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Tablet PC Users - which to buy?


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I use the Gateway Tablet CX2620. While my customer report doesn't have checkboxes, etc in it, the software used to compile the report (HomeGauge) does have a bunch of them that help me collect data and compile the report. The pen makes it very fast for me.

Unfortunately for me, the DC plug port broke over the weekend (after two years of getting yanked around). It'll cost me about $100.00 to get it replaced. Ah well, maybe I'll just get a new one. Two years is a long time in the computer world.

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IMO, one of the best ways to experiment with a tablet is to buy a Motion Computing M-1400 (around $400 on eBay, look for one with the "View Anywhere" indoor/outdoor screen), for example it runs Homeguage 4 well. There is also an accessory lid that contains a keyboard, and adds only about 1/4" to the thickness.

My experience was that attempting to user it at an inspection was distracting, yours may may different.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Depends on what else you plan on using the tablet for. Will this be your main computer at home as well? If not, like MThomas said, you can get a $400 tablet on Ebay that will work for almost any inspection software out there. If you break it , it won't be a big deal. New tablets though shouldn't cost you more than around $1200 if you're just doing inspections. You don't need a super video card or extra large hard drive. You might also consider a UMPC like the Samsung Q1. It's a full windows machine with thumb keys and a 7" screen that will run all the current software out there.

Tablets by definition are supposed to have keyboards. They are basically laptops where the screen swivels and lays flat. I know many guys who use them in this mode 90% of the time, it just depends on your style and the program you're using. The screen only without a keyboard is referred to as a slate. 99% of Tablets have touch screens. I've run in to one that didn't. Their reasoning was that it was meant to watch movies on (made no sense). So just double check that it's a touch screen.

Forget the Macbook Pro, get the Mac Axion Tablet with built in GPS. That thing is beautiful :D

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FWIW, I suggest searching eBay for minimal laptops. I wrote my reports in a Win3.1 program (AmiPro) for about 15 years. Over time, I bought 4 or 5 TI TravelMates at about $50 each, and used them until they fell apart.

If the HI is a decent typist, any functional refurb notebook computer, sitting on the kitchen table or counter, will do everything that needs doing.

WJ

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  • 3 weeks later...
Originally posted by MMustola

I am looking to purchase a new notebook computer. My question is this, what processor should I buy? I know enough to buy a computer with the most memory and disk space that I can afford but the choose of IBM compatible processors is very confusing.

Also, Should I go with Vista or stick with XP?

The answer for you is, it doesn't matter. Any new machines is going to handle more than what you need to perform inspections on whether it's an Intel or AMD processor. If you're going for a cheap tablet that isn't too fast, get XP, especially if you only have 1 gig of ram. If you're getting a dual core laptop/tablet (which almost all are now) with 2 gigs of ram, get Vista. The only caveat is to make sure that whatever software you're using works ok on Vista. I believe there's still a few out there that don't work on it yet, but most do.

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HP tx2525nr Tablet PC for $899.00 at Best Buy.

Runs Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit on 3 GB RAM.

Sooner or later you're gonna get stuck with Vista. Might as well get there now. Course there are a couple of dinosaurs still running on DOS.

While it's a pain in the ass learning the new operating system, I can see the promise in it.

Good luck with whatever your choice.

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Thanks guys for the reply. My wife works for HP and she gets a 15% discount on all note books so I will certainly get an HP product.

For my simple needs, report writing software, Quick Books, and photo management software I though any processor would do. I just wanted to get other opinions just to be sure I was not off base.

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I have a tablet. It is a Toshiba Tecra M-4. I love the tablet interface. I use HomeGauge for my report writing and the use of a pen works great. This program was designed with the pen interface in mind.

I used my tablet for about a year and moved over to using a PDA for data collection. I found the notebook a pain to drag around with me. I still use it at the end to format and print the report.

I did have an issue with Toshiba just after the computer went out of warranty. The video card failed and took the mother board with it. I think these units run awfully hot. This was a Tecra, which is supposedly their buisiness class machine. I thought it would be bullet proof and it was not. On top of it, after only a couple years Toshiba had quit making the mother board and quit supporting it for parts. I would not recommend a Toshiba to anyone.

On processors usually the one that is one step down from the top dog is the best bang for the buck. I always recommend buying as high up the computer technology scale as you can afford. At the pace of change this will at least give you a couple years of use before the thing starts becoming obsolete in what it can run.

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I use a nice yellow legal pad and #2 Ticonderoga. For the fancy stuff, I might use a pale blue paper and a red Flair, Hell of alot quicker than the charcoal and slate!

Walter, I still have a bunch of forms etc made with AmiPro 3.1 and a "special" machine on a desk in the back office - just for them!

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Hi,

Check out the Resource Management Office at your nearest military base. The military is constantly upgrading and replacing computers and you can normally pick them up for about $25. Get on the base's mailing list and they'll let you know what's for sale and at which base. Lots of good deals there. Buy 4 or 5 of them, set them up to use your program and keep a couple in the car so you'll always have a spare.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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  • 2 months later...

Check out the "f5" from motioncomputing.com

It's a slate tablet but very awesome in the fact of a handle, battery life and size. I have been using one for about three months now after using a Toshiba Portage M. 200 for the last 3 years and realized I really didn't use the keyboard much and wanted something that I could dock in my truck. I wrote this using my F5 by the way

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Originally posted by MMustola

Thanks guys for the reply. My wife works for HP and she gets a 15% discount on all note books so I will certainly get an HP product.

For my simple needs, report writing software, Quick Books, and photo management software I though any processor would do. I just wanted to get other opinions just to be sure I was not off base.

I am possibly interested in an HP b/c I also get a nice discount. Did you buy one and if so which model?

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