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Author Topic: PCs in RVs?  (Read 9576 times)

cadee2c

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PCs in RVs?
« on: February 10, 2016, 03:21:28 PM »
Do any of you use desktops in your RVs? How do they hold up? We have one laptop and its a little cheapy one that I got a few years ago mainly for recreational use while traveling or sitting out on my deck. However we are planning on working remote while traveling in an RV, so I was thinking I might need a bigger more powerful toy... errr.... I mean... worker laptop. One that can handle the workload required. My DH says that we should be able to keep our PCs and use them in the RV. His is pretty new, mine is a couple years old.
Caryl- Pilot
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SeilerBird

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2016, 03:27:10 PM »
There are several forum members that use PCs in their RVs. But there are laptops that are just as powerful as desktops with the advantage of not taking up so much space, using so much electricity and being able to be run on batteries for the times when there is no power available.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
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Grand Canyon photos:
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My portfolio:
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herekittykitty

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2016, 03:46:02 PM »
Yeah, what SeilerBird said. Not sure why you'd want a tower (or why anyone would) these days.

I replaced my laptop with a Lenovo all-in-one that lives on my table. I learned the hard way that that has to be seriously tied down when I move, but I used to just leave my laptop (built in rubber feet) sitting on the table.

The PC's not the issue you need to be concerned about, though. It's your internet connection that you need to plan ahead for. If you need to work, don't even bother relying on park wifi. If you're on the west coast, you'll need a Verizon jetpack, then you gotta shop for the best data deal you can get. (I can hook you up with my guy, if you want - unlimited [no throttling] data for $120 month. And no, I don't get kickbacks.)
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Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2016, 04:05:02 PM »
Almost six years ago, when we started out, I had to take my desktop, laser printer, etc. I had room if I made room.

The laser printer was donated at the first overnight stop, the desktop superseded some time later. There just isn't the room to keep kicking one around in a coach, although they will travel well if secured and padded.

When you are starting out, you don't know what works best, so you take all the "stuff" you think you need. You'll adapt quite quickly to what you really need.

We carry both ATT and Verizon hotspots because if you want service everywhere, you have to pay to play. Never been stopped anywhere where one or the other would not pull enough signal to get what I need in 25 states. Your mileage may vary as will your usage.  8)

Kim
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John From Detroit

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2016, 05:24:47 PM »
I used a mini-tower for several years till I left it on when changing sites and took out the hard drive, and the back up drive and frankly it was getting rather long in the tooth anyway since I got it in 2002, and did not get the RV till 2005 and this was like 2012. (10 years is pushing it for a computer).. I now have a desktop mounted sideways.  I make sure I turn it OFF when packing. to move.. I Turn off power to it) I may eventually replace the mini-HD in it (My mini I mean not very big) With an SSD in which case I will let it run.. or I may upgrade it.

I also have two laptops. One has traveled,he other only around town since I bought it after the Motor blew.  It too has a mini-drive (But it meets my needs) the "Big" one is 3 years old same as the desktop (it has a Maxi drive half a Terrabyte)

There are some laptops that tend to survive better but it has been a while since I read the article and I'm sure it is dated.  PC Mag tests them for "Rugged" from time to time.
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ArdraF

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2016, 06:06:49 PM »
We're not fulltimers and we no longer work but we've traveled for months at a time for many years and both carry our laptops.  In addition we have a small printer that fits in a pull-out drawer as well as a thin scanner that stores in a drawer.  Even with smaller laptops, it's amazing how many cables, thumb drives and such that we carry.  What's even more amazing is how often they get used.  Also, you'll want a couple of different ways to connect.  We can use campground wifi but seldom do because our own hotspot usually works better.

Verizon tends to have the best coverage nationwide so we ditched our AT&T plan a few years ago.  We had both for a couple of years but decided Verizon was best, especially in the west.  There are still places where there is NO cell coverage so you might have to preplan stops if you need to be connected for work.  Because of that lack of cell coverage you'll also want a good GPS system for navigating such as Garmin.  Cell phone directions may work in big cities but there are a lot of places you can't use it because they're too remote or "just over the hill" that blocks the signal.

ArdraF
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cadee2c

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2016, 06:15:15 PM »
So basically, you all are telling me I get a new toy...errr I mean .. .a new bigger more powerful laptop! Yesssss!!!!
Caryl- Pilot
Bob- Navigator
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Buddy the Dog-  Soul Mutt, forever in our hearts.


1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
2010 Jeep Liberty

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SeilerBird

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2016, 06:19:58 PM »
So basically, you all are telling me I get a new toy...errr I mean .. .a new bigger more powerful laptop! Yesssss!!!!
Actually my advise would be to get the cheapest laptop you can find. Even the cheapest ones do an awesome job. No need to spend more money than you need to.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
Grand Canyon photos:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

MN Blue Skies

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2016, 06:29:09 PM »
We have three laptops and 4 desktops.  My favorite workhorses are my two Lenovos. I custom ordered both of them from B&H.  They have seen a lot of traveling and have been juggled around quite a bit.  They were not cheap, but I have found them to be durable and fast.  I have never had to call Lenovo.

I would not choose a cheap disposable laptop.  When I was in the banking industry they furnished me with cheap Dell laptops.  I traveled from office to office with the laptops and went through a laptop every six to nine months. The other bank I worked for furnished HPs.  A little better but I still needed a new laptop every two years.  I spent a lot of time on the phone with Tech departments.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 06:41:32 PM by MN Blue Skies »
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SeilerBird

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2016, 06:44:53 PM »
The computer industry has changed radically in the last few years. A cheap laptop is now a viable item.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
Grand Canyon photos:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

legrandnormand

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2016, 06:49:41 PM »
Desktops are made for houses and offices since they do take lots of space and need electricity to work.
Laptops are used for their maneouvrability and they can work on their own battery for hours and they can be as powerfull as any desktop.
In the 70's, I started with a Commodore 64, then went to 2 desktops in the 80's and since the 90's, we have laptops.
Today, while traveling 6 months a year in our motorhome, we bring along our 3 laptops, one is used as a spare; they all run on WINDOWS 10 and share our WI-FI network with a WI-FI printer.
Normand
Trois-Rivieres, QC, Canada
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jdq1986

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2016, 06:53:11 PM »
The computer industry has changed radically in the last few years. A cheap laptop is now a viable item.

They certainly are.  There are however limitations to them, and certain situations that may necessitate an upgraded model.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2016, 07:03:38 PM »
I'll be the odd man out here. I custom built a computer desk for our coach, adjacent to my recliner, so the chair doubles as reading room and computer station. I have a full fledged tower (that I also built) with a nice 23" display and an HP All-in-one printer. Never had any difficulties with it and we live 4-6 months each year in the coach. I've used desktops in the RV since 2004, but I also carry a laptop cause sometimes portability is nice. Plus a couple tablets and a smart phone too.

I should add that I create a lot of content as well as consume (view it), spend several hours daily online, work a fair amount with maps, and otherwise am a rather heavy user. For me, even a 17" laptop is a small screen, and I can build a powerful tower machine for about 1/4-1/3 what a smoking laptop would cost. The recent model, inexpensive ($259) laptop I carry is a dog compared to the tower system, and only a 15" display.

You need have no fear of using a desktop or tower machine in an RV, if that best suits your wants & needs.
Gary
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VallAndMo

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2016, 08:12:58 PM »
Hello folks,

+1 for Lenovo (ThinkPad) laptops. We have 2, the older from 2007 but with a lot of life to it still, and another "brand new" from 2012. They both just keep chugging along and doing a great job. Can't speak well enough of them.

Cheers,
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    Vall.

HueyPilotVN

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2016, 08:22:42 PM »
I use a couple of ASUS laptops.  What is more important to me is the display size.  I like to be able to see detail while sitting back and relaxing in a recliner.
Bill Waugh
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8Muddypaws

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2016, 08:31:41 PM »
Look into SFF computers.  (Small Form Factor).   Amazon is a good place to start.  Some of them are not much bigger than a book.

I have a Mac Mini (SFF) hooked up to our main TV screen.  Not the best computer display but it works OK for what I use it for.

We also travel with a Dell laptop (a high end quad core with a good display card), a MacBook Air, two iPads, and two other very small computers. (About the size of a pack of cigarettes)
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2016, 08:41:25 PM »
I use an iMac as my primary computer and before that a small format Dell desktop. Both are off when driving, but I also have a very small Asus that runs Silverleaf and Streets and Trips while  driving. The Asus uses a 12 inch touchscreen monitor attached to a pole mount swing arm just to the  left of the steering wheel. No issues using it while driving. Probably has 20k miles using this computer.
Ken
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Relee52

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2016, 09:11:13 PM »
No one has mentioned Apple desktops that have no tower...the light weight  monitor and CPU are integrated and I plan to take mine along when we hit the road. I've had towers and large monitors, all heavy and large. I'm sticking with Apple.
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SeilerBird

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2016, 05:31:04 AM »
I can build a powerful tower machine for about 1/4-1/3 what a smoking laptop would cost.
That might have been true five to ten years ago but not today. Here is a smoking laptop with an Intel dual core, 4 gig of ram, 1tb hard drive, 17 inch screen and all the bells and whistles for $400.

http://www.amazon.com/Hp-Pavilion-Laptop-Memory-Silver/dp/B018DZD55A/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1455189945&sr=1-1&keywords=laptop&refinements=p_n_size_browse-bin%3A7817234011

Just Windows alone will be 1/4th the cost. Then you have to buy a tower, power supply, motherboard, memory, monitor, hard drive, optical drive, keyboard, mouse, camera and other little goodies. I doubt you could build one for less than the price of the smoking laptop. I used to build my own computers too until it became a dumb idea since a laptop is already assembled and works just as good.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
Grand Canyon photos:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

TravlinOn

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2016, 06:30:04 AM »
I love my tower at home, but I take a laptop on my trips for the same reasons as stated above, but ALSO because on trips to the Georgia/NC/Tenn mountains I have sometimes had to put the computer in my truck and travel to a nearby town in order to get Verizon or any other coverage.  Didn't do it everyday, but hard to go without checking emails every once in awhile.
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Larry N.

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2016, 07:51:11 AM »
That might have been true five to ten years ago but not today. Here is a smoking laptop with an Intel dual core, 4 gig of ram, 1tb hard drive, 17 inch screen and all the bells and whistles for $400.

http://www.amazon.com/Hp-Pavilion-Laptop-Memory-Silver/dp/B018DZD55A/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1455189945&sr=1-1&keywords=laptop&refinements=p_n_size_browse-bin%3A7817234011

Just Windows alone will be 1/4th the cost. Then you have to buy a tower, power supply, motherboard, memory, monitor, hard drive, optical drive, keyboard, mouse, camera and other little goodies. I doubt you could build one for less than the price of the smoking laptop. I used to build my own computers too until it became a dumb idea since a laptop is already assembled and works just as good.

That, to me, would be of moderate performance, Tom. And it's original price is $700, not $400 -- it looks like a clearance sale to me. An I5 isn't "smoking." To me, "smoking" is a machine that will run Lockheed-Martin's Prepar3d at 30 fps in most areas, even with many add-ons to the program. I don't know of ANY laptop that would run P3D as smoothly as my 5 year old desktop from Digital Storm. I also do video editing on this machine, which also needs a lot of power.

In other words, so much depends on the intended use. You don't need "smoking" for web browsing, word processing, etc. and the machine you linked to is good for a lot of things, but "smoking" it's not.  So Gary's right in many ways, depending on your needs.
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SeilerBird

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2016, 08:45:06 AM »
That, to me, would be of moderate performance, Tom. And it's original price is $700, not $400 -- it looks like a clearance sale to me. An I5 isn't "smoking." To me, "smoking" is a machine that will run Lockheed-Martin's Prepar3d at 30 fps in most areas, even with many add-ons to the program. I don't know of ANY laptop that would run P3D as smoothly as my 5 year old desktop from Digital Storm. I also do video editing on this machine, which also needs a lot of power.

In other words, so much depends on the intended use. You don't need "smoking" for web browsing, word processing, etc. and the machine you linked to is good for a lot of things, but "smoking" it's not.  So Gary's right in many ways, depending on your needs.
That is not a clearance sale price, it is the price Amazon normally sells the laptop for. No one sells at list price. But let's go ahead and use $700 that gives you $350. Please list the components you would buy to build a complete desktop system that would be much better than this laptop
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Life list of birds:
https://goo.gl/photos/xuP9zPD2KP2swN1g8
Grand Canyon photos:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2016, 09:38:37 AM »
Seilerbird is somewhat correct in that I cannot build that "smoker" from scratch for 1/3 the price of the laptop, even though the one he cited is hardly a "smoker" (1.7GHz, even in an I5, ain't real hot). However, I rarely build from scratch.  My coach PC is in a 10 year old case and I update various components piecemeal from time to time. The display, high performance disks (I use solid state type) and windows license generally last a couple-three generations of processor and motherboard. It's currently an 8-core, 3.7 Ghz processor with a highly capable motherboard and super-fast memory. And the display is head & shoulders superior to the low power ones used in low-moderately priced laptops,

Granted, this approach is not best for everybody. I was merely addressing the question of using a desktop/tower PC in an RV. There is no reason not to do so, if that's what best suits your wants and needs.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2016, 09:42:39 AM by Gary RV Roamer »
Gary
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Larry N.

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2016, 10:51:08 AM »
That is not a clearance sale price, it is the price Amazon normally sells the laptop for. No one sells at list price. But let's go ahead and use $700 that gives you $350. Please list the components you would buy to build a complete desktop system that would be much better than this laptop

Tom, my current desktop has two 1 TB hard disks, plus one that is 2 TB. It has 12GB RAM, an I7 (3.2 GHZ) quad core processor and a GTX 970 video card (recently updated from a 570), along with a 27" 1920x1080 monitor.

Without the monitor, it was around $2500 5 years ago. If I got one today, it'd be with the updated processor and motherboard and memory, but otherwise about the same, probably from Digital Storm again. Of course I have a laptop only slightly better than you linked to for use on the road, and it's more than adequate for that.

There's not really any need to continue this, as I think my point about "smoking" is made, and what to get is so much dependent on the needs of the user, and Gary certainly makes some good points, too. Certainly it's true that few people need the capabilities I have, nor do I think they need to get a "smoker." I just think we need to be careful with the terminology we use.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

cadee2c

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2016, 11:20:39 AM »
Its good to know we wont have to dump our PCs. Changing over is a hassle. But I am like Tim the toolman when it comes to gadgets. I do like my gadgets. Im looking for a good way to move things to the cloud just to make it easier when we have to eventually switch. But thats a different thread. It would be nice to be able to walk into a public library or internet cafe somewhere and get to my stuff. Not that I would make a practice of doing that, but sometimes things happen and that would be an option in a pinch. 
Caryl- Pilot
Bob- Navigator
Mister Hank - homeland security
Buddy the Dog-  Soul Mutt, forever in our hearts.


1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
2010 Jeep Liberty

Follow your arrow, wherever it points

legrandnormand

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2016, 11:40:16 AM »
Its good to know we wont have to dump our PCs. Changing over is a hassle. But I am like Tim the toolman when it comes to gadgets. I do like my gadgets. Im looking for a good way to move things to the cloud just to make it easier when we have to eventually switch. But thats a different thread. It would be nice to be able to walk into a public library or internet cafe somewhere and get to my stuff. Not that I would make a practice of doing that, but sometimes things happen and that would be an option in a pinch.
... and the best way to get hacked using an opened and unprotected WI-FI !  8)
Normand
Trois-Rivieres, QC, Canada
2010 Gulfstream Independance, model 8367
2009 Smart Cabriolet

Tom/Barb

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2016, 11:45:59 AM »
We carry our MAC, when we go long distance/time. no problems, we have our own wifi hot spot off our phone. be prepared for huge data usage.
What you read from me, is only an opinion

therealsimpsons

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2016, 11:59:43 AM »
On this trip (we left home Dec 1) I brought the PC from home. I play an online hunting game for relaxation (theHunter.com) and it is a resource gobbler. Our plans were to be gone for 3-1/2 months and I didn't want to not be able to play. To get the best out of the game, I have 32G of RAM, a Nividia GTX 930 video card, Gigabyte G1 gaming motherboard, and a quad core processor. I use a 10 year old Dell 24" 1920 x 1200 display. I have a wifi extender antenna, a Logitech G930 wireless headset, and a 1 TB portable drive attached.

Its easy to take down (I store the tower under the kitchen table with the chairs on each side butting up against it) and put back together when we move. It's far better (IMHO) than a laptop at any price. It's custom made for what I want to do.

I haven't had any problems with it traveling.
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MN Blue Skies

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2016, 01:27:08 PM »
That, to me, would be of moderate performance, Tom.

In other words, so much depends on the intended use. You don't need "smoking" for web browsing, word processing, etc. and the machine you linked to is good for a lot of things, but "smoking" it's not.  So Gary's right in many ways, depending on your needs.

I agree with Larry.  The specs on that laptop are not considered smoking in my world.  It would be a considerable step backwards in technology compared to what I need and currently have.
A girl called Max, her husband Eric, Princess Kitty, and Molly the Service Dog in training.

2013 Cougar High Country 315 RES ( A 35' 5th Wheel)
"Big Blue" 2012 RAM 3500 Big Horn (Cummins Diesel 1 ton)

cadee2c

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Re: PCs in RVs?
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2016, 03:38:13 PM »
For my son's combined 18th birthday and graduation gift, I let him build his own computer just for himself and I paid for it. It had a whopping 1 full gig of RAM. His friends were all impressed. My how things have changed.  ;D
Caryl- Pilot
Bob- Navigator
Mister Hank - homeland security
Buddy the Dog-  Soul Mutt, forever in our hearts.


1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
2010 Jeep Liberty

Follow your arrow, wherever it points

 

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