CPAs think big

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS, CPA

Q: I see many new Windows 8 tablet PCs and touchscreen ultrabooks hitting the market, but most of them are fairly small. I am currently shopping for a larger Windows 8 touchscreen ultrabook (with a fast solid-state drive) that is big enough to easily read, and with a keyboard large enough to easily use, but I can’t seem to find one. The ones I have found are either too small or don’t include a touchscreen. Can you point me to some decent options?

A: I agree that many of today’s newer Windows 8-based mobile devices are too small to be fully functional. From my talks with manufacturers, it appears that many of their designers have modeled their new devices on the size of the Apple iPad. While a smaller mobile device with 10- to 14-inch screens may be adequate for checking email, reading, accessing webpages, and viewing photos and movies, this size device often falls short of meeting the typical CPA’s needs for data creation such as preparing large worksheets, running accounting systems, and preparing tax returns.

However, some manufacturers do offer 15-inch and larger touchscreen ultrabooks, three examples of which are listed below.

  1. Asus Notebook—(Up to 17.3-inch display) (priced from approximately $450 to $1,850).
  2. HP EliteBook—(Up to 17.3-inch display) (priced from approximately $1,420 to $5,100).
  3. Sony Vaio E Series—(Up to 15.5-inch display) (priced from approximately $580 to $1,400).

Like you, I find these larger devices are easier to work with, but they do weigh a little more and consume battery power a bit faster.

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