ISO new laptop/device for recording

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mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » April 28th, 2020, 1:10 pm

I've been doing all my recording and editing on my desktop PC since joining LV, but I'm now interested in buying a laptop or tablet (something portable) that I can use instead. I'm a little hesitant to buy a laptop, since I know some of them can be very noisy. Tablets aren't noisy at all, as far as I know, but will Audacity work with them?

I'd appreciate any recommendations. What should I be looking for when I shop?

Penumbra
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Post by Penumbra » April 28th, 2020, 1:58 pm

Hmmm. Not sure what you mean by noisy. The only noise my Lenovo laptop makes is when it decides to run the cooling fan, which is pretty rare. It has a solid state hard drive, so no disk noise.
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Post by Rapunzelina » April 28th, 2020, 2:33 pm

Are you looking for just doing the recording on a portable device, or both recording and editing? Nowadays I record on a phone, in a simple recording app, then edit on a computer in audacity.

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Post by JayKitty76 » April 28th, 2020, 2:38 pm

I don't think Audacity will work with tablets. TwistedWave works with iPad, though. Would you be willing to switch from Audacity? My family's Macbook Pro is fairly quiet, and compatible with Audacity, although I use the software only on my PC.
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Post by Availle » April 28th, 2020, 2:53 pm

I use a Zoom recorder for the actual recording, but I read off my laptop which stands just behind it. Never had an issue with noise - at least not with the one from the laptop.


When shopping for laptops, don't buy more than you need. There is a huge price difference between the little home-office thingies and the gaming machines. Know what you want to use it for, tell the shop assistant, and don't let them talk you into anything bigger.
The only thing where "bigger is better" when it comes to laptops/computers is the hard disk. Storage is cheap, and you will need more of it than you ever thought you would. :lol:
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mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » April 28th, 2020, 3:48 pm

So when I'm shopping, I should be looking for something that has a solid state hard drive? And if I keep it plugged in, it probably won't need to run the fan, right?

I'd rather not have to learn a new editing program, and I do want something I can edit on, not just record. The only reason I mention a tablet is because, as far as I know, they don't generate any fan noise or anything like that.

All I plan to use it for is LV stuff. Maybe also things like checking facebook or email, but that's about it.

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Post by Availle » April 28th, 2020, 3:53 pm

I think solid state hard drives are pretty much the norm these days.

Yes, I'd say a little office-type laptop will do just fine. You should be able to get them for a couple hundred bucks new; or maybe look into a used one?

One more thing: Make sure there are plenty (!) of USB ports, since everything you may want to connect to your laptop will have a USB cable. My laptop only has two ports, and I'm already using 3 devices all the time.
Cheers,
Ava.

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mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » April 28th, 2020, 4:00 pm

Thanks, everyone. I'll start shopping around. I'm pretty behind the times as far as what is out there, so I appreciate the input.

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Post by Penumbra » April 28th, 2020, 6:45 pm

mightyfelix wrote:
April 28th, 2020, 3:48 pm
And if I keep it plugged in, it probably won't need to run the fan, right?
The fan runs when the processor gets hot. This has to do with how hard it is working and has nothing to do with whether the computer is on battery or plugged into the wall. My laptop fan never runs when I am just recording.
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Post by sjmarky » April 29th, 2020, 12:58 pm

My 2013 MacBook Pro with an SSD makes no noise whatsoever. It has a fan, but it never comes on during audio recording. I've tested it inside my booth and outside - makes no difference.
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Post by Viktor » May 2nd, 2020, 5:14 am

There are many criteria when buying laptops. I'll tell you mine, up to you to decide whether they are valid for you or not :-)

SSD disks are generally much faster, less noisy, and more robust to shocks than magnetic disks, but they are also smaller (or more expensive per gigabyte), which is only a problem if you insist on storing an entire video collection on the hard disk. My recommendation is to get one where the hard disk - of whatever type - is easily replacable. Any disk may fail at some point, or much faster / larger / cheaper disks may arrive within a couple of years, and then it's nice to undo just two screws to replace the hard disk and not disassemble the entire thing!

Same goes for main memory - it rarely fails, but I wouldn't want it soldered - and for the battery: if it's replacable, the whole laptop may be useful for more years. (Even a very old machine - 8-15 years - can be useful for some people and some purposes but then one may benefit from putting Linux on it, not Windows.)

As laptops are less modular and more fragile than tower computers, or get stolen if used in public, I tend to be very stingy when buying them. The cheap office laptops can be a surprisingly good choice - a limited CPU can be great in not getting too warm and therefore not switch on noisy fans, which may be your prime concern when recording.

Refurbished laptops - the business lines from Lenovo (Thinkpad), HP, Fujitsu, Dell - can be also very well priced. They may be more heavy and the battery may not last that long as a new one, but the business models are usually quite robust and long-living. And some refurbishers employ handicapped people, or even are run by charity shops.

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