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Old October 9th, 2020, 10:44 PM   #1
tarrant79
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AB New laptop suggestions

I've recently been put in the position of needing a new field laptop. Specifically I'm looking for a laptop with easy accessible HDD ports/compartments - Reason secondary HD for VMware Workstation v16 instances of AB/Rockwell Software that can be removed and USB tethered to a desktop system for use. My current laptop is built like a phone and you have to literally peel off the back off of the thing every time you want to change anything. I know laptops are becoming disposable items and PC manufactures are building them more for single use and throw away vs. upgrade and easy access to components.

I also like a bigger screen since I need to support graphics on it, in addition to PLCs. More than 2 usb ports would be awesome too...

I'm also curious if VMWARE workstation on a USBstick would also be an option? Ive heard issues with virtualizing across USB-Sticks.
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Old October 9th, 2020, 11:23 PM   #2
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Wouldn't it be nice if someone in the PLC industry specified and commissioned a laptop for PLC use?


Serial port, Ethernet port (new ones are straight WiFi) more than one USB port, sufficient memory and CPU ratings? I had a programmer for an OEM who's laptop only had one USB and no Ethernet port, he had to carry a USB hub, USB serial and USB Ethernet adapters. Also no headphone or speaker jack - only BlueTooth. It was a powerful laptop, but very limited setup.



This could be Rockwell, Automation Direct, AdvancedHMI or PLCCable off the top of my head, or many others.
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Old October 9th, 2020, 11:43 PM   #3
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Unicorn

I'd realized Im looking for a unicorn in a sea of oversized Tablets.


When did the industry decide that Laptops were going to be disposable items?? I really realized my exposure when I had to run my laptop off the top of a motor cage, even sitting on the motor with my comp on my legs was still inducing major vibration to the comp. Anything breaks on this thing and Im out a day if Im lucky....
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Old October 10th, 2020, 02:09 PM   #4
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How much money do you want to spend?

Personally I'd go for the i9 because i7 has been out for awhile.

NEWEGG

The thing that is annoying about the newest systems is no dvd/cd drive and no ethernet port. I'd want 3 USBs min. but you can get a USB expander.

32GB is the min for RAM if you are running VMs and running multiple VMs at the same time. Also, the OS host should be on an SSD the VMs as well but if you can't you can't.
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Old October 11th, 2020, 10:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Automation View Post
Wouldn't it be nice if someone in the PLC industry specified and commissioned a laptop for PLC use?


Serial port, Ethernet port (new ones are straight WiFi) more than one USB port, sufficient memory and CPU ratings? I had a programmer for an OEM who's laptop only had one USB and no Ethernet port, he had to carry a USB hub, USB serial and USB Ethernet adapters. Also no headphone or speaker jack - only BlueTooth. It was a powerful laptop, but very limited setup.



This could be Rockwell, Automation Direct, AdvancedHMI or PLCCable off the top of my head, or many others.
Considering plc programming started the laptop / Notebook requirements.
Then - they removed the db9 comm ports for the uni students.
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Old October 11th, 2020, 08:16 PM   #6
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Good riddance to serial. I can't wait for the last piece of equipment to die. Then I can finally take my ooollllllld laptop collection out and shoot them.
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Old October 12th, 2020, 05:18 AM   #7
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Any respectable higher-end laptop brand will do. It has been discussed many times before. But doors for swappable drives are disappearing. You dont have drive bays any more, instead there are M.2 or NVMe drives. The drive bays are not coming back.

I have run VMware off USB 3.1, it is doable, but there is a noticable difference compared to the internal NVMe drive. I wouldnt like it for general work.

Instead of dual laptop + desktop system, do what everyone else does, get a powerful good quality standard laptop, und run it as a desktop with a docking station when you are not in the field.
Dont get an 'industrial' clunker laptop, unless your situation absolutely demands it.

The need for a real serial port, well I have not had the need for an integral serial port for 20+ years. The needs for going online by serial has dropped to 'never' and before that a USB to serial would do the trick.

We use HP Z-Books. Not cheap, but less expensive than an 'industrial' laptop. Powerful, reliable, plenty of interfaces, but no door for swappable drives.
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Old October 12th, 2020, 07:00 AM   #8
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With so many serial components, some still being made, and components and PLC's in the field run for over 25 years before they have to be upgraded - I don't see the serial port need going away any time in the next 30 years.

As far as USB-serial adapters go, most applications are OK with them, some applications won't work unless it is a good chipset adapter (thanks GIT) and there are some that will not work at all (Lauer PCS-Pro especially) without a hard serial port.
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Old October 12th, 2020, 02:14 PM   #9
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I just got a new Dell Precision 7740. I had a Dell Precision M4600 for about 7 years before this one and it handled rough environments just fine. The new one has 3 standard USB ports and 2 USB-c thunderbolt ports, HDMI and DisplayPort, Ethernet Port, and headphone out.

I didn't want Win10, yet, so I ordered it with Ubuntu and run everything in VMs (i even turned my old laptop into a VM so I wouldn't lose anything). 64GB ram, i7 (6 cores), 256gb OS drive, 1TB 2nd for VMs. I paid $2400. If I get another 7 years from it, its less than $10/week.
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Old October 12th, 2020, 03:29 PM   #10
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Lenovo P15 just came out
4 RAM Slots and 2 M.2 Slots easily accessible

2 USB-A 3.2
1 USB-C 3.2

2 Thunderbolt 3
1 RJ-45
1 HDMI 2.0


https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops.../p/22WSP15P5N1

I just got one and love it.
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Old October 12th, 2020, 05:38 PM   #11
Phil Buchanan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Automation View Post
Wouldn't it be nice if someone in the PLC industry specified and commissioned a laptop for PLC use?


Serial port, Ethernet port (new ones are straight WiFi) more than one USB port, sufficient memory and CPU ratings? I had a programmer for an OEM who's laptop only had one USB and no Ethernet port, he had to carry a USB hub, USB serial and USB Ethernet adapters. Also no headphone or speaker jack - only BlueTooth. It was a powerful laptop, but very limited setup.



This could be Rockwell, Automation Direct, AdvancedHMI or PLCCable off the top of my head, or many others.
You mean similar to this?
https://new.siemens.com/global/en/pr...-field-pg.html
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Old October 12th, 2020, 11:07 PM   #12
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Why does one need a DVD drive in the year 2020.... I haven't used one for like 6 or 7 years. 1 out of 4 laptops I had during that time, had a DVD drive. Never used it. Waste of space.

Also it is 2020 not 2000, use a USB to Serial....

USB3+ to Gig Ethernet is fine too. I usally use my dual Eth USB adapter over my built in one anyways. I usually have one connected to the IO network and one connected to the plant network.
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Old October 12th, 2020, 11:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theColonel26 View Post
Lenovo P15 just came out
4 RAM Slots and 2 M.2 Slots easily accessible

2 USB-A 3.2
1 USB-C 3.2

2 Thunderbolt 3
1 RJ-45
1 HDMI 2.0


https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops.../p/22WSP15P5N1

I just got one and love it.
Wow, I just got one of these, too! I was going to wait until the end of the year, but they had a great sale over Labor Day, and I jumped on board. I loaded it up... the best i9 processor, lots of RAM and 2, 2TB SSDs, and 4K UHD screen. I think I'll be happy with it.
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Old October 12th, 2020, 11:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Phil Buchanan View Post
I thought the same thing when he mentioned that. I have one of these sitting next to me right now. One of my customers owns it, but I can be more responsive if I have it with me. It's a nice laptop.
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Old October 12th, 2020, 11:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutomationTechBrian View Post
Wow, I just got one of these, too! I was going to wait until the end of the year, but they had a great sale over Labor Day, and I jumped on board. I loaded it up... the best i9 processor, lots of RAM and 2, 2TB SSDs, and 4K UHD screen. I think I'll be happy with it.
oh I got a 8GB of ram and a 512 Drive and then upgraded it immediately with 64GB and a 2TB Samsung NVMe. Saved me like $600.

I also got the 6 core i7 for battery life.

I did get the 4K display though.
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