Portland Area Real Estate Appraisal Discussion

Portland Appraiser Upgrades to Motion R12 Computer
July 25th, 2015 1:19 AM

Many who know me or have read my blog in the past know that I am a fan of using desktop replacement tablet computers.  Such tablets are powerful enough to replace a desktop computer but also portable enough to be used in the field.  I just purchased a new Motion R12 tablet after using a bulky Motion J3500 for five years while trying to decide if I should wait for the release of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4.  Here are videos describing the Motion R12 Windows tablet.

The reasons why I decided to spend almost exactly twice the money for a Motion R12, rather than buy a Surface Pro, are listed below.

  1. The Surface Pro 4 is not yet available, but my old workhorse J3500 tablet needed replacement now.

  2. The Surface Pro 3 docking station does not work with any rugged field case.  This means that if you use a field case, you cannot use the convenient docking station without first removing the case (there goes the convenience).  The Motion R12 has a built-in case.

  3. The Surface Pro does not have a docking station designed for a vehicle.  It is awkward to hook up wires for charging or holding your computer when working on it in the car between jobs.  Aftermarket mounting systems for the Surface Pro are not as sleek as the Motion docks.  With one click, a Motion docking station turns any car into a mobile office.  Real work can be done anywhere you decide to pull off the road, grab your wireless keyboard, and take care of business with a full Windows desktop experience.

  4. The Motion R12 can get wet and it often rains In Portland, Oregon.  I am much more comfortable standing in the rain with a computer that I know is designed for this type of use.

  5. The Motion R12 features a monitor designed to be more easily viewed in bright sunlight; something we do not get as often in Portland, Oregon, but can still be troublesome.

  6. The Motion R12 has a tether and slot (“barn”) to store the digitizer pen when not in use.  This is a small issue, but very handy.  The Surface Pro has only a magnet to hold the pen and few good options when cases are installed.

  7. The Motion R12 features a larger battery that can be swapped in the field or replaced when the battery starts to lose its resiliency.  Computer batteries typically become weak after about two years and I plan to keep my computer longer than the life of the original battery.  Also, even with long battery life, it gives piece of mind to have a backup battery in case your charger gets inadvertently unplugged or other surprises occur.

Did I leave anything out or do you want to join in the conversation?  Let me know in the comments below.

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Thanks for reading,

Gary F. Kristensen

Thanks for sharing Gary. The Motion R12 tablet looks to be an awesome desktop replacement. Keep us informed on how it performs.

Posted by Tom Horn on July 25th, 2015 6:18 AM
Sounds like a winner, Gary. Way to be on the cutting edge of tech. You said it can get wet. How wet? Can you type an appraisal report in the shower or bath tub? Or while doing competitive water skiing? :)

Posted by Ryan Lundquist on July 25th, 2015 6:51 AM
Tom, after a couple months, the R12 is working great and is a big improvement over my J3500. The only thing that I don't like is that the stylus pen does not have an eraser on one end like my J3500. Ryan, the R12 can get pretty wet. I've been in very hard rain with my last Motion computer to the point where it is like being in the shower. I would not submerge the computer. Here is a video of someone soaking the R12 with water and then freezing it https://youtu.be/tbPbZ8T5tPk

Posted by Gary Kristensen on July 25th, 2015 10:15 AM
This comment from Rick Miller got lost so I'm pasting it here: I LOVE YOUR BLOG AND YOUR TECH SAVVY. i KNOW YOUR A ALAMODE USER. I WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO DO A EPISODE ON APPRAISAL USING YOUR TECHNOLOGY FROM GETTING THE ORDER TO FINISH. I USE THE APPLE IPAD IN THE FIELD AND EXCEPT FOR THE WOW FACTOR WITH CUSTOMERS, IT HASN'T CUT THAT MUCH TIME OFF. YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW MANY APPRAISERS WOULD LIKE TO BE SET UP LIKE YOU. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND THE GREAT BLOGS. Here is my reply: I would love to do a blog post showing exactly how I use it in the field. The problem is that when I video, it is very hard to see what is on the screen of the computer and I need someone to hold the camera. I’m with you, I do not save much time in the field by using my tablet. I save the time when I get back to the office and don’t have to reenter data from the field into the report. Also, I have a support staff and this is where going mobile is a big help. When I get done with an inspection, I use Dropbox or Skype file transfer to send the file to my office person to start entering comparable sales info, calling and doing agent interviews, etc… while I drive comparable sales or go view other properties. My mobile office also helps with stress. I can take care of almost any business out on the road that would normally have to wait for me to be back in the office. Typically when I get back home after being out in the field, I can go directly to my family without the need to “take care of a few things.” Gary

Posted by Gary Kristensen on July 25th, 2015 10:35 AM
Great post Gary, I enjoy your videos, the Maclemore Parody still my favorite

Posted by John Tsiaousis on August 7th, 2015 6:07 PM
Great videos Gary! I'm going to look into getting a Motion R12. Is it easy to sketch out in the field? I'm using Total with an iPad now.

Posted by Rob Meadows on August 25th, 2015 4:15 PM
Thanks for following Rob. I've used both an iPad and a full Windows tablet to sketch in the field using Total. I find the Windows tablet much easier (others might not, just my opinion), as long as you have Total Sketch in the tablet mode setting. With that setting, you use the stylus to draw on the screen and it works quite well. Copy and paste the following link and you will see a view of me using my old Motion computer to sketch in the field. https://youtu.be/qhak2FG4LYg

Posted by Gary Kristensen on August 25th, 2015 7:56 PM
Thanks for the videos Gary. I was wondering how you have the docking station attached to the inside of your vehicle. I could not tell much from the video. I also notice that you have three additional monitors at your office. What type of computer configuration and setup do you have to make that happen?

Posted by Bruce Baier on December 28th, 2015 10:52 PM
Great questions Bruce and those are ones that I have received more than once. Here is a link to the auto bracket that I have. I use a VESA mount accessory that goes with this arm to attach the arm to the Motion dock. The arm is no longer available on Amazon. However, there are some newer models available. http://www.amazon.com/Truck-Computer-Laptop-Netbook-Notebook/dp/B007ZDIKSE/ref=pd_sxp_redirect As for the monitors, I use Plugable USB 3.0 video graphics adapters. These can be plugged into the USB ports on the Motion docking station or a USB 3.0 hub.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on December 29th, 2015 12:52 AM


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