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Old enough to know better
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IBM, well Lenovo makes one that is not as sleek looking but really small, and can have a CD/DVD drive called the M73. We have some customers at work that use them. (we develop software/hardware POS, but are relatively hardware agnostic) I have not been impressed with HP's support as of late. Real shame as Compaq was awesome.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Micro PCs have been around a while.
Hate to bring it up but the mac "mini" has been around for a real long while.
Dell has been making their business line "mini" for quite a while.
Here's the Dell Optiplex 3020 Micro... They hard mount to a VESA mount too, so you can mount an LCD and computer together. Been doing these minis for like the last 6-8 years or so.
 

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Super Fuzzy
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Miata .... I too am disappointed with recent HP products. I used to swear by them but our latest , I forget exactly which model but one of those multi function printer/scanner/copier things has been problematic since day one.

Traveller/Barry L .... I'd agree with Barry. We keep tablet(s) for ebooks and nav software but if you are going to actually use the thing to input data/answer emails/post on SailNet a notebook is a far more usable tool.

I'm not sure I find the idea of a mini desktop preferable to a notebook.
 

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Aspiring Boat Bum
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Micro PCs have been around a while.
Hate to bring it up but the mac "mini" has been around for a real long while.
Dell has been making their business line "mini" for quite a while.
Here's the Dell Optiplex 3020 Micro... They hard mount to a VESA mount too, so you can mount an LCD and computer together. Been doing these minis for like the last 6-8 years or so.
Does the Dell run on 110 or use a brick. Point of course can it be hooked up to 12V DC or would one have to run and inverter.
 

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...We keep tablet(s) for ebooks and nav software but if you are going to actually use the thing to input data/answer emails/post on SailNet a notebook is a far more usable tool...
I have a Lenovo Miix2 8" tablet. I love it in the cockpit for navigation, but lacking a keyboard is a bit of a pain. Bluetooth keyboard is OK, but a bit of a kludge.

So for light duty typing and larger tablet needs, I picked up the Acer Switch 10 for $229 at microsoftstore.com:


I really don't get the mini-PC thing, given the easy availability of inexpensive tablets and tablet/notebook hybrids these days. Maybe it's better if you really want Linux or MacOS. But Windows8 running as a desktop/tablet chameleon is a nice combination if you're Windows-centric.
 

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Super Fuzzy
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I'd like this confirmed but I'm presuming you can run those mini PCs on 12v.

We don't have it as yet but I'm looking to go for a plus 20" monitor for watching TV, Movies etc and it will double as chart table computer screen with a wireless keyboard and trackball. That way the puter itself can be safely tucked away inside the table.

However, by having a notebook rather than a mini PC I can still take the thing upstairs if I want to use it outside .... though not when we are sailing. Since I've had a tablet this has not been as important but even so there are times I need the notebook and don't want to be down below. 15" screen is preferable for my aging eyes.

I do like the look of such devices as the Acer Switch but as I use tablet purely to look at they are probably a bit superfluous for my needs. If I could only have the one device then I'd be into one of them in a shot.
 

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Old enough to know better
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I'd like this confirmed but I'm presuming you can run those mini PCs on 12v.

We don't have it as yet but I'm looking to go for a plus 20" monitor for watching TV, Movies etc and it will double as chart table computer screen with a wireless keyboard and trackball. That way the puter itself can be safely tucked away inside the table.

However, by having a notebook rather than a mini PC I can still take the thing upstairs if I want to use it outside .... though not when we are sailing. Since I've had a tablet this has not been as important but even so there are times I need the notebook and don't want to be down below. 15" screen is preferable for my aging eyes.

I do like the look of such devices as the Acer Switch but as I use tablet purely to look at they are probably a bit superfluous for my needs. If I could only have the one device then I'd be into one of them in a shot.
You can do different kinds of screen casting to some monitors/TVs from many tablets. I use a Chrome Cast to stream HD from my phone to the TV. That way you can have the big screen when you want to watch a movie, but still have the tablet to walk around with. I have a older (Intell Atom powered) small PC that will run on 12 volt, but it is miserably slow with windows on it. I run Linux on it, and have a small touch screen that also runs off of 12 volt. I can run navigation software on it, and that is the plan for that unit, as a below deck chart plotter running Navagatrix. I am looking for something to run windows on though as I still want to be able to use Photoshop and some other software. The new Surface 3 tablets look to be able to do it, but are pricy. But may wind up in the end with a notebook with a cable to a large bulkhead mounted monitor, I have no need for regular TV.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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The entertaining part of most PCs are they use a power supply to convert 120/240 into 12V and 5V rails... The one I posted has an internal power supply. Actually in a business environment, you avoid wall warts like the plague, and try to use 1 power cord for everything. I have NO doubt you can fashion something to power the PC by bypassing the PS... but you'd need some kind of voltage regulator that provides 12V true, and 5V true. Thats more project than I personally would want to deal with.

Someone recently debuted a POE (power over ethernet) PC.. now THAT would be interesting. But once again that is 48V DC.

I'm an ultrabook guy (using one now, dell E7240 touchscreen, 12.5" 1080p i5, and was earlier, despite being part of a wireless dock with 27 inch display 2k)... I am not real big on tablets, netbooks or desktops honestly. I CAN see the use of a tablet on a boat, for a navionics display or ereader though. The low voltage, and long battery use time makes sense to me.

I'd think the ideal device might be an i5 surface pro 3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sure, there are "big hard-cover book" sized PCs, but the HP is more like a can of canned chicken. Really a different size.

And while something like the Brix comes closer, again, would you bet they'll be around in six months? At least I think HP still might be.<G>

Compaq's service was way better than HP, but the service I got from DEC put them all to shame. Both field service and phone service. Compaq borged a lot of those guys into their Atlanta service center after they absorbed DEC. But corporate policy, eh, didn't impress as much. IBM's *business* division, their server & workstation support and such, made Compaq look like wanna-be's too.

But, all water under that old bridge. Lots of bones in that boneyard, and some of them even think they're still alive.[sigh]
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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IBM, well Lenovo makes one that is not as sleek looking but really small, and can have a CD/DVD drive called the M73.
I'd like this confirmed but I'm presuming you can run those mini PCs on 12v.
My boat computer is a Lenovo Tiny M72e (which I think was replaced by the 73). Like many laptops it runs off 19VDC. I run it off a DC-DC converter. The bigger deal is monitors. There are a bunch of screens available from the custom van and minivan market that run on 12VDC, but I didn't find one I liked at a price I could stomach. I run a 22" widescreen monitor off a small dedicated inverter. I can shut all that down when I'm not sitting in front of it and leave the computer on receiving weather fax (for example).

I'd think the ideal device might be an i5 surface pro 3.
Janet had pretty well decided on a Surface Pro 3 for her new work laptop but as usual she tolerated my suggestion that we look at options. She ended up with a Lenovo Yoga Pro 2. The Surface feel fragile while the similar options from Dell and Lenovo simply felt more robust and likely to stand up to the bumps and bangs of travel by car and airplane. YMMV.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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SVA - agreed, I also don't like the surface pro heavy screen, and kickstand requirement... leaves me wanting my ultrabook.

On the topic of dedicated 12V monitors... We use a 22" 1080p 12V television with dedicated DVD player built in (for our RV).. it's VESA 100x100 (we mounted it on a 180 degree swing arm, to watch in the main bed over the gooseneck, or swing out over the kitchen to watch from the main salon), and has VGA, HDMI, and I think DVI inputs. It doesn't draw a heckuva lot of power, and so far it has a decent display... sound is kind of all or nothing, but it works... lemme see if I can find a decent link...
Amazon.com: Axess 22-Inch 1080p Digital LED Full HDTV, Includes AC/DC TV, DVD Player, HDMI/SD/USB Inputs, TVD1801-22: [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@51rP3qvOp4L

Just looking no DVI, but it does have HDMI. That'd be a great triple purpose device I think... buy a small brick PC that is DC based, and use this as the TV/DVDplayer/Computer monitor...

Just a thought.
 

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Carnetix.com make a line of DC-DC PC power supplies and lots more for the automotive-computer market. 12v in to 5 & 12-19v out, for example.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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I've been using an Asus T100 Transformer for everything for the past 10 months. SWMBO liked it so much she got one of her own, which gets used more often than her 15" laptop. Low draw, long battery life, Windows 8 and full windows office suite preloaded- it is a really useful netbook/tablet hybrid, for not much money.
 
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