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I'm way behind the curve on portable office stuff and need some help getting caught up. I'm a licensed GC in Los Angeles using Quickbooks and Office on a desktop for my business needs along with an Iphone for email etc off site. I looked at a Microsoft Surface yesterday and an Ipad.
My sister is quite techy and told me I should look at various small laptops and it all seems confusing to me.
What I want to be able to do is work on my office apps outside of the office, take photos, find some simple drawing and dimensioning program, maybe write contracts and proposals, etc etc
???
 

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Went through the same you're going through now. I have two phones for business, one for rough job-site use for my phone calls, and another (Galaxy 3) for my emails, dropbox, evernote, weather, etc..

I thought I needed a tablet. So cool, compact, thin, fancy and all that so went out and purchased one. Returned it the same day! Not for me and it wasn't what I needed.

There's nothing like a real computer at your finger tips. Ordered a Dell 14" laptop about two months ago and never been happier, and happy I didn't get a large screen, the 14" is perfect for portable use and I have all my programs with me.

also stayed with Windows 7 Pro, I love it on my desk top and now have a portable with it.
 

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Always Learning
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I have an S3, iPad, and a laptop. I like all three for different reasons. If I had to keep just two, the iPad would go as far as work related devices.
 

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I've been fiddling with this myself and a few guys on here have spent a LOT of time and money on the gear. Robert is really happy with his Lenovo Yoga and I think that's a great piece of hardware but a little pricey for me. I love technology but I'm very cheap so I can only advise on the lower end options.

For your needs I think a Windows tablet with a keypad cover and stylus would be a good fit but you might not like the pricetag. I don't like Windows RT so you're looking at $700+ for Windows 8.

Depending on which version of QB and Office you are using you should be able to get by with an android device with a keypad and that can save you a couple hundred. For pics I would definitely recommend you use the Iphone before a tablet, it's easy to sync the photos. You can easily sketch on a tablet with a stylus and save dimensions and notes. There's also a cool app that lets you draw dimensions easily on a photo which is one place where the tablet camera would be good.

Either way, you should get a 10" tablet if that's what you choose. I use a 7" tablet for showing products and past work to customers as well as doing a bit of web surfing but it's too small to use for real office work.

The main reason I chose not to go with a tablet for all my work needs is that even the Surface Pro 2 is pretty weak for Sketchup and RLA and that's what I want to be able to use on-site. I bought a junky little 7" Samsung and preloaded it with a bunch of images so I can give it to the customers to browse while I'm taking my measurements. If they break it, I'm only out $170. I also keep my code books and some span/load tables on it so it has a little extra utility when I'm visiting a new site.
 

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In the laptop vs tablet debate, I'm on the side of the laptop. It will run real programs, not just apps. Apps for a smart phone have use, though.
 

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I've been contemplating this also. Leaning towards Samsung, as my last several phones have been. Ativ 3 & 5 look sweet, s pen included for drawing, attachable keyboards, Windows 8. Battery life looks good also. Only drawback I see is 6 months old. Asus coming out with an Android /Windows tablet/laptop next month, might do the trick.
 

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In the laptop vs tablet debate, I'm on the side of the laptop. It will run real programs, not just apps. Apps for a smart phone have use, though.
I'm in the "Both in one" camp... No really you can have both in one. I'm using it right now like it's a laptop sitting on my couch, but in 1 second I can flip the keyboard under the screen and use it like a tablet. Or I can use it as a hybrid and type on the keyboard and touch the screen to select/zoom/scroll/etc. And because it's a windows 8 (actually 8.1) machine it will run any program that I use on a desktop.
 

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I like a 17" screen for Sketchup, RLA and multi-window tasks. That's a pretty big tablet.
I'm also laptop shopping, but I expect to plug into a 27"+ monitor when doing major design work. My 22 doesn't cut it and I still miss my 30 from when I photographed houses instead of building them.
 

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I like a 17" screen for Sketchup, RLA and multi-window tasks. That's a pretty big tablet.
You can buy a 20"+ screen tablet... there are a couple of all in one's desktops that have batteries so you could use it as a tablet, I haven't looked in awhile but I think Sony and Dell make some, I can't remember screen size but it was over 20".

Better solution is to just plug it in to something bigger.
 

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Why buy 2 when you just buy 1?
Maybe it's just me. But, I recently picked up a cheaper tablet for about $100. It's great for "surface" surfing. Also, there are several apps that are useful. But, swyping on it is a pain (almost always uses a different word than I want, while composing a sentence). Laptops are a must-have, if you want to store & transfer important documents, but, they are kinda bulky, and take a spell to boot up. One can also get a second hand laptop for a pretty low price.

Both devices have pros and cons, and the idea of putting all your eggs in one basket is not wise (opinion, and maybe "wise" isn't the best word). As a medium tech kind of guy, I think you can get yourself setup pretty good with both devices for about $250-$300.

The op was looking for advice, and I was just throwing out an idea that works for me.
 

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My laptop takes 3 seconds to boot from all off. The problem with using old crap is that it's old crap.
To each his own I guess, I'd just rather have everything any time and not have to say "oh I have that on my other device" or "I can't do that on my tablet, let me go get my laptop".
 

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My laptop takes 3 seconds to boot from all off. The problem with using old crap is that it's old crap.
To each his own I guess, I'd just rather have everything any time and not have to say "oh I have that on my other device" or "I can't do that on my tablet, let me go get my laptop".
I have a W520 with 16GB RAM, SSD, and Core I7 for the time sensative stuff, don't feel like having it in the van, I can afford to wait the 15-30 seconds for my T60 to boot if needed.

With cloud storage the oh thats on the other device has become less and less of a problem.
 

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I have a W520 with 16GB RAM, SSD, and Core I7 for the time sensative stuff, don't feel like having it in the van, I can afford to wait the 15-30 seconds for my T60 to boot if needed.

With cloud storage the oh thats on the other device has become less and less of a problem.
Unless of course you don't have cell signal.

I too keep everything in the cloud but I'm not going to rely on signal when I go meet with a customer/potential customer. Cloud storage doesn't help with device limitations either.
To each his own though.
 
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