Outfitting a sales force with Modbooks?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Thomas S, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Thomas S macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2004

    I'm looking for some opinions - right now we're contemplating purchasing about 120 Modbooks to outfit our sales force with. Obviously, there are downfalls to them (lack of keyboard built in etc.) but they'd mainly be used for sales presentations in the homes of clients (cemetery sales).

    Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone could give us their opinion on the Modbooks for this. Perhaps the biggest selling point to us is the fact that they're a lot cleaner than a regular laptop - just the screen so clients aren't burdened by looking at a keyboard etc.

  2. bored911 macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2007
    with 120 of these, one is bound to break, let's say you get a faulty lcd, what are you going to do. Since these are modded mbp's, this is not a good idea for a sales team. I would go with Macbook's, because of the size, and power. Also, Modbooks are not finished products, and are not nearly as reliable or effective.
  3. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Warranty? Support contract?

    I'd get your sales force Bluetooth keyboards to help them enter data quickly (should the need arise). Otherwise, if the book fits, wear it!

    I guess a good question is: What does your sales force do?
  4. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    They are modded MacBooks (not Pros) so the size is the same. The warrenty is through Axiotron, so they should cover any faulty units. I would say that you should buy the MacBooks if you think that the tablet would be best for the sales force.
  5. BigPrince macrumors 68020

    Dec 27, 2006
  6. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    You must not have anything constructive to add to this thread. Companies need to spend money to make money. Buying 130 ModBooks isn't that big of an expense if each ModBook will pay for itself with, say, three sales each or so.
  7. Legolamb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2006
    North of where I'd like to be
    From what I see on the Macsales site, the ModBook has a DVI port for a second display (just in case the display cracks), and 2 USB 2.0 ports if you need a keyboard (just in case). My question would be on reliability and, if you're using it for input, how good is the handwriting recognition. You will be able to try one out for a while, won't you, before your company shells out the >$2279 - $2799 x 120?
  8. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Handwriting recognition is based on Rosetta. I have a Newton (for sale though) and I have to say... it is freaking awesome. It can read my handwriting, and that is saying a lot. A lot.
  9. BigPrince macrumors 68020

    Dec 27, 2006
    What can the ModBook do that a cheaper PC Tablet can't? Mod Book looks nice and runs OS X but when you boil it down, why not just have a PC do it. Also the workers will probably be unfamiliar with OS X which will need training and they won't pick it up as fast and it will be a pain in the ass to train new people as positions turn over....just seems more cost effective to go with a tablet PC.

    Buying them cause they are clean? Common, its not hard to clean a computer, and if its properly taken care of its not a big deal.

    sorry that I had to spell it out for you.
  10. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2006
    Showing a slideshow in Mac OS X can't possibly be that difficult. Also, it's unknown if the sales force already has Macs or PCs.
  11. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    They might use OS X software already on, say, iBooks or PowerBooks. That covers almost all those points.

    Most tablet PCs are clunky devices, not as refined as the ModBook. Without a keyboard, the ModBook is cleaner and less prone to damage (assuming it is kept in a case). I've seen tablets, used one for quite a while, and frankly... they suck. A ModBook, with OS X's Inkwell technology behind it plus the other enhancements that a pen brings to OS X handily beats the Tablet edition of XP.
  12. BigPrince macrumors 68020

    Dec 27, 2006
    Don't hold me to this, but computers are shipping with Vista now and I'd assume they have a Vista Tablet version(not sure). Vista comes with an iPhoto program where it is just as simple and nice to make a slideshow...

    So my question, is there a Vista Tablet version?
  13. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Vista doesn't have a Tablet edition... the normal Vista has the iPhoto knockoff.

    Oh, I've used it.

    Guess what?

    Craptastic.:rolleyes: I can't believe how little was done between XP and Vista, really... but that's not what this thread is about.
  14. Thomas S thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2004
    I'm sorry I wasn't able to get back to this thread earlier - I got caught up in a few things.

    These devices would be used in the homes of potential clients to deliver sales presentations. As we deal with cemetery sales, it is extremely important that we are able to deliver our presentations with as much clarity as possible.

    Currently, we are mostly PC based but have been rapidly switching over the Macintosh units due to the benefits they bring to the table. With that said, due to our past experiences and our future outlook, only an act of God could force us to regress to our PC based past. You bring up a valid point about training sales people but everyone we've helped out thus far has rapidly caught on. It isn't like we're teaching them quantum physics; the OS is fairly easy to understand. Besides, I rather like visiting our parks and sitting down with our salespeople - whether it is for a quick coffee, or to train them on something new, doing so does nothing but bolster confidence and help create a well knit community.

    As to the question of why we wouldn't want to purchase Vista based units, there is one thing I've learned through the years and that is the fact that the added expense of purchasing quality equipment will always be worth it. Whether it is the difference between two separate tractors or merely computers, when you skimp on quality it always costs you more in the long run.

    You also brought up the fact that they look nice - and that is one reason why I like them so much. It is the same reason why we print on fine grade paper instead of copy paper when we send out letters, or why you were a quality suit to a meeting to make an impression instead of one from a department store.

    I'll be ordering a few to test in a week or two when I get back but until then, I figured getting some outside opinions might be helpful as well.

    P.S. - I got a chuckle out of the "you must be rich" comment.
  15. Mr. MacBook macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2007

    Definitely gonna make you rich.

    Tablet mac computers w/ extra features is nice.

    How much do they cost to make?

    Id buy if i had a discount *sigh*
  16. Mammoth macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2005
    Tablets are really, really expensive. See? 12" XGA display (eew).
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I don' understand why you don't buy a laptop instead. You say a tablet is "cleaner" because you don't see a keyboard and the rest of the laptop, but really, if it makes inputting information more difficult, then get your crew some MBPs. My eyes would never tire of looking at a MBP. ;)
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Yes, I can see where a tablet is much better for a presentation in the home.

    Fewer people crowded around one side of a computer screen, since the salesman can effectively work the tablet upsidedown.
  19. neyoung macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    Are your sales reps going to be using the computer for anything else other than presentations? If all they will be doing is showing a slideshow/movie then I'd say the ModBooks will work out well.

    If they will be inputing lots of sales information then getting a wireless keyboard will be essential. However, carrying around a keyboard and ploping it down on a prospective clients coffee table seems like it would give the opposite of the 'clean' effect you're looking for.
  20. Thomas S thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2004
    No information will be entered when at a client's home.

    At the office we look forward to bluetooth keyboards and mice to allow data entry.

    Once again, I feel compelled to thank everyone for their comments - they're truly appreciated. Sometimes, getting outsider opinions is a great thing, and that is certainly the case here.

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