Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_lunar_landings.thumb.jpg.b50378d0845690d8a03305a49923eb40.jpg

A40farinagolf

Most suitable laptop for AP / autoguiding

Recommended Posts

This subject is likely to have been asked before however IT specs are changing daily, I searched the forums but couldn't find what I'm looking for so here goes. 

My budget is up to £300 to spend on a new laptop, I have a works free issue one but I'm not allowed to use it for autoguiding etc.

My intention is to use it purely for AP, guiding, image storage and editing, video and stills, Stellarium,  PHD2 and similar software. I don't intend downloading Microsft office suite etc as I use my works laptop for that.

I have looked at the usual online retailers such as PC World, Argos, Tesco, J Lewis etc etc and there are loads to choose from such as:

 - Lenovo IdeaPad 300 Pentium 3700 Laptop, 8GB RAM, 1TB, 15.6", Black - £299 @ JL with 2 yrs warranty

 - Toshiba C50Dt A8 15.6 Inch touchscreen 8GB 1TB Touch Laptop - £299 @ Argos with 1 yrs warranty

I'm not keen on HP products due to poor previous experience so will avoid theirs.

If you were in my position what would you do?

What laptop prerequisites should I be looking for?

Should I stick with Windows 8 or use free upgrade to Windows 10?

Should I buy one with Windows 10 pre installed to avoid installation hassle?

Also would you recommend buying a cheap netbook just for guiding a then buy a separate laptop just for image capture and processing or would you buy one laptop that does both?

I look forward to your feedback.

Thanks,

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would advise against win 10 for at least another year and stick with 8 or 8.1, or even a used win 7 laptop which would be my choice given your budget.

Main criteria here are processor, RAM and graphics and at your budget on a new laptop will be a struggle.

Post processing requires a bit of ooomph, minimum 8gb RAM, i5 dual (pref quad) core processor of at least 2ghz and a decent AMD or Nvidia graphics card.

If you can also get something with SSD and 500gb HD then that would sort all your needs, a cheap external HD would also be handy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a 6gb RAM 2.3GHZ Laptop for processing and an old, creaky netbook for the actual guiding/imaging - plug that into the kit in the backgarden and operate it via Google Screen Share (or whatever it is called now) on the big laptop in the living room. I just then transfer the images from the netbook to the laptop via memory stick/usb and do the processing on the laptop. 6GB Ram seems to work okay, but I am sure it would be smoother with more.

I'd be inclined to think along the lines og what Mark has said. Stick to Win 7/8 and get the biggest RAM/SPEED/HDD you can for your money. For my next PC I may go back to building my own as you can be a lot more specific in the areas you need the extra ooomph!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently bought this notebook:

Acer Aspire ES1-311 Intel Pentium N3540 2GB 500GB 13.3" Windows 8.1

Cost just over £200 new. I've just installed PHD2, EQASCOM, CDC and APT and they seem to run fine. The small size is convenient too.

I use a small usb hub with it for additional slots.

I only use the notebook for image capture, not for processing. I didn't want to use a more expensive laptop outside.

Andy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your feedback, much appreciated.

Sounds like one relatively cheap netbook for guiding / image capture and another higher spec laptop for processing (mainly used indoors) is the favoured way. 

I already have an external 500GB hard drive so have ample capacity there.

I'm off to do some research on netbooks - I would then save up for a high end laptop for next Christmas - not long to wait. :sad: at least I've got 354 days to get some clear skies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This subject is likely to have been asked before however IT specs are changing daily, I searched the forums but couldn't find what I'm looking for so here goes. 

My budget is up to £300 to spend on a new laptop, I have a works free issue one but I'm not allowed to use it for autoguiding etc.

My intention is to use it purely for AP, guiding, image storage and editing, video and stills, Stellarium,  PHD2 and similar software. I don't intend downloading Microsft office suite etc as I use my works laptop for that.

I have looked at the usual online retailers such as PC World, Argos, Tesco, J Lewis etc etc and there are loads to choose from such as:

 - Lenovo IdeaPad 300 Pentium 3700 Laptop, 8GB RAM, 1TB, 15.6", Black - £299 @ JL with 2 yrs warranty

 - Toshiba C50Dt A8 15.6 Inch touchscreen 8GB 1TB Touch Laptop - £299 @ Argos with 1 yrs warranty

I'm not keen on HP products due to poor previous experience so will avoid theirs.

If you were in my position what would you do?

What laptop prerequisites should I be looking for?

Should I stick with Windows 8 or use free upgrade to Windows 10?

Should I buy one with Windows 10 pre installed to avoid installation hassle?

Also would you recommend buying a cheap netbook just for guiding a then buy a separate laptop just for image capture and processing or would you buy one laptop that does both?

I look forward to your feedback.

Thanks,

Mark

 I recently bought a used Lenovo from ebay for half that running windows 7.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I recently bought a used Lenovo from ebay for half that running windows 7.

The problem is that I'm a bit of an IT dinosaur so wouldn't really know what to buy in the first instance and couldn't solve any serious problems if things went wrong.

Buying used IT is a bit of a no no for me  - would prefer to spend more knowing that it's likely to be fully functional and under warranty.

Saving money is not a major priority so I'm willing to pay for "ease of mind" if it represents good value.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I picked up a refurbished Dell e6420 laptop licensed for Windows 7 64bit professional.

I swapped out the 250GB hard drive for a 240GB SSD so the spinning hunk of rust wouldn't freeze up in our Alberta winters

I use Teamviewer to connect to the laptop from in the house via wireless (total distance about 50 meters from the laptop to the router)

So far it works fairly well.

Total cost was about $400 Canadian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I recently bought a used Lenovo from ebay for half that running windows 7.

I got one of these last year for about the same (£150). The Lenovos are as tough as old boots - In fact I dropped mine onto the concrete from about 4 feet up the other day and it still works fine!

One thing to note, however, is that the slimline versions only have two USB ports while the standard versions have four.

I also do all my processing on a proper desktop PC. This is for two reasons: firstly, you need the grunt to avoid too many frustrating waits and secondly two monitors means that I can have the image manipulation program on one screen and tutorials/reference images/pop-out windows etc. on the other.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By a cheap s/h Win 7 notebook for guiding & image aquisition. Then get a desktop PC with a decent monitor for the image processing work as this is the most demanding part of the work.

EDIT- in fact there are also plenty of good spec, cheap desktop PC's out there. I run second a hand ex corporate PC- something like this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dell-OptiPlex-790-USFF-Core-i5-2400-2-50GHz-4GB-RAM-250GB-HDD-Win-7-Pro-/391358139675?hash=item5b1ec34d1b:g:WC8AAOSwHaBWjM9w

in the observatory. Plenty of computing power for image processing.

Edited by laser_jock99
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By a cheap s/h Win 7 notebook for guiding & image aquisition. Then get a desktop PC with a decent monitor for the image processing work as this is the most demanding part of the work.

This sounds like a logical way forward. High performance desktops are much cheaper than laptops so I'd get much more for my buck.

I'm not keen on buying second hand IT but will have a look around to see what's available of fleabay etc. and will also research new ones that run on 8.1

Regards,

M

I picked up a refurbished Dell e6420 laptop licensed for Windows 7 64bit professional.

I swapped out the 250GB hard drive for a 240GB SSD so the spinning hunk of rust wouldn't freeze up in our Alberta winters

I use Teamviewer to connect to the laptop from in the house via wireless (total distance about 50 meters from the laptop to the router)

So far it works fairly well.

Total cost was about $400 Canadian.

This is a great approach if you know what your doing - I don't. What I need to know is if you had £300 to spend what spec of laptop would you look to buy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I'd advise saving more money to get a better spec laptop if you're buying new. Bargains are often cheap for a reason. If you know about computer specs etc then pc specialist is a place to configure a new laptop. Whatever you decide to do good luck!

Cheers,

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you aren't keen on buying used then see if there are any computer fairs in/around your area, these can offer massive savings over the likes of pc world etc.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to put another fly in the ointment, I use a 3 year old Toshiba for guiding and an even older Aser extensa 5220 for APT. I deleted all the old stuff from both of them so that their only functions are guiding and APT. They were both as cheap as chips and because they've been scrubbed they work great with just one program each. The Toshiba is also used for DSS and processing with either Startools or Paintshop with these three programs kept on a borrowed expansion pack linked up when I need it.  

Also, have to agree with Mars1960, computer fairs are excellent.

P.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Ideally I want to guide through PHD2 with image capture on my Canon 600D and I'd also like to load Backyard EOS and C du Ciel onto it.

Do you think this tablet pc would be suitable?

My mount is an AZEQ6 so what else would I need to load onto it?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Linx-Tablet-Z3735F-Windows-Keyboard/dp/B014D847FS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454258488&sr=8-1&keywords=linx+1010

Thanks,

M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A response to my question above would be useful please as I'm hoping to buy something soon so that I can get it set up before SGLX1

Thanks in anticipation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎05‎/‎02‎/‎2016 at 05:57, brrttpaul said:

this was a fantastic deal that expired yesterday but wouldnt mind betting they will do more soon http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/acer-es1-521-15-6-laptop-windows-10-amd-quad-core-6gb-ram-1tb-red-199-tesco-direct-2388679

Can't go wrong at £200 - I'll keep my eye out for similar deals - thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a Lenovo Thinkpad T400 refurbished from The Laptop Centre for £160, for outside guiding and image capture etc. running Windows 7. I went for this as they have a reputation for being rugged, they appear to pass a lot of the field tests as defined by the US Military . My example has been knocked about and operated in sub zero temperatures for several hours without any problems (so far!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.