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  #1  
Old 10-19-2011
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Macbook or Toughbook?

Which is better suited for all around cruising (navigation, weather fax, entertainment, durability, etc.)?
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Old 10-19-2011
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not enough information to provide a decent answer....as many that love the PC (or MAC) there will be equal numbers who hate the other..

BTW, these two machines are apples and oranges apart, hardened vs COTS, etc.

YOU need to decide what packages you are going to run, and where...and what kind of BSOD/reboots/failures can you tolerate in the use of those packages.

UNIX/Linux may be better than either...

I am a MAC user, and a Macbook will not last a week in a wet cockpit...nor would a regular laptop running any other OS....

Best of luck
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Old 10-19-2011
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There are alot of programs available for Windows. I prefer Mac but the software support for marine use is not good enough, therefore I prefer Windows.
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Old 10-19-2011
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I run a macbook with parallels for all navigation. It runs hot, but does the job.

Have my eye on the Toughbook Android Tablet in early 2012....that along with OpenCPN on Android get me giddy about the future. Just need to figure out how to put the NMEA data stream on wifi cleanly (every method I've seen is a cludge).
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Old 10-19-2011
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but get a weather resistant laptop..there out there..
in my opinion dump windows.run Linux..if you have to run a windows program use vmware..I have no ties to vmware..you might find some Mac apps run fine under linux.
they are both Unix at the core..
oh most Linux apps are free..
side note!!!
I've been looking at opencpn..linux app that uses Noaa charts..so far pretty good..

-dkenny
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Old 10-20-2011
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Look on Ebay for a good used toughbook. those things are made to get wet and be dropped.
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I got my toughbook, with several different navigation programs loaded, on Ebay. They are called "toughbooks" for a reason. I've never heard of a "tough" Mac.
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Old 10-26-2011
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Check out ITRONIX They have some taht have GPS already installed in them. OpenCPN and NOAA. Life is good. I have 3 of them. Less than $600 for all 3. Redundancy...
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Old 10-26-2011
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Something we do is mount a remote monitor and usb keyboard/mouse in the cockpit. The PC stays safe down below. Many LCD/LED monitors are 12VDC although you can get a DC to DC convertor to regulate the voltage for the monitor.

What we did for our car was build a PC into the dash. using a power supply like this.

MINI-ITX Car PC Power Supply 160W 8V-28V DC-DC ATX PSU | eBay

In a boat that would much easier today. You can buy a cheap Dell and remove the 120volt PS and use one like you see in the link above. You can use a small 8" or 9" monitor like one seen here if you don't want a big monitor.

New 8" Car PC Reverse Color Flat Panel Display XGA VGA RCA AV TFT LCD Monitor CA | eBay

Here's a link to a Dell PC that would be more than enough for navigation use.

DELL OPTIPLEX GX620 P4 HT 2.8GHZ / 2GB/ 80GB/ DVD/ FLOPP / XP PRO / QTY AVAIL | eBay
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Old 10-27-2011
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I used to use a PC laptop, but now use a netbook. But I use them below to supplement paper charts. I use my eyes to navigate on deck. I like radar for restricted visibility and night.

I also have charts on my Android phone - but that is a toy.
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