PDA or mobile laptop?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by shovelracer, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    I know there are a ton of threads around the net reffering to this but none really answer my questions. I want to be able to enter, retreive, and print invoices, estimates, contracts, and change orders from my truck without having to reenter or sync up at the end of each day. This leaves 3 options. 1) Get a PDA w/ mobile 6, add lo fat quickbooks software, and a data plan. Then access the local computer through the net and hope everything works as it should. By the time I get everything I need it is at least $1000.
    2) Get a mobile laptop like http://www.gobookvr-2.com and just access directly through net without any other conversion programs. The benifit to this is the ability to also access all my other programs, files, pictures, etc. This is more expensive, but seems more convienient.
    3)Use my current laptop for the same as 2 and take a chance with damage from dust, vibration, coffee, etc.

    I know some people are doing different things, but I want this to be easy to use and fairly simple. If done properly it could greatly reduce my office time and multiple trips to potential clients properties. If it doesnt work right it could lead to more headaches and office time.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Organicare of Fairfield

    Organicare of Fairfield LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I mounted my laptop in the truck with me and a power converter put the printer on the back seat also have wireless internet through verizon.
    It works great can do all my work on road estimates in the customers driveway. Haven't had any trouble with dust or coffee yet been almost a year and a half
     
  3. razor1

    razor1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,985

    I have a PDA and its pretty cool but for what you need I'd go with a small laptop. (the smaller the screen the better imo) Don't forget there's a lot of free wifi, not that you can always depend on it.
     
  4. BUCKEYE MOWING

    BUCKEYE MOWING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,169

    I guess you start with the one you like the most and look at each ones pros and cons...I prefer a PDA in the field...
     
  5. SimonCX

    SimonCX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 731

    I have both and prefer the pda, smaller and out of sight in the truck. I don't like the idea of have a laptop in the open too easy for someone to take. Unless your printing alot in the truck I would go with a pda, I sync when I get home so a pda works better for me.
     
  6. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552

    Samsung Q1U UMPC
     
  7. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    Are you refering to stealing it from the neighbors or is there something else going on Im not aware of?

    As for the rest, I would use a PDA all day long, but could see it being a pain entering info. The laptop would be must easier for paperwork, but I wouldnt want to bother with smaller things. it would be locked in my estimate/supervisor truck. The PDA would be with me.
     
  8. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    I had 2 pda's fail me in less than 2 years and I am on the 4th year using a laptop.
     
  9. razor1

    razor1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,985

    Are you referring to stealing it from the neighbors or is there something else going on I'm not aware of? shovelracer

    I like to refer to it as sharing!!!:drinkup: I do pay for mine though.
     
  10. Ferti-man

    Ferti-man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 252

    I purchased a Lenovo T61 lap top that has a sealed key pad, so dust and spills are not going to kill it. I also purchased a mount stand for the truck. The Wi-Fi is great because many homeowners do not encrypt there connection. Also, many businesses leave theirs open for all to use. It is supposed to attract business people to there stores. Great example is Starbucks Coffee. Many others do it. I am usually not far from free wi-fi access. Be careful though, free wi-fi is hackable. Be sure to have good spy ware detection software like Web Root.
     

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