I am thinking about purchasing a Panasonic Toughbook to run my 6500 on. Anyone with Tough book experience.
I do not need to hear about APPLES. I know they are nice, and that is not the question.
4gb memory RAM is not a lot because the intel-4000 video-card built in share`s this memory.
I have an older intel-3000 series and it just barely runs smartsdr and I have 8gb ram-I5 processor.
Last I knew they recommend passmark rating of 500+ and this card is below that.
I would hate to spend that kind of money then be disappointed.
For video ratings check here >> www.passmark.com
The *only* issue with the integrated card is the effect that shared memory has on FlexControl tuning - it goes crazy fast and cannot be stopped - I have even 'tuned' below 0 Hz! For that reason, and that reason alone, I have SSDR using the dedicated Nvidia graphics card, a 630M - the FlexControl is much better behaved, but not perfect.
At home I run SmartSDR on my Sony VAIO quadcore i7 notebook with an extra monitor attached and running HRD DM780 or WSJT-X, Chrome internet browser, Thunderbird and some other programs with 15-20% CPU load. I also look at videos, like my favorite EEVBlog or YouTube hamradio videos at the same time, CPU load then goes up to 30%.
Whereas PowerSDR and the older FlexRadios need a fast and working firewire connection and a bit more CPU power for all the number crushing done by the pc, SmartSDR mostly needs a reasonably fast GPU for the graphics.
All this is done by my notebooks and I really can recommend the Toughbook and the Sony VAIO.
If you wonder why I run notebooks everywhere: my digital QRP station is quite compact, with 5 TRX. For HF digital work I use the Flex-6500, for CW, FSK and PACTOR an ICOM 756PRO, for VHF/UHF/SHF a Kenwood TS-2000X, for APRS a Kenwood TM-D710 and for D-Star and as my "club telephone" an ICOM ID-5100. HF is monitored with a RFSpace SDRIQ and HF to SHF with a WinRadio G305e. All these TRX/RX together with their microHAM interfaces and a central LDG Tuner have to fit into a very small space and the antennas, an endfed 6m wire and a frame antenna are placed on my balcony 3m away. For the monitoring I use 2 active whip antennas.
I work with 10 watts maximum at home and have worked my digital DXCC this way.
73, Alex DH2ID
They are well built machines, very sturdy, would be great for rough work, mountain topping, field day, etc. But they have some of the same issues of consumer model laptops. Hard drives go bad, keyboards wear out, touch pads die prematurely. All of which are relatively easy fixes. The hard drive could be a problem if you are not properly backed up.