What laptop are you using with Mission Planner?

My laptop is dead; i5 HP 17". The family is tired of me borrowing theirs. After using Tower for the last several weeks and discovering "issues", I decided to go back to lugging around a laptop or making a portable version GCS so I can use Mission Planner, especially since the latest beta release featuring EKF and VIBE graphs.

This will be a Windows based laptop.

1) Is a touch screen a practical feature?

2) What is the lowest "horsepower" cpu (AMD, Intel) that gives good performance?

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • Most normal laptops are too easy to damage by accident.

    One can find a variety of  used, older, rugged laptops for a reasonable cost.

    When my HP core2 "field laptop" died, I replaced it with a used Itronix XR-1  $325-from ebay.

    It was cheap, has a good battery, DVD slot drive, it is fully rugged & works well, has a touch screen, hard drive heater, built-in GPS, back-lit keyboard and

    a sunlight readable display ( well maybe not direct sun light on the screen with this XR-1) ,  but visible in very bright light to be sure.

    The Itronix GD6000 , $400-ebay, has an even better display and its faster, but it is only semi-rugged...

    I've been tempted to try a tablet computer, like the ones made by Motion computing.   also on ebay. 

  • Why using chunky laptop..use tablet with windows and touchscreen... http://www.geekbuying.com/category/Dual-Boot-Tablets-1661/

  • I've been running on several laptops, and a desktop including a Thinkpad W520 and down to an old Thinkpad R51 running XP.  If you don't need to capture video, I think the speed isn't much of an issue, at least it isn't for me.  I also have a Thinkpad T60 running 32bit W7 and it works fine too.

    These EKF and VIBE graphs, though, I have not tried.   To my way of thinking, the speed only really matters when you are using at as a ground station, because you don't want to lose any telemetry.  But the speed is so slow, any old PC will do.  So that just means that it's a matter of how fast you want the graphics to show.

    I'll have to try the beta version to see what you mean.

    EDIT:  I just read other people's posts and I guess my opinion is jaded by the fact that I don't do as much with the logs as other people do. 

    I guess I should also say that I prefer the faster machines (of course) and both my desktop and laptop are Intel I7 quad cores with 8GB and 16GB of memory etc etc.

  • Developer

    only thing I will add is, make sure it supports opengl. otherwise the hud redraw consumes a fair bit of cpu time.

    • Ha! I hadn't thought of that. nVidia will be preferred over AMD then. Thanks.

  • 1) Tower's glitches have been fixed with recent release. (Its supported by 3DR who need it for their products.)

    2) Great time to buy.  Fold-able laptop $400

    3) Walmart has the best quality and features for the money. The Windows 8 machines automatically and for Free upgrade to 10 for the next few weeks

    • Last beta 3dr services looks that have the change mode issue, be carefull with last beta until they change to stable.

  • Thanks all.

    Has anyone tried reviewing flight logs? Even on my i7 with 200+MB files it can be slow compared to the "old" days of small log files. Then each data selected you have to wait, and wait on each new selection. I thought maybe there was a background app interfering, but it's a fresh Win 10 install, and on my son's i7 laptop it is slower still; the other laptops you may as well make a snack and have a drink waiting for it to load.

    I have the parameter set to collect everything, particularly on new builds or after making changes. The devs always want the complete package, so when I get stumped and need their help, they ask for pre-arm + everything else.

    It looks like an i5 will be the minimum cpu for a new laptop if it is used for more than making missions and viewing real time data. OTOH, maybe I'm going about this the wrong way and should only be concerned about being able to plan missions, collect the data, then use the powerhouse for reviewing logs.

    I just got the big Y6 updated to rc9 and tuned it last night. Today I want to fly a mission but using MP to take advantage of the EKF and VIBE features of the beta MP. It is just what the doctor ordered. Instead of waiting for a problem to occur, now you can see what's going on and abort the mission before a mishap.

    PS:  Sun shield, bright monitor, plenty of battery......agreed. I think ~$500 should get that, just not the speed for reviewing logs.

  • I am running MP on a 10" Windows 10 tablet with an Atom Quadcore with 2 gigs of ram. It works great.


  • Well, my foremost requirement would be a "sunlight visible" screen :-)

    Other than that, large screen, good audio, good battery life, MANY usb ports !

    Touch screen not that practical.

    Almost any new laptop will have much more than enough "horsepower" to run MP.

    I have a tablet running Tower, it is adequate, in a pinch, but the OTG cable hassle, poor readability in sunlight, frequent disconnects, and the lack of a mouse type pointing device are issues for me.

    And frankly, Tower just doesn't give me all the info what I want.

    My weapon of choice at the moment is a 64 bit Fujitsu Lifebook running Win 10, with external battery powered sound system, USB 3G modem, 3DR modem, and wireless mouse. (I hate touchpads)

    Just my rapidly devaluing ZAR 2 cents worth....


This reply was deleted.