Tablet or Convertible for Field Work

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Brian, May 17, 2005.

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  1. GeoProfessor

    GeoProfessor Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi,

    I'm a Geology Prof (Geophysics, actually) and I'm in the market for a convertible or tablet that I can using both in meetings/conferences and when going fieldwork. For fieldwork I need a computer with a screen that is reasonably visible outdoors (the bane of my current laptop). The Fujitsu ST5000 looks close to ideal, especially as it can be ruggedized with the Otter case, but adding the case and a docking station makes this a pretty pricey machine for a poor academic ($3,000+ with the accessories). The Toshiba R-15 is bulkier but a lot cheaper, howeverr your review says nothing about the screen visibility outdoors.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The Toshiba does not use an "indoor/outdoor" display. Additionally the weight would in my opinion be too much for carrying around in your arm constantly if that will be a requirement.

    Based on your need to work outside, I would strongly consider the Fujitsu ST5000 with the indoor/outdoor display option. Whether or not you really need a ruggedized case depends on what you will be doing in the field. Are you sure that the added expense is necessary?
     
  3. GeoProfessor

    GeoProfessor Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Well, I have one project that involves downloading data from temperature loggers working out of a rowboat, so I am concerned about water, hence the interest in the Otter. Currently, my solution has been to use an old laptop that I'm willing to risk losing. The datalogger software requires only a serial port (a USB to serial converter should work with a new machine) and Windows98 :rolleyes: or higher, so the old machine is adequate, it just isn't useful for anything else and the screen is readable only under a coat.

    My concern with the Fujitsu is that with a docking station an other essential ;) accessories the computer could easily cost $3500. At that price I could buy two or three laptops and throw away the ones that get wet.

    Still, the Fujitsu does look awfully nice...
     
  4. Brian

    Brian Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  5. GeoProfessor

    GeoProfessor Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Yes, I looked at the Toughbook too. Nice, but heavy! I like the idea of a tablet that is useful for meetings and the classroom, but can endure field conditions.

    I have a fundamental question about tablets though. The basic tablet comes without an optical drive. How do you install software? Do you image the install CD onto a SD memory card? Share the CD on a desktop computer over a wireless network? Is a docking station or portable CD mandatory? It sure adds to the price!

    By the way, Portable One tells me the educational discount is only 5%, plus with the discount you lose any promotions they are running. It's one or the other. :(
     
  6. Brian

    Brian Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Most will use an external CD drive or install with a networked drive.
     
  7. GeoProfessor

    GeoProfessor Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I noticed that Fujitsu is selled refurbished versions of this tablet. Any opinions on refurbished products? :confused:
     
  8. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Provided you are entitled to the same support and warranty for the refurbished machine, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase from Fujitsu. This company is all about great treatment and support for the customer.
     
  9. Brian

    Brian Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I think they only offer 90 days, but we've had several people buy their refurbs on teh notebook site and we've not seen any issue. Be advised that Fujitsu also sells refurbs via eBay.
     
  10. GeoProfessor

    GeoProfessor Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hey, I just notice the Fujitsu T4000 has and indoor/outdoor screen option as well as an optical drive in a 4.5 lb package. Looks very interested. The link on your homepage to the review of this machine appears to be broken however. Maybe this is a good choice for a machine that would be useful both in the field and the classroom?
     
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