What to think of when choosing a laptop for Mission Planner/ArduPilot?

Hi all,

I am buying a new laptop only to be used for Mission Planner/ArduPilot and other RC-related stuff, at home and on the field. Will be using Windows 10. What is important to think about when choosing a laptop for Mission Planner / ArduPilot?

  • One concern are the USB-ports, which one doesnt work?
  • The other is what display to choose?
    Are there any other things to take in consideration?

Best regards

We have dragged a ToughBook around with us to every mission for the past 6 years and it has not faltered.

Not a PC fan but the build on these is just the go for field use.

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I take along one of these Military grade tablets. It’s windows 10.
In truth most modern laptops and pc’s will run MP just fine. It depends one what you want to do with it. If it’s work in the field then there is a bunch of stuff to consider.
Screen brightness… Highest NITS you can find.
USB 3 for any pc you buy.
Something rugged if you can, it will take a knock or two in the field.
That said I have run MP on a small windows tablet in the field. I just put it in a box so I could see it better.

But if it’s for the bench. Pretty much any good pc is fine.

Brightest outdoor-readable screen you can find. Touchscreens are usually not as bright.

1 I’ve seen (had) some HP laptops that provide only 4.85v volt to USB devices, (within the +/-5% spec) - but seem to reduce range on some radios, especially when combined with long, active USB cables.

2 Toughbooks are expensive, and kind of bulky, you can get far with good Dell Latitude or Precision laptops, those are rather tough too.

3 Glossy displays are no good, get a matte display.

In any case, if flying BLOS or with multiple links, you don’t want to involve windows in any part of something that critical - I stick to Linux, but almost anything is better and more reliable than windows.

As a bonus, the laptop battery/car battery will be able to keep a leaner OS running much longer (even if the inverter dies.)

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Getac V110…

Not very fast, but runs stable under nearly every condition (stable for hours eyen at 40°C), water proof, two one-the-fly changeable batteries, bright display, touchscreen. 3x USB3.0, Optionally equipped with gps and 4G.

Disadvantage: very expensive. But often sold second hand in very good condition.

Why buy a new laptop for it? Repurpose an older one that’s plenty good for what you’re running and use the money saved for RC upgrades! :slight_smile: My IdeaPad Flex 14-API gets plenty of battery life (7hrs with the screen always on at full brightness) on “battery saver” mode, which still is more than enough horsepower to run MP.