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Thread: what is the better option, laptop or regular computer?

  1. #1
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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. #2
    Maximum Bitrate Change's Avatar
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    "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.

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate
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    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.

  5. #5
    Raw Wave god_of_cpu's Avatar
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    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.
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  6. #6
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    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!

  7. #7
    FLAC ppgt94's Avatar
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    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

  8. #8
    Newbie Joe_Collectible's Avatar
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    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

  9. #9
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    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."

  10. #10
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    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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