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Motion F5V or Ipad/Android? Apex or DaVinci?

Discussion in 'Apex' started by Aaron87, Jun 29, 2011.

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  1. Aaron87

    Aaron87 New Member

    0
    Dec 12, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    I've been looking into getting a tablet to use in the field and don't know which one to go with. DaVinci is free with Wintotal but the screen for the android and ipad look like they would have a glare out in the sun light. Apex costs a fee and works with Motion pc but doesn't look as sleek as the the android or Ipad and is more expensive. I am leaning towards the Motion because it is a PC, I could do my comps search and add them into my report while in the field. I don't know if i can do that with the android or Ipad. Which one is better? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Randall Garrett

    Randall Garrett Senior Member

    5
    Mar 6, 2004
    Professional Status:
    IT Professional-Appraisal Related
    State:
    Texas
    Yunh Ly,

    I am sure you will get all sorts of opinions on these topics. My opinion is just one of many and I imagine some will say I am biased ;-) That said, I do not get into anything “Sales-related” when it comes to most products, especially Apex products. My intent on forums is to try and share information and give advice based on my hardware and software experience(s) and exposure to customers with a wide range of interests and occupations.

    The answer to your primary question is the dreaded “Which ever combo works best for YOU.” Of course, that’s the tricky part, right - Which combo actually works best for you? How can you know without purchasing everything and trying them out?

    In order to give better advice, I need a little more info. Once I have your answers, I can hopefully give you a response that will help you sort through the major items and help you come to a decision.

    • Are you currently using WT and Apex on your desktop/laptop ? If not, what do you use now? I believe it is important to know what you use now since learning something completely new is a short-medium term factor which affects your productivity (thus, income.) Of course, sometimes you must learn something new to accomplish your goals. We just want to establish a baseline here and then try to gauge how much effort/downtime can be expected in order to see if “the juice is worth the squeeze.”
    • What is your “typical” inspection type environment like – moderate or very sunny? Users in very sunny conditions require different screens than those who work primarily indoors or “overcast” type environments. There is little payback in getting a super-duper outdoor capable screen if glare isn’t really a typical problem. Conversely, if glare IS a problem, the typical glossy screen can render such devices all but worthless in those conditions. This is a major factor IMHO.
    • Do you regularly encounter inclement weather conditions in which you would actually consider going out into to perform inspections? If so, what type(s) of inclement weather do you run into – rain, sleet, ice/snow, extreme heat? Typically, we find that MOST appraisers do NOT routinely brave extreme elements to do inspections, so a fully “ruggedized” device is overkill. Conversely, we appraiser types are not known to be gentle on our equipment (by nature or accident) and we thus typically recommend semi-rugged or “business class” equipment over “consumer (el-cheapo) class”… We find (as reported by users) that a slight price premium paid here pays off in the short-medium term. Note that some “consumer” gear is crap, while some others hold up well enough.
    • Do you have regular and convenient access to a suitably fast wireless Internet connection within your typical work (inspection) environment? Is this even important to you? The screen on devices is (mostly) the single biggest power hog on devices, but the constant transceiving of data can use up even more power and thus affect the battery life. FWIW, most mobile users report that a real 6 – 8 hours of runtime is more than adequate for inspection purposes…
    • Finally, how soon do you plan to try and deploy your chosen solution and what is your threshold for waiting? The devices you listed are all fine products and, depending on your work scenario(s), expectations, etc., can be made to work. There are other choices, however, but I’ll not get into that just yet. There are always new products “just around the corner” which can tempt you to wait for that “new, perfect device” but there is something to be said for getting going sooner than later IF the solution makes you more money NOW. FWIW, most of the “near horizon” devices known to me are already out - some are a just little tougher to get (demand?) than others.
    Let me know your answers and thoughts on the foregoing and I will give you the best advice I can. Once I know more about your particular situation, I can narrow things down and hopefully help you make a good decision.

    Hope this helps!

    -Randall Garrett-
    ..Apex Software..

    /end/
     
  3. Tom Woolford

    Tom Woolford Elite Member

    27
    Nov 20, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    I used Motion Tablets for years and was very satisfied. Until I switched to an iPad. The iPad screen is much more visible than the Motion (and I had the view anywhere screen). Sketching with the Davinci sketcher is a breeze. (sorry Randall). It is lighter, easier to handle than the Motion.
     
  4. Randall Garrett

    Randall Garrett Senior Member

    5
    Mar 6, 2004
    Professional Status:
    IT Professional-Appraisal Related
    State:
    Texas
    Hi Tom!

    You realize, of course, that you ARE comparing a 4+ year (and 3 generation) old Motion screen to a new generation iPad screen, so it is not a completely fair comparison of "today's" technology. That said, your comments on size, weight and the related items of a modern "tab" compared to an older full function Tablet PC are timely, accurate and relevant, IMHO. Feedback from real world users in the same or similar environments is usually the BEST way for someone to come to a smart decision.

    No need to apologize on your choice of DaVinci. I'll say it again - the best product is the one that works best for YOU. Besides, I don't think anyone really want to know my opinions there ;-) and most of my posts are already long enough, LOL. Thus, I try to stay as objective as I can by staying away from sketch software topics unless someone needs help on something I actually know and use. Actually, I think SOME would LOVE to see me tee-off on other products ;-) but the cry of foul/bias would be a distraction from what I think the readers want from me here.


    -Randall Garrett-
    ..Apex Software..

    /end/
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  5. Aaron87

    Aaron87 New Member

    0
    Dec 12, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Hi Randall,

    I am currently using ACI which won't let me use any of this but I recently purchased Wintotal and I have 100 days to try it out with a money back guarantee.

    My typical environment is pretty sunny since I am in southern California but we do get occasional rain and I do still do inspections on rainy days.

    I currently do not have a wireless connection while I am out in the field, other than my cell phone. It is sort of important to me to have a wireless connection because if I'm going to spend all this money on technology, I would like to be able to access the MLS while I am in the field.

    I don't mind waiting for devices if they are significantly better. These are the only devices that I have found so far.
     
  6. Tom Woolford

    Tom Woolford Elite Member

    27
    Nov 20, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    My Adroid phone can be used as a WiFi hotspot. Access for me is not a problem. I can't see paying for 2 different wireless accounts.
     
  7. DJD85339

    DJD85339 Sophomore Member

    0
    Aug 30, 2010
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Arizona
    I am currently looking at a "Consumer product" which may fit the bill, but I am researching for folio case to protect it and make it portable with a lanyard, or a strap, so I can hang it from my person while I am performing other tasks ie "head and shoulder's" attic inspections. This seems to be the most cabable consumer product out there and it also comes with a docking/keyboard. Frys Electrinics sells it for $549.

    http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Iconia-W...I2PW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309382569&sr=8-1

    My major concerns are portability in the field. I looked at the inmotion ones and I also, kind of want something that can be used as a toy when not working, so I don't see the point in dropping 1-2 k on this. Esp since tech moves so quickly than in 2 years I'll be looking to buy something new/better.

    As for the screen... it's glossy, but you can by glare reducing film for them, so that takes care of that problem..

    Battery life... Solid state Hard drive increases battery life and makes it more durable (no spinning disks). Also, what appraiser doesnt have 14 different car chargers, so whats the difference if its now 15?

    WIFI... I have a broadband hotspot that I bareley use and pay 60$ a month for... my plan is to always have my hotspot going in my car (on a charger) and I should not need it while doing my inspection, but when I get in the car I can shoot out a final real quick, check my comps, look for more comps if needed and upload the addresses to my Garmin (this I hope to do and think i can with use of map qwest).

    So weather.... Not sure how to get around this one, but even with sketch paper I find myself turning my clipboard upside down and only making notations and sketch lines when I am under an eave. It's not like your expected to do an inspection in a hurricane... and with the monsoons here, I have managed to get everything without making a smudge on the sketch and if its really bad, I go inside and wait it out. They only downpour for 10 -15 minutes anyway.

    SO... IMO, if I can find a good case (foli type) like they have for the IPADS, I think i'm gonna pull the trigger on this one.

    Comments/Suggestions/thoughts are appreciated!!
     
  8. DJD85339

    DJD85339 Sophomore Member

    0
    Aug 30, 2010
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Arizona
    Oh Yeah... forgot to mention... fully fuctional with ACI.. or any other sofwate you want to run because it's Windows 7 Based. I just need to fork over another 199 for a license.
     
  9. Aaron87

    Aaron87 New Member

    0
    Dec 12, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    Hi Tom,

    My phone has that too but it would probably drain the battery real fast. I agree that it wouldn't be necessary to pay 2 different wireless accounts but it would be nice to have the option if needed.
     
  10. Aaron87

    Aaron87 New Member

    0
    Dec 12, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    DJD,

    That Acer is nice but there is also the ExoPC slate and Motion CL900, that also runs Windows.

    Randall,

    What are your thoughts on these?
     
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