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juliekt

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Texas
I've seen many posts about this, but none of them are directly answering what I've been wondering. Can I download and use the TOTAL software to write reports at home with the keyboard and bluetooth mouse on my Surface Pro? I'm not worried about using it in the field and I'm not trying to download the mobile app. I'm not worried about compatibility with a touch screen since I am bundling with the keyboard and mouse. I already have the mobile app on my iphone and I sync it to my desktop. I need a new laptop and I'm wondering if I can write reports on TOTAL with a surface pro. We travel on the weekends and I would like to be able to take it with me instead of a bigger, heavier laptop.
 

Randall Garrett

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Professional Status
IT Professional-Appraisal Related
State
Texas
Greetings from a fellow Texan (and former appraiser), juliekt

Of course, your ultimate authority on whether TOTAL will run on a Surface Pro should come from ALM. That said, being (ahem) "somewhat familiar" with Tablet PC's and various appraisal applications, I see no reason whatsoever that you cannot use a Surface Pro to run TOTAL. If you are looking at a new purchase in the Pro line, that would mean a Surface Pro 4 and it would be running Windows 10, so you'd want to get a statement from ALM regarding any issues, requirements, etc. on the most current release of the OS. None are known to me ATM, but it is always better to ask and know how best to do the initial set-up, etc. I would also specifically ask about the eminent major refresh of Windows 10 which is scheduled for August 2nd, 2016. Nobody can responsibly guarantee compatibility with an unreleased OS refresh, so I would not expect that, but all responsible developers (like ALM) are already running the most current "Insider" (pre-) releases of the software and could at least give you their best guess(es.) Don't let that scare you - we don't know of anything coming which would cause a problem in our own software, nor are we anticipating any real issues with any of our other applications we depend on. I just think it is a good idea to get some germane feedback from the people who supply the main software your business runs on... You should, of course, get some good feedback here from fellow appraisers and that is usually great info IMHO.

The SP4 is a very popular device these days, but if you're looking at getting a new device, it behooves you to look at other comparable devices before making a final decision. We have a lot of users running on various versions of the MS Surface and while I don't think that the Surface Pro 3 or 4 is the best device for field use (for most users), it is a perfectly fine as a "laptop replacement" type device. I would look at a model with a Core i5 with 4 GB of RAM (that is baseline spec anyway) and go to 8 GB of RAM before going to a model with a Core i7 since that CPU is overkill for what you are doing. You'd be better off spending any extra on more storage, more RAM and/or an accidental damage protection policy (~$99) than upgrading to a CPU that will not get you nearly the "bang for that buck" that the other options give you. If you are traveling an can hook up to a larger screen at your remote location, I'd say investing in a larger, higher resolution screen there is a good use of funds. Given that the "meat and potatoes" portion of the forms are dense, working on (say) the Sales Comparison section(s) is tough on a +12 inch screen...

When looking at new and upcoming comparable devices within a similar price range, you might want to consider some of the later posts I've made here: http://appraisersforum.com/forums/threads/surface-pro-4-and-total.213098/#post-2695424 The thread title is "Windows 8 Tablets For Fieldwork" but it sorta morphed into Windows 10 Tablets... It is pertinent to note that when new devices come out, the p-revious models generally go on sale, so you may be looking at a situation like that between mid-July and early September...

Hope this helps!


-Randall Garrett-
+Apex Software+

/end/
 

tacgroup2

Freshman Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2013
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
I've seen many posts about this, but none of them are directly answering what I've been wondering. Can I download and use the TOTAL software to write reports at home with the keyboard and bluetooth mouse on my Surface Pro? I'm not worried about using it in the field and I'm not trying to download the mobile app. I'm not worried about compatibility with a touch screen since I am bundling with the keyboard and mouse. I already have the mobile app on my iphone and I sync it to my desktop. I need a new laptop and I'm wondering if I can write reports on TOTAL with a surface pro. We travel on the weekends and I would like to be able to take it with me instead of a bigger, heavier laptop.

Not sure if your question was answered yet or not or if you've already purchased something, but I use the SP4 with the detachable keyboard for reports all the time and Total works just fine on it. Its not my main machine but I always carry it in my vehicle when I'm doing appraisal site visits (looking up comps in the field, making quick revisions on reports for an anxious client, etc.) and often stop for breakfast or lunch at my favorite places and whip out the Surface Pro 4 to work on files. Its a very handy tool to have. An expensive and likely overpriced tool, but for those of us who love technology, its a nice one. Hope that helps!
 
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