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Laptop for tuning

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I'm just getting into tuning and looking for a new laptop. I was thinking that since most of the softwares used for car tuning don't require high specs I was thinking something like 4gb ram basic processor would work. But since I'm a beginner I'm not too sure.

Next question is if anyone has ever used the tablet laptop's such as the chromebook pro, it seems like these would be useful because of the ability to fold them in half to save space.

Thank you, any advice is welcomed!

G'day Connor.

You're spot on about the PC specs not needing to be super high. One thing I would say is a must is a solid state main hard drive. As the laptop gets moved around a lot and vibrated when its in the car, SSD drives stand up much better than old styles.

Yup, SSD, is a darned good idea. For the RAM, check out the recommendations from the software supplier - 4 should be fine but if it isn't too expensive I'd look at going for 8 (or 6 depending on RAM expansion options) because you'll be using it for other things as well which may want more, and it also allows some headroom for having multiple app's open.

Depending on your eyesight, you may wish to consider screen size and/or resolution, size and ease of using the keyboard and scratch pad, etc, for when you use it on the move.

AFAIK, all current* software is USB and WIN10 friendly but if you are using an older ECU, might be a good idea to check for compatability and updates.

*EG, I have an old MBE ECU on one engine that uses a serial port* and needs '98 - have an ancient 233mmx system in the shed 'specially for it.

*Youngsters might need to look that up ;-)

great thanks for your help guys also good you mentioned that Gord, I didn't even take that into consideration.

It helps to have a screen that is visible in bright sunlight. Lots of new laptops have a glossy screen that might look nice on the sales floor indoors but will have a lot of glare on a sunny day at the racetrack. Dell business laptops usually have matte screens available, and I imagine other brands will also. It's pretty difficult to find a glare-resistant screen on the shelves at most retail stores.

Also be careful that the laptop has the proper USB ports, some of the newer slim models are switching to USB-C.

Because your not going to need a ton of CPU power consider a low voltage processor design. Most reflash packages strictly warn against inverters or dirty power sources if your going to reflash. Its nice to have 8 plus hours of battery on some of these newer models.

As mentioned above some older ECU/Program combinations require old technology such as serial and/or parallel ports. I tune Kalmaker (hard to find nowadays but some people still have it and request tunes) and for that I have a Panasonic Toughbook CF-29 with serial and parallel ports. I have also converted it to SSD and its about to get a 2nd drive (HDD) as a D:/ drive for data. It runs FreeDOS, Windows 7, and Windows 10. It also has USB2 functionality

For anything newer I'll just use my current Acer Aspire E15 running Windows 10 that has an AMD A9 CPU, 128 GB SSD and 2 TB HDD, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, USB 3 and 3.1.

I was looking at the E15 because it seemed like the best option but seeing as im based in China its been a little tough to find this exact model. I'll head down to Hong Kong though and I'm sure i'll find one. Thanks!

You should really try to find a laptop with an ethernet port. Some high end ECU's like Emtron and Motec M1 use a direct ethernet connection.

You can't go wrong with a business laptop such as Dell latitude, HP Probook, Elitebook, Lenovo thinkpad etc. They are generally built more tough, have matte screens, have usb ports etc.

I just bought a second hand lenovo T430 for 200 NZD which would be perfect.

Uh, might want to do some research on those lappies - that said, if any of you chaps have healthier budgets, there are some 'ruggedized' or 'military spec'' lappies available, if you aren't too worried about designer looks.

PANASONIC toughbooks here - never looked back

Have 4 of them - have literally run over one on the dyno before lol!

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