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what is the better option, laptop or regular computer?

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  • what is the better option, laptop or regular computer?

    i have an extra Sony Vaio P4 1.6ghz DVD drive. Am i better off building a computer to run my system or can i use the laptop. What are the pro's/con's of each? Thanks in adavnce John

  • #2
    "Extra"? Heh...wish I had that kind of hardware just laying about.

    Well, the pro would be that you already have the gear. Con is that it's not quite as expandable if you wanted to add a PCI card for something, though most everything these days can be found in a USB device. Also, finding something with the appropriate power output can be tough, and managing a shutdown circuit with a laptop could also be hard without popping open the case and doing a bit of soldering.

    But once again, having just about all (or all if you intend to mount the laptop up front and use its keyboard/touchpad/display) really cuts down on the cost of implimentation.
    System status: in progress

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    • #3
      I am using an old Dell laptop with celeron 500 and 128 MB ram, trying to find a good place for an install. its going in cabin for now unitl i figure out a way to work on the Wake Up On LAN bit and get htat all wired in.
      CarPuter Progress: 70%. LCD installed, Computer Installed, Just waiting on some adatpers and stuff for my headunit.

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      • #4
        You could try using an inverter and the laptop's hibernate feature, ie set the laptop to hibernate when the battery level reaches below 75% etc. Then too kick in automatically when it is re-raised.

        Your other issue with a laptop is that the Audio output is usually less than satisfactory.

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        • #5
          I've done both a laptop and a regular carputer and I would definitly recommend the regular computer. The major drawbacks I see to having a laptop is it is harder to upgrade but also harder to modify to get it to fit or to add more functionality like auto on and off. For my install I ended up destroying the laptopabiltiy of the laptop I installed to get it just the way I wanted it so I couldn't take it out later. Things rarly just work on the first try with carputers and I find it much easier to just swap out hardware then to try and hack what I already have, with a laptop you don't have as much choice in doing this.
          StreetDeck.com Developer (I am Chuck)
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          • #6
            laptop or desktop

            I gotta say I agree with all the notions that laptops are harder to upgrade and customize... But I went with one because its easy to pull in and out. At night I like to pull out the laptop and take it inside the house. A custom built desktop could very well be sturdy and easy to pull in and out, but since a laptop was made for that, it's a better choice for me. Hope it helps!

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            • #7
              One of my all-time favorite installs used a laptop. Destin's Pathitosh was run by a Powerbook. Lots of time and customizing went into it though. That said I agree that a desktop is best for at least first carputer.

              Destin's Pathintosh http://pathintosh.usersites.com/Pictures010.html
              My Install Thread
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              MKIV VW Jetta
              How do I get sound to my car?

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              • #8
                I have been asking around to see if my setup idea will work. Was planning on using a presario amd1700 w/16m graph, 256m ram, cd, and 5gig hd.... was almost done when ... Whah~Lah! the HD went out. Now I have to run a seperate power supply in order to use a 3.5 desktop HD that I am having to build a freaking connector for. Yeah, Im using the 3.5 because I already have it and they are cheaper to come buy. After all is said and done I will probably take the shotgun to it and go mini-itx using the m3 chips. I am a little peaved at this point. I was about to purchase my touchscreen and looks like I have to wait... again. Desktop systems are much easier to get compatible but more expensive to get small. It's power and size advantage (laptop) vs. speed and compatibility (desktop) ~ but mini itx is changing all that
                Ghetto Sleds Turn Heads

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                (still noobin')

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                • #9
                  If it's an "extra" laptop... seems like you wouldn't mind too much hacking it up. I'm very new, just found out about carputers 2wks ago, but if you can build pc's, I think the benefit is to build your own. Not only can you upgrade, customize, put it where you want, but it's got that EXTRA cool factor of saying "Yeah, you know... built it myself."

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                  • #10
                    well

                    what about getting a bomb external sound card for the laptop around $100 bucks will get you an audigy with front/rear/center, the quality should be just fine via usb2, figuring the speeds are high, so it should be good, but im also trying to determine using a computer or laptop, cause i have an extra 1.1ghz amd laptop sitting around w/ 256 ram and 20gb hdd, but im trying to figure how i would get the laptop to startup when the car starts?

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                    • #11
                      check it

                      Originally posted by ecaandrew
                      but im trying to figure how i would get the laptop to startup when the car starts?
                      You could try using an inverter and the laptop's hibernate feature, ie set the laptop to hibernate when the battery level reaches below 75% etc. Then too kick in automatically when it is re-raised.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ufearme3
                        You could try using an inverter and the laptop's hibernate feature, ie set the laptop to hibernate when the battery level reaches below 75% etc. Then too kick in automatically when it is re-raised.
                        can anyoen confirm that this works?

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                        • #13
                          An ideal setup would be...

                          1. power your laptop via a switched input that disconnects when you turn your vehicle off and set the laptop to shutdown/hibernate after X minutes on battery.

                          2. use a relay to activate the 'wake on ring' function built into most laptops to power it back on.

                          This will allow you to power on the system when you start the car, leave it running on the batteries while your car is off for short amounts of time (gas station, etc) and power itself off after a set amount of time.

                          I successfully tested this setup with an old Dell laptop, but unfortunately the Panasonic laptop I use now does not support WOR.

                          - Z
                          It has to start somewhere... It has to start sometime.
                          What better place than here? What better time than now?

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                          • #14
                            I'm planning a laptop install under my passenger seat... as for remote on/off, all the laptops I've ever had, uh, had a modem (RJ11) port--I was thinking I'd wire these two leads up to the motherboard (or on/off switch) to eliminate one more permanent connection--drop-in-carpooter! Momentary short of these wires--push-button, pulse relay, or just two wires hanging out of your dash a la Joe Dirt...
                            I------Carpooter
                            I------Progress
                            I------Meter:
                            I------
                            I------0% - You can't screw up what you don't start.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Big Zack
                              An ideal setup would be...

                              1. power your laptop via a switched input that disconnects when you turn your vehicle off and set the laptop to shutdown/hibernate after X minutes on battery.

                              2. use a relay to activate the 'wake on ring' function built into most laptops to power it back on.
                              - Z

                              I have a few questions about using an extra laptop I have lying around...

                              1 - If you use an inverter for power, does this constantly drain from the battery? I know if I plug my cell in my car lighter in the morning and come back later it is fully charged, won't this routine keep the laptop fully charged?

                              2 - Wake on ring... how do you give the laptop a RING without having to do anything other than tun the car on?

                              3 - Does anyone know if it is possible (specifically on DELL 500 Latitude) to either remove the screen or keep the computer on while the screen is shut? Mine seems to hibernate everytime I close the cover no matter what XP settings I use.

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