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Old 08-01-2013, 09:41   #1
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Recommend notebook

I would like to purchase a small (laptop)/note book to use only with Opencpn. I would appreciate a recommendation for a compatible unit that I can download the program onto. Thanks,
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:47   #2
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Re: Recommend notebook

Pretty much anything will work. Bigger screen is a plus, but it uses more juice. Windows7 and OCPN seem to get along pretty well together, to me. You are unlikely to need more than 10GB for charts, so HD size is immaterial. A hot processor is a plus but not a necessity. $500 at Best Buy ought to get you in the game. You will want a USB GPS, too. If you look at mapping software, you might find something that comes with one. Mine came with Microsoft Streets and Trips. A long USB cable will let you mount it in an advantageous spot but you usually get a decent GPS signal through fiberglass.

There are also apps you can use on an iphone or ipad or droid. I could suggest a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 tablet, and Marine Navigator or MX Navigator. OCPN has been installed on droids running linux, and I tried it myself, but could not get the app to recognize the tablet's built-in GPS. It runs, but you have to enter your own position manually. The regular droid apps can use the built-in GPS just fine. Navionics charts and software can be had for idevices or droids. For laptops there is also SeaClear, Fugawi, Nobeltec, and others but I prefer OCPN.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:03   #3
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Re: Recommend notebook

i use what i can get as cheap as p ossible, as puters dont last in a salt water environment....is less pricey to replace an acer than a hewlett packard..... go figger.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:19   #4
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Re: Recommend notebook

I have one of these
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-N102.../dp/B007T4CJPO

as back up to a chart plotter. No idea how it compares to other small lap tops/netbooks, as its the only one I have used.
Its a back up to a chart plotter, and runs fine.
Loaded with C93 Ver 2 charts, plus run's Raster charts from a USB stick.
Most of my other boat stuff is on the laptop as well, so have had no issues with storage.
Got it for less than the listed amazon price, but not sure if its still made, but there will be something similar which replaced it.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:22   #5
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Re: Recommend notebook

I have just bought a Netbook (Asus 1025c) because I had found out that the processor, an Intel Atom N2600 is probably the most energy efficient on the market. Plus it was under $300 after tax. A word of waring. I have heard that this processor doesn't work well with Linux. Power consumption is a priority for me, as a running laptop is one of the largest energy drains on my boat. A tablet is even better for power savings if you don't need a laptop.
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Old 08-01-2013, 13:53   #6
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Re: Recommend notebook

We have an Asus EEE, Win XP (SP3). But netbooks are out, tablets are in (this actually may help one find a bargain netbook).

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Old 08-01-2013, 14:20   #7
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pirate Re: Recommend notebook

I currently use an E Machines Notebook by Toshiba... cost 159 euros 18mths ago... but if it dies I'll likely get one of these...
10.2" ANDROID 4.0 PC TABLET NETBOOK MID WiFi EPAD APAD WITH KEYBOARD CASE BUNDLE | eBay
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:58   #8
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Re: Recommend notebook

You can often find second hand Panasonic Toughbooks on eBay. You don't need to have the latest newest kit to run OpenCPN, I run it on a Toughbook I bought 2 years ago second hand for $400. They are the best laptops for the marine environment -- rugged, waterproof, touch screen, etc.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:52   #9
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Re: Recommend notebook

Yeah the toughbook would be excellent.

A Samsung tab will run OCPN but you so have to root it and install linux in a loop file. See Amidos thread he is the guru on that. I got it running on my 7" but I did not get the onboard gps working with it. Smarter guys rhan me are working on that issue. Meanwhile you can of course input your gps fix manually. Or run a droid app such as Marine Navigator or MX Navigator which is what I reverted to.

Power drain is not only dependant on the processor. The disk drive. And display can be a power hog as well as any usb gps dongle you might be using. I recommend putting your laptop to sleep and only periodically waking it up as needed.

Keep in mind also that you will also want to use your device for other purposes besides chart navigation such as sight reduction for a celestial lop, and a daily azimuth for checking your compass, and you can get pdf files of Coast Pilot, Sailing Directions, Port Index, Waypoint for Windows, and other navigation tools and references. And communications stuff loke WEFAX and digital modes. Just be sure you can also use traditional navigation methods as a backup in case you lose electrical power or the computer stops cooperating.

A laptop or other device is also good for entertainment purposes. Movies, tunes, ebooks etc. I simply dont sail without one anymore.
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