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Last Post 10/28/2017 7:12 AM by  Colin
Laptops
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mjpsmurphy
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02/25/2011 3:22 PM

    I have decided to update and get a new laptop this spring.  Any ideas on brands, processors, etc.  I really want to stay some where in the $500.00 range.  I don't game, just do claims things, use xactimate, email, photos related to work, etc. 

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    Goldust
    Member
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    Posts:306


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    02/25/2011 4:07 PM

    Check out DELL small business I got one a year ago with everything for $800. I think they even have better deals now. get all the ram and gigs you can get.

    JERRY TAYLOR
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    mjpsmurphy
    Member
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    02/25/2011 4:15 PM

    Thanks.  Something to think about.

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    host
    CatAdjuster.org Founder
    Posts:708


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    02/26/2011 9:48 AM

     One question I get from adjusters buying new laptops is will ??? work on it, many times they have an old laptop with working software and wish to move to a new laptop with little to no down time.

    Here is a table of some of the minimum requirements I always try to go the recommended requirements or better, you can click on the product name for additional information.

     Recently I wanted to test some estimating software but did not want to use my work laptop so I walked into Walmart and got an Acer for around $450.00 that exceeded all of the requirements.  Also It has worked well so far. 

    Product Processor Ram Hard Drive Space Resolution Other OS
    MSB IntegriClaim™ EyeQ® Edition 1.8 GHz 2 GB 3 GB 1024 x 768 CD-Rom Windows XP Professional
    Service Pack 3
    Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0
    PowerClaim XML 200 MHz 128 MB 100 MB 800 X 600 CD-Rom Windows98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, or Vista, IE 5.5 or higher
    Simsol for Adjusters™ 600 MHz 256 MB 100 MB 800 X 600 True Color Graphics Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000 or Windows NT
    Xactimate® 27 1.5 GHz 1 GB 5 GB, with a drive speed of at least 5400 RPM 1024 X 600 DVD
    Open GL 2.0-compatible graphics with 128 MB of VRAM
     Windows 7 64 or 32 bit, XP or Vista 32 or 64 bit, IE 7 +, Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5
    MS Office 2010
    Standard Edition
    500 MHz;
    1 GHz required for Outlook with Business Contact Manager
    512 MB 3 GB 1024 X 728    
    Mitchell UltraMate® Dual Core 2 Ghz 2 GB 15 GB 1024 X 728 DVD IE 7+,  XP Pro, Vista Business, Windows 7 Pro 32 or 64 bit

     

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    nccatadjuster
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    Posts:10


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    02/26/2011 2:40 PM
    Go check out Tigerdirect.com, I always buy my computers from them. The last one I got was a Toshiba with a 18" screen 2.23 GHz AMD processor 4GB of RAM for 699.00.
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    JimGary
    Member
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    Posts:470


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    02/27/2011 4:34 PM
    Roy, The voice of reason! Every time I see this question posted, or hear it in the field, it is always followed with a lengthy explanation as to why we need a top of the line, credit buster of a computer. I am running 3 types of auto estimating software, Xm8, Integraclaim, and powerclaim on my 299.00 Gateway for the past 5 years. The computer is not what you need to go into debt on for this business. Look on the clearance shelf of your local Best Buy, or even Wally World. I like the idea of being to take it back if something goes wrong so I have steered away from the online offers, but that's just my preference. I know several who have never had a problem with the online purchases.

    JWG
    I know the voices aren't real, but sometimes they're right!
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    okclarryd
    Veteran Member
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    Posts:954


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    02/28/2011 9:44 AM

    Gather 'round, children.

    Some years ago, when I was actively drag racing, a "friend" of mine, a fellow racer, just had to have the latest and greatest "trick of the week".  He would endlessly brag about how much faster, smoother, better, quicker, etc this "trick" made his car.  My wife and I would share a smile when I trailered his bragging ass with my ol' Vega. 

    I just made sure that the carb was carbing, the spark was sparking and the pistons were  ...................... uh ............. going up and down.

    My point here is that you don't need the "budget-buster" machine that was just introduced and that has a steep price tag.  All you need is a quality computer that will do what is asked of it.  Durable is one of the considerations that folks usually don't think about.  In and out of the car/truck at least twice a day, sitting in the sun on the desk in the car, sitting in the car when the air temp is 10 degrees and the heater's not on because if you leave the truck running, someone will steal it..

    My current laptop has a 17" screen because I'm old and feeble and can't see.  It has enought hard drive to store the entire contents of the Library of Congress and enough RAM that I don't have to wait on it to do what it should.  My patience has gone the way of my eyesight.  And, it still works after all the abuse it has had in several years.  I look at the ads every Sunday but ol' shakey here will suffice. 

    I'd rather spend my money on speed parts.  You know, the "trick of the week".

    Larry D Hardin
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    mjpsmurphy
    Member
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    02/28/2011 5:23 PM

    Like I said ladies and germs, under $500.00.  Don't think that will be a budget buster, just a kick in the seat of the pants.  Thanks to Mr. Roy for his input regarding minimum requirements.

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    chadecoen
    Guest
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    Posts:19


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    05/27/2012 11:49 AM
    Hello everyone,
    I would like to bring up this old post to expand a little maybe on a laptop purchase. It is time to replace my really old unit. I am fairly computer literate (I have built my last 3 at home) but want to know what you guys think of certain options available on laptops these days. There are quite a few options out there and I will probably use mine for digital media (downloaded/ripped dvds to the big tv at home) as well as adjusting. So, for me at least, I know I need HDMI outs and a big hard drive. Other that that, almost all of the processors out there are pretty good now a days and on board video is decent as well although I am leaning towards an I3 processor.

    So, all that being said, I am looking at one that has bluetooth built in?????? Useless gadget or usable feature?

    My thoughts are, nice to be wireless to the printer and camera and what not BUT would involve replacing my existing camera and printer and what not. Worth it? Seems that it might be nice being completely wireless when using the truck office, not so big a deal in the hotel room set up?

    What about touch screen? Some laptops flip around in to sketch pads. Could you actually do your sketching right there on the laptop on site while walking the house? No drawing on paper and later entering in to xactimate?

    Speaking of sketching, anyone using xactimate on a tablet instead of a laptop? Or are they just expensive paperweights?

    Thanks for your thoughts. I am new at this and appreciate your thoughts on what works for you or what you think might work for you out in the field.

    Thanks,
    Chad

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    lupoky
    Guest
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    05/28/2012 12:57 PM

    I only use my laptop in the field for more complex losses that require a lot of sketches.  I find it to be a lot faster to do rough sketches by hand and sit in the a/c and comfort of my own office or hotel to input everything in Xact.  I used to be a staff adjuster and was required to settle losses in the field.  However, I now write most estimates when I return to the office. 

    One thing to always remember when writing estimates in the field is that if your computer crashes or Xactimate freezes, you will loose your sketch and have to start over.  Always save and exit frequently and back up your computer to prevent return trips. 

    I have an HP with  a large screen.  It has an i5 processor and works great.  If you have not used Xactimate a lot, get a large screen laptop.  The extra screen helps a lot when sketching.

    As for all of the bells and whistles, I have no use for them.  You can get a great laptop for under $700-$800 that should last for several years.  Just make sure it can run Xactimate and you should be fine.

     

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    chadecoen
    Guest
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    Posts:19


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    06/13/2012 11:05 PM
    You can get a great laptop for under $700-$800 that should last for several years.


    WOW, you can get an I7 laptop for that kind of money these days. Me, I'm too cheap for all that mess. Fatwallet.com and rebates, coupons, and what not keep them pretty cheap these days. Just gotta be willing to look around a little. Besides, my 7 year old gateway pentium, running XP runs Xactimate, photoshop, and a lot of others just fine so I really wonder if I need a better processor at all. My biggest problem is it physically falling apart. Damn thing runs great, just been in the car too long. Wish I could talk myself in to spending the bucks on a toughbook!

    Chad
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    SCBlack
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    Posts:4


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    08/14/2012 2:31 PM
    If you want tough (not cheap $$) you can look at the Dell XFR Toughbooks. We use them and they are nice as they have the rotating screen to turn into a tablet plus they are durable for both drops and elements. Again, these are not cheap but if you have ever dropped a laptop before and busted it, it is well worth it.
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    ihammerhands
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    02/21/2014 7:26 PM
    This thread has sat dormant for a while. What specs are people finding work well with Xactimate 28? The recommended 7200 rpm hard drive spec seems hard to find below a $800 price point. Does anyone use a touch screen or tablet? If so, what is your process, carry with you indoors and or roofs? Only in vehicle? Something else?
    Does screen size matter much? Currently I have a 17" but not sure how car Adjuster friendly it is compared to 15.5" or even smaller.
    Does anyone use a laptop in vehicle and larger laptop or desktop back at "home"?
    Price point for a i7 processor, 15.5" screen, 8 gigs RAM, and 500 gig hard drive seem to be $5-700 range

    As I'm new and un-tested adjuster waiting for his first deployment, I will first upgrade my existing RAM from 4 to 8 gigs, and await wiser comments here.

    Cheers,

    Millard
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    AcceleratedAdjuster
    Member
    Member
    Posts:165


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    02/22/2014 3:01 PM
    Posted By ihammerhands on 02/21/2014 7:26 PM
    This thread has sat dormant for a while. What specs are people finding work well with Xactimate 28? The recommended 7200 rpm hard drive spec seems hard to find below a $800 price point. Does anyone use a touch screen or tablet? If so, what is your process, carry with you indoors and or roofs? Only in vehicle? Something else?
    Does screen size matter much? Currently I have a 17" but not sure how car Adjuster friendly it is compared to 15.5" or even smaller.
    Does anyone use a laptop in vehicle and larger laptop or desktop back at "home"?
    Price point for a i7 processor, 15.5" screen, 8 gigs RAM, and 500 gig hard drive seem to be $5-700 range

    As I'm new and un-tested adjuster waiting for his first deployment, I will first upgrade my existing RAM from 4 to 8 gigs, and await wiser comments here.

    Cheers,

    Millard

    Specs:

    Toshiba Qosmio X870

    i7 3630 (2.4GHz)

    8GB RAM

    1.5TB hard drive

    17.3" screen

    Might be a bit much for what we do, but I do not ever want for speed or storage. Has a bunch of other bells and whistles, but cant use for work since Xact does not offer true 3d yet hehe. It is a big beast, aluminum case, barely fits in a laptop backpack, 3x heavier than the new Sony flip screen that just came out, but it will be relevant and faster than most for at least another 5 years. I use it when we have to set up an on site CAT office, and a desktop for day to day ops. 

    If you intend to adjust full time for a living, don't penny pinch when it comes to your gear. You will use it every single day, and if you are even somewhat competent, you will have so much work that you will use it more than you use your bed (33% of your life...). You don't necessarily need to go drop 5 grand on an Alienware gaming rig, but don't let a few hundred dollars or an arbitrary price point stand between a throwaway laptop and one that will withstand years of abuse and advances in tech. The same goes for your tools. Yes, you can buy the el-cheapo sonic tape measure for $20 (does not accurately measure anything.. ever) at any big box home improvement retailer, or on the opposite end of the spectrum you can get the Disto D8 for $700 (the Alienware of laser measuring devices), or you can disregard the hyped high end and the low end that will ultimately cost you money and spend a couple hundred on a decent Bosch, Ryobi or a lower end Disto.

    With regards to screen size, bigger is better (especially if you are generating complex sketches), and a couple of inches of screen size will not change the "car friendliness" of your laptop. You can always get a Jotto Desk (nice pro desk that mounts to the seat mounts, swivels, tilts, telescopes and extends for ease of use.. easily detachable for when you are not deployed.. fits up to 23" screen size)

     

    www.acceleratedadjusting.com www.acceleratedadjustingisrael.com
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    Jud G.
    Advanced Member
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    Posts:509


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    02/24/2014 11:47 AM
    I'm happy to admit that I don't carry around a checkbook, so I don't keep my laptop in my car. My personal preference is to simply write my claims in an office that day for those that I see. Exception only applies to my large losses that will take a few days to write up.

    I used to keep my laptop in my car since it doubled as a GPS tool years ago. AA, do you know if your adjusters still use a Jotto Desk (or similar tool) in their cars or do you see this as becoming obsolete?
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    AcceleratedAdjuster
    Member
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    Posts:165


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    02/25/2014 5:09 AM
    Posted By Jud G. on 02/24/2014 11:47 AM
    I'm happy to admit that I don't carry around a checkbook, so I don't keep my laptop in my car. My personal preference is to simply write my claims in an office that day for those that I see. Exception only applies to my large losses that will take a few days to write up.

    I used to keep my laptop in my car since it doubled as a GPS tool years ago. AA, do you know if your adjusters still use a Jotto Desk (or similar tool) in their cars or do you see this as becoming obsolete?

    1. Run and write.. I wish you did not live where you did.. we could use more people who understand the run and write mentality. 

    For daily claims I know a bunch of our guys still have desks in their trucks , and they do get a little use out of them. A "what's the status" or "where is my money" call can be handled on the road by making sure you have your gear with you, making it so that you do not have to try to answer the same questions twice.

    For catastrophe work, working in your truck is almost required if you wish to run efficiently. You may or may not wish to have a desk for this, but I highly recommend one.. you will use it a LOT.

    www.acceleratedadjusting.com www.acceleratedadjustingisrael.com
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    Leland
    Advanced Member
    Advanced Member
    Posts:741


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    03/18/2014 11:47 PM
    There are a lot of trade offs to consider when choosing a laptop. The 17' screen is easier to read but will require a larger bag, be heavier, and will run down the battery faster. But on the plus side, 17" laptops are more likely to come with a dedicated graphics card rather than a chip set tacked on to the motherboard that you often find with 15" laptops. Sony makes a 15 0r 16" laptop with a dedicated graphics card. But I'm not sure how good of graphics you need to run Xactimate. A great gaming laptop might be overkill, but a "good" gaming laptop might be more than you need.

    A heavy laptop will be much harder to hold in on one arm while you walk around a property. It might also hurt your shoulder or back if you carry it around a lot. I am thinking about getting one of those portable stands that a lot of adjuster's use. I find it much easier to sketch certain homes on site. A lot of modern homes in south Orange County CA will have strange angles, walls that don't align with each other, varying ceiling heights etc. It's just way more work and less accurate to try to draw them by hand and sketch it later, better to just do it on site.

    My $400 toshiba is finally giving up- I have ordered a new CPU fan for $15 and in the meantime I bought a $19 pad that sits underneath it to blow air and cool it. The saleswoman at BestBuy explained that I can just touch the surface where on the front right corner to see if my CPU is overheating, the pad seems to be working for now to cool it while I transfer all my ESX files and photos to my new laptop.

    I got a new one with 1 Terabyte for the hard drive, dedicated graphics card, 16gb ram. Xm8 recommends an i5 or i7 Intel processor, and another salesguy told me the i7 is much better so I got that. Xm8 also recommends 1tb for the hard drive.

    So I didn't get the too much more than xm8 recommends, but I previously had far less than recommended and it worked ok unless I needed to do a really big estimate.

    But also if my old laptop is slow it might be because of how I used it, not moving old files and photos to some storage etc.

    Getting a backlit keyboard is a good idea if you are going to write estimates in dark coffee shops or damaged buildings with no electricity. On my old laptop I used a little $4 LED light that plugs into a USB port but the new one has little lights under the keys.

    One thing that helps efficiency is simply the attitude to write estimates wherever you are. If I am in area of Los Angeles where the traffic is bad at 8Am or 5PM it might make sense for me to just go to a coffee shop, or a library, or even a park and just do some estimating rather than sit in an hour or more of traffic.
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    pcclaims
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    06/16/2014 3:31 PM

    I am currently signed on with several companies including Crawford. Crawford has there own Xactimate, does anyone else write for them also? Will I need 2 computers? I really do not want to buy 2. Any help would be great.

    Thank you

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    hutchinsurance@gmail.com
    Guest
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    06/17/2014 10:47 PM

    Buddy,

    That was the same question I had when working for Crawford.  Here is the long and short: they Crawfordize the Xactimate with features that are adaptable for the many different carriers they use. I spoke directly to Xactimate at the time during Hurricane Sandi, "there is no way to possibly run Crawford and your own personal Xactimate. Sorry for the bad news. The good news is maybe you will get some work out of it!

    Hope this helps, All the Best!

    Hutch Roberts

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    Catmandale
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    Posts:39


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    06/18/2014 11:12 AM

    It's a good idea to have two laptops anyway, in the event one of them fails.

    I use DropBox to store my data and configurations, so that I can restore a new or repaired computer quickly.

    A cheap basic computer with minimal software is a great backup/Crawfordized machine.

    Dale

     

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