The Lenovo 300e 2nd Generation in laptop mode.

14th December 2021 Rotherhithe

Although I am more than happy to leave my laptop resting at home, there are certain voyages when they can be useful, or even virtually essential. I need one for my next trip to Greenland so that I can download ice charts and grib files*. I rather liked my old Toshiba Notebook which I took on my Jan Mayen expedition but because it is now just 11 years young it is no longer possible to run the latest Microsoft software, so it was time for a forced change. I had a hankering for a Panasonic Toughbook but when I actually picked one up, I was surprised at their weight and bulk. Even a second-hand CF20 Toughbook can cost over £1,000 but new ones seem to be around £2,500.00  

*(Update 23rd April 2022 We have since discovered that laptops using Windows 10 are potentially problematic with sat phones. This is because the operating system wants to automatically update which is not possible over the sat phone. There is a piece of expensive hardware that can resolve this “problem”. I say “problem” because a friend who was oblivious to this feature used his Windows 10 laptop to download grib files and ice charts with no problem at all. Our current, and as yet untested, wheeze is to resurrect the old Toshiba Windows XP laptop and use that for linking with the sat phone)

My friend Gerry has been helping me sort out all the things relating to IT for my expedition to Greenland. I am pretty hopeless with these things and normally function by using laminating “Idiot Sheets”. Gerry spotted this little Lenova 300e 2nd Generation Laptop and sent me the details. My thoughts so far are:

It even fits in the Peli 1400 Case whilst in its bag (just)

In its stand up mode, ideal for watching videos

…and folded right back so it can be used with Navionics in the RAM Mount
It fits snugly into the Ram Mount TAB17 when folded right back on itself
Great clear key markings and splash proof too!
My little matching bag

I love it so much that I’ve made a little bag for it!

I’m currently on the train going to the Arctic Club Annual Dinner and I’ve found that it fits nicely on those little fold down trays. I forgotten how hard it is to type on jerky trains!

Technical Details

It was purchased from Digital River at a good price and swift service. (no connection) Update: It was actually purchased direct from Lenovo, Digital river are just their fulfilment company.

The RAM mount that I use is Tab-Tite part number RAM-HOL-TAB17. To attach it via a suction mount to a bulkhead, you will also need a ball mount RAM-B-202, a suction base RAM-B-224-1 and a short arm RAM B-201_A. It is perfect for mounting an iPad as well.

The Panasonic Toughbook CF20 dimensions are 272 x 233 x 33.5 mm and weighs 1.76 kg

The Lenovo 300e 2nd Generation laptop dimensions are 290 x 204 x 20.85 mm and weighs 1.35 kg

Full technical details of the actual laptop are probably best via Google as these things change.

2 Responses

  1. Alasdair ….. what satellite networks is the Lenovo enabled for? Searching online but can’t find ….. although some suggestions that Chromeboks don’t support GPS.


    Greg at Twister @ casuarina1967

    1. Hi Greg,
      Firstly I must point out that I find everything IT very confusing indeed! Next week we had planned to get everything set up and running although it has just been delayed until after May 9th. It looks like we wont be using the Lenovo laptop for the sat phone link up. This is because Windows 10 automatically updates, and we are informed the only way to avoid it is to fork out on a piece of expensive hardware. So our current plan is to re-use the old Toshiba laptop purely for downloading the ice charts and grib files. It operates on Windows XP which apparently doesn’t automatically update. That said, a friend of mine happily used his laptop with Windows 10 connected to his sat phone totally oblivious to this apparent major problem and had no trouble at all. As for being GPS enabled, Google Maps thinks I am in Newcastle and I am in Oban so it looks like it isn’t! I seem to remember having to use a dongle on the old Toshiba so maybe that will need to be resurrected. Hopefully all will become clear when we finally have our test session. We would have done it earlier but that involves enabling the sat phone at considerable cost for little use. I’ll update you when I know more. Lovely boats, Twisters. I see Truant is being restored.
      Best regards,

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