A lot of people seek advice on whether a full-size, rackmount pc or laptop should be used inside a cctv unit? So, “Should we buy a laptop or a full-size PC to use in the CCTV van?”

We assembled a short list of benefits for the different types of systems to consider.

Benefits of Rackmount:

  • Better cooling that is provided with the extra fans.
  • Mounting limits jostling, except when the truck is in motion.
  • Upgrades and repairs are usually easier and less expensive!
  • Can be faster, i.e. more powerful, than a laptop.
  • Typically less expensive overall than laptops, especially when performance is considered.
  • Rackmount systems can often be “opened” by a user and repaired locally.

Benefits of a Laptop:

  • Greater mobility to move from the truck into the office or hotel room.
  • Less noise
  • Doesn’t require a separate monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
  • Most components such as Wi-Fi are pre-installed.
  • Portability! If you are a single CCTV unit client or have one person doing all inspections, QA/QC, and deliverables, this is a great option as the laptop can go from the truck to the shop.
  • Laptop systems often can be purchased with a replacement warranty, meaning if something goes bad, a new pc is to you within a day or two.
  • Another sidenote: Keep in mind some software applications require special video card hardware and a laptop may not be optional.

So, the answer varies per client and depends on whether portability is important!