Re: laptop choice
Went for a preliminary shopping trip today and spent a while with the MS Surface. Very interesting but you need the Surface Pro to run full Windows which I need for Coastal Explorer. By the time you add a keyboard, USB hub etc. it's pretty pricey. Also not sure how the bracket that supports the screen would hold up.
However comments about other laptops and cheesey build quality are accurate. Lots of plastic that seems one good bounce from disaster. The Mac running windows may be an answer but having spent a little time on a mac I'd rather find a PC solution if possible. Will look around more but appreciate any other thoughts.