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  1. #1
    Technician 500+ Posts
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    tablet for work?

    I need to get some input on using a tablet. I have never used one. I now use a laptop to view pdfs and word documents when I am in the field. Getting tired of carrying the laptop. I want to get a tablet because its smaller and light. I have searched online for tablets and cannot get straight answers about viewing docx or pdf. I think I want a Samsung or Lenovo running about $200 or less. I was told you can use a usb connector where you can view docx/pdfs from a thumb drive. I would appreciate any input from those who have traveled this path.

  2. #2
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    tablet for work?


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    Re: tablet for work?

    They have tablets with Windows OS on them. Sounds like that would ease your mind a bit.

  3. #3
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    Re: tablet for work?

    Most any tablet should work that has reasonable speed. Make sure it can take a large enough micro-sd card or SD card to hold manuals and other files. If these are not stored locally then you must download them, using data, before they can be viewed. Or use a combination of cloud based storage such as Google drive or Dropbox and a local storage card. Keep the larger files on the card and the smaller one on the cloud. Could even take it a step further and have one card for each manufacture you support.

    A PDF viewer is free and so are viewers for most Microsoft products. Of course if you want to edit either document you must then purchase the appropriate software.

    My self I carry a Samsung Note +. Works well, not a laptop replacement.

    The Microsoft Surface is not cheap, compared to tablets and laptops, but does give the best of both worlds. The new Surfaces are even respectable in speed.

  4. #4
    Senior Tech 250+ Posts tsbservice's Avatar
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    Re: tablet for work?

    Just my two cents.
    With the phones getting bigger and bigger, why to bother and carry another tool.
    My phone display is close to six inches, smaller tablet is 7, not much difference.
    I use it for Manuals, Docs, etc. No problem. Yeah tablet will be better, but maybe time to upgrade 📱

    Anyway good question, I'm interested what other guys may use/suggest.
    A tree is known by its fruit, a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost, he who sows courtesy, reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.

  5. #5
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    tablet for work?


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    Re: tablet for work?

    I agree about the phone. I rarely carry laptop anymore. I use phone to search 99% of the time. Anything else I have all the manuals on a few thumb drives in toolbag. I have known most of my customers so long I can jump on one of their computers to use thumb drives.
    I will take my laptop to new accounts etc where I would never ask to use their computer.

  6. #6
    Master Of The Obvious 10,000+ Posts
    tablet for work?

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    Re: tablet for work?

    I never used a tablet, but cannot imagine it terribly useful. The techs that use them are constantly complaining about limited resources, and how slow it is to download, extract, and copy firmware. If you intend to do any networking you must have a RJ45, which is getting harder and harder to find on any device. I'm very happy with my Toshiba Satellite laptop. =^..^=
    If you'd like a serious answer to your request:
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    blackcat: Master Of The Obvious =^..^=

  7. #7
    Senior Tech. 2,500+ Posts NeoMatrix's Avatar
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    Re: tablet for work?

    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat4866 View Post
    I never used a tablet, but cannot imagine it terribly useful. The techs that use them are constantly complaining about limited resources, and how slow it is to download, extract, and copy firmware. If you intend to do any networking you must have a RJ45, which is getting harder and harder to find on any device. I'm very happy with my Toshiba Satellite laptop. =^..^=
    I have a similar Toshiba laptop.
    Update to a multi CPU machine, you will notice a marked difference in speed and reduced work load.
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  8. #8
    Senior Tech. 2,500+ Posts NeoMatrix's Avatar
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    Re: tablet for work?

    Re. Tablets.

    I have a Samsung tablet with Android O/S. The tablet works quite fine. It can take up to a 32GB sd-card or USB stick.

    I recommend to steer clear of Windows O/S tablets. The android operating systems is not as hack-wared to death like Windows operating system software.
    Less hack-ware means your Tablet will run faster with less B/S overlord-god-ware, phone-home-ware running in the background.

    You'll require a PDF viewer to read all your parts manuals.
    If you have a large enough tool case you can place your tablet inside your tool case for fast access and information lookup.

    A haven't played with the new Windows Surface tablet devices so I cannot comment on those.
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  9. #9
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    Re: tablet for work?

    Agreed in that some of the newer phones are nearly tablet size. And if your eyes are good enough that may work. As mentioned when it comes to speed there is not many tablets that can keep up with a laptop. I have always considered a tablet an extension of the laptop. Especially when using Cloud storage and/or a local sync software to keep the common files looked up.

    Yes, when testing connectivity of a printer/MFD a tablet or phone is almost useless. Even when connected to the customers wireless. Yes you can check if the machine is on the right network and can "print" or open the web page and make some minor adjustments.

    When purchasing just like a laptop get the fastest one you can afford. Second get one that can a large storage card of some kind. Granted most files can be kept on cloud storage and that is just fine, but there will be times that network is so weak that even a 250kb file becomes a royal pain in the backside. This is why I recommend keeping the most used reference files and larger manuals all on the same card or separated by manufacture, your preference.

  10. #10
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    tablet for work?


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    Re: tablet for work?

    Quote Originally Posted by mincopier View Post
    Agreed in that some of the newer phones are nearly tablet size. And if your eyes are good enough that may work. As mentioned when it comes to speed there is not many tablets that can keep up with a laptop. I have always considered a tablet an extension of the laptop. Especially when using Cloud storage and/or a local sync software to keep the common files looked up.

    Yes, when testing connectivity of a printer/MFD a tablet or phone is almost useless. Even when connected to the customers wireless. Yes you can check if the machine is on the right network and can "print" or open the web page and make some minor adjustments.

    When purchasing just like a laptop get the fastest one you can afford. Second get one that can a large storage card of some kind. Granted most files can be kept on cloud storage and that is just fine, but there will be times that network is so weak that even a 250kb file becomes a royal pain in the backside. This is why I recommend keeping the most used reference files and larger manuals all on the same card or separated by manufacture, your preference.
    Good point about needing laptop to test connectivity, etc. That would be another reason to bring my laptop for this type of call. I pay an IT person to connect machines when delivered and most copier related issues once installed. I use my laptop for basic stuff like to ping machine or connect directly to copier to see if issue is with customers network. That's about as far as my networking skills go

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