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eHam Forums => Computers And Software => Topic started by: N5RWJ on July 12, 2012, 10:19:43 AM



Title: Lab Top?
Post by: N5RWJ on July 12, 2012, 10:19:43 AM
What is recommend to buy?


Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: KD8DEY on July 12, 2012, 10:40:52 AM
Usually a thin white coat.
Pocket protector optional :>

Lap top on the other hand, I hear that a lot of people like the ASUS offerings......


Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: K5UNX on July 12, 2012, 02:31:45 PM
I think it depends on your use. Ham radio dedicated laptop? General purpose, as in your full time computer?



Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: KE4DRN on July 12, 2012, 05:41:55 PM
hi Charles,

take a look at IBM certified used laptops, desktops and displays.

free ups shipping, 7 days no hassle return and includes windows 7 o/s,
3 or 4Gb memory standard.

most of them are about three years old, just off lease,
prices start at $200 and up,
keep looking daily, inventory changes and they also have promotions,
most recent was one year extended warranty at no extra cost.

http://www-304.ibm.com/shop/americas/content/home/store_IBMPublicUSA/en_US/icpepcs.html

73 james


Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: KG4NEL on July 12, 2012, 07:28:38 PM
I've had good luck with Dell refurbs. I've learned not to drop a ton of money into a laptop that's only going to last a few years before replacement, anyway.


Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: W8JX on July 14, 2012, 07:27:20 AM
Given the rapid evolution of laptop hardware in computing power and reduced power usage (cooler running) in last few years it is silly to get a refurbed anything that will be slower than todays entry level system and run much warmer too. You can get a decent new laptop around 400 today.  Stick with HP/Compaq,  Toshiba or Asus and avoid other brands. 


Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: NA4IT on July 14, 2012, 12:17:59 PM
Tiger Direct also has refurbs. Also, you might consider staying with Windoze XP Pro SP3. Win 7 can be a bear to get some ham software to work with.


Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: K6REA on July 14, 2012, 01:59:34 PM
what's a Labtop ???



Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: KE4DRN on July 14, 2012, 05:17:05 PM
Lot of these entry level POS computers have a great 30 day warranty on the battery that
starts from day you ordered it, they make them so cheap you need to think about how long it will last.
They make their profit off the 'extended warranty' or 'service coverage' they push you to buy.

the IBM systems I recommended are off lease, 3 years or younger and the quality of Thinkpad.

73 james

Given the rapid evolution of laptop hardware in computing power and reduced power usage (cooler running) in last few years it is silly to get a refurbed anything that will be slower than todays entry level system and run much warmer too. You can get a decent new laptop around 400 today.  Stick with HP/Compaq,  Toshiba or Asus and avoid other brands. 


Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: N1UK on July 15, 2012, 06:17:34 AM
Is lab top to computing like guide wire is to towers?


Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: W8JX on July 15, 2012, 01:03:34 PM
Lot of these entry level POS computers have a great 30 day warranty on the battery that
starts from day you ordered it, they make them so cheap you need to think about how long it will last.
They make their profit off the 'extended warranty' or 'service coverage' they push you to buy.

Never seen a 30 day warranty on a new entry level HP/Compaq, Toshiba or Asus. Only on some off brand refurbs. As far as a extended warranty to go beyond one year that is up to you but if you do you want one from OEM not retailer.

the IBM systems I recommended are off lease, 3 years or younger and the quality of Thinkpad.

Again kinda silly to buy 3 year old hardware as a lot has changed even in last 18 month and when laptops might have ran 2+ hours on battery new one can run 5 to 7 hours because of better efficiency and speed. And hardware more "intelligent" too.


Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on July 16, 2012, 12:09:22 AM
I would also stay away from refurbed laptops.
They are now called notebook computers because some turkeys burned their jewels after having them on their laps.

However, know that most hard disks will fail after five years, so a 3 year old unit will likely only have two years of hard disk life left.
Also, beware of some companies who use proprietory bus architectures, since you are then locked into their equipment.
I will not name them due to legal issues, but anyone in the computer field can advise you of those issues.
Also, corporate notebooks are not handled well, and are abused since the users are not the owners.

Electronic equipment has the well know "infant mortality" problem, where it will generally fail with the first year.
After that it keeps going, until its end of life where it rapidly degrades.
You don't want to enter at the end of life phase, where warranties are not applicable.

Keep in mind, that these days, notebook computers should be viewed as consumable items.
I would advise you to buy a new low end notebook computer, which comes with a 1 to 3 year warranty.
One of these would be far more powerful and reliable than an old refurbished clunker.
Unless you are interested in high tech archeology, avoid buying someone else's problem.

I speak from experience, having been involved in Bank and Telco notebook computers for four years.

Good luck, 73 - Rob


Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: W4FID on July 17, 2012, 05:32:22 AM
My wife has an Acer netbook. Real simple and does a lot -- all the basic stuff easily. She does pix, etc. It has separate phone and mic inputs and is fairly RF resistant. Paid about $200 new at HH Gregg. I have a HP netbook. Same size and specs. Paid the same at Office Depot. it sucks by comparison. Mic/phones are not ham friendly for Skype, dongle, teamviewer, etc.

Or for a desktop the guy's suggestion for a refurbished IBM or Dell is a good idea. Ham software doesn't require the latest highest speed CPU for the most part and we give it way less hard use than say an office so it should last as long as you want till it's time for something newer.


Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: W8JX on July 17, 2012, 06:01:51 AM
Or for a desktop the guy's suggestion for a refurbished IBM or Dell is a good idea. Ham software doesn't require the latest highest speed CPU for the most part and we give it way less hard use than say an office so it should last as long as you want till it's time for something newer.

It does require OS support and old hardware is not new OS friendly and like it or not XP support will stop in less than 2 years too. So why spend new money on old standard when new hardware is cheaper and much faster too even at entry level. Also RAM for current standards (DDR3) is far cheaper than RAM for older standards. Actually now is time to get a new WIN7 machine before the are replaced with WIN8 and a new can of worms.


Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: KE4DRN on July 17, 2012, 04:07:47 PM
I recommend the Thinkpads to many people, nobody was disappointed with them.
They use Hitachi drives, very dependable, genuine Intel processors, 15" screens.

These are not entry level Thinkpads.

Here are the specs on one model for example with the 9 cell battery.

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/product-and-parts/detail.page?DocID=PD008795

Many of these machines are used for disaster recovery and hot sites, they sit idle.
Sure, a lot of business users beat the crap out of their laptops, they get scrapped.
IBM refurbishes them right here in Morrisville, NC near RTP NC and ships them out
all over the country.  If they were so bad nobody would want them.

Sure you may get a lemon now and then, that is why they give you no hassle returns.

73 james



Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: W8JX on July 17, 2012, 07:29:14 PM

These are not entry level Thinkpads.

Here are the specs on one model for example with the 9 cell battery.

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/product-and-parts/detail.page?DocID=PD008795


Problem is the hardware wise these are well below NEW entry level systems today and a entry level Intel I-3 would smoke them. Then it also uses DDR2 ram than is about 3x cost of DDR3 now.  There has been a LOT of advancement in laptop hard ware last few years. Latest ones will not even "cook" you lap anymore either. Do not spend new money on old hardware.


Title: RE: Lab Top?
Post by: KE4DRN on July 18, 2012, 05:45:07 PM
Sure if you are a software application developer,
database administrator or graphics designer,
you do need state of the art computing power and
the price tag that comes with that.

For amateur and  home use the IBM type systems
are a great solution as well as other name brand systems.

The IBM Thinkpads come with 3GB max or with
4GB max if you get the highest end unit.
Another feature is the information available on these
systems is on their website, manuals for repair and service,
all no cost to download in PDF.

The schools my kids attend use the same systems and
no they don't get rid of them after three years, they keep them
until they wear out or another grant pays for them.

If we are to apply your logic, we should all toss our existing systems
and 'upgrade' each year, but lets not stop there, why not our
radios, antenna and towers? 

73 james