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Old August 9th, 2017, 09:15 AM   #1
hein123
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Laptop Using For PLC Programming

I am in the process of buying a new laptop and can't decide between a zbook g4 and a thinkpad.

I mostly use virtual machines and would like the laptop to last a couple of years. Battery life should also be a couple of hours.

What do you guys use? Can't make up my mind as these days you can't trust online reviews.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 09:18 AM   #2
LoganB
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I've always gone with the Dell Precision models. If you're running VMs make sure whatever you get has 12GB of memory at the very least, I would recommend 16GB+.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 09:21 AM   #3
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http://www.plctalk.net/qanda/showthread.php?t=90147

http://www.plctalk.com/qanda/showthread.php?t=89657

There have been several threads on the same topic. Above are a couple that may help you out.

Regards,
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Old August 9th, 2017, 09:29 AM   #4
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You're probably going to get opinions different than mine, so take it with a grain of salt. I worked for a company that insisted everyone use issued Lenovo computers. Every Lenovo I was issued eventually developed an issue where Rockwell Software, VMWare, Step7, and EPlan would start taking inordinately long times to boot. I can't speak to whether this was a problem specific to those software packages, as aside from the usual Office programs they were almost all I used.
I used a Compaq Armada in the 90's and never had major problems with it, I still use it for SLC100's and other legacy systems. The battery is long dead, but it's still functional. After that I went to Dell, and still use them as my primary engineering computers. There was one minor issue with Dell and Rockwell compatibility years ago, but the fix was so easy I don't even remember the problem.
I've also used Panasonic Toughbooks, generally because I prefer to issue them to maintenance personnel. Very robust and they still are available with a native serial port. The small screen is a major annoyance in the field though.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 09:36 AM   #5
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Yeah, those Panasonic Toughbooks have a super low resolution to match up with the super small screens. But you can run them over with a truck!
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Old August 9th, 2017, 09:36 AM   #6
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We use the Thinkpads, the P50s models. Bin the crappy HDD and stick in a 1TB SDD (cheaper than Lenovo doing it, we use the Samsung Pro Evos)

We get the onsite support also, it's very very good.

The battery will last a good shift on site also. Never failed us.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 09:50 AM   #7
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I've heard good things about Lenovo p51 or p51s, but my company has DELL.

http://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops.../p/22TP2WPWP51

Last edited by VAN; August 9th, 2017 at 09:56 AM.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 10:51 AM   #8
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One thing to be aware of is that the latest Intel processors have issues with driver support for Windows 7, so you may be forced into virtual machines if you want to run Windows 7 (which sounds like it won't be an issue for you).

I just got a new Dell Precision 15" and it's pretty nice.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 11:04 AM   #9
hein123
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Thanks, i would look into precisions as well as it seems most use it here.

With drivers I am not to worried as my plan is to use linux as base and have multiple VM's depending on what I need.
I might use Rockwell products in the future so I rather don't want to take a chance.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 11:41 AM   #10
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The brand and model are not so important, in my opinion.
Check warranty terms and price.

What is the most important is the hardware:
* 12 or more GB of RAM as already said
* Intel i7-xxxxHQ CPU (check the last two letters, it's very important)
* SSD 500 GB at least or small SSD for Host OS and Hybrid HDD for VMs
* 1920x1080 resolution (hard to work on 1366x768)
* dedicated GPU if you use SCADAs that needs it (rare but I use them)

I can suggest ASUS if you want the best quality/price ratio.
I have an ASUS with 2 HDD, in one I have the Host OS and in the other one I have the VMs.
With an HQ CPU you are capable of run from 2 to 3 VM. The bottleneck is the HDD in my case.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 11:49 AM   #11
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I'm using a Lenovo W530 and absolutely love it. It's been nothing but reliable, but I agree that brand is less important than the system specs.

I'm running an i7 with 24GB of ram and a 500GB SSD. These are crucial specs if you want to run VMs (I've had no problem running 3 VMs at a time). I think the most important is the SSD. For those of us who carry their laptops around to customers, plant floors, etc., an SSD is imperative. You want to mitigate the possibility of damaging a drive and having to reinstall all the software.

Also a great idea to do periodic images of the laptop for same reason.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 02:57 PM   #12
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I've seen more then a few people on here say they love using MacBook pros, I use an older w520 and it works but it's on its way out and I've been eyeballing some 2014 model MacBook pros.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 03:02 PM   #13
VAN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JZerb View Post
I've seen more then a few people on here say they love using MacBook pros, I use an older w520 and it works but it's on its way out and I've been eyeballing some 2014 model MacBook pros.
What? I've only heard people that like Mac anything are people that generally just do things on the cloud/internet.
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Old August 9th, 2017, 03:14 PM   #14
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Ya. There are more then a few older posts in the last year or two discussing plc programming laptops and most if not all of them someone mentions that the MacBook pro they use is one of the better decisions theyve made
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Old August 9th, 2017, 03:15 PM   #15
hein123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JZerb View Post
I've seen more then a few people on here say they love using MacBook pros, I use an older w520 and it works but it's on its way out and I've been eyeballing some 2014 model MacBook pros.
I was actually looking at one, however on closer inspection I saw that they use an older intel processor. Does not make sense to buy an expensive laptop running old processor.

The dell precision 5520 looks quite cool
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