Laptop as main computer...

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tenfoot
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Laptop as main computer...

Post by tenfoot »

I have a Lenovo T450s on which I use LM v19.3 Mate and I am toying with the idea of using this as my main computer - discarding the current Desktop.

My first thought was to buy a docking station and use that to connect my present monitor (AOC 27") and all other peripherals to the laptop. However, a friend connects all via a USB hub, which seems to be a simpler solution. On further discussion with him, he tells me that his laptop is always open when he uses it. This would not suit my purpose - I want the lid of the laptop down - and my concern is that the laptop would overheat.

Does any member run a laptop using the method I have described. If so, are there any problems with the laptop overheating. If so, how did you overcome them, please?
tenfoot
"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds darkness always got there first, and is waiting for it." Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man)
rickNS
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by rickNS »

Easy answer is "just try it".
My laptops are only T420, but they run cool as a cucumber.
The air vents are on the side, and back, I believe yours are on the side, and bottom ?

I bet it will be fine.
Mint 19.0 mate on 2 identical Thinkpad T420's
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Kadaitcha Man
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

tenfoot wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:34 pm
Does any member run a laptop using the method I have described. If so, are there any problems with the laptop overheating. If so, how did you overcome them, please?
I do. I bought one of these: http://www.deepcool.com/product/nbcoole ... 8563.shtml
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.
Beerislife
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by Beerislife »

Since my desktop computer died a while back I've been using my Thinkpad as my main PC. I'm using the Logitech Marble Mouse, keyboard and 24" monitor that I was using with the desktop but had to buy a USB hub to connect everything up. I also bought a 3.5" HDD USB housing for the disks I removed from the desktop PC (1Tb & 2Tb) I like to keep one USB port on the machine free to boot different distros I want to try. The only other changes I made were to increase the memory from 4Gb to 8Gb and swap the 320Gb HDD for a 500Gb SSD.

https://is.gd/jUvMhD
ZakGordon
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by ZakGordon »

I've been using my ancient Travelamte 5730 as my main 'connects to the internet' pc for a good few years now. It did overheat (still does) and i have to watch that. I have a link in my sig that can be worth looking over IF you find yours does overheat (some just do).

I also bought one of those cooling laptop pad things, that blow air upwards and the laptop sits on top of that on my desk. It's helped to some extent but if you do need one, check reviews on it as some are better than others.
Laptop overheating? Check link here:itsfoss guide . A move from Cinnamon to XFCE can give a -5 to -10 degrees C change on overheating hardware.

Build a modern dual-boot Ryzen Win7/Linux Mint PC:Tutorial
tenfoot
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by tenfoot »

Thank you RickNS, Kadaitcha, Beerislife and ZakGordon for your prompt response to my question.

I will certainly be looking at purchasing a cooling pad and an enclosure for my 500GB HDD, which is presently used as a Data drive in the Desktop, and an enclosure for the 250GB SSD in the same machine.

So, watch this space, as I will post later to let you know whether all went well.
tenfoot
"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds darkness always got there first, and is waiting for it." Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man)
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AZgl1500
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by AZgl1500 »

I have 4 laptops laying around.

2 of them are never, ever, turned off.

My daughter has 2 laptops still on winders, and they are never, ever, turned off.
they just have Security Updates defeated by marking the Internet Access port as a "Limited Access" meaning low speeds, and $$ Costly data use is a NO NO..... therefore, Micro$soft is leaving them alone, no more updates, and low and behold, no more blue screens from updates :)

we turn off Power Management totally, NO SLEEP, NO SUSPEND, NO HIBERNATION.
Screen savers in effect if we go off and leave them for 15 minutes, goes to a black screen, no password required to wake up. it is our home, not the public world.

We just close the lid and open it when we want to use it.
Have done that for over 15 years and it never caused one laptop to fail.

Printers are all WiFi.
My daily user laptops are 17" screens,
the older ones are 17" and 15"

.
Linux Mint 19.3 Cinnamon
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AndyMH
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by AndyMH »

I hardly ever use my T430 as a laptop. Don't know about the T450, but docking stations for the T430 are dirt cheap on ebay and the T430 is always in the docking station (lid closed) driving an external ultrawide monitor. Run with wireless keyboard and mouse (transceivers plugged into usb ports on the docking station).
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate
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absque fenestris
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by absque fenestris »

Lenovo ThinkPad USA Ultra Dock With 90W 2 Prong AC Adapter (40A20090US, Retail Packaged)
by Lenovo USA
List Price: $269.99
Price: $24.99
https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-USA-Think ... 973&sr=8-5
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)
Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa (Mate) 64-bit - MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, 240 GB SSD) - with some separation difficulties...
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AndyMH
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by AndyMH »

That's a good price given you get the power supply as well. I was paying around £10/$15 for a second hand one off ebay for the T430.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate
ZakGordon
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by ZakGordon »

AZgl1500 wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:48 pm
........
we turn off Power Management totally, NO SLEEP, NO SUSPEND, NO HIBERNATION.
Screen savers in effect if we go off and leave them for 15 minutes, goes to a black screen, no password required to wake up. it is our home, not the public world.

We just close the lid and open it when we want to use it.
Have done that for over 15 years and it never caused one laptop to fail.
I have 3 laptops and 3 desktops (half run Linux Mint, half run Windows), all laptops are used plugged in at the wall as desktops. And like you all sleep, suspend, hibernation etc is turned off (under all OS, Mint or Windows).

However ALL systems get turned off daily. I've been using PC's for over 20 years (then 8bits before the 'PC' existed) and never had a problem due to turning it off/on again. I have probably saved quite a bit on my energy bills though ;)

The ONLY time a power issue caused hardware failure was due to a black-out power cut (and a PSU died). I have since used UPS for all my desktop PC's (and hardware like screens) to avoid that happening again, but never had a fault from the a normal shutdown power off/power up cycle, like ever.
Laptop overheating? Check link here:itsfoss guide . A move from Cinnamon to XFCE can give a -5 to -10 degrees C change on overheating hardware.

Build a modern dual-boot Ryzen Win7/Linux Mint PC:Tutorial
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AZgl1500
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by AZgl1500 »

the amount of energy a laptop uses, is so miniscule, it would never be noticed around here.
My electric bill swings like a yo-yo from the middle 100s to the upper 200s depending on the season.

when the electric goes down, the Natural Gas bill goes up, but only by half.

Hot water, and winter heat, and all cooking are on Natural Gas.....

electric is for HVAC cooling in summer, LED lighting, the LED TV flat screen ( on for a few hours in the late evening )
laptops, and one Desktop which is ON 24/7.... the monitor for that is turned OFF when not in use.

I hate waiting for a PC to boot up, so is just let them run.
Last edited by AZgl1500 on Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ZakGordon
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by ZakGordon »

It could be 'cultural'? I just am off making a cup of tea while a HDD based system boots up (SSD is pretty instant, i don't really have time to get out of the chair before those are up and running!).
Laptop overheating? Check link here:itsfoss guide . A move from Cinnamon to XFCE can give a -5 to -10 degrees C change on overheating hardware.

Build a modern dual-boot Ryzen Win7/Linux Mint PC:Tutorial
tenfoot
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Re: Laptop as main computer... (SOLVED)

Post by tenfoot »

I eventually got around to connecting my external keyboard, AOC 23"monitor, mouse and USB-HDD to my Lenovo T450s, using a USB adapter with four ports..

Both monitors use a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The laptop monitor displayed correctly but the AOC 23" monitor display showed an enlarged background but no panel or Desktop icons, as shown on the laptop. I then found that it was possible to make one or other of the monitors the Primary one. So I chose the 23" but it made no difference.

The 23" has buttons at the bottom to display a Menu and alter the configuration but pressing them to try and adjust the resolution had no effect.

So, at present I am back to square 1, seeking help from the knowledgeable people on this Forum.

EDIT: 10.03 NZ time 04 Apr 2020

Fiddling around I found that If, after making the 23" monitor the Primary one, I turned off the laptop monitor, the large monitor displayed properly.

I will mark the subject as solved.
Last edited by tenfoot on Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
tenfoot
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Petermint
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by Petermint »

Laptop with no/one/two monitors depending on what I want to do. There is not difference in speed or heat or fan noise based on screens plugged in. This is using one screen on HDMI and another on VGA.

When I have a big screen, I close the lid with no problems.

There are problems when you have one configuration, say 1 external monitor and the lid closed, then walk down to the beach and open the lid. LM 19 is often confused. I either shut down the notebook before the move or I open the lid then unplug the other monitors then close the lid.

Some software is single thread. My desktop has a processor with a single thread speed about 2.5 times the notebook. I edit large images on the desktop, not the notebook.

You can buy monster gaming laptops with desktop processors but the common complaint is the rapid shutdown of the processor due to cooling problems. You lose turbo mode after five seconds instead of ten minutes.

Both my notebook and desktop run in less than 4 GB most of the time. A couple of important applications need more. I could only expand the notebook to 6 GB. My desktop has 16 GB and can expand to 64 GB.

I choose to keep my desktop until the government issues everyone with 5G notebooks that have two M.2 slots with an 8 TB SSD in each slot and an 8 core 5 GHz processor. Several USB 4 ports. 4K 17" screen. 72 hour battery life. Weighs less than 1 kg. Waterproof to 50 m. 8)
tenfoot
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by tenfoot »

My laptop, a Lenovo T450s is dual booting with Windows 7, which I used solely for the purpose of Skyping family members in the U.K. As Skype did NOT work on my Desktop computer, despite following all the advice in the forrums for problems such as this, i didn't even think of trying in on LM on the laptop!

However, as W7 support expired early this year, I thought I'd better do something about it. So, in a moment of desperation, installed Skype4Linus on the T450s. To my utter astonishment it worked flawlessly :-) However, being an ultra cautious old man, I never used it in real life. Taking a chance that W7 would cause no problems.

Having successfully got the T450s working on the external peripherals, I decided to Use the Sky4Linux installation to for the weekly contact with family members. It didn't work. There was no video:-(. Realised that as the laptop was connected to the external monitor, the inbuilt webcam was inoperative. So I connected my Logitech webcam and installed Cheese, thinking all would be well. It wasn't. I could see the person I was calling but they could not see me. So, I disconnected the external monitor and the Logitech webcam and all was well and Skype4Linux worked as sweet as.

Now comes the question. Would someone much more knowledgeable than I, care to consider this problem and let me know how I can use my external monitor, connected to the laptop, to Skype family members, allowing them to see me, please?
tenfoot
"Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds darkness always got there first, and is waiting for it." Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man)
Petermint
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Re: Laptop as main computer...

Post by Petermint »

My notebooks works with everything external. I have the lid closed, switching off everything internal. A powered USB hub has a real keyboard, a real mouse, camera, scanner, backup disk, espresso machine, etc. With the lid up, the system is sometimes confused.
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