Best laptop for workshop use?

Adam Owner/Technician Glasgow, United Kingdom Posted   Latest   Edited  

Hello Gents,

Our toughbook is now failing to boot now and, while I'm sure I could resurrect it, it's getting on a bit and feel upgrading is the way to go (any excuse for newer/better/faster tech). We've always run with toughbooks in the workshop and have largely been very pleased with them. Before plunging for another however, I'd be very interested to hear what you guys consider to be an optimal choice of laptop for workshop use? It will be used largely for picoscoping and general automotive software etc. We take care of our stuff here so the ruggedness of the tough book is not absolutely essential. 

Thanks and I look forward to finding out what I'm buying next :-)

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris Default
   

The below are Ford's current specs. I also recommend finding a laptop with a smaller screen 14 or 15" are better in the car than the bigger ones they push for gaming. The solid state drive really speeds up everything! Recommended Specifications for running Ford Diagnostic Software Operating System Windows 7 or 10 Professional (64 Bit) Memory (RAM) 8 GB or greater Hard Drive Storage SSD -…

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Ralph Technician
Alpharetta, Georgia
Ralph Default
 

Getac if you don't mind spending the coin makes some badass computers for our line of work they will custom build if you like

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Matthew Mobile Technician
Bartlett, Illinois
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If you were using fully rugged Toughbooks, maybe you could think about a semi-rugged like the CF-54. Wider screen and pretty modern specs. I also like Thinkpads, they are very durable and can be built with some serious power. For Pico the better processor and memory you have the better. The scope buffer will save, but loading into the software depends on the computer.

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Brandon Technician
Medina, Minnesota
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I can't speak to what specs your laptop should have, but it should definitely have a 256GB or larger SSD and a few USB3.0 ports, especially for Pico usage. One thing I have had issues with with mine is the 15" 4K display mine has. Everything has to be scaled up by Windows to look the appropriate size. A lot of new software supports this, but most OEM software is designed around a certain…

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
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I run 4 CF-53 Toughbooks. I just ordered a newer CF-54 to meet the new specs GM is requiring. I am a big fan of these since the day I messed up leaving one on a windshield during a diag and programming. After I learned the key the ignition turned on and the wipers were on. Helplessly watching your laptop launch off a car is not a good time. It popped the cover off the battery and scuffed the…

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Zachary Mobile Technician
Austin, Texas
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Adam, I've been really happy with the 2 Think Pads I've owned. I tend to prefer the 13-14" screens for portability. Plus I like that Lenovo allows be you to customize specs if you order directly from their website. I don't currently have a J2534 device but general function works great. Plus it runs my ATS EScope with no problems. Not ruggedized to be sure but still fairly resilient. I'm pretty…

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Kurtis Technical Support Specialist
Ann Arbor, Michigan
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A pc with an i5-i7 processor, windows 10 professional 64 bit (don't get windows 7, most OEM's are no longer supporting it with their aftermarket software), 2.67 ghz speed min., the most harddrive space and RAM you can afford, preferably at least 500 GB to 1 TB harddrive, and at least 8 gb of RAM. That will be the most compatible with all OEM's when it comes to functionality with their…

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Phillip Diagnostician
Anchorage, Alaska
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I been using a the over the counter laptop. I have not had any problems using this. The only problem I have had is that I wish I would of saved my money and bought a 2 in 1 detachable tablet cause it can be a real pain to sit in the front seat and put the laptop in my lap. Or even sit it in the engine bay, as were my tablet scan tools are a lot easier to maneuver. With that being said, I would…

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Brian Owner
Parma, Ohio
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I would recommend a Thinkpad In the past for my mobile business I was running the less expensive lenovo's and Acers that were in the $400 range that met the specs for what ever software we were using. I had 5 ( maybe more) of them for my team running different software applications and over the course of 6 years they held up very well, even in the out door mobile environment. I dropped one…

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Samuel Technician
Somers Point, New Jersey
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Great input Brian!!!

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Adam Owner/Technician
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Adam Update
 

Thank you all for your comments. Good to be made aware of the dealer min specs and reminded also that more resolution isn't always better in the trade (the heart really sinks when you have to upscale 1024 to 4k). It's easy to get carried away. I'll let you all know what we go for :) Thanks again! Adam @MBJ.

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Tomi Diagnostician
Chicago, Illinois
Tomi Default
 

Talk to Isaac rodell. He can help you out with a sick setup to get you going!

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Andrew Technician
Norwood, Minnesota
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I have always just used off the shelf laptops and never had a problem, but maybe I am just lucky. I am partial to Lenovo and Acer, and HP seems pretty decent. Heck, I'm running IDS on a used Toshiba Tecra I bought used for $20 (one of 5, can't beat 5 laptops for $100) need to upgrade that one, still running Windows 7. Solid state drive and smaller screens are a plus.

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