Author Topic: What laptop should I get?  (Read 4160 times)

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Offline NOOBinDistressTopic starter

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What laptop should I get?
« on: June 14, 2007, 06:41:25 PM »
what laptop should I get that will help me program stuff and build robots? (what requirements help?) I know  anything is probobly fine. I was just wandering cuz I am getting 1 on my b day!

Offline ed1380

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2007, 07:02:43 PM »
what's the budget?
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Offline Eco19R

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2007, 10:38:46 PM »
uh if you want to run vista you need at least a gig of ram, not to mention a 3.4 Ghz processor - Any of the dual cores I think should work.

I think Intel has faster processors right now but there also more expensive,

Try to get one with a serial port if you can find one - most laptops only have USB and printer ports now,

Unless your going to be haling it around I suggest you buy a desktop instead - more bang for your buck.

I wouldn't spend more then 1k for a laptop.

Offline Steve Joblin

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2007, 04:34:59 AM »
Most "hobby" software for building robots is able to run on just about any computer that you can buy.  I can't really imagine getting a new laptop that wouldn't run any of the applications that you would use for programming and building robots.

It goes without saying, that many good programming systems may not have Mac versions, so I would stick with a PC, and stay away from Apple.

Offline NOOBinDistressTopic starter

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2007, 07:04:55 AM »
yahh well we have already got like 5-6 desktops around the house and about 3 of them are pretty good computers. Plus I just want something portable :D. My budget is probly around 500-800

Offline Admin

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2007, 08:40:53 AM »
Get a good video card if you plan to use 3D CAD.

Get the bluetooth option if you want wireless for your robots.

Try and get a serial port if its possible . . .

(and dont get Vista! it makes fast computers run like it was built in the mid 90's . . .) :P

Offline sotu

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2007, 09:16:45 AM »
Download google sketchup, a good program, not not advanced, free and i dont think it takes a lot of space on your computer.
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Offline Nyx

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2007, 09:55:22 AM »
Get a *mobile* processor if you want any battery life. That's my advice.

Offline rgcustodio

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2007, 10:48:51 AM »
I second the earlier recommendations. Get one with a serial port if possible (but most laptops on the market today don't have that). Don't get Vista, I'm running it on one of my laptops and its damn slow and obtrusive. Get a machine with enough speed and memory as you can afford. Since you have other machines at home which could probably run CAD tools, maybe you can skip the 3D acceleration. If you'll be working on the road most of the time consider getting an extra battery or getting an "extended life" battery.

If you can still fit it in your budget, a good dual-core machine is a "nice to have" feature. It adds extra zip to your other applications, specially those that are dual-core aware (ie Office, MS Visual Studio).

FWIW, I'm running Win2K on an -old- Lifebook B2630, its ultra portable (almost letter size), no serial port, 2 USB ports (so I have a separate powered hub), and has enough zip running coLinux (Linux on top of windows), and EAGLE. I turn off Firefox when running them because the RAM, even though its maxed out, is limited and causes my system to noisily use the swap file. Its not a dream machine but it fulfills the job.
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Offline ed1380

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2007, 03:37:15 PM »
you can get a c2d laptop for around $800 if you shop around.
bad thing is that pretty much all new computers sold now are vista.
I have vista on a 1.7ghz dual core lappy with 1gb of ram and it's not bad.
bluetooth is nice and a serial port too.  I've never seen a printer port on a new laptop and for $800 you can forget about good graphics
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Offline Tsukubadaisei

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2007, 06:28:46 PM »
If you want to put a computer inside your robot, then get a umpc. Extremelly small andfast. kohjinsha has some for $700.
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Offline JesseWelling

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2007, 03:52:01 PM »
Buy an old thinkpad for under $500 and use the rest of the money on the actual robot parts.
http://www.usanotebook.com/ibm_thinkpad_computer_laptops_notebooks_sale.php?page=1
http://thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkWiki

And run Xubuntu or Debian(with Fluxbox or Xfce for the desktop). It will run plenty snappy to work on your robot and compile in the field while leaving room in the budget for the things that really matter. And most of them have serial ports.


« Last Edit: June 19, 2007, 03:55:44 PM by JesseWelling »

Offline NOOBinDistressTopic starter

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2007, 07:26:32 PM »
gee thanks... I was hoping I could use it for games and stuff too...but ed said I couldnt get a good graphic card with everything else...  I was thinking about getting a new desktop but the one I already have does everything I need with robotics and I guess I wont really be travelling around and building robots @ the same time so I guess I dont need a robot laptop! ;D



ALthough...  the Ideas above sound promising im considering trying one of them.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 07:28:11 PM by NOOBinDistress »

Offline ed1380

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2007, 10:46:07 PM »
desktop- cheaper per performance, unmobile, can have ok to great graphics

laptop- mobile, not that many ports and options, more expensive
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Offline Hal9000

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2007, 01:11:15 PM »
Yeah, don't get vista. Very bad reports on that front

I recently bought a desktop pc for ?20. It is 400MHz and will do any programming and interfacing I want it to do, robot wise. If i break the ports, so what? lol.

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Offline HDL_CinC_Dragon

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2007, 10:23:51 PM »
well if you just want something portable to tote around while you test your killer robot at the local park, just advanced search eBay a laptop with your price max that your looking for and get something cheap. As mentioned before, you dont need anything too powerful... unless you want to do the 3D CAD. I personally use the Google Sketchup because its very advanced and is free so its a crazy awesome deal =) heck my old 233Mhz laptop that can barely run its OS (I have Win XP on it and I have NO idea how it even boots up lol) could probably run the progging software and such...
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Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2007, 11:52:24 PM »
To run Win XP on a laptop, look for a Pentium III around 1000MHz with 256 MB RAM. The harddrive size matters only to be able to store more stuff on it. These laptops have both parralel and serial ports, as well as USB 1.1. Having a DVD-ROM is nice so you can play the movies of your robots at conventions or where ever you go. Anyway, a laptop is good for 3 reasons: you can take it with you at competitions to tweak your code, you can have a dual OS installed on it so you get familiar with Linux, and you can play with a laptop controlled robot, a good thing for prototyping your next generation of inteligent robots. Of course, if it works, you can then get a Mini-ITX motherboard with a Compact Flash card instead of a HDD.

My laptop is a Dell Latitude C610, P-III at 1200 MHz, 256 RAM, 40 GB HDD, DVD-ROM. I run Win XP SP2 and Gentoo Linux. I got this laptop a couple years ago from eBay, for $450.

Edit: I don't have a desktop, my whife also has a similar laptop and we have a wireless router wich enable us to surf the net anywhere in the house and to wirelessly comand my big robot Eric. So far it can bring me a bear only remotely controlled. Hope that someday I will be able to finish it's programming...
« Last Edit: June 26, 2007, 11:58:07 PM by Ro-Bot-X »
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Offline megaman935

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Re: What laptop should I get?
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2007, 04:36:54 PM »
big robot Eric
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