T Nation

Laptop for Deployment


Hey guys, I'm deploying around July or August and I don't currently own a laptop. I want to get something somewhat durable, but doesn't need to be made of iron or anything. My budget is $1000.

Anyone have brands that they've come to trust? Or for the military members, what did you have/wish you had during deployment? I would've posted this in the War Room, but that is one of the slowest moving forums on this site.

Thanks for any input guys.


Man, I just sold a MacBook for $100. Great little machine.

If you had posted this 2 weeks ago, I'd be shipping it to you by now.

Salutes, by the way.


how old?

I sold my 4 year old powerbook G4 in 2008 for $600. I was surprised it held so much value, especially since one of the RAM slots was dead.


before my last deployment I got a macbook (the same computer I am typing this from now)

It worked awesome and I loved it. It was cost 1,700 i believe? Worth it IMO... That would be my recommendation



To be honest I don't think the durability of laptops vary all that much man. All are basically constructed using the same basic components.

What sort of conditions will your laptop be stored in? Will it always be in a cool, dry place? What will you mainly be using your laptop for?

If you're really worried about it getting damaged or breaking, why not drop $300-400 on a netbook and then buy a new laptop when you're finished?


I have a netbook that I've dropped atleast 10 times and it still works perfectly. I had another one that I spilled a protein shake all over that still worked (until I left it on the floor and ants got all up inside of it lol).

I got it on ebay for $200, usually cost $350 and it works for everything I need it for. If you wana play games or anything like that though get a real laptop.


I had family serving with some troops and the laptops got banged up from sand during transportation and winds. We had to get a few of them over the years and some external drives to back up data. There wasn't any one that particularly did better. Too bad toughbooks are high priced. It would be nice if those serving could get a deal on them b/c of the conditions out there.


Panasonic Toughbook.

The guy from Jericho had one and it withstood an EMP. But then again, that's just TV.


I'm not a mac nut-hugger. Im on a PC cause its cheap but lets be real. Mac is sucessful because they invest in design and they do it better than anyone else. This is not just interface (thank god because I personally dont care for their interface although many do) but they design their hardware better than anyone else. Thats why they are double the price.

They just last longer, and I'd bet that holds up under harsh conditions as well.


most laptops dont have graphics cards that gaming or desktop pc's have. You would have to go higher end for that.


whichever one you end up with, bring a shit load of canned air. Its so dusty over here, one of my kids bought an Alienware computer and it lasted 3 weeks before it shat the bed.


This is the most common misconception about Macs, they really are no better than many PCs available for half the price.

Macs are successful because Apple has an amazing marketing team. They have just as many hardware problems, as well as software problems. Other than visually pleasing hardware, they offer nothing that is any more reliable or productive than a PC (Windows or Linux).

OP, depending on what you're going to use it for, I'd get something small for around $500 or $600 like a 13" notebook.


I have had my dell over here for 3 years and no major issues as long as you keep it clean. I keep mine in a pillow case when I am not using it to limit the exposre to dust and stuff. You can get a new one from dell for under $1000.00 pretty hooked up.


I've never heard that and am not sure where you read that, but in my experience Unix based operating systems are much more stable and I have no interest in running Linux.


I can't comment on Windows 7, but Windows ME, XP and Vista all blew balls. I've always been curious about Linux though.


That's exactly the problem; you haven't tried Windows 7. I keep saying that people need to stop basing their judgements on old software.

I've got it on 3 separate machines (2 at home, one at work) and I haven't had a single crash in over a year and a half. And I'm a designer, so I working between Maya, After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop, etc... all the time. Not exactly simple word-processing apps.

You don't hear about Apples problems because their computer marketshare is what, ~5%, of the total market; if you head over to their forums you'll see the same amount of issues as you would on any other decent manufacturers site.

If you prefer a Mac, fine, but you cannot for a second argue there is any advantage of using it over a PC equivalent.


Linux is great for more tech-orientated people. I can't see your average PC user managing with the OS, as far as it has come over the years.


In all fairness Windows 7 hasn't even been out very long (a little over a year?) and it's hard take a company's product seriously when they go nearly a decade between good OS's.

With respect to your lack of issues with your PC's, people who have a strong understanding of computers will always have less problems regardless of the platform they're running. But what about the average user?

Lastly, go talk to mac users and ask them how many issues they've had with their computers. Obviously if you go to a troubleshooting mac forum you're ONLY going to see problems.


Windows 7 is also the fastest selling OS ever, it's been out long enough for it to have established a good rep.

I see what you mean about their rep, but we need to let go of it. Office 2010, Win7, the 360 + Kinect; Microsoft is in very different league now compared with them 5 years ago.

I also finding the average user have significantly less issues with Win7 (no actual crashes, just usability issues of the technologically impaired).

I deal with plenty of Mac users daily, while most of them hardly ever complain or mention issues, I do encounter them. Like I said, the scale is much, much smaller comparing PC to Mac.

I guess my experience with them isn't positive though (limited as it is) - we bought a couple Macbook Pro's at work about 2 months back just for Keynote shows and I got the spinning ball of death to hang the machine twice within a week. And I was just doing some basica Keynote presentations.

The OSX interface sucks - you can't customise anything on it, and it just feel completely unintuitive.

Haters gonna hate, as they say.


Just don't forget the built-in webcam. Skype will be valuable wherever you end up.