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perfect laptop specs to use CAT tools??
Thread poster: stephanie lebrun

stephanie lebrun  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:15
Spanish to French
+ ...
Apr 5, 2006

I am considering to buy a laptop to do my translation work (my desktop is old and need some rest! and I need to travel)
What do you think woud be the perfect technical specifications I must look for???
ta.

steph


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Dr. Stephan Pietzko  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:15
Member (2002)
English to German
specs not that important Apr 5, 2006

is my experience during 6 years of exclusive use of laptops. Look for

- 512 MB RAM, it's a must for WinXP.
- appropriate port if using CAT with dongle, which can be tricky for parallel port dongles.
- best screen you can afford!!!

Other than that? Can't think of anything. Even the cheapest laptop will do just fine with MS Office, any CAT tool I can imagine, voice recognition SW, Dictionaries.... - So focus on ergonomics and, depending on intended use, battery life etc...

Can't recommend SONY laptops because of QA problems and ignorant support policy.

My Toshiba A40 and my Acer Aspire 5003 are doing fine.

Checking the WWW for common technical issues with certain brands/models might produce valuable hints.

My 2 cents.

Stephan


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Dan Schioenning Larsen
Romania
Local time: 03:15
Member
English to Danish
+ ...
Battery Apr 5, 2006

In your case the most important factors would be weight and battery life.

No CAT tools are very processor heavy, so that is not a problem.

You might want to get a large internal harddisk, or alternatively an external USB harddisk. The latter having the advantage of making it easy to use both your laptop and your desktop to work on projects - just move the harddisk from one to the other.


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:15
Italian to English
RAM is important Apr 5, 2006

Dr. Stephan Pietzko wrote:

- 512 MB RAM, it's a must for WinXP.



If you've got cash to spare, get as much RAM as you can (1 or preferably 2 Gb).

You may find yourself wanting more RAM in the future and upgrades for laptops tend to be expensive. Apart from anything else, the more RAM you have, the quicker you can reorganise a Trados TM, for example.

FWIW

Giles


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:15
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
screen size Apr 5, 2006

Go for the largest possible screen size. If you are using e.g. Trados or Transit you have the extra Multiterm/Termstar windows etc. and you need plenty of space. I would also recommend a graphic card with a port for an external monitor. I work with 2 screens on my desktop/laptop and this is such a time saver - Google/Proz/dictionary on one screen and Transit/Trados on the main screen.

Have fun hunting

Jill


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Roman Bulkiewicz  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 03:15
Member (2004)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
depends on what you mean by "travel" Apr 5, 2006

If you need to work "on the road" a lot -- in the car, at meetings etc. -- then you would probably want something light with a long-lasting battery.
If you are going to work mostly in places like hotel rooms, offices etc., and just need to carry your laptop between them, these characteristics are not so important.

There was a similar topic recently:
http://www.proz.com/topic/44067?post_id=319982

slk87 wrote:

I am considering to buy a laptop to do my translation work (my desktop is old and need some rest! and I need to travel)
What do you think woud be the perfect technical specifications I must look for???
ta.

steph


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Anil Gidwani  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 05:45
German to English
+ ...
Wireless capabilities Apr 5, 2006

Try and see that the laptop has WiFi capability built in, although a WiFi card can be purchased and installed, of course.

If you are planning to use Dragon or other speech recognition software, get the fastest processor available at the time of purchase, it can only help. A minimum of 512M RAM is a must.

The more the number of USB ports, the better. Three should be a minimum, although that can be restrictive too sometimes.

Some laptops come with a bay for a second hard disk. The second hard disk is usually expensive, compared to an external hard disk. A second hard disk is an excellent media for your system backup, though, and an internal second hard disk effectively means that the laptop is equipped with an inbuilt backup system. Not only is the savings in desk space convenient, but there's one less external device to hook-up, and this provides much more flexibility in scheduling backups without the hassle of remembering to connect the external hard disk before the scheduled time of backup.

Rugged laptops are also now available that protect from shocks and vibrations, and are marketed as such.

Don't forget to research the particular model you've homed in on to see if there have been more than the usual level of technical complaints or problems reported.


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Cristóbal del Río Faura  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
Processor Apr 6, 2006

I would make sure the processor is mobile technology (i.e. Pentium-M). Otherwise you will have overheat and noise problems, with the cooling fan permanently running and eventual abrupt shut down when heat goes too high. This is especially true in laptops with very powerful processors not designed for laptops.

The Centrino (Intel) architecture for mobile computers integrates a Pentium-M processor, a special chipset, and wireless features.

Regards,
Cristóbal


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Pablo Roufogalis
Colombia
Local time: 19:15
English to Spanish
Desktop Real State Apr 6, 2006

Gillian Scheibelein wrote:

Go for the largest possible screen size. If you are using e.g. Trados or Transit you have the extra Multiterm/Termstar windows etc. and you need plenty of space. I would also recommend a graphic card with a port for an external monitor. I work with 2 screens on my desktop/laptop and this is such a time saver - Google/Proz/dictionary on one screen and Transit/Trados on the main screen.

Have fun hunting

Jill


Agreed 200%.

Get a laptop with a panoramic (16:9) large screen.

Switching between windows in Trados is a productivity killer. I'd guess it is the same with other CAT tools.

My current desktop (three monitors) is 2817 x 1024. It's a joy!


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:15
German to English
+ ...
Productivity killer Apr 6, 2006

Pablo Roufogalis wrote:

Switching between windows in Trados is a productivity killer. I'd guess it is the same with other CAT tools.

My current desktop (three monitors) is 2817 x 1024. It's a joy!


Does Windows still not have mutiple virtual desktops then, like those on Linux? How on earth do people manage? Ah yes, sorry - they buy several monitors!

Marc


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Pablo Roufogalis
Colombia
Local time: 19:15
English to Spanish
Virtual desktops Apr 6, 2006

MarcPrior wrote:

Pablo Roufogalis wrote:

Switching between windows in Trados is a productivity killer. I'd guess it is the same with other CAT tools.

My current desktop (three monitors) is 2817 x 1024. It's a joy!


Does Windows still not have mutiple virtual desktops then, like those on Linux? How on earth do people manage? Ah yes, sorry - they buy several monitors!

Marc


Hello Marc.

I've never understood virtual desktops. For me it is as cumbersome and annoying as switching applications windows. And yes, ther are add-ons that allow virtual desktops on Windows. If there is a need someone somewhere will produce an app for Windows to fill that need.

In my setup it is not only several monitors but several video cards too. The PS has perfomed OK for a long time but it is probably working at full capacity.

BTW, I turn on the extra two monitors only for Trados work. For other stuff I use only the main one, a 19-incher CRT.


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Anna Ryden  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:15
English to Swedish
+ ...
Warranty Apr 9, 2006

If you plan to spend a lot of time travelling, maybe you should think about buying a notebook with a really good international warranty. I mean, of course everybody offers international warranties, but do you get really good service? My notebook brand can be serviced both in Milan and Stockholm, and I think that's pretty reassuring, even though I hope it'll never break down in the middle of a job!

regards
Anna Ryden


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