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Are modern laptops a suitable replacement for old tower PC

For anything relating to music-making on Windows computers, with lots of FAQs. Moderated by Martin Walker.

Re: Are modern laptops a suitable replacement for old tower PC

Postby hobbyist » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:21 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:It used to be and it's classed as networking by the system so sometimes those head-scratching "NDIS.sys" can come down to wifi or Bluetooth.

It's got a lot better over the last few years and a lot of the drivers are native to windows now and more standardized, it's one of the things they got right in the move over to W10 it seems.


Worked right in win8 too. Did not try it on my XP yet nor my win98se as those are towers with wired mouse on a big table top.

But for a laptop a wireless mouse and keyboard are vital for ease of use.
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Re: Are modern laptops a suitable replacement for old tower PC

Postby ef37a » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:36 pm

You have my statements mixed up Hobbyist.

I never suggested that a WIRED keyboard or mouse would cause audio glitches. I did say that "we" were forever being told that wireless devices can do so but mine and my son's experience with a dongle (!) powered keyboard and mouse was that they were harmless.

I have also used the late, lamented Tranzport and that was DESIGNED to go with a music PC, dongle and all!

Then, isn't an external USB drive nought but a big, f'off dongle?

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Re: Are modern laptops a suitable replacement for old tower PC

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:39 am

hobbyist wrote:But for a laptop a wireless mouse and keyboard are vital for ease of use.

Well, for some people perhaps, but certainly not for all. I use a laptop in my job, have done for many years, frequently in hotels and I've always used a wired mouse with no problems or inconveniences at all.

Never bothered with an external keyboard, I type a lot (I write a lot of code and communicate with my international colleagues using Slack frequently) and prefer the feel of most laptop keyboards over any external one I've ever used.
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Re: Are modern laptops a suitable replacement for old tower PC

Postby hobbyist » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:31 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:
hobbyist wrote:But for a laptop a wireless mouse and keyboard are vital for ease of use.

Well, for some people perhaps, but certainly not for all. I use a laptop in my job, have done for many years, frequently in hotels and I've always used a wired mouse with no problems or inconveniences at all.

Never bothered with an external keyboard, I type a lot (I write a lot of code and communicate with my international colleagues using Slack frequently) and prefer the feel of most laptop keyboards over any external one I've ever used.

I think your saying is horses and courses.

I hate the feel of the laptop 'keyboard' and the location is way too close for me to see the screen easily.

And the wires are always in the way being annoying.

I have used wired versions of mouse and keyboard but they are not as easy for me to use as the wireless versions.
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Re: Are modern laptops a suitable replacement for old tower PC

Postby miN2 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:53 am

hobbyist wrote:You will certainly have bigg problems from windoze and all the free bloatware crap that PCs come

What is this bloatware that people often talk of? Third party startup apps i guess? There's no bloatware on a standard install of Windows.
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Re: Are modern laptops a suitable replacement for old tower PC

Postby GilesAnt » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:01 pm

A quick note to say I have taken possession of my new laptop from Scan computers having finally made a decision.

I have added wireless mouse/keyboard and kept my old monitor as I find myself getting a bit hunched and cramped if I use laptop ones for too long or too intensively. I also purchased a spare battery - may or may not be needed, but experience with work laptops has taught me that batteries give up before the lap top does.

Having loaded up all my music software (Cubase Pro, NI Komplete, etc) it is hardly breaking a sweat to cope with my needs. So to answer my original question I would say a laptop is going to be fine for the vast majority of amateur musicians, probably many pros as well. The issue of ergonomics is probably more important than basic computing power.

Many thanks for all advice above - especially Pete and his colleagues at Scan.
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Re: Are modern laptops a suitable replacement for old tower PC

Postby CS70 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:47 pm

GilesAnt wrote:I have added wireless mouse/keyboard and kept my old monitor as I find myself getting a bit hunched and cramped if I use laptop ones for too long or too intensively.

Very good thinking. The fastest way to strained neck muscles is to use a laptop looking down at the screen (the second is, of course, to use a smartphone or a pad :D).

Make sure you place your monitor so that you keep your head vertical when you look - that means way higher than most office desks, but quite ok on most studio furniture as you have the baffle for outboard and monitors.

Surely you know already, but absolutely worth repeating.
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Re: Are modern laptops a suitable replacement for old tower PC

Postby hobbyist » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:05 pm

miN2 wrote:
hobbyist wrote:You will certainly have bigg problems from windoze and all the free bloatware crap that PCs come

What is this bloatware that people often talk of? Third party startup apps i guess? There's no bloatware on a standard install of Windows.



When you buy a PC especially one from a big company then it is not a 'standard' microslop distribution.

If you did not erase the disk and do a clean install from factory CD/DVDs then your do not have a clean install free of the crapware.

The sellers load it up with all sorts of 'free' trialware , on top of all the useless crap that windoze has running for their social media devices that are not really useful PCs for audio until you clean them up. The public may choose to buy them because they get the 'free' stuff too.

Check out some PC/audio sites and see the things suggested to tweak or remove before using it for audio.

And see how to use it too. Some people keep their surfing and antivirus open all the time and wonder why they have problems. Some let the useless aps call home when they feel like it to cause noise or other problems. Do you really need your weather ap to update while you are tracking?

You need to get off the internet and kill your antivirus from running along with every other program that may decide to wake up and try to run while you are using the PC for audio.
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