screen for viewing things like movies, or even charts. I've always had great luck with Toshiba computers, dating back to the very first laptop I ever bought back in the '80s running DOS on a tiny screen, and I think it cost me around $2000 back then.
__________________
Kettlewell Cruising
Kettlewell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 19:15   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: here and there
Boat: P30
Posts: 199
Re: Toughest Laptop

at one time had a dell and an hp aboard
they both bit the dust... not necessarily from the boat as they were used for many other things.
replaced with a $150 cheapo Gateway Netbook
works great.

as stated in a previous post, i also like the idea that the hard drive is solid state.
__________________
S/V Voyager
smaarch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 19:40   #13
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Boat: Hitchhiker, Catamaran, 40'
Posts: 354
Re: Toughest Laptop

I keep seeing these Itronix gobook 3 computers on ebay. They are rugged military spec computers that were $5000. new. They are outdated but have updated software and built in gps receivers. $125. !!! GENERAL DYNAMICS ITRONIX GOBOOK XR-1 LAPTOP - 2.0 GHz T2500 2GB 160GB IX-250 3 | eBay.

If anyone has experience with these please let us know. (I am thinking of getting one)
__________________
Thumbs Up is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 19:43   #14
Registered User
 
pjop's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Boat: Endeavour 37
Posts: 111
Re: Toughest Laptop

I've owned a Panasonic cf-52 semi-rugged laptop since 2007 and it has been on the boat with me since 2009. I've had to replace the screen (soon after purchase and covered by warranty) and the dvd drive twice ($40 bucks used off the net each). Other than those issues the computer has been great, especially in regard to hard use components such as hinges, ports and keyboard. It also has an integrated handle which is really sweet when moving it around the boat. These machines were heavily used by government entitites and complete machines and parts are all over ebay for a bargain price. Like the used dvd drives I purchased for $40 bucks each. They were plug and play and less than half the price of a new one. Further, there is a Panasonic Toughbook website with great support in and out of warranty. I am pretty sure that even though it is labeled as only semi-tough, the modifications made are to enhance longevity of wear and tear components. It doesn't have a HDMI port though, but since I have left the stupid box behind a long time ago, no problem for me. When this one fails I will purchase another. Dell may still sell a military spec machine that is failrly expensive. It was high on the cool factor and billed as almost indestructable. Note that it was really heavy though.
__________________
pjop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-10-2012, 19:45   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Wandering around North America
Boat: Defever 43 - Gray Hawk
Posts: 602
Someone has already suggested this but it bears repeating. Any laptop can fail so have more than one identical machines onboard. Personally I really like the Dell Latitude series and I have 4 identically configured D830s spread between the bus and the boat.
__________________

__________________
R.J.(Bob) Evans
M/V Gray Hawk, 43 Defever Offshore Cruiser
http://www.bobandmarilyn.ca
bobofthenorth is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
laptop

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 00:46.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.