Get FIRE > Laptops & Hardware

January 12, 2021

FIRE Approval / Signature Capture

FIRE Spark is now allows your clients to view and digitally sign your Invoices on any device.

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FIRE - Computer Hardware

FIRE is a computer based system, and as such some computer hardware is required to use it.

However, we understand that the more a system like FIRE costs to implement and maintain from either software or hardware costs, the less profit stays in your business.

That's why with FIRE there are no unusual or costly systems to implement or maintain. And in most cases you can keep the computers and/or mobile devices you now use.

To get an idea, outlined below are some recommendations for field hardware:

Computers for filling out complex forms & field invoices while in remote locations with only periodic internet access.
PDA / Mobile phone devices for filling out simple phones while connected to the internet via a cellular connection.

Device used to print copies of forms & invoices while in the field, if needed.

Some of the other devices you might need in the field.

Field Laptops

Signature / Touch screen

The touch screen machines allow for a pen or stylus to be used so the client can sign on the actual screen of the computer. This not only makes it easier to get client approval, but also potentially removes the need for field staff to carry a printer and/or scanner.


Model / Cost



Lenovo X220 Tablet

Top of the line, light, durable business tablet PC. Typically suitable where the laptop will be used for more than FIRE, but also for all other business applications for field users.


Dell Latitude 2120

A small, durable and rubberized, commercially available touch screen netbook. Well suited for FIRE, and good for the seat pocket in a truck or aircraft.

Convertible Netbook

Dell Inspiron duo

Good for converting to get a field signature, or form entry, as well as being an overall good system.

Traditional - Non Touch screen

A traditional laptop without touch screen ability is the best fit for many companies where the machine is used in combination with a printer and/or scanner, and the client either requires a physical print on-site, or a physical stamp must be applied to a form and presented as a scan for backup to allow for payment.


Cost / Model



Any Model

< $1,000
Almost any model is appropriate, and usually whatever conforms to the current IT policy. Toshiba Satellite Pro, Lenovo R or T series, Dell Inspiron, etc. It is worth noting that FIRE does not require large memory, processor or disk capacities.


See Touch screens above

Now that touch screen netbook pricing has dropped so drastically (see above), it really isn't worth buying a non-touch screen version.

However, one popular non-touch screen option is the HP Mini at $500. An inexpensive but entirely usable device that fits just about anywhere - car seat back pockets, backpacks, etc.


A mobile device is an excellent fit when users can always be within cellular network coverage for internet access, and only need to fill out simple forms such as those used by most sales reps and on simple invoices or forms.


Model / Cost



iPhone (4G or 3GS)

Although there are many options for mobile devices, at this time the iPhone appears to offer the most simple user interface for even those new to computers for filling out forms. Combined with phone, email, and GPS / map functionality, this makes the iPhone an very compelling and relatively inexpensive device for field staff and management alike.

Printers / Scanners

When it is necessary to print a form or invoice to leave on-site or for a client signature, it is necessary to have a printer. It is also often necessary to have a scanner to create an electronic copy of a signed or stamped copy of the print.


Model / Cost


Printer / Scanner (Wireless)

HP Photoshop C4780

An inexpensive, readily available durable printer / scanner combination whose only downside is that it is not mobile enough for very confined spaces. Also wireless enabled, and therefore can be used directly from a laptop, netbook, or even the iPhone.

Mobile Printer

HP H470 w/ Wireless

$250 + $80
The better option where less space is available, but more expensive than typical printers. Also enabled with wireless for direct printing from any device, and can optionally be fitted with a battery. Note that this printer can NOT scan.

Mobile Scanner

Fujitsu Scansnap S1300

Again, the better option where less space is available, but more expensive than typical scanners. It does need to be connected via USB, but this also provides power so no power adapters are needed. Also includes the software to scan directly to PDF, and a button to make this easier for field users. Note that this scanner can NOT print.


Some other items can be needed to support the laptop and printer, shown here.


Model / Cost


12V to 120V Power Adapter

Cyberpower, Car mounted, etc.

Almost any device can be used, and if possible it is recommended that it is hard-mounted into the vehicle.

Mobile Booster / Antenna

From Mobile Provider

$250 + $80
Really a requirement when traveling in very remote areas, but typically not required if staying within urban areas or developed locations. Also available as a "wireless" device that doesn't' have to be hard connected to the transmitting card to be augmented.