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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    171

    Which laptop for field DDC use?

    This forum should work since the dudes in tools may never use a laptop.
    I've used 2 plastic laptops and one old Panasonic toughbook which looks like garbage but still runs. The problem is that times change and so do operating system requirements.

    So now I need to buy a new laptop and want to get feed back from you guys as to what you might suggest or not.

    Typically, the sun is to bright to allow me to read the screen, the rain and snow is too wet to allow the keyboard to work right. The ambient is too cold (sometimes) to allow the monitor to update or even warm up. The gravel is too hard and the scratches cause the battery to fall out. You know the scene. Sometimes I get to sit a a boiler room on a bucket and life is great.

    Must use D--9 serial ports, USB, PCMI cards, modem and wireless internet.
    Any suggestions. And if you wonder, this is in Toronto Canada, so I must buy locally for long term support.

    D'Laine

  2. #2
    There are not a whole lot of options with a D9 anymore. Dont know what you mean by local? Canuck brand? I have had best luck with Dell's. I Dont want to shell the bucks for a Toughbook. If money is no object I would say a new Toughbook. or buy a One man tent and a fifth of Rye and use your old one.

  3. #3
    Work uses a lot of Dell D820s. It is still available and has a 9-pin serial port. I use the M4300 which is basically the same as a D820 but with a glossy screen which is better to see in the sun outdoors. The D820 matte screen is all but impossible to see in bright sunlight. The D820 and M4300 are good computers and you sure can't beat a hardware 9-pin serial port. Plus they have all the usual ports and specs for a new computer. Be sure to get bluetooth if you want to use the new Johnson software.

    Zandman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Quebec
    Posts
    71
    Dell has a few laptop that are made for outdoor use... don't remember the model....
    Actually, I'm using a Dell Precision M4300, has a DB9 (quite rare for a dual core PC) and I never had trouble with it.
    Browse dell.ca you'll find easily.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    winnipeg,manitoba CANADA
    Posts
    14

    Thumbs up

    If it works in Winnipeg in summer or winter, it must be tough.
    I'm using the following in the industrial sector:
    IBM thinkpad T60 with usb/9pin adapter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Posts
    3,863
    Dell Latitude D620

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    203
    I'm in T.O. as well and I use a IBM think pad. It was even knocked off a 3' ledge a couple of times with no problem's at all. They seem to be tough. If you have the budget I would look at the panasonic tough book. I'm almost due for another one and have no ideas what to buy either. Let me know what you get and how you like it.
    refrigeration workers of Ontario

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    51

    laptops

    There are three classes of laptops. $400, $1100 and $2500. All have the same parts advertised, the money is in the hinges, screen, keyboard, usb ports ect that you dont see advertised. I run my business with a Toshiba Tecra. I have had no problems with it. I use it everyday in the field. No drop test yet, and I hope I dont. As for the serial port, I have the best solution. Dont spend the money on a onboard serial port, Go to B&B electronics and get an SSP-100. It is a PCMCIA serial port adapter. Asign it to Comm 2 and you are in business. $120. It works with all the JCI stuff.

    Prostock

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    51

    laptops

    the connector is a little flimsy, but take car of it and it works fine. I put a small piece of velcro on the laptop face and stick the 232 end there when installed to relieve the pressure on the connector. You can get a ruggedized one that does not come off, but then you are pulling the card everyday, so the system would reconfigure each time. That might not be as reliable.

    Prostock

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    281
    Another vote for the Thinkpad.
    We have 5 of them with no problems and if you want a real db9 (not usb to db9) then you just but the ultrabase.
    The downside is that they are not cheap
    just another 2cents
    Kevin

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Southwest Florida
    Posts
    61
    I use a Dell Latitude ATG620. Extremely pleased with it - and it has a built in serial port!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    735
    Toughbook all the way. It has a handle which is great when climbing ladders, and you don't have to be too concerned if you drop it. You can get used CF-72's in good shape on eBay. And they have all the ports you need. If you are going to use it for everything (ie: documents and other things), then upgrade the hard drive to 80 or 120 GB as they usually only come with 30 or 40 GB.

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