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Old 17-11-2014, 23:21   #1
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Which Notebook

I know this has been hashed over a million times but there in lies the problem.Tech talk overload.
I'm not a tech geek and so I need someone who can spell it out in simple terms.
I"m looking for a notebook (I think). If I understand correctly, OpenCPN does not run so well with App systems.
I use to use my Dell 1505 and found it a gas guzzler. So here are my needs...
1) Something that gets very good battery mileage. Now, I'm not asking for a large battery capacity as much as I am asking for minimal draw from the battery while in use. It use to cost me an amp. bundle to charge the 1505 every 2 hours.
I know some of these new units are getting 14 hours usage...but...what is the amount of charge time @ what amperage?
2) Something with a bright screen.
3) I'm assuming a PC with solid state drives.
I plan to buy a Globalstar GPS puck for this. This unit would also serve as internet and a ship to shore unit.

Any help on brand name and model would be appreciated.
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Old 18-11-2014, 07:46   #2
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Re: Which Notebook

I don't know what you mean by OCPN not running well with App systems, but if you mean Apple computers, I find it runs perfectly. However, the mac version does not have all the fancy plugins available to it. We don't use/need them, but if you do, you will want a windows or linux computer.

#3 above will go a LONG way toward fulfilling #1. I recently put a SSD in my mac and was amazed at how much faster the computer is and how much battery run time I gained.

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Old 18-11-2014, 20:00   #3
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Re: Which Notebook

It was my understanding that OCPN only ran with a program based CPU and not a tablet with apps.
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Old 18-11-2014, 20:31   #4
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Re: Which Notebook

Yes, it does not run on tablets, although there may be an android test version out there. Your terminology confused me.

Look for individual parts specs for power draw. SSD is a given, but a bright display will use more power (but can also be adjusted down when appropriate). Stay away from powerful separate GPU's and look for integrated low-end graphic chips. If you aren't using bluetooth or wifi, turn them off. If you don't need a DVD drive, don't get one.

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Old 18-11-2014, 20:45   #5
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Re: Which Notebook

I use an Acer Aspire one netbook running Windows XP--less than $100 on Ebay. Rock solid operating system and draws 1 amp at 12v through a 150 watt inverter. The computer stays below. For the powerboat I bought a used Sony Monitor for the flybridge that had good daylight visibility and used a wireless mouse for controlling the computer--it uses more power than the computer, but on a powerboat who cares.
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Old 18-11-2014, 20:59   #6
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Re: Which Notebook

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Yes, it does not run on tablets, although there may be an android test version out there. Your terminology confused me.

Look for individual parts specs for power draw. SSD is a given, but a bright display will use more power (but can also be adjusted down when appropriate). Stay away from powerful separate GPU's and look for integrated low-end graphic chips. If you aren't using bluetooth or wifi, turn them off. If you don't need a DVD drive, don't get one.

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Forgive me for being so tech illiterate. What is SSD and GPU's?
I was not aware there was an OCPN app. I thought it was a program. So it would run on a Samsung Chromebook then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I use an Acer Aspire one netbook running Windows XP--less than $100 on Ebay. Rock solid operating system and draws 1 amp at 12v through a 150 watt inverter. The computer stays below. For the powerboat I bought a used Sony Monitor for the flybridge that had good daylight visibility and used a wireless mouse for controlling the computer--it uses more power than the computer, but on a powerboat who cares.
Is the Aspire a solidstate drive, rather than a traditional hard drive?
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Old 18-11-2014, 22:10   #7
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Re: Which Notebook

The Acer netbook I use has a traditional hard drive, but they also come with solid state, and probably use even less power.
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Old 18-11-2014, 23:33   #8
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Re: Which Notebook

I use chromebooks (about 15 watts) and dual core arms (2-3 watts)
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Old 18-11-2014, 23:50   #9
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Re: Which Notebook

I just purchased a used/refurbished 2012 HP probook 6460B with I5 processor and space for up to 16gigs of memory, from amazon for $300. It's for engineering/CAD, but I found the power draw is not bad at all. It uses 12 to 20 watts normally, but can use up to 30 watts with heavy demand, which OPCN isn't. It uses just a hair more power then my old netbook. But my 230 watts of solar still carry it and the boat day to day. The case is aluminum, There are tons of ports (4 USB, well 3 and a EATA that works as a fourth USB port), plus a spill proof keyboard with great feel, and a bright 14" screen with anti glare surface. Not good for direct sunlight, but fine below.

I got the HP mainly as it had a smaller screen, form factor then the newer laptops and the HP fit my smaller salon table. I use it with Autocad 2015, which it is more then fast enough for. Currently It had a regular HDD, but I may upgrade to a SSD sometime in the future. Battery life is over 4 hours, closer to 5 as is. Upgrading is easy as the back slides off by sliding one locking latch open. Has bluetooth, wifi, DVD, etc. I've been really pleased with it.
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Old 19-11-2014, 06:09   #10
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Re: Which Notebook

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
Forgive me for being so tech illiterate. What is SSD and GPU's?
I was not aware there was an OCPN app. I thought it was a program. So it would run on a Samsung Chromebook then?
SSD = solid state drive
GPU = graphics processing unit

Your intuition is correct on the SSD - that will go a long way toward reducing power draw and it will have the benefit of making a less powerful computer seem more powerful for many applications.

Many computers use separate GPU's so that they can handle intensive graphics like top-level games, or fast video editing. They suck power like crazy, though. If you do not do any of those types of things, get a computer that doesn't have a separate GPU - look for simple graphics chips built into the motherboard. If the computer advertising talks a lot about gaming, then it will draw more power.

I think there is someone trying to port OCPN to Android, but you don't want to go down that path at this point. I don't know how well OCPN runs on Chromebooks - that would be a Linux version, I think. If you are comfortable with Linux, and a Chromebook fits your other needs, then this would definitely be a low-power solution.

There are a ton of cheap, basement-level computers out there, but if power consumption is a priority, you will want to pay a bit more for things like an SSD (which, IMO, is worth the price of the computer itself - they make that big of a difference).

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Old 20-11-2014, 19:38   #11
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Re: Which Notebook

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Yes, it does not run on tablets...
Wrong. It runs great on Windows8 tablets.

Windows 8 Tablets for OpenCPN
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:57   #12
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Re: Which Notebook

I thought I would pump new life in this thread by saying that I took the plunge and bought a Toshiba Click2 Pro Toshiba Satellite Click 2 Pro P30W-BST2N01 Ultrabook
It was a refurbished unit. They told me it had gone home with someone as a gift and the receiver wanted something different. It's solid state drive and seems to hold a charge a good 5 hours between charges. It seems to charge full within an hour with a max draw of 2 amps. My old Dell 1505 sucked the power.
Now I will have to figure out hot to transfer all my data from one CPU to the other and load OpenCPN into it. Which is the whole reason I purchased it. I like the convertibility of it as the screen detaches from the keyboard, so I can mount it under the dodger when navigating.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:15   #13
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Re: Which Notebook

Celestial - I'm sure you are diligent about backing up like all the rest of us.

Be aware that a SSD (I have solid state drive) will seldom give you warning it is going bad, will most likely just croak on you when it decides to die. I like them for their speed, quietness and low power consumption.

So continue your practice of regular backups. Trust me on this.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:16   #14
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Re: Which Notebook

I use OCPN on my on my Dell Alt 10 tablet all the time. It runs fine on Windows 8.1. I get about 9 hours of run time with a single charge on the primary battery.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:47   #15
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Re: Which Notebook

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
I know this has been hashed over a million times but there in lies the problem.Tech talk overload.
I'm not a tech geek and so I need someone who can spell it out in simple terms.
I"m looking for a notebook (I think). If I understand correctly, OpenCPN does not run so well with App systems.
I use to use my Dell 1505 and found it a gas guzzler. So here are my needs...
1) Something that gets very good battery mileage. Now, I'm not asking for a large battery capacity as much as I am asking for minimal draw from the battery while in use. It use to cost me an amp. bundle to charge the 1505 every 2 hours.
I know some of these new units are getting 14 hours usage...but...what is the amount of charge time @ what amperage?
2) Something with a bright screen.
3) I'm assuming a PC with solid state drives.
I plan to buy a Globalstar GPS puck for this. This unit would also serve as internet and a ship to shore unit.

Any help on brand name and model would be appreciated.
Acer One Aspire running windows7. I got one for work and after 3 years it started to bog down so I got another one. In setting up the new one I figured out how to get the old one running well again.

2G memory
6-8 hr battery life
11" screen, (my opinion is it would be OK to fine for navigation, 10" would be marginal to OK, 7" too small.)
$350, makes the computer almost expendable, not a bad thing for electronics in the marine environment.

If you want one you got to get it right now, the existing stock of new Windows7 machines that haven't been sold is dwindling fast. Windows8 is a non-starter. Windows10 comes out late this year.

If you get one of these PM me and I will walk you through the setup process. I did a lot a research to figure out how to delay the machine bogging down and what to do when it does.
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