What is the best laptop for a medical transcriptionist?

by on June 1, 2009

Q: I am a medical transcriptionist. I work for 2 companies and am using their equipment. I would like to buy a laptop and use that instead (for both companies). It does not have to be the lightest weight laptop available, just light enough so it’s possible to take it places – on an airplane for example. I don’t think the lightest ones would be enough for this kind of work anyway.

For each company, the minimum requirements are 1 gig of memory and 40 gigs of hard drive space. So, 2 gigs memory, 80 gigs hard drive at least.

I needs to be XP, cannot use Vista.

This is what needs to be stored on the computer: Medical transcription software (about 4 different programs). These are Word-based programs.
Also word expander programs (e.g. Shorthand). Also Outlook Express (most communication with the companies is done by e-mail).
I use VPN connections to do this work.

Some other things:
I need to connect to high-speed Internet access. Not dial-up.

I need to be able to plug a regular keyboard and mouse into the computer as the small keyboard that comes with a laptop would be hard to use for this work (it’s constant typing for 8 hour shifts).

Most of the time, I won’t want to run it on the battery. I don’t want to work on an airplane, outside, etc. I just want to be able to bring it with me, and use it wherever I can get high speed Internet access(hotel room, someone else’s house, etc).

There is also a foot pedal that I have to attach to the computer via USB port. I have 3 pedals but only need to use one at a time although it would be convenient not to have to switch them every time.

So I need USB’s for mouse, keyboard, and foot pedal.

Security is especially important for this work because it’s private information (medical records with people’s names, etc on them). Many MTs do this on laptops so they can be mobile.

Also, what about screen size? Can’t be too tiny or I can’t work comfortably.

I just want to use this for work, surfing net and e-mail, perhaps Microsoft Word, not for gaming.

Can you tell me what kind of laptops would suit my needs and what you would recommend?