Reliable laptop for field work with good soundcard

  maclairia 16:08 27 Jan 2008


I am looking to buy a laptop which will spend 4 months of the year in the rainforest with me doing fieldwork.

It needs to be reliable and physically robust, lightweight, but also have a decent soundcard (average or above average).

I was set on a Thinkpad t61 but I have doubts about the sound quality. I am clueless about soundcards so any advice re: how Thinkpads rate in this area would be great. Would it be possible to install a separate soundcard in a Thinkpad if the installed one is no good? However, assuming a Thinkpad is not the way forward, what would be a good alternative? My budget is 1000 pounds.

Many thanks for any help!

  wee eddie 16:16 27 Jan 2008

I know of none ~ All have "On-Board" Sound which is frequently adequate/reasonably good.

Most laptops have tiny speakers ~ so there is little, or no, chance of having any volume.

Try a pair of Headphones (very little power drain and potentially tiny) or external Speakers (large power drain and bulky)

re ~ Electronics in your Rain-forest ~ Humidity could/will be a potentially major problem.

  wjrt 16:57 27 Jan 2008

laptops for a tough environment
click here
something from this range but could go well over budget

  citadel 17:09 27 Jan 2008

you can get a creative xfi audio notebook soundcard that fits into the slot on the notebook. check your notebook has the correct slot before buying.

  maclairia 17:59 28 Jan 2008

Thanks for the responses, just to clarify the soundcard is needed as part of the fieldwork, not for listening to music, so headphones aren't an option. I will be recording/modifying/playing back bird songs so it needs to be able to cope with that.

I don't think I need a 'ruggedized' laptop - is there no obvious alternative to a Thinkpad in terms of durability?


  brundle 22:24 28 Jan 2008

Toshiba lappies often have excellent sound/speakers;
click here

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