Laptop or Tablet

How many of you use a Tablet for an inspection, or do you use a laptop.

Do you find the Tablet to more comfortable to use ??:mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Which model tablet do any of you guys use, or suggest for me to purchase


I use an HP Pavilion Entertainment PC which is HPs low end, lightweight tablet PC and I love it. It weights about the same as a pad of paper and is easy to fill out my report information in either tablet or laptop mode using HomeGauge. BTW, their report fill feature really helps with either method, cuts down on the time spent filling in information dramatically.

Now, I must say that in most cases I set it up on a countertop (preferably plugged in) during much of the inspection and just take my digital camera with me, come back when I have completed the roof or attic or whatever and enter that info into it and then go off to do the next section.

I use it as a tablet when I’m inside walking through the rooms and filling out room by room information. Some pros/cons:

Screen is a bit darker then laptops because of the touch screen functionality.
Battery life is considered low in reviews, but it has not impacted me.
Keyboard takes a bit of getting use to as its significantly smaller then some (anything of this size would be). I’ve taken to always using it so I’m fairly use to it.
You either love or hate the mouse.
Price is very good for what you get.
Fast even with M$-Vista on it.

If you need more info, feel free to contact me.

– bz

I have too much stuff to carry around with me during the inspection as it is. I use a laptop.

Trying to fill something in as you go is a distraction to me and burns up a lot of time. Every time that you stop and change what you’re doing it takes time, which adds up.

I inspect “room by room” (from right to left).
For example, in the kitchen I do electric, plumbing, appliances, cabinetry, ventilation, and the other structural issues. I place a piece of painters tape on any issue as I go. When I’m finished with the room I turn on my camera and photograph the issues and/or document in my voice recorder. Then move on to the next room.

When preparing a report, I annotate all of the photographs taken (whether they’re going in the report or not). Then I prepare the voice recordings. Then I post them to the report. Then I format the layout of the report, adding photographs if necessary. I proofread the report. Then I e-mail all documentation in the report to the required recipients.

This is a step-by-step process where I take one task at a time. It is much more efficient.
Trying to throw in report writing into the inspection process just messes me up. But everyone has their own process (so long as you have a process).


Get a tablet. A tablet can always be flipped around and become a laptop (it has a keyboard, takes seconds to change back and forth), but you dont have the option the other way around. Plus Home Inspector Pro software really shines the most when you are using it with a tablet. You can click your way through and rarely touch the keyboard. If you get used to the handwritting recognition on it, or use the virtual keyboard you can get by without using it at all.

You can always just leave it on the kitchen counter and walk around and come back or carry it around with you.

Fujitsu and HP both have good models. Dell just came out with their first one but I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. Factory refurbished models can be gotten cheaper at or go straight to the manufcaturers site for new or check out Costco!

I would go with a Tablet for the same reasons Dom mentioned above. I have a Fujitsu LifeBook P1610.

Don’t leave home without it :slight_smile:


Laptop for me, I would be lost without it.

Tablet just twice the size of a PDA

Thanks Dominic :wink:

Just bought a brand new HP notebook PC for $700. I don’t do my reports in the kitchen–I carry a voice recorder and camera and do the report at lunch or at home later. This machine does everything I need.

How much is a tablet???

Average a few hundred more than a equivalent laptop. But you can get them from $800 to $2500. I know LOTS of inspectors who still use HP TC1100 tablets which are at least 3-4 years old.

One thing I’ve noticed that there are guys that dont know. 99.999% of tablets have two modes. You can have them exactly like a laptop (keyboard flat, monitor vertical) , or fold the keyboard under and hold it like a notepad and tap on the screen.

Show me a new tablet for $800.

Thank you guys I appriciate it. I was looking into the HP tx1410 or the
tx 1419 It cost about $1,099. 12.1 screen small and light to carry around. It is a tablet. Afew of my friends use a laptop on the inspections site, and they have to keep moving around setting it down, that’s why I thought about the tablet where you can walk around with it and do your work comfortably. I’m still checking around for prices, I will look at Costco as you mentioned Dominic.

Thank you again everyone for your comments…


My daugter just bought a very nice HP tablet for $1000

Hey Joe I haven’t seen a tablet less than $900 yet toshiba wants $1,300 the cheapest and you need to upgrade the unit to get what you want, so it would run about $1,700 by the time you install what you need. HP has been the lowest so far


I just checked out Sam’s Club they want $999 for a HP tx1417 fully equiped tablet…

Not bad of a price


Great price! That’s more than they want on ebay, haha. It’s a fast speed too. You’ll be able to import pics and do everything else you want very quickly.


Well, Aram found a $999 one. I saw some $799 over Christmas at stores like Best Buy and Circuit City.

At this point you’d have to go factory refurbished like:

Go to and type in tablet to find a lot more (new and used)

I have been using a HP (Compac) TC1100 for three years. After the first 18 mo’s the mother board started failing, cost $975 with shipping to HP & Home. No one else is allowed to work on tablets. Bad thing once it goes bad you can’t back it up and the factory whipes it clean. Guess what it has just started acting up again. This time i will buy a new one now and transfer the data to it before it is too late. Be smart and read all the customer comments before you buy and brand or model, not the reviews.


I’ve seen many inspectors using TC1100 and actually have one myself. There is no laptop or tablet that can really be worked on any place but the manufacturer due to the parts always being specialized.

I don’t know why you say it can’t be backed up though? It can be backed up like any other computer. Go to any computer store and pick up a USB hard drive for $100. Then copy all your data to it and you’re set. You’re right about it getting wiped clean. Pretty much whenever you send a computer back to the manufacturer they are going to wipe it.