I have been using a PPC for input onsite for 3 or 4 years. First with a local report program called inspectionwise and for the last year with Homegauge and its PPC addon.
Personally, I really like the process of entering items as I find them during the inspection. The PPC sits in a PPC case on my belt unless I am entering something. The process is simple - see problem, note problem, take picture if needed, done. Yes you do have to upload the report from the PPC to the computer. That part is painless.
My only complaint with HG on this part is that if you modify the template, you have to download the modified version to the PPC. So if you did two inspections that day and compile the reports in the office after, the second report comes up fine but you cannot save any modification you might want to make on the template.
Otherwise it works great. I have on occassion taken my laptop and run HG on it to do the inspection. That is fine too, but I think it adds alot of time to have to keep hiking back to the laptop to enter things. Unfortunately, I find there are always things that do not require a picture, or do not show up well in a picture, so I dislike depending on photos for all issues.
I persoanlly figure that the PPC’s are probably going to fade away, so will seriously look into an ultra compact type device for my next purchase. It would be nice to have the full version on hand all the time. But I have real concerns about durability and carrying it around, as I do not want to change my process of entering things as I find them.
The bigesst thing I would like to see improve in software is the picture importation. My reports are basically done onsite in the PPC from a text standpoint, but entering all of the regular and IR photos is what takes time. I haven’t found HG’s photo “jump” feature to really work well for me. I think about it alot but have not come up with a way to improve that process.
But as far as the PPC goes, I find it works excellently for me. I know it has saved me loads of time on reports and do not have any desire to change.