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Discussion and questions related to the course Introduction to Engine Tuning
Why is it that laptops get a hard time from tuning? Also, can a laptop malfunction while tuning?
Generally its more of an issue that people don't want to pay for quality gear because there area host of other value engineered pieces of crap that are advertised as being just as capable on paper. Keep tabs on what is being used on an enterprise level/deployed en mass by larger entities and you'll rarely go wrong with reliability (within reason) even though you'll pay more for what marketeers say is less. It all depends on what your time is worth.
In my opinion, the two parts that are most likely to malfunction when tuning cars are old-school spinning magnetic hard drives and the USB ports where the cables plug into the laptop. If you're good with computers it's possible to replace an old hard drive with a new Solid State Drive that will be faster and more reliable in the high-vibration automotive environment. I don't know if there's much that can be done about USB ports; be careful not to rest the laptop in a way that puts pressure on the cable/port, and avoid accidentally kicking or pulling the cable when moving yourself or the laptop around the vehicle. Perhaps avoid ultra-small designs that only have a single USB port and zero spares. I agree the cheapest laptops are equipped with painfully slow components inside. I've been pretty happy with most Dell and HP laptops I've used, some of them are available with matte (not shiny) screens that work well in bright sunlight. I think large screens make a laptop difficult to use inside a car, and I also think a backlit keyboard is really helpful if you need to be working when it's dark.