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Thread: Laptop vs Desktop

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    What about getting a video out for the laptop and plug it into one of the av inputs on the clarion.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Thats actually a pretty cool idea. I'd loose the touch screen ability on the clarion while it is displaying the laptop, but you can get "mouse-type" tracker balls and what not to control the laptop, right? I'll be looking into this today....

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Vienna, VA
    Laptop Cons:
    I disagree with some of these.

    More Expensive
    Not really. A laptop as fast as a typical mini-ITX 1.2Ghz set up can be had for about $400-$700, especially if you wait for good deals from Dell, etc.

    Often require low-efficeny inverter is no DC-DC transformer available.
    Not really. You can easily find DC-DC auto/air adapters. Kingston makes tons of these. They run for about $30-$100, depending on how much power your laptop demands. I bought mine for $15 shipped off of eBay and it's been running just fine.
    Limited expandibility
    I somewhat agree. However, most things can be hooked up via USB/serial now. An mini-ITX board only gives you one extra PCI slot (or 2 if you use a riser card) anyway. Not really a big deal in terms of expandability.
    Hard to get "boot on power"
    Definitlye agree with this. Getting the laptop to power on when you turn on the car in the biggest pain in the ***. In most case, you'll have to solder wires onto the board and have to devise a relay circuit to turn it on. On the flip side, installing a "shutdown controller" is as easy as about 10 mouse clicks in Windows XP.
    Docking station may be needed
    Wrong. Docking station is just an additional convenience that a desktop set up cannot have. Bringing your CarPC into your house to work on it is as easy as pushing two buttons if you have a docking station. With a desktop, you'll have to unhook all the wires and then re-hook them back later. I don't know why you even listed this as a laptop "con." It should be a "pro."

    Of these cons, only #4 is really a big deal.

    Some others you didn't mention.

    Hooking up an external screen to a laptop. First, most laptops do not support 800x480 so if you have one of these screens, you'll have to use 800x600. Second, most laptops do not display boot messages and the windows bootup screen on the external screen (only on the laptop's own screen), so if your system hangs on bootup, you'll have no idea what happens. This might be a pain in the ***.

    Sound card. A laptop's built in sound processor sucks. Period. You'll either have to use a PCMCIA card or a USB card to improve on this. If you're lucky and you laptop has SPDIF out, you can use an external processor.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    I have a desktop setup on my car now.

    -expandability cheap parts.. video cards,sound cards etc
    -sounds great currently using and Audigy 2 Soundcard but i believe there is a PCMCIA Audigy 2 but havent heard it yet.
    -SPDIF output (am using a DSP with optical SPDIF in)

    -Static Arrgh!!! that inverter is causing all of it(from where im from its not easy for me to find a DC to DC power supply, this is the reason why i opted for optical input )
    -Heat!!! im from a tropical country

    Laptop havent tried it yet BUT!! i recently purchase a Compaq Presario P4 208 for 250$ its got a busted LCD but all else is working fine!! planning to use it on my car now my problem is.. my display only accepts composite input is there a way to convert VGA to composite (again from where im from its hard to find a VGA touchscreen ) help please
    oops off topic sorry mods

  5. #25
    Registered User Nicorolla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Desktop pro: (excluding Epia's)
    -price/performance way better than any laptop.
    -more power options
    -more show off potential (moded case, water cooling, etc...)
    -Parts availabilty
    -Can take just as much beating as a laptop if built right

    Desktop con:
    -"V8 like" power consumption
    -Slightly more heat
    -Can take up some space
    -None portable

    Laptop pro:
    -Power efficiency
    -All in one package
    -Small size
    -Low heat and noise
    -Can take a beating out of the box

    Laptop con:
    -Price/performance is higher
    -Power options are fewer
    -Very little or no show off potential
    -Fewer parts available/ proprietary parts
    -Not much room for expansion

    Epias - ITX pros
    -Ultra low power consumption
    -Extreme small size
    -Desktop parts compatible
    -Power options
    -Show off potential
    -Semi-portable depending on setup
    -Low heat and noise

    Epias - ITX cons:
    -Very poor price/performance
    -Only one ram and one PCI

    -My pick - The desktop, cause my preference is performance

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    If you want to have a power system that you can link up with your buddies in the parking lot and wipe out some zombies for as cheap as possible, go PC

    If you want to have a tiny system that can fit into your dash with amny comereical options to help you along the way, go Epia

    If you want to have a well rounded system that's drop in and go, go laptop. Its just that simple. Its all on preference.

    I had the choice between a gaming rig Shuttle and two laptops. I picked one of the laptops, a Transnote tablet PC. For many many reasons, other than IBm solid depnedability, my main: its black-). Also, i enjoy the wonders of USB and have many accessories and a portable drive bay for it. In other words, manufacturer backed in dash slim DVD drive that's swappable. Also, the P-M chips are already integrated into ciructry and they take up almost no power in comparison to their desktop countrparts and their chipsets are designed to get the most out of the Mhz. The only reason that you need a high end video cards is when you want to play the latest and greatest games.'re driving...why? But then again, the laptop has batteries so you can turn off the car and still have everything up and running on limited juice (sound system and LCD), but still...well..okay, i'd do it.
    Carputer Progress: Here we go again...

    Genesis has speed
    Genesis has class
    Genesis sent money
    before your a__;)

    Join the fight against carputters. EMAIL ME!

  7. #27
    Newbie Hydrometer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    I've decided to go with a laptop for my system. I kept searching ebay for a laptop with a broken screen. Really, what's the need for an LCD when you are going to install a touchscreen anyways. I ended up going to a local laptop only reseller, and buying a laptop without the screen installed, the price went from 475 to 300 CAN for a IBM t23 Cel 1.1Ghz 256/30gig with 8x dvd. As far as expandability goes i think everything that will be hooked up to the device will be usb anyways, definatley pro laptop here....

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2011


    laptop pro:
    hey! no one said that they are easy to update. with the new i3-i7 cores you can easily update your laptop computer. the concept is called "yesterday and today"
    plus the i cores make them faster than dual, or Intel, core desktops.
    docking stations make it easier to connect to a network.
    they can come with a built-in gaming card which allows the laptop to make any massive player game as realistic as possible. and still run smooth and fast

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    With the desktop, you are always entirely charged. The ease of use of carrying your laptop around with you doesn’t matter sufficient when your power source is on break.

  10. #30
    Newbie joshnosh11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    bedfordshire, uk
    i don't really see price as an argument in this as its totally up to you how much you spend on your hardware
    my laptop cost me £50 + a new hard drive, and its fine for car use and its pritty fast
    you can get second hand laptops pritty cheep especially when they have broken screens and you can also get quite powerful ones.
    also id expect anyone who talks about performance to at lease be running a quad core in there desktop

    power off is easy. just download a program that turns the laptop off after a set amount off time once the power is lost
    power on is more difficult
    my laptop unfortunately dosent support wake on lan but a lot off them do. if they do you can make your own power on switch that plugs into the lan port
    if not you can just solder the power button.

    iv got an m2 ATX and that cost me £45 my dc-dc power adapter for my laptop cost me £8

    everything is usb nowadays so as long as you have enough usb ports on your laptop your not restricted

    laptops are upgradeable. iv upgraded the ram in mine, the hard drive to an SSD, the wireless card to a "N" card, the cpu and the battery to a 9 cell one.
    the only thing i cant change is the graphics card. but lets be honest 7" screens arnt exactly HD are they!

    you can also remove a hard drives motherboard and mount it on wood/acrylic for a custom look

    end off the day i would defo recommend laptops for car use. iv had no real problems using a laptop

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