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New laptops - Windows or Apple?

(Julian Hancock) #1


I am going to have to replace my 2011 Macbook Air. I was going to go for another Mac, but after four apple computers I feel that Apple have lost their way.

Can anybody recommend a decent laptop. I quite like the Microsoft surface books?


(Rusty) #2

Hi Julian,

We use the Samsung Notebook 9 during most of our ROV testing. It has a particularly bright screen and touch screen capability, which works well outside when using the ROV or other equipment.

We have three of them and haven’t had any issues.


(Kevin) #3

Hi Julian,

I can’t speak to the MS Surface Books, but I’ve been using a Surface Pro 4 in a Mobile Demand XCase for the past two years. It works well for me and not only for my ROV, but my side scan and magnetometer as well. I wanted something a bit more rugged than a traditional consumer tablet/laptop and this fits the bill. I would have gotten a Panasonic semi-rugged tablet for field work, but they are difficult to get ahold of.

A note if you switch over to Windows, make sure you get a machine with Win 10 on it, Win 7 has been hit or miss with the video stream.

(Tim) #4

Not sure what your price range or operating environment is but at the high end you might look into the Dell 5414 Rugged or 7414 Rugged Extreme. They can be found as manufacturer refurbs (with warranty) on eBay and sometimes at the Dell Outlet site. It may take some patience to get one with the specs you want but prices on the refurbs are quite reasonable and they are nice field machines. Also the older Dell models 5404, 7404, E6430 ATG and E6420 XFR are worth a look if you’re on a budget and performance needs are modest. We use the E6430 ATG with our OpenROV and it works fine, it’s bright, somewhat water/shock resistant, and almost dirt cheap.

There are many options out there, the above models are just what I am most familiar with for field computers.

(Julian Hancock) #5

Thanks chaps, food for thought. One of the off putting things for me about apple is the fact they have gone on to the USB-C port, all well and good but tedious when you have to purchase all the adapters.


(Julian Hancock) #6

Kevin, what are you using to increase the number of USB and network ports please?



(Kevin) #7

This is what I use when I run the ROV and I don’t need a powered hub:

And this is what I use when I need a powered hub for my side scan:

(Julian Hancock) #8

Thank you very much Kevin, out of interest where in the world are you? What sort of SSS and maggy do you have?


(Kevin) #9

I’m in Southern California, I bounce around between Los Angeles and San Diego. Give me a ring if you’re ever in the area.

My side scan is a DeepVision 680D from Sweden and my magnetometer comes from a gentleman in Belgium because I can’t afford a SeaSpy Explorer just yet (http://users.skynet.be/fa352591/).

(Julian Hancock) #10


I had the pleasure in living/working for a hydrographic survey company in San Diego a few years ago. I loved it.

I go back occasionally for some RnR, I will give you a shout.