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Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


Cabo Wabo Express
May 4, 2002
How many of the pilots out there have Laptops? Any qualities to look for when buying one? Seeing as the Pilot is always on the road, at hotels, I am thinking downstream of buying one, not to replace my home desktop, but to have internet access on the road. Looking at Dells
Just bought a compaq myself for the same reason. I searched high and low for a good deal. You should pay about 800-1000 for one that is not a home desktop replacement. I went to a store to buy mine. I wanted a brick and morter to return it if I needed to. Get the best coverage you can afford as much as you travel. I got the 2 yr. bumper to bumper. Remember that after 2 years these things are almost disposable. Built-in wireless is a must. Mine has 40 gb hard drive. 14" widescreen, 512mb ram(a must now days), 1.8 gig amd processor which is fine for general purpose. Weight should also be considered. Anything over 6.5 lbs starts to be a pain.
Without these laptops with wireless internet, and hotels that offer it, flightinfo would not quite be the same. Especialy on reserve or tdy.
Any overnight, and my LT accompanies me. Can't imagine the road with out it. I use it for flight planning, paying bills, online training, logbook, etc. All this to make my life a lot more efficient when I am home (less time in front of computer, more with family).

Had mine for nearly two years now (HP 3000 Widescreen Series). Bought the extended warranty, which has already paid for itself. Best Buy claims a voltage spike killed the mother board, which the factory warranty would NOT have covered. As much as it gets lugged around, the warranty was an easy decision.

Plan on spending $900-1200 for a new, well equipped one. Mine has built in wireless. Other guys I fly with have a difficult time picking up signals with their plug in cards (bridge). My brother bought a really nice used one, very well equipped for around $600.

Battery life is important to me as well. I can be unplugged for 1.5-2.0 hours, without recharging.
This site has some pretty good deals on dells. Hope it helps.
The dell inspirion 6000 has great battery life if you get the centrino chip. I can get 5-6 hours with my screen on low and a 9-cell battery ($100 option)

I see that Palm Pilot type devices are getting more advanced, some now have wi-fi. Anyone using this type of device instead of a laptop?
Sony VAIO S580! Perfect balance of power, size, and features. 13.1" widescreen. If you want smaller, go with the VAIO 10" widescreen, but the keyboard is somewhat small.
IBM Thinkpad. Many models to choose from, pick one that suits your needs and is a reasonable price.

I have owned HP, Compaq, Dell, and IBM. IBM is BY FAR the best when it comes to quality and service. HP and Compaq(same company now) are POS's and when something goes wrong you have to send it in and be without it for a week or two.

Dell has great quality, and good service. Depending on the service plan you have, and your location, you will more than likely be required to send it off for service(again meaning a week or two without it), or you may be lucky and have somebody come out to your home to fix it. They will likely not have parts, though, and will have to take it with them and bring it back later, or come back at a later date to fix it when they DO have the parts.

IBM has excellent quality, and the service is great. I did have a problem with my Thinkpad while it was under warranty. I called IBM and they told me I could ship it to them(at their expense) for repairs, or I could take it to one of the 10+ computer stores in my area(I live in a large city) that were authorized to service IBM's. After speaking with a friend of mine that is in the computer business locally, I chose the store and took it to them at about 2pm. The next day, at around 4pm, I received a call saying it was ready for pickup. It turned out it needed a new motherboard. They realized that after about 20 minutes of diagnostics, and notified IBM, who shipped a motherboard overnight. IBM has had the best service of all the laptops I have owned....though, I've only had to use them once, whereas the others I have had to use their service at least 3 times.
I love the PSP has wireless internet, DVD and is a playstation also can put MP3s on it. It was the best thing I have ever bought and the battery last for about 6 hours running none stop
I got an Averatec with a 12.1 inch screen. It weighed 4.4 pounds. I loved it. It was stolen at ORD but I plan on getting another. The only gripe I had with it was battery life so I plan on getting the Centrino version instead of the AMD Athlon processor. It seems most of the pilots in my company bought Averatecs the past two years.


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