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Getting a laptop for AP

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#1 Alex Parker

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 02:44 PM


I'm wanting to expand from visual to AP. Based on my reading, I'm leaning towards getting a Windows laptop as my AP platform (I am generally a Mac person, but it seems like the majority of AP apps are Windows).

My question: most new machines these days seem to be offered with Windows 8, but some of the items I am thinking I want to use (eg Orion MM Autoguider) seem to only have drivers available through Windows 7. As a general question: is the world of AP software pretty much caught up with Windows 8, or should I get a Windows 7 machine and plan to update the OS later?


#2 dan777


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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:41 AM

Post your question on the "Beginner and Intermediate Imaging" forum or the "Solar System Imaging and Processing" forum. That's where all the AP guys hang out. You might want to do a Search for "Laptop" in these two forums. There frequently are discussions about laptops.

The laptop choice depends on if you're doing DSO imaging or planetary imaging. You need enough computer power (2 GHz) for high frame rate capturing for planetary imaging. And it's nice to have lots of memory for post processing if you're going to do that on your laptop. And yes, at least for planetary imaging the PC is generally preferred over a Mac because of available software.

I run Vista so can't help with Windows 7 or 8.

And welcome to CN.

#3 Mittag56


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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:26 AM

I've found the used Lenova machines running XP to be a great setup for me..LX200 and APT and SKYX every thing i have runs great and for 200 bucks max a good buy

#4 Raginar


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Posted 15 January 2014 - 05:10 PM

I liked using my old macbook for it. You can get Core 2 Duo MacBooks for about 300 bucks now. Add 50-100 bucks for memory/hard drive and you've got quite the beast.

Otherwise, you don't need a real 'beast' to do image acquisition. I'd find something used on Craigslist, reformat/reinstall, and move on. Win7 works pretty well with everything at this point. And, it runs SGP :).

#5 herrindude


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Posted 28 January 2014 - 08:26 PM

I just upgraded from a 2003 cf-29 tough-book to a dell latitude e 6410 bought on eBay for 315. It has i7 processor, 64 bit, windows 7 and the old laptop took hrs to process images and the dell only took 15 min to process 4.5 hrs of data in dss. BYEOS DOWNLOADS really fast now and I don't know how I got by without it.

#6 guyroch


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Posted 28 January 2014 - 09:12 PM

BYEOS DOWNLOADS really fast now and I don't know how I got by without it.

Me too :wron:

Do you plan on doing both acquisition and processing on the laptop? If it's only acquisition you can get by with a low-end/used laptop for sure.

Most of the issues with Windows 8 is USB port 3 versus 2 related. Make sure you have a USB 2 port on your computer and Windows 8 versus 7 should not make a difference. At least that is my first hand experience. I've been running W8 for over a year now and all my astro stuff works.

Hope this helps,


#7 ccs_hello


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Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:55 AM

Get a used/refurb (off lease) Lenovo high-end T series with Core 2 Duo CPU and Windows 7 Pro. Typically in $150-$180 range. Con: battery won't last too long but use AC power anyway.

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