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  1. #1
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    Default HomeGauge and tablet PC

    Looking at using a tablet to record / write the report as I inspect. Wanted to hear from other HomeGauge users that do this and see what the ins/out are. I use a narrative report and have hundreds of generic comments stored in my current software but there are always some odd things that will need to be written out and specific locations. How well does the tablet / HG combo work?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    St Paul, MN
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    Default Re: HomeGauge and tablet PC

    I used to have a both a Dell and a Fujitsu tablet pc using HomeGauge. I tried to get used to using them as a tablet, but since I end up typing quite a bit into the reports I gave up. It took too much time flopping the screen around to access the keyboard.

    Now I'm using an 11.6" Dell Inspiron laptop that works awesome and is less than 3 pounds.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: HomeGauge and tablet PC

    I also briefly tried a tablet... it's just not as slick as I thought it would be. No matter what you find you have to modify your pre-written comments (if you want to turn a good report) which means typing.

    Similar to Ken, I use a small IBM/Lenovo laptop. It's 2.7 lbs with a 12" screen and works great. I set it up in the kitchen when conditions permit. Otherwise, I just grab my data and sit in my truck and churn out reports.

    The idea of completing the report as I walk through the house just didn't work.... your mileage may vary.


  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: HomeGauge and tablet PC

    I was never quite able to work data-entry into my inspection routine. If you would like to give it a try, I have a Motion 1400 semi-ruggedized tablet



    with Win XP, softshell case, power supply and detachable cover/keyboard/stand I'll sell for $200 + shipping.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 01-18-2011 at 05:25 AM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Winfield, IL
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    37

    Default Re: HomeGauge and tablet PC

    I tried about 4 years ago to use the Homeguage software on a Lenovo tablet. Great software. If I remember right the tablet computer was almost $2000 back then. Anyway, the problem I had was it took too stinkin long to complete the inspection. Added almost a half hour. My inspection style is very interactive with the client and to enter info while everyone is waiting just didn't work for me. The client and the agent were getting antsy while I was typing away. I still occasionally bring it when there is no client present,though.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: HomeGauge and tablet PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    No matter what you find you have to modify your pre-written comments (if you want to turn a good report) which means typing.

    .
    I'd say 75% of the time my generic comments work but I still have to input locations. And there may be several locations. Not many software packages can capture multiple locations by allowing you to select them individually.

    The other times I may just put data on my voice recorder as opposed to typing.

    Very old, brand new and foreclosures just take time and generic comments don't often work as well.


  7. #7

    Default Re: HomeGauge and tablet PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Randall Clark View Post
    Looking at using a tablet to record / write the report as I inspect. Wanted to hear from other HomeGauge users that do this and see what the ins/out are. I use a narrative report and have hundreds of generic comments stored in my current software but there are always some odd things that will need to be written out and specific locations. How well does the tablet / HG combo work?
    I use 3-D rather than HG but for many years, I used a Motion LE-1600 slate tablet and did 3 inspections a day, 6 days a week. The handwriting recognition was great. Editing or writing new comments was very easy. You just need to learn to write in cursive again!

    I did many large "team" inspections on big houses and my reports were always done way before the other laptop users. I could input data as I walked around. They had to setup in the kitchen and walk back an forth with their notes and type it in. Double work. I converted several to slates because of that. I had a stand and USB keyboard to use if I needed it. That usually got used to insert and annotate pictures at the end of the inspection just before printing on-site.

    My style has changed and the "need-for-speed" is no longer there. I don't print on-site anymore so I now use a convertible tablet (HP tx2510us) and work mostly from data gathered on-site and my pictures. I produce the report at home with the tablet hooked up to a 20" monitor that I can actually see rather than the 10" screen on the tablet.

    True Professionals, Inc. Property Consultant
    877-466-8504

  8. #8
    Edwaldokeller's Avatar
    Edwaldokeller Guest

    Default Re: HomeGauge and tablet PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    I was never quite able to work data-entry into my inspection routine. If you would like to give it a try, I have a Motion 1400 semi-ruggedized tablet



    with Win XP, softshell case, power supply and detachable cover/keyboard/stand I'll sell for $200 + shipping.
    Tablet computers have already been embraced by casual users and businesses alike. However, the student tablet is also gaining momentum as an excellent tool to help students make notes, perform research, and put their assignments together with ease. Here are a few things know about the student tablet computers.
    First things first, are a tablet really the best choice for students? After all, laptops already exist as portable computers, and they generally cost less, too.
    There are a number of reasons why students are starting to choose tablets over standard computers or laptops. The first is that they’re quick to use. Unlike standard computers, they don’t have to wait around while tablets boot up. Next, they can usually read handwriting. As long as have a stylus accessory, student can write directly onto the screen and have the tablet translate that to digital text. This makes notes searchable and easy to store after the date, saving hours of time that would have been spent manually searching through paper notes.
    Thirdly, the range of apps available means that can keep up with work on the go. We could prepare presentations and display them directly from the device, read eBooks instead of having to carry around heavy physical books and much more. Storage size is another spec we should think carefully about. If we have a lot of music or movies then we need some of the bigger storage options such as 32GB or above. Check for micro-SD memory slots for tablets that’ll let we expand the memory at a later date. Tablet computers were originally designed to complement existing computers in the home, rather than replace them all together. That said,student tablets are now being used in place of a traditional computer altogether. Thanks to impressive stats and excellent external keyboards, they can be just as productive as laptops when we sit and work at a desk.

    I hope this will solve your purpose.


    Last edited by Edwaldokeller; 09-02-2011 at 12:18 AM. Reason: some corrections

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Lake Barrington, IL
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    1,363

    Default Re: HomeGauge and tablet PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Williams View Post
    My inspection style is very interactive with the client and to enter info while everyone is waiting just didn't work for me. The client and the agent were getting antsy while I was typing away.
    Exactly my opinion. I see no reason for having people wait while you type and/or print. It may be convenient for the inspector but I prefer to accommodate the client by letting him/her get on with their day. My computer stays in the truck during any job.

    Also, I always worry about using too much boiler plate. It can make the report look generic and less like it was custom written for a particular job.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: HomeGauge and tablet PC

    I like to show the client a picture of the sheathing in the attic or the stain in the crawlspace. Sometimes, 3 or 4 people want to see. I need a bigger screen for that - laptop.

    Just this month, the monitor on my 2 year old laptop is starting to flicker. Bad connections, no doubt. I may go to tablet eventually, but may have to carry a spare, I'm afraid. A projector screen feature would be kinda cool.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Capistrano Beach, CA
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    1,458

    Thumbs up Re: HomeGauge and tablet PC

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    A projector screen feature would be kinda cool.
    Not directly on phones/cameras yet but give it a little more time. For now you could use a pocket projector

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