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Laptop Decisions

Introduction to Engine Tuning

Discussion and questions related to the course Introduction to Engine Tuning


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Hello Everyone,

Just a quick question as technology is constantly changing and haven't found an answer to this. I am in need of a new laptop, especially since I am going to dive into tuning my cars once they are up and running. I currently have an Apple laptop, which of course is not the ideal choice for tuning a vehicle. So, my question is what is everyone using? What do you like about your set up and is there anything you would change? If you could purchase a new computer for tuning, what would you choose and why?

Whatever Laptop I decide to purchase will be used mostly for motorsports purposes, to include tuning, designing and implementing harness design, read FSM while rebuilding an engine, etc. So it does need to be reasonably resilient.

Cheers,

Kevin

I have an HP laptop that converts into a tablet just by flipping it open solid aluminum structure. very handy. also try to stick with a laptop that is a solid state drive, they are alot faster operating. as for brand it doesnt really matter,

In terms of processing power & RAM etc, you dont need anything flash for tuning or any of the common harness or logging softwares. I will mention some other considerations that I feel are more important:

Battery life.

As Brett mentioned above, a SS drive is preferable if not necessary as it makes them boot a whole lot faster and increases batt life.

Screen visibility in sunlight - dont get a glossy screen and check it has good visibility outdoors in the sun.

Ports and port locations. Over here in NZ we are RHD and Im usually sitting in the drivers seat while tuning on the dyno. So I like to have all/most of my ports (power & comms) on the LH side of the laptop so Im not banging them on the steering wheel or tripping over cables when getting in/out all day. Also check it has the ports you need. For instance, many modern laptops dont have a native ethernet port which is commonly needed for motorsports ECU's/Dashes.

Screen res of at least 1080 x 1920 - nice to have more real estate when analyzing logs.

Screen size - I find 14" is a nice size to both carry around and work with in the car whilst still being big enough that you can see everything.

Keyboard key layout. Many things can catch you out here, note down what keys you use most often and make sure they are present and easy to use on the contender - the biggest one I remember being caught out with is the arrow keys, many new laptops have 1/2 size arrow keys that are tightly packed and difficult to use without taking your eyes off the screen to look at them. Another one I remember is Pgup/Pgdn keys, some softwares used to need those for adjusting tables and some laptops dont have them.