pazzfam

Tablet computer for the field

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I wanted to know if anyone uses a surface pro for chief Looking at Dell xps vs Surface pro it is needed to run Chief in the field as well to get work done as I am sending in my primary computer to to be fixed. My Alienware  is actually melting or swelling up and cracking So I need to keep working while it is being repaired. (Under warranty) so i do not want to buy another super lap top but something I can have in the field as my Alieware is 13 lbs   and holds a charge for about 1 hour if lucky. Also like the idea of pictures as we use buildertrend and we photograph job progress

 

Adam 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Did you search the forums for surface pro?

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Used MacBook Pro. 

Keeps its charge. 

Performance consistant throughout life of computer (doesn’t really degrade)

Slim and light. 

Durable construction. 

My Macbook spends more hours sitting on a dusty 2x10 than it does on my desk. 

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I use the Spectre 2in1 in my signature paired with a Disto 7500i for direct field measures into Chief. Wish I tried that years ago. Cobbled together a little table out of an old tripod and some sintra.

It's just fine for general work as long as I don't mess too much with PBR. It will do PBR, there's just a lag getting it opening to start. Graham (KitchenAdobe)  has run tests on his which is slightly older. When he told me he could run Grandview on it that settled it for me. Runs Chief best on High Perfomance settings which cuts back on battery life but still more than adequate for my needs and keeps the fans going nicely.

 

I likely should have gotten the 16GB version I think since the graphics card uses the RAM but at the time I didn't expect to be running Chief on it as much as I do. I've seen it compare favorably to the XPS machines. When got mine the price was much better than the Dells or the Surface (black Friday-$1k). I usually pair it with a trackball and only occasionally as a tablet so I don't use the pen or the touch pad much but don't find any issues with them. I gather the Dell and Surface are better in that department. I also use a little free app called Radial Menu that's handy in tablet mode, as it setting up toolbar config for the field. I don't keep a full library on it so don't know if my big user library would slog it down or not. Nice little machine all in all. I have the 1920 resolution, at that size I don't want 4k.

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56 minutes ago, MarkMc said:

I use the Spectre 2in1 in my signature paired with a Disto 7500i for direct field measures into Chief.

Apologies to the OP. Mark, do you use Room Planner with your tablet for your field measurements?

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12 minutes ago, Ridge_Runner said:

Apologies to the OP. Mark, do you use Room Planner with your tablet for your field measurements?

NO, I use an app from Disto that just reads into Chief directly so I can do entire structure instead of room at a time.

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7 minutes ago, MarkMc said:

I use an app from Disto that just reads into Chief directly

I have a Disto 7500i also that I use for field measurements. Do you do the field measuring in the Disto app and then import that plan into Chief, or is the app just to transfer the digital dimension to Chief?

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1 hour ago, Ridge_Runner said:

I have a Disto 7500i also that I use for field measurements. Do you do the field measuring in the Disto app and then import that plan into Chief, or is the app just to transfer the digital dimension to Chief?

Have Chief running on the laptop, object and temp dim selected, measure with the Disto, send, object moves-repeat as needed. 

I cheat on things like mulled or bay windows and use only one window to get overall dimension. A few things I haven't worked out directly yet such as pitch, and terrain I make some notes. Process is very fast and allows checking before leaving which is a real bonus. Only need minor clean up later. I should mention that it was Al Frey, Chief trainer and I believe the first user, who told me about this some years ago at the show. I finally listened to him last year at the Academy.

 

App is free from Leica (Windows only). There is something for phones but I know nada about it since phones don't run Chief (only Room Planner).

Disto Transfer

 

For the OP- the Spectre has 2 USB- type C, one USB type A (for mouse dongle so Bluetooth is limited to the Disto), and a micro SD slot (bump up storage on the cheap) worth keeping ports in mind when shopping.

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Adam, 

I have used multiple Surface Pros (Since SP1) running CA with no real issues in the past five years. I haven't used for raytracing but plan and general modeling of roof planes, interiors, etc. without much lag. On my last CA install when at first it was running sluggish/jumpy in plan view I knew there was some simple thing I had done before so I came back to the forums and found where HamlinBC had recommended turning off the Crosshairs "Edit>Preferences>Edit and then at the top is your cross hair settings".  Cross hairs off was the simple fix I needed, CA runs great on my SP6. 

 

Discussion about Bluetooth lasers is great,  thanks Mark & Mike, I have a Bosch GLM100c and unfortunately (to my knowledge) Bosch doesn't have an option like Leica/Disto does to direct input to CA, no way to connect it to a windows computer, only a phone or tablet and utilize Bosch app, (have no real interest in room planner app).  Its a great laser but I have never understood why they would make a Bluetooth laser that won't connect to a PC as an input device.

 

A handful of notes I found when starting to do site measures in CA onsite if anyone is interested read on:

A few years ago when I started direct input into CA on jobsite one of my concerns was not having a paper notes to go back on if something wasn't working out right, or say you go to the next room and it moves your wall then you have to go back to the other room...so when we would finish out a room I would use the Make Room Polyline tool to lock in a record all the walls surfaces in the completed room.  Additionally that polyline would help define if there were some wall thickness discrepancies.  On my profile drawing I would make default cad layer thicker and red and change it after field measure was complete. Small note boxes were helpful for odd and ends that didn't want to spend the time to model on site, additionally since Bosch laser didn't communicate with PC I found working in decimal inches productive.  Used the Surface Pro in tablet mode without the keyboard, onscreen numpad ("numpad emulator" on sourceforge) as small as I could comfortably use it, and have the SP6 in a Blackbelt case from Kensington case for 2 reasons, fear of dropping, and hand slot great for holding with one hand while shooting laser.  

One thing I just acquired which will do away with taking a few hundred pics (or more) per measure and still somehow missing that one area where the soffit intersects the... is a 360 camera where I can just spend 5-10 minutes walking through site recording 360 video, walk around each room, then when I'm cleaning up the rendering later off site I can play the video, pause where ever I need to and pan around like I'm in a CA rendering and look at every visible detail of the existing structure.

 

Eric

 

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39 minutes ago, Eric_F said:

so when we would finish out a room I would use the Make Room Polyline tool to lock in a record all the walls surfaces in the completed room

nice

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I want to thank everyone for their input will go with Surface Pro just one last thing is it worth the money for the newest I think they call LTE where the sim card  is in the computer or just get a hot spot

 

 

Thanks Again

Adam

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1 hour ago, pazzfam said:

I want to thank everyone for their input will go with Surface Pro just one last thing is it worth the money for the newest I think they call LTE where the sim card  is in the computer or just get a hot spot

 

 

Thanks Again

Adam

If I had it do over again, I would've gotten the sims card for my Surface Pro.  Hot spot tends to be a lot slower, but be sure you have unlimited data. JMO :)

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Adam,
I just upgraded from the SP5 with LTE to SP6, when I initially got the LTE version I made compromises is specs because of the limited version available with LTE, i5 8gb 256ssd. I thought I would utilize the LTE more then I ended up using it. Then recently a coworker needed an upgrade from his older surface and he uses LTE all the time, was a great opportunity to upgrade my specs, without LTE i7, 16gb 512ssd.

Also I don't recall being able to find a SP6 with LTE. FYI in Microsoft's naming convention there was a surface pro 1,2,3,4, then officially they dropped numbering for 5 so it was just the Surface Pro, then with 6 the number came back. So sometimes its referred to as Surface Pro or Surface Pro or Surface Pro 5.

Here's pretty good resource on specs https://www.windowscentral.com/surface-pro-6 

Dedicated hot spot or phone as personal hotspot works fine for me.  I have not done speed tests but there all on the same network haven't had any problems but depends on how much you'll need LTE, what for (email or streaming video...), and what value to an additional data plan and your Budget, adding specs ain't cheap and have to consider needed accessories, keyboard, pen, and the dock is handy.

Eric

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