Home Inspector in need of a reasonably rugged laptop to take on jobs for CHEAP

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d00hickey

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Mar 19, 2014
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Currently we use a $200 Lenovo (sorry don't have it with me for exact specs) but it is falling apart rapidly and we can't afford to lose our system. We run a very specific software and we don't need it to do anything else really.

Most critical features needed.
-64 bit OS (win 8 or 7)
-at least 250 gigs (SSD would be sweet but budget is super tight)
-I would prefer an i3 or i5 2-3ghz or AMD equivalent
-And perhaps most important, sturdy build quality. It doesn't need to be like a toughbook, just strong enough to be carried around while using 5-7 hours a day.

with out going into too much detail, our finances are in pretty dire straights and I have to keep it under $500, I fully realize this is a pretty tall order but options a very limited at the time.

Refurbished is not out of the question either as long as we can get a decent return policy/ warranty.

I greatly appreciate any suggestions, thanks.
 

randomstar

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May 2, 2007
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Sorry for the delay- Three server deployments this week. Maybe we can get together and I can get you one of the units so you can try it out? I have an on-hand unit that would likely work - Pretty sure it is a SSD with daylight viewable display, stylus, . has the "ruggedized" body. can be used with many car mounts.

EDIT: email removed by Moderator
I will look it up and see what the all-in and specs are-
 

Saga Lout

Olde English
Moderator
One thought comes to mind. The software you need to keep cannot simply copy on to a new system - it needs to be installed with the CDs it came with. Before buying Windows 7 or particulaly 8, check carefully that the software will run in those systems. Your $200 laptop may have been running XP but things have changed since then.

You may even find that the software you use would run in a Linux system and that takes the cost element of an operating system out of the new laptop cost completely.
 

d00hickey

Estimable
Mar 19, 2014
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4,510
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Our current Lenovo, which we bought new about two years ago, runs Win 7 64 bit, the specialized software we use requires a 64 bit version of windows 7 or 8. The software is incompatible with Linux and Mac. Besides OS requirements, the software requires at least 2 gigs of ram and a 2 ghz processor.

Strangely enough there is a half baked app for IOS and Android that is supposed to sync our inspection software with our PC but it's utterly broken.

Other things I didn't mention we need because they are so ubiquitous today, WiFi, and a DVD drive.
 

randomstar

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May 2, 2007
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I have some Dell XT2 ruggedized convertable units that run win764 - some of them have daylight viewable screens and SSD- I generally sell them for around 400 with standard screens, 450 with daylight viewable..
they run great for just about anything. usually 5gb ram,
use an external DVD, but most folks dont use the drive that often so it s not an issue..
 

d00hickey

Estimable
Mar 19, 2014
7
0
4,510
0
Hey randomstar that sounds like it might be great. Do you have a website? Is that a convertible kit and we buy the Dell XT2 separate, or does it come together? The reason we need a DVD is for customers that occasionally request a CD or DVD with the inspection report on it, an external unit would probably be fine and frankly I think we should do PDF email reports and physical printed reports only and 90% of our customers request that anyway.

Thanks again for the useful info.
 

Saga Lout

Olde English
Moderator
I think you guys ought to go into Private Messages from now on, or randomstar would have to advertise it in the Deals sub-Forum with photographs, and other issues to comply with the Rules of Conduct here at Tom's.

I hope everything turns out well.
 

Saga Lout

Olde English
Moderator
The thread remains open as long as you wish. Given what you said abut Linux happily runniong your software, the operating system cost comes off completely, giving you a far better looking budget.

A few years back, the choice would clearly have been IBM/Lenovo for ruggedised laptops to be carted around and used on construction sites. My brother never elft his home without one when he was a QS. I'm not sure any of the other manufacturers went into that market when laptops became delicate paper thin aluminium packets.
 

randomstar

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May 2, 2007
120
1
18,660
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Sorry for the delay- Three server deployments this week. Maybe we can get together and I can get you one of the units so you can try it out? I have an on-hand unit that would likely work - Pretty sure it is a SSD with daylight viewable display, stylus, . has the "ruggedized" body. can be used with many car mounts.

EDIT: email removed by Moderator
I will look it up and see what the all-in and specs are-
 
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