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Whats a good lap top for tunning

Old 01-09-2019, 08:59 PM
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Default Whats a good lap top for tunning

I need to buy a good windows laptop for tunning at the track . What are you guys using an what u reccomen . bestbuy ,walmart etc. No MacBook
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:18 AM
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I suggest a refurbished Lenevo T420, T430, or T450 with an i-3, i-5, or i-7 processor. These are plain Jane black business laptops with a carbon fiber frame. Stay away from the T440 because it doesn't have the good trackpad. But if you are competent with a jeweler's screwdriver, you can replace it with the upgrade. Same for anything in the case - fan, memory, hard drive, etc.

As for the processor for tuning, you don't need a lot of computing power as much as you need battery power that will last a few hours.

But in these models you find that most are a i-5 or i-7's processors. And most will come with a small 128, 180 or 240 solid state hard drive (fast, fast, fast). This is more than enough hard drive space for the minimum apps needed to tune if it isn't going to be a dual purpose laptop. If you need xtra disk space, a 128 gig flash flash drive is good to store files off of the laptop. That said, solid state hd's don't fail like platter type hard drives if you bang them around - no moving parts. Lest we forget, they are built for business and travel where they are tossed around and thrown into cars, taxi's, airplanes and motel rooms. They just don't break down.

Of the list I mentioned, the T450 has enough battery power to last practically a whole race day. The others have less, but the fix is to have an extra battery if there is no place to plug in a charger. With a solid state HD, the only moving part in the laptop is the fan which helps to conserve battery life. A solid state HD is easy to install.

I can't speak for other product lines within the Lenovo family. IMO, the business Thinkpad is the best. I have owned a T42,T61,T420, T430, and T450s. The T61 is still good enough to tune with. Only problem with it is short battery life.

The IBM/Lenovo keyboard is the industry standard as is the Trackpad. All of the above have USB 2.0. The T430 and T450 have USB 3.0. No Thunderbolt on these models.

Most will come with Windows 10 Pro and not all of the bloat software like so many others. A lite version of Office with Excel is about all you need in addition to your tuning software. If it comes with Windows 7, you can still upgrade to 10 for free and legal directly from Microsoft's site. Microsoft just doesn't tell you it is still available for free.

As for support for drivers etc. IBM has by far the best website for drivers and upgrades and firmware patches. They let you know, you don't have to ask.

Everyone of the refurished units I have purchased from MicroCenter look just like new - just ask them to open the box and look with the excuse that you don't want one with dead pixels or a scuffed screen. Boot it before you buy. If they refuse - walk away.

https://www.microcenter.com/product/...bished---black
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:07 AM
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i have refurb t420 thats my tuning computer. it's a beast. buy a new (not new old stock) over size battery pack from china and a SSD to replace the optical drive and it's great. <$500 all said
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:19 AM
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ThinkPad is a very good choice. Getting a refurb model with an SSD and huge battery is a good deal. Having a bigger and very bright screen is also helpful while you're street tuning.

I actually use a MacBook Pro with Bootcamp. Battery life is around 10 hours. You need as much life as you can get.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by dlandsvZ28 View Post
I suggest a refurbished Lenevo T420, T430, or T450 with an i-3, i-5, or i-7 processor. These are plain Jane black business laptops with a carbon fiber frame. Stay away from the T440 because it doesn't have the good trackpad. But if you are competent with a jeweler's screwdriver, you can replace it with the upgrade. Same for anything in the case - fan, memory, hard drive, etc.

As for the processor for tuning, you don't need a lot of computing power as much as you need battery power that will last a few hours.

But in these models you find that most are a i-5 or i-7's processors. And most will come with a small 128, 180 or 240 solid state hard drive (fast, fast, fast). This is more than enough hard drive space for the minimum apps needed to tune if it isn't going to be a dual purpose laptop. If you need xtra disk space, a 128 gig flash flash drive is good to store files off of the laptop. That said, solid state hd's don't fail like platter type hard drives if you bang them around - no moving parts. Lest we forget, they are built for business and travel where they are tossed around and thrown into cars, taxi's, airplanes and motel rooms. They just don't break down.

Of the list I mentioned, the T450 has enough battery power to last practically a whole race day. The others have less, but the fix is to have an extra battery if there is no place to plug in a charger. With a solid state HD, the only moving part in the laptop is the fan which helps to conserve battery life. A solid state HD is easy to install.

I can't speak for other product lines within the Lenovo family. IMO, the business Thinkpad is the best. I have owned a T42,T61,T420, T430, and T450s. The T61 is still good enough to tune with. Only problem with it is short battery life.

The IBM/Lenovo keyboard is the industry standard as is the Trackpad. All of the above have USB 2.0. The T430 and T450 have USB 3.0. No Thunderbolt on these models.

Most will come with Windows 10 Pro and not all of the bloat software like so many others. A lite version of Office with Excel is about all you need in addition to your tuning software. If it comes with Windows 7, you can still upgrade to 10 for free and legal directly from Microsoft's site. Microsoft just doesn't tell you it is still available for free.

As for support for drivers etc. IBM has by far the best website for drivers and upgrades and firmware patches. They let you know, you don't have to ask.

Everyone of the refurished units I have purchased from MicroCenter look just like new - just ask them to open the box and look with the excuse that you don't want one with dead pixels or a scuffed screen. Boot it before you buy. If they refuse - walk away.

https://www.microcenter.com/product/...bished---black
So get the t420 on this link
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:43 AM
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Whatever has the largest/longest lasting battery. The actual tools themselves don't require hardly any performance.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ddnspider View Post
Whatever has the largest/longest lasting battery. The actual tools themselves don't require hardly any performance.
ok thanks for the break down info
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:41 PM
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It depends upon how deep your pockets are. A T420 with a 9 cell battery is perhaps good or 6 to eight hours. And more is you have an SSD HD instead of the traditional platter type that spins at 5400 rpm. And you can you can fiddle with the processor to run at less than 100 percent too since you don't need an i-7 to run HP or EFI live. Two batteries would double run time.

The t430 on the other hand based on reviews adds a couple of hours. Again - runtime depends on factors such as screen brightness, file swapping, fan run time, and hard drive if not an SSD.

For example: you replace the HD with an SSD and then yank the CD rom and in it's place you reinstall the orig HD saving files to it instead of the SSD. The HD backup takes power to fire up and spin. The 7200 rpm is even worse. So lose the CD rom or disable it and save files to the SSD. If you need external storage, get an external HD. With USB 3.0 saving files to an external HD is fast but saving file to a 3.0 USB flash drive is even faster. So save files to disk temporarily and then save to external later for safekeeping.

Heat is a concern as well. Baking in the car cause the fan to run more compared to your garage or inside the house. So don't let it heat soak. Store it a cooler when not using it.

The t420 and T430 have external batteries. The T450 has an internal and external battery where runtime is even greater. Most times my T450s says I have about 13 hours. With an extra external battery I would have even more.

The s suffix on each model (T450s for example) is the thin style of each model. Thin is nice and lighter, but sometime less ports and no CD but now days who needs one.

With any of them, you need to manage power consumption to get long runtime and each model provides power plans to do so.

Tips:

If you have a Microcenter - buy locally rather than on line. Some of these on line resellers are suspect.
IBM is a good place to buy also, but I have lost their website and can't find the new URL.
Lenovo has an Outlet store on their site. You might find some T440's and T450's but nothing older. The X1 is great too, but hard to find.

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/outletu...ge=2&pageSize=

Boot it and look for dead pixels or a scuffed screen.
If the hinges are extremely tight, that means usually that it has been parked on a docking station it's entire life. The lid and the keyboard have probably rarely been used or opened. It's a business laptop. IT sets them up on a docking station with a monitor and external keyboard and mouse. Some users take them home or to meetings, many do not and why they are usually in excellent condition.
Listen for a noisey fan. With an SSD, it's the only moving part to wear out. The fan is easy to replace, however, and inexpensive. If it's noisey, it probably just dirty. Give it a shot of air to clean the blades.
They come with enough memory. No need to add more unless you plan on running Catia
Load them up lite without all of the bloatware and they will boot cold in 30 seconds.

Good luck - don't think you will be disappointed.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dlandsvZ28 View Post
It depends upon how deep your pockets are. A T420 with a 9 cell battery is perhaps good or 6 to eight hours. And more is you have an SSD HD instead of the traditional platter type that spins at 5400 rpm. And you can you can fiddle with the processor to run at less than 100 percent too since you don't need an i-7 to run HP or EFI live. Two batteries would double run time.

The t430 on the other hand based on reviews adds a couple of hours. Again - runtime depends on factors such as screen brightness, file swapping, fan run time, and hard drive if not an SSD.

For example: you replace the HD with an SSD and then yank the CD rom and in it's place you reinstall the orig HD saving files to it instead of the SSD. The HD backup takes power to fire up and spin. The 7200 rpm is even worse. So lose the CD rom or disable it and save files to the SSD. If you need external storage, get an external HD. With USB 3.0 saving files to an external HD is fast but saving file to a 3.0 USB flash drive is even faster. So save files to disk temporarily and then save to external later for safekeeping.

Heat is a concern as well. Baking in the car cause the fan to run more compared to your garage or inside the house. So don't let it heat soak. Store it a cooler when not using it.

The t420 and T430 have external batteries. The T450 has an internal and external battery where runtime is even greater. Most times my T450s says I have about 13 hours. With an extra external battery I would have even more.

The s suffix on each model (T450s for example) is the thin style of each model. Thin is nice and lighter, but sometime less ports and no CD but now days who needs one.

With any of them, you need to manage power consumption to get long runtime and each model provides power plans to do so.

Tips:

If you have a Microcenter - buy locally rather than on line. Some of these on line resellers are suspect.
IBM is a good place to buy also, but I have lost their website and can't find the new URL.
Lenovo has an Outlet store on their site. You might find some T440's and T450's but nothing older. The X1 is great too, but hard to find.

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/outletu...ge=2&pageSize=

Boot it and look for dead pixels or a scuffed screen.
If the hinges are extremely tight, that means usually that it has been parked on a docking station it's entire life. The lid and the keyboard have probably rarely been used or opened. It's a business laptop. IT sets them up on a docking station with a monitor and external keyboard and mouse. Some users take them home or to meetings, many do not and why they are usually in excellent condition.
Listen for a noisey fan. With an SSD, it's the only moving part to wear out. The fan is easy to replace, however, and inexpensive. If it's noisey, it probably just dirty. Give it a shot of air to clean the blades.
They come with enough memory. No need to add more unless you plan on running Catia
Load them up lite without all of the bloatware and they will boot cold in 30 seconds.

Good luck - don't think you will be disappointed.
Which one
Lenovo - ThinkPad 14" Refurbished Laptop - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 120GB Solid State Drive - Black. $397

Lenovo - ThinkPad 14" Refurbished Laptop - Intel Core i7 - 12GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive - Black . $537
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ddnspider View Post
Whatever has the largest/longest lasting battery. The actual tools themselves don't require hardly any performance.
Agree 100%. I have had from$300-$4000 laptops and battery is my main concern. Currently have 5 laptop I use but use a new laveno yoga and a macbook air the most, both were over $1,000 ea unfortunately.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:38 PM
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I use my Dell E6230 business laptop. Very compact and light. Can get them for under $300 now on ebay. Just get a 2.7ghz or better.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:28 PM
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I have no idea where Best Buy get their used laptops. It's why I bought locally from Microcenter instead of on line even if I have to drive 200 miles to their closest store in KC. I got my T450s from the Lenovo Outlet store and the others from Microcenter.

As the others said - battery power is the most important and the T450 will get you the most run time. However, making sure to get one with an SSD hd is also important.

You might visit Best Buy and find out if you can open the box before accepting. Microcenter allows me to do that.

Microcenters' web store.

https://www.microcenter.com/product/...bished---black

As for your two links, IMO of the two, the cheaper I5 with the 128 SSD is more than enuf for tuning and data logging if all you are going to use it for.

Found a website for IBM refurbished.

https://www-store.shop.ibm.com/shop/
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:57 AM
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Dell latitude 6400's or E5530 refurbs can be found nicely outfitted on ebay for 160.00. I just use it for hp tuners and internet surfing at home/movies youtube etc.... works great.... not gaming computers by any means but good stats for the price
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:56 PM
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I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop for $250 brand new. It does everything I need for tuning and general web surfing. The track pat isn't the greatest, and tends to select things when I didn't mean to select them. It's just finicky in how it works. But, for the price it works great. I don't tend to use it for long hours, but no real complaints about the battery life. It has lasted a few hours when I needed it. What do you want for $250? That's very little cost for a lot of performance.
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by llafro View Post
I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop for $250 brand new. It does everything I need for tuning and general web surfing. The track pat isn't the greatest, and tends to select things when I didn't mean to select them. It's just finicky in how it works. But, for the price it works great. I don't tend to use it for long hours, but no real complaints about the battery life. It has lasted a few hours when I needed it. What do you want for $250? That's very little cost for a lot of performance.
If you're tuning in the car, having a trackpad that's aggravating like that is a hassle. Going to the Thinkpads solves that... they have both the trackpad and the pressure sensitive button for navigating.

My Mac has the best touchpad/drivers for Windows I've used. But it's a lot of money to get into it, even refurb.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JakeFusion View Post
If you're tuning in the car, having a trackpad that's aggravating like that is a hassle. Going to the Thinkpads solves that... they have both the trackpad and the pressure sensitive button for navigating.

My Mac has the best touchpad/drivers for Windows I've used. But it's a lot of money to get into it, even refurb.
Something to consider, most tablets can be used as a track pad on a computer with an app when plugged into the computer. We did this in equipment with the gps computers to navigate the screen easier when the **** is bouncing all over the place.

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Old 01-15-2019, 02:31 PM
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+10 on the ThinkPads. I've had a whole series of them over the years. I love my current T450s. I use it as my personal work laptop. It also has touch screen capability besides trackpad and button.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:50 PM
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I have an HP stream 11" i bought from walmart. Lasts all day, has two usb ports fo logging my wideband too. Compact, cheap, bare bones. I would not waste a bunch of money on a laptop, just buy one and use it only for that. Stay off the internet unless you need to download an update or credits...minimizes virus issues. I also have a full size hp laptop, and RCA windows tablet with detachable keyboard and a 7" winbook tablet that i use. my Main one is the 11" stream however. was like $159.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Scott68B View Post
+10 on the ThinkPads. I've had a whole series of them over the years. I love my current T450s. I use it as my personal work laptop. It also has touch screen capability besides trackpad and button.
i have a touchscreen laptop that causes me headaches because of the touchscreen. touching it messes stuff up that i dont mean to
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