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Looking for a cheap netbook with a serial port

usawrestling 351 118 February 21, 2011 at 01:04 PM
Hey all,

I am in the market for a netbook (or notebook, but would prefer a smaller size) with a serial port built-in (RS232). I am going to be running a very basic version of Linux on it, so it does not have to have decent specs.

I know usb-> RS232 adaptions exist, but they are extremely unreliable and I really need a built-in card.

I am open to other suggestions, such as the fit-pc2i (http://www.fit-pc.com/web/fit-pc2...c2-models/). If I can find a small computer, I can also add a monitor at a later date.

Looking to keep the price below $300, but could go a little higher if it fits my needs.

Thank you in advance for your help!

12 Comments

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#2
With the limited usefulness of serial ports to the mass market, I'm not sure how likely you are to find a netbook with a serial port. You're looking for a pretty specialized item, any newer laptop with one is probably going to be over your target price point, so you'll probably need to look for an older laptop.
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#3
Quote from Frogstar View Post :
With the limited usefulness of serial ports to the mass market, I'm not sure how likely you are to find a netbook with a serial port. You're looking for a pretty specialized item, any newer laptop with one is probably going to be over your target price point, so you'll probably need to look for an older laptop.
This ^
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#4
I'd recommend IBM's certified used outlet to pick up an older Thinkpad. If you don't see any models with a serial port, check the compatible docks, they usually have a serial port. Thinkpads are also great for Linux. You could also look at eBay or Craigslist if you're comfortable with them.
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#5
Thinkpads no longer have serial ports, either. However, you can get them on the docking station as Redmaxx suggested, or they also sell a serial/parallel adapter that fits into the media bay of certain models: http://www.amazon.com/Thinkpad-Se...B000F2HUWO
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#6
Quote from Jeffbx View Post :
Thinkpads no longer have serial ports, either. However, you can get them on the docking station as Redmaxx suggested, or they also sell a serial/parallel adapter that fits into the media bay of certain models: http://www.amazon.com/Thinkpad-Se...B000F2HUWO
I think they were recommending older think pads. Nothing new has a serial port anymore at least in this formfactor. DIY motherboards do for pc.s
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#7
You aren't going to find a "netbook" with a serial port... four options besides USB serial adapter.

1. buy used. you might be able to get down to 12-13in size.

2. netbook with bluetooth (or a micro-sized bluetooth adapter) and a bluetooth serial adapter for the serial device, e.g. http://www.iogear.com/product/GBS301/ - have a friend that uses one of these to get "wireless" internet out in the boonies on their dialup.

3. buy a new full sized laptop. selection is somewhat limited, but dell has one with a serial port that starts at $500 http://www.dell.com/us/business/p...tude-e5510

4. if you don't need portability.. build a small form factor desktop.. e.g. mini/flex form factor with at least one expansion slot (x1 or pci) to add a serial port card if the motherboard doesn't have one (or at least the pin headers for one)
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Last edited by 2cheap4retail February 23, 2011 at 06:12 AM.
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#8
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I think they were recommending older think pads. Nothing new has a serial port anymore at least in this formfactor.
nod I'm not quite sure at which point Lenovo completely eliminated the serial port. My T6x dock has a serial port. My coworker's W510 and its dock does not have a serial port.
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#9
they still put rs232 ports on laptops.... but it seems only the business lines. for example my wife's new Dell studio doesn't have any but the new laptop I just got @ work DOES have an rs232. Chances are slim of finding one on a netbook - kind of defeats the purpose of a small device.
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#10
The better Usb-to-Serial adapters with the PL2302 based chipset should meet your needs.

http://www.amazon.com/Plugable-Ad...=pd_cp_e_2

http://www.amazon.com/TRENDnet-Se...302&sr=1-1

Linux related reviews [amazon.com]
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Jumped on todays woot sell-out. Thank you all!

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#12
Dell latitude d630 got rs232 port. I own1
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