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Edmond Smith

Laptop reccomendations anyone?

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Hello everyone! Hope you had a fantastic day of rest with family and friends this weekend.

I am looking into getting either a new laptop or tablet, but not sure what to get for the best price around $300.00 (US).


Requirements: (aside from cost effective):

Universal connectivity (meaning I can swap SD cards to increase memory and import/export data from one terminal to another like hard drives or smart phones).

 

Capable to use programs such as Wave Agent, or record to Computer type programs, Boom Recorder or similar being of of them.

 

 

I apologize if I am being vague, I tend to do that.

Please feel free to ask me to clarify anything am not making clear.

 

Thank you!

 

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The $300. price limit makes it a little tough to recommend stuff. To have the sort of connectivity you want, I think Apple iPads are probably not the way to go (and I am not familiar with the pads available from other companies but I imagine they are much more open than Apple). As for laptops, again, nothing from Apple (not because of connectivity, that would be okay, but cost --- nothing available from Apple for $300.). There are probably Windows Notebook PCs (are they still making those?) which should be available quite cheaply because, hey, they ARE cheap. Be advised that the primary production recording software, Boomrecorder and Metacorder, are Mac OS only (won't run under Windows).

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I use a cheap Acer W7 netbook for location stuff, about $250 or so if you look.  It works with WA just fine, has 3 USB ports and an SD slot, also works fine with Wavesaur, Audacity, various MP3 convert pgms etc.  I upgraded the memo to 2 GB, even so it isn't the world's greatest editing machine but ok for basic playback certainly.  @ $250 it's expendable, I went this (my 2nd netbook) after having one Mac laptop stolen and another trashed on location.

 

philp

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Thanks guys. 

I know not to expect much for 300, it's for the simple things for now until I invest into a Mac book for the bigger things in life.

 

I'll take a deeper look into Reaper.

Definitely appreciated!

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We have a Lenovo Windows laptop that we bought 2 1/2 years ago. My kids beat on it pretty good and it's held up. My only complaint is the trackpad and mouse buttons gave out so we have to use one of my many trackballs, but other than that it has held up well. I think it was a little under $300 and we purchased it off of amazon. I still prefer my Macbook Pro, but that's not in the price range you are looking at, and even in the used Macbook market you won't find anything used that is good at that price point. 

 

RE: Reaper

 

 

I tried it and I didn't like it, but that's just me. Im so used to pro tools that anything else feels really restrictive. The only other thing that I've used that I like is Mackie's Traction software. It came free with my Onyx Blackjack and it's great for what I need it for. 

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If it's going to be used on the set a 13" screen is a good size.  Much bigger then that and they start getting a little awkward on cart shelf's.  YMMV

 

That's my 2 cents.

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If you want to go really quiet and cheap (about $200, reaper included) but don't mind the performance hit (a basic editing machine), you can get an old lenovo t60 on ebay and swap out the hard drive with a 128 gb ssd; install tpfan (to bring fan noise down) and reaper and you're good to go. Sturdy little machines. I did that so I could put in a PCMCIA Multiface I had lying around and record in the studio without my DAW's fan noise and it works just fine, as quiet as you can go. You can also gut out the cd-rom and put in another ssd with a cd-bay caddy off of ebay so you'll have one system drive and one recording drive and you're still under the $300 mark.

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Not a recommendation, since I've hardly used it (and never on set), but ardour beside audacity (on a linux of your flavour) might save you some buck on software licences.

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Your budget is restrictive if your looking at Apple (boom recorder). Plenty of windows based systems out there for your budget. My advise. Stick with Intel for a laptop handling audio. Nothing wrong with AMD but Intel based systems will have lower latency typically and are overall just better at handling audio and ASIO (which is windows specific). Also Intel systems tend to have much better IO speeds. If your copying to and reading off memory cards this will be a plus. At $300 your a bit below the sweet spot for laptops so compromises will be made. 

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