Author Topic: Do I need a laptop?  (Read 3153 times)

Jschange

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Do I need a laptop?
« on: October 04, 2016, 01:31:53 PM »
So... 4 ish years ago I decided that I needed a computer (had been just using my tablet) because I went back to school. And I bought a desktop because in my experience a cheap desktop is an indestructible brick that does everything I need.

I'm looking to start working out of a local clinic 1 day a week, where I will be responsible for my own billing/receipts etc. The actual payments and most bookings will be done by reception staff.

If I have prepared templates for things like receipts and treatment plans and only need to fill in minor details, is there a way to do that and then print them from my kindle fire or moto e?

I have a bluetooth keyboard that may or may not be usable with either, and I think amazon sells a keyboard that is definitely compatible with the fire. And to transfer files to the printer keyboard, I could just plug in my tablet the same way as when I charge it?

One of the routes to success here is looking like a real, professional person that you can trust to take care of you. So a new shiny macbook worth a bazillion dollars isn't necessary, but I need things to function without it looking like I completely just glued together stuff in a very lazy way.


daverobev

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Re: Do I need a laptop?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2016, 01:43:46 PM »
There are ways of printing from android (Kindle runs android underneath). It's... I forget the exact term, but on a "normal" computer you open a program and then open a document; on Android you open a document with a program. So you could edit the form (this is the tricky bit - if it's a webform, no problem; you'd have to try out Word for Android or whatever if it's a doc file), save it, then open it with the "printer application" which will send it to the printer.

Any bluetooth keyboard will work with any half way modern Android device.

You may just want to buy a $200 refurb or Chromebook or something.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Do I need a laptop?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2016, 02:01:27 PM »
This is one of those things where you have to remember that time equals money. A lot of people on this forum discuss "real hourly wage" and all that jazz (and rightfully so) only to simultaneously cheap out on other things, which ultimately increases their time and energy spent doing something.

I too was in the market for a computer a couple years ago, and per recommendations on this forum, bought a Chromebook for $150. I'm pretty tech-savvy and know how to use Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc. This ended up being an absolute disaster. The formatting between Google Docs (home) and Word (work) would always cause a clusterfuck that would cause me significant time to remedy. Other times, I would email what I thought were perfectly good Word Online documents (using Word's online platform) only to then realize that it was a formatting disaster for the recipient of my document.

After less than a year, I ended up buying a laptop for $280. It has saved me so much time, energy, and stress.

It sounds like you too should think about just making the right purchase. Being subject to all these goofy apps that cause formatting issues is a terrible look for a professional.

Syonyk

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Re: Do I need a laptop?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2016, 02:23:20 PM »
Just get a cheap laptop...

Printing from tablets is hit or miss.  Usually it's through some cloud service or other - you can't just plug any printer in.

A Windows 7 netbook or something will work perfectly and isn't that much money.  It'll be a business expense as well if you're using it for work - so a tax deduction.

katsiki

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Re: Do I need a laptop?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2016, 02:30:13 PM »
Dellrefurbished.com is 50% off right now.

You can get a nice laptop cheap.

Code is FATWALLET50.  I think it expires today though.  (They run these codes almost weekly)
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 02:31:56 PM by katsiki »

robartsd

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Re: Do I need a laptop?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2016, 02:44:31 PM »
Being subject to all these goofy apps that cause formatting issues is a terrible look for a professional.
If your end document must be in a MS Word format, then creating and editing in MS Word will be the least frustrating way to go. On the other hand, if MS Word format is not a requirement other options can work very well. Spreadsheets tend not to have as much formatting issues when converting, but it's still preferable to use a format that is native to the software you are using. The actual problem is the MS formats are not designed to actually be portable to other software - they're designed to be just portable enough to make regulators happy.

Felicity

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Re: Do I need a laptop?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2016, 07:32:19 AM »
Not sure about editing files and printing from phone/kindle. Printing would be easier, I imagine, than editing.

You may just want to buy a $200 refurb or Chromebook or something.

I personally love my Chromebook. They're cheap, fast, and portable. The speed is the main thing that would be your friend - seconds to boot up- super easy to bring everything up. For less than $350 USD you can get a great machine with a long battery life (many to be had even cheaper, and now quite a few to be had on the higher end as well). I really wanted a portable, sleek laptop for travelling and went for a $500 one that's thinner and lighter than a MacBook Air.

For a Chromebook, you would have to be comfortable switching over to using Google Docs/Google Drive. This is really only a problem if you're switching between systems. If you need to constantly take Word files from others in the building and modify them - maybe best not to get a Chromebook. If you are only ever editing your own documents, there shouldn't be any worries with compatibility. You can import Word and Excel Files, and then there would likely be a *one time* cost of ~5 minutes of editing to suss out any formatting issues. After that - clear sailing!

FLBiker

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Re: Do I need a laptop?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2016, 07:55:26 AM »
Someone just recommended a Chromebook to me yesterday (after learning that my laptop was 4 years old, but I'm not in the market because it works fine).  That said, I have found Google Doc formatting to be absolutely terrible, so that would be a dealbreaker if I ever needed to use Word / Excel docs.

Personally, my last few laptops (for me and wife) have been ~$400 Thinkpads.  I'm a fan.  They just don't die.  I end up using the old ones as a media player or giving them away.  I basically look to buy whatever the 2nd most recent model is.  That said, the Dell Refurbished site seems pretty great.

RobFIRE

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Re: Do I need a laptop?
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2016, 02:17:42 AM »
If you've got real work to do then I think a second-hand laptop is well worth it versus trying to get it done with a phone/tablet.

I'd second the mention of used ThinkPads. I have T410, X220, X200s models in use, great keyboards, well built, straightforward to upgrade/swap parts.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Do I need a laptop?
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2016, 06:55:17 AM »
Following.