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Tablet or PDA advice?


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This inquiry is directed to Home Inspectors who use computerized reporting systems. I would like feed back from any of you on recommendations as to what brand of TABLET PC with WINDOWS CE as an operating system to purchase. My software requires Windows CE to run on. I currently have a FUJITSU PENCENTRA 200 and it has hardly been used & I have all kinds of problems with it, most notably, the stylus calibration... unit wont stay calibrated for vey long. Battery life life is also a big issue, as I can't even get through one inspection without having to plug the unit in. Does anyone have a computer that they love & would recommend to other inspectors to buy?

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Kelly,

Before you buy that HP, sheck with your inspection software manufacture, I don't belive that the new 3-D will run on that operating system. Then you will end up with a one pound adress book. The dell pocket PC is nice. I just bought a iPAQ 4155 on E-bay for $200. It hac pocket PC 2003, security features wi-fi and bluetooth. It doesnt have a keyboard, but I can carry it in my pocket. It is very slim and light.

Just expolre your options before you buy.

PS, watch out for the fires and smoke in your area, If I were you I'd take a trip for the next few days.

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No kidding about the smoke. I am taking a vacation near the middle of July, wishing I had taken it now.

Actually, if I bought that unit it would be a glorified address book.

I tried the 3D CE and didn't like it much. I ended up spending just as much time re-writing the report as I did just using the full version on the laptop. I maybe didnt give it a fair trial. Are you pretty happy using the PDA to write reports?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been using the iPAQ Pocket PC with The 3D program for 3 years and I love it. Because I have had plenty of time to modify the input sequence and to add and subtract different menu items I spend about 30 minutes at the computer mostly because of the pictures that need to be set. The temptation for me was to go to a hand written report for speed. But as I tried it a couple of times and decided that I like to take my time and to have a list to work through and double check before I pull out of the drive way. The detailed printout with pics really saves me phone time with Realtors who want to question my findings.

I have also had the same iPAQ for the entire time with no problems. I charge in the car between inspections and usually plug in the bathroom or kitchen while I'm on the roof or in the attic. Plenty of juice.

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All PC PDA's EXCEPT THE PALM runs Windows CE verisions (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0). The new PDA Windows 2003 are CE 4.0, The Windows 2000 PDA's (Older models) are Windows CE 2.0 to CE 3.0, Any PC with the Windows Operating System (Laptops, Tablet, Desk) runs in Windows CE standards. Check your software for what verision of CE is required (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0). I know that any new machine will run your software, for they meet the CE 4.0 standard.

The link above to the HP is good. I used a HP 200LX with a memory card that ran a Dos application for by Inspections for years (Until Windows came along). As you can see it runs applications Windows CE 3.0 and below. These units are about 8 years old, I believe. The bigest problem is getting a application installed on this older operating system machine.

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I tried the PDA with the 3D software a few times but never cared for it much, seemed to take as much time as just getting on the laptop and banging the report out. However, I have spent a great deal of time as of late customizing 3D, very flexible software btw, and now have the majority of the pat text installed which now makes using the PDA much less time consuming. The other nice thing about using the PDA is you can record voice notes as you go through the home, it also keeps you on track and reminds you of things to check.

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