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What spec laptop should I get for imaging


tim r
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Will this laptop be left in the observatory as the "scope side" computer? If that is the case, i would recommend a mini-pc instead of a laptop. Less bulk, easier to power, no unnecessary display/keyboard/trim (that costs money and add nothing to the setup). You then control that mini-pc via remote desktop over internet with your home pc or a tablet if you want to be at the scopeside doing something.

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I have a pretty basic laptop Lenovo S340 (pentium gold), and I have used it for deep-sky and planetary imaging without issue - including a dual rig. As long as it has a suitably sized SSD and USB 3 ports it should be fine. It does not need a lot of processor power. I expanded the RAM but as long as you have 8Gb or more it should be fine. If you want to use it for image processing, then obviously that is a different matter entirely. My current rigs use the Mele Quieter 2 mini PC's, which use Celeron processors. I have not tried then for planetary imaging, but I suspect they would be OK as they have extra SSD storage.

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Mine is i5, 8Gb RAM, 500Gb SSD, 2xUSB3 + 2xUSB2 running win 10. Though I've not had much time to use it (clouds!) it seems to deal with control and capture quite well. I do have a much more powerful PC at my desk that will hopefully be used for processing....one day.

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Oh and I should mention if your laptop is one of the big name brands full of bloatware then you might do well to wipe the drive and do a minimal Win install. Last thing you need is a popup telling you to buy more stuff from the manufacturer....always at exactly the wrong time.

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I just bought a Lenovo X260 i7 16GB 256SD full HD screen. The X series are small 13.3" screens. £200 on ebay years warranty. Powerful little laptop. Actually in really good condition. I'm pretty happy. Replacement for an old Samsung laptop with a busted screen (removed) used remotely only. But for planetary manual focus having a screen locally is important. The ten year old Samsung has 4GB ram which just isn't enough but it still works so I cant bring myself to throw it out. 

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I bought some used AP kit.

I have a lovely Alienware 17in with 32gb RAM, NVidia video card etc and SSD with 1tb second drive.

It doesn’t seem to like the older USB2 cameras so I got out my old Sony Win 7 with SSD and works nicely.

Perhaps better to have a lighter more disposable laptop for working outside?

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5 hours ago, cadoran said:

I bought some used AP kit.

I have a lovely Alienware 17in with 32gb RAM, NVidia video card etc and SSD with 1tb second drive.

It doesn’t seem to like the older USB2 cameras so I got out my old Sony Win 7 with SSD and works nicely.

Perhaps better to have a lighter more disposable laptop for working outside?

I have an Alienware laptop myself and you wouldn't want to drop it on your foot when carrying it around 😆

Alan

Edited by Alien 13
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