Portable Windows Devices for Contractors

For a lot of field service operators, they rely on an application to update and access important information.  This app typically runs on either an Android or iOS device like a smartphone or tablet.

In the case of SAM Pro Enterprise, there is the TechAnywhere app that connects directly with the user’s software for construction management.  With TechAnywhere, they can manage their work while they’re out on the field, avoiding the need for double entry and reducing paper documents.

And for most people, it’s exactly what they need.

But some people might want their full set of software tools as they’re traveling around from site to site.  For that, you’re going to need a Windows computer, and it’s going to need to be portable obviously.  With today’s technology, you can have amazing portable devices that don’t sacrifice on power.

If you’re in the market for a new computer, and you’re a specialty contractor, why not get a mobile friendly one?  Basically, you have either two options.

– Ultrabooks

– Tablet/Laptop Hybrids

For this post, we’re going to focus on the tablet hybrids.  These devices can be used as an ordinary tablet, but they run on a full version of Windows, and they’re designed to attach to a keyboard dock so you can use them like you would a laptop.

Note: none of these have disk drives, but with SAM Pro Enterprise, the software is actually downloaded, so that isn’t a problem.

Acer Iconia Tab

For those who want a tablet hybrid but don’t want Windows 8, this just might be your answer.  The W500 runs off Windows 7 and provides the full features of a laptop, with the portability of a tablet.  However, you would need to find a used one as this model is discontinued.

It’s successor is the W510 (and also the W7 series) which runs on Windows 8.  Our recommendation would be to go with a new tablet that runs Windows 8. It takes a little getting used to, but the touch interface is very intuitive.

Samsung ATIV Smart PC

The ATIV line from Samsung is a series of tablet hybrids designed to have the full power of a PC, particularly with the “Pro” model.  This is truly a full computer that you can carry in one hand.

One feature that many contractors are bound to find convenient is the S-Pen.  The S-Pen is a full powered stylus that hides away right inside the screen when you’re not using it.  The responsive is great, leaving you with the ability to write and drawn on your computer with precision.

Windows Surface Pro

Note: There are two kinds of Surfaces.  One is the Pro and the other is the RT.  The Surface RT doesn’t run a full version of Windows and thus, will not allow you to use your contracting software.  We recommend to stay clear of it.

The Surface Pro on the other hand, is similar to the ATIV in theory.  It packs the power of an
Ultrabook but is much easier to wield in one hand.  The overall build of the Surface Pro is sleeker than Samsung’s product.  Though the specs on each product are nearly identical, the Surface Pro feels like a higher quality device.

Also, like the ATIV, the Surface features a stylish.  However, unlike the ATIV, the Surface’s stylish attaches to the side via a magnet instead sliding inside of it.

But Wait, There’s More

There are a number of other products available out there, even in the area of tablet hybrids.  Ultimately, it’s about finding the product that works best for your needs.  Search around, go into a store and test some out.  The Microsoft Store is a great place to do this (if you actually have one in your area).

And if you feel this is all more than you need, having an Android device with the TechAnywhere app will do just fine.

Posted in Construction Software, Field Service.

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