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Nov 01 2011

What’s on Your Wish List This Year?

It’s that time of the year… the capital purchase wish list for 2012! What? Did you think I meant something else? I guess you could think of it as making out your Christmas list, if your Christmas list were affected by Santa’s profitability and your ability to demonstrate how you will make money with your potential gifts! I’m not sure how other companies do capital purchases, but we submit our office wish list every October. It’s been pretty minimal the last few years given the economic woes we’ve all experienced but things are starting to look up and we have a few new pieces of equipment on this year’s list that we’d love to have…

Trimble Yuma GPS Tablet

There’s a couple reasons we’d love to have one of these. First, we have used and abused our 2005 Trimble GeoExplorer handhelds. Those 2005 GeoExplorer units have been reliable and efficient for us. But the Yuma looks like the next generation in field data collection and fits more with what we do. For multiple mile day long field reconnaissance hikes, nothing beats the GeoExplorer. But for construction and erosion site visits, or visiting a bridge, when using vehicles for the most part, I’d love to have a rugged tablet to take notes in, still use the GPS, take pictures, and be able to pull up drawings and documents and larger screen maps. We also think that the Yuma could eventually be the right computer to use in our hydrographic survey operations. Cost: $4,000+

InFocus IN3900 Interactive Projector

This projector looks like an unbelievable upgrade to the projectors we’ve had for awhile. Check out the videos here. The wand alone makes us drool a bit and the ability to connect multiple computers and tools is awesome. Our current projectors are older and have endured a lot of travel and everyday use and InFocus IN3900 would be our preferred replacement. It has a solid speaker system, a whiteboard function with the ability to draw with the wand, as well as a “short throw” which means you can project a large image from only a few feet away from the screen. Cost: $1,000+

55” HDTV Flat Panel TV

Nothing beats the portability of a screen projector but a larger flat panel TV is so much more crisp and fitting with the use of a laptop. At a client’s office earlier this year, I used their 55” flat panel to show some maps and review the data we collected and it was just stunning. In addition, using bluetooth, I was able to simply connect my laptop, sit at the conference table with everyone else, and just control the screen from a good distance away using my mouse. We’d love to have the latest and greatest for our conference room for use in presentations as well as for video conferencing. Eventually, we think TVs like this will be the way to go, but until then, we’ll settle for a nice 55” HDTV. Cost: ~$1,500

This is all equipment that we would love to have. But given our current economic conditions, we’ll have to wait and see if we can get it all approved!

What’s on your wish list for equipment this year? Any thoughts or experience with the Yuma Tablet, the InFocus Interactive Projector, or Flat Panel TV? Any alternatives that you think are better?

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