Took the plunge, bought a Media Center Laptop

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Okotoks Camper

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Nov 4, 2005
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66
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Okotoks, Alberta
On the weekend we bought an HP Pavilion ZD8225CA laptop with the 17" screen and Windows Media Center. I'm still working my way through the setup and would appreciate any advice folks can provide regarding this (or any laptop) setup, maintenance, tip & tricks, etc.

I'm reasonably computer literate, but always feel a little nervous with a new purchase.

A couple of initial questions:

1. This thing is a power hog and I'm going to need an additional battery. What's the best way to buy a high quality (Lith-Ion) lowest price battery?
2. I comes with a dual tv tuner and I haven't set that up yet. We plan to eventually get satellite internet and tv, but don't want to jump into it without a fair amount of research.
3. Has anybody heard of a 12 charger for this laptop? I notice that the output of the ac adaptor is 19V, so I won't be able to run the machine, but maybe charge the battery?

Any and all? comments, suggestions, questions welcomed.

Thanks,
John B.
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
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calgary camper said:
3. Has anybody heard of a 12 charger for this laptop? I notice that the output of the ac adaptor is 19V, so I won't be able to run the machine, but maybe charge the battery?

John, why not use a small inverter when you want to run the PC from 12V?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At my Silver Springs FL home
There are numerous laptop battery sources online and some will even sell HP-branded batteries (not that that is necessary). That will by far be the least expensive source.

How much will you be running on battery power?  You generally won't be able to remain online for long periods at campground internet access points - you are sharing with other campers and sometimes the campground office as well.  And most campgrounds will have a power outlet near the phone line anyway.  And when in your rig, you will probably have AC power and won't need battery at all.

HP makes a car (12V) charger for their laptops, but as Tom suggests, get a small inverter to power your laptop's charger.  It won't cost any more than an HP car charger (probably much less) and is more versatilve. A 150-200 watt inverter is only about $40.

Do you plan to watch TV on the laptop as opposed to a tv?

A caution:  Some people have encountered problems with WIndows Media Center when trying to set up for online access via cell phone. It seems that some of the cell-modem device drivers conflict with Media Center, though nobody seems quite sure why this happens and it doesn't happen to everybody with Media Center.
 

Okotoks Camper

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Joined
Nov 4, 2005
Posts
66
Location
Okotoks, Alberta
Thanks for the responses, guys. I do have a 400 Watt inverter to use when travelling in the truck and I have a 1750W inverter in the fiver, so I'm not too bad there. I'm just the type of person who always likes a backup plan I guess. I will Google some online battery sites and see what I can find.

Thanks for the cell phone modem tip RV Roamer, I'll watch for that. Right now everything is hooked up at the stick house, but come May, we're outa here!.

By the way, did I miss any previous threads can could be useful?

John B.
 

Tom

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Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
49,042
calgary camper said:
By the way, did I miss any previous threads can could be useful?

I don't recall, but you can try a search.
 
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