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Walking on the Moon

Laptop question


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Life long astronomer but only just getting into scope control and imaging using a PC.

I'm reviewing laptops to be used mainly for astronomy use. Spec I'm considering is -

i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SDD.

A question though - is an internal optical drive a useful thing to have?

Thanks!

Kev

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If I was in the market for a new laptop I would look for one with 2 hard drive bays, 256GB SSD minimum, and ideally a large storage drive.  I rarely use an optical drive, but its there when I need it, other useful thing about them is that you can often shove a 2nd HD in there instead. My current laptop is an old gaming laptop, benefits from 2 HD bays plus the optical drive fitted with a Bluray writer. But is barely portable. 

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I haven't used an optical drive in years. Currently using a Lenovo Yoga 520 - which is a nice little machine - came with  120gb SSD but also has a spare bay for an internal drive so I added a 500GB drive. I also have a couple of external drives for back up and storage of astro pics so I don't fill up the machine. 

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22 minutes ago, JonC said:

 My current laptop is an old gaming laptop, benefits from 2 HD bays plus the optical drive fitted with a Bluray writer. But is barely portable. 

I wouldn't want to put my laptop my lap or carry it any distance, weighs a ton and you could cook sausages from its exhaust ports..

Alan

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1 minute ago, Alien 13 said:

I wouldn't want to put my laptop my lap or carry it any distance, weighs a ton and you could cook sausages from its exhaust ports..

Alan

The big heavy ones with the jet exhausts are also the ones that don't suffer thermal throttling :)  

Ideally I wanted something smaller than 17", but all the smaller gaming rigs at the time couldn't be used properly because they couldn't shift the heat. Think things have moved on since then.

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I recently bought a new laptop for astro only use except it wasn't new - it was a fully refurbished Lenovo unit from Amazon with a spec pretty much identical to the one you outlined above. I wanted to use Remote Desktop so Win10Pro was required  and the refurb units nearly all come with a Win10Pro installed; at less than £300 they are a real bargain recognising the cost of a Win10pro license. I now use the laptop to control a NUC (Win10 Home) which sits alongside the scope in a weather proof box. The refurb units might not be the latest spec but they represent excellent value for money.

I answer to your question the refurb laptop came with an optical drive fitted which I haven't used but this drive can be removed and replaced with a second hard drive (readily available at modest cost via eBay) which might be really useful as an image repository keeping the main drive for system and application software.

Good luck.

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19 minutes ago, Adreneline said:

I recently bought a new laptop for astro only use except it wasn't new - it was a fully refurbished Lenovo unit from Amazon with a spec pretty much identical to the one you outlined above. I wanted to use Remote Desktop so Win10Pro was required  and the refurb units nearly all come with a Win10Pro installed; at less than £300 they are a real bargain recognising the cost of a Win10pro license. I now use the laptop to control a NUC (Win10 Home) which sits alongside the scope in a weather proof box. The refurb units might not be the latest spec but they represent excellent value for money.

I answer to your question the refurb laptop came with an optical drive fitted which I haven't used but this drive can be removed and replaced with a second hard drive (readily available at modest cost via eBay) which might be really useful as an image repository keeping the main drive for system and application software.

Good luck.

That sounds like a good deal, I have had a refurb from laptops direct in the past, and was very happy with the quality. 

 

On the Win10 front I have upgraded a couple of rigs to pro recently, after a bit of research I got the keys from Softwaregeeks, they have been trading for a  while, and seem to have good online reviews, they also seem to sort problems out with keys, and they sell win10pro keys for £16 using a code during checkout (SUMMERTIME20). Not sure how they are doing it without MS shutting them down. Done a bit of reading, might be MS being nervous about the law on reselling software.

Edited by JonC
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