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General Using the Mi 11 Ultra instead of a laptop

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picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
85
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Hi All

This isn't rocket science, but thought I would pass on something I've been working on.

My Ultra has more ram, more storage and a better processor than my laptop along with 5x the battery life. So... I wanted to use it to work on the train and needed to print labels and stuff envelopes.

I bought a Zebra ZQ310 which is a very nice battery powered Bluetooth receipt/label printer. The printer is brill, but the Zebra Android software on Play is very old, but works.

I bought AndropenOffice Pro for £7.99 which I really like, it's got a mouse icon at the bottom and pressing it offers an area of the screen at the bottom as a touchpad, but for me,I bought a Jelly Comb Bluetooth trackball which is easier for me and won't take up too much area on the table. And, significantly it's much lighter than my old clunky laptop with a spare battery.

I bought the pro version of andropen Office as you can't print with the free version. My original idea was to use Google Print but that was jettisoned in December last year.
The only irritation with this is I bought it from the Amazon appstore and it requires you are running appstore and be signed into it to use andropenoffice. This is irritating as I'm guessing they are harvesting my personal data at the same time.

Any road up, Noroot firewall sorted that out. The appstore app is now blocked and andropenoffice seems to work just fine.

The combination of AndropenOffice and the Zebra printer work very well. I can print text, fonts and graphics and it's all fine.

For the keyboard, I've bought one of those PU leather wallets with an integral Bluetooth keyboard (see pic) so it ends up quite like a laptop.

This morning I processed half a dozen orders and printed address labels and it works well. It takes a little getting used to, with the small screen and occasional large windows that need dragging around but I'll stick with it and see how I get on.

Although our local trains often have Internet and mains power, you can't guarantee it so I've got an 18650 power bank which will charge the phone and the printer which, conveniently, is USB-C.

Although there are many more apps for Windows, I'm going to push ahead and see how far I can go. I use paint.net quite a bit on the laptop, so if anyone knows an equivalent for Android, please let me know.

Oops uploaded an Amazon joke too,so enjoy....

Cheers

Steve
 

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picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
85
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Hi @vagelis199 are you having a bad day or are you this rude all the time? I explained my reasons so try reading the post again lol. I Paid $1000.00 for my phone so I think you may have been stung lol.

I already have a laptop, but it's heavy to lug around and my phone is always with me.

I program PIC chips from time to time. I don't think there is anything for Android but that would be a real bonus for me.

Anyone know of a decent paint program for Android?

Cheers

Steve
 
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picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
85
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Well, the keyboard/case arrrived and it works well (see pic).

The keyboardi s removable and very thin. It atttaches to the case with integral magnets. The only gotcha is it's a US keybaord so shift-3 is # and not £.

Need to find a good key re-mapper or save the £ symbol in a text file.....

Cheers

Steve
 

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Well, the keyboard/case arrrived and it works well (see pic).

The keyboardi s removable and very thin. It atttaches to the case with integral magnets. The only gotcha is it's a US keybaord so shift-3 is # and not £.

Need to find a good key re-mapper or save the £ symbol in a text file.....

Cheers

Steve
great setup man, you gave me idea that i can do some parts of my job with phone too
 
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picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
85
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Hi @lortwarCECH

Glad you like it. With the latest generation of phones, I'm finding myself moving more towards the phone than the laptop. It's a bit of a learning curve, but processed a dozen orders today in no time.

Hi @22naresn it's Jelly Comb track ball Model MT50:


It's a piece of cake to use. It just fell off the arm of a chair and bust a plate on the floor and the ball popped out. Hope I didn''t break it sod the plate!

Cheers

Steve
 

picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
85
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Update: No tracker balls were harmed in this post. The ball popped back in just fine so life is good. The plate bits are in the bin.

It has a USB-C charging port so that's convenient. I forgot to turn it off (that's the issue with BT devices) and left it on all night. In the morning it worked just fine. Dunno what the battery life is, but it seems pretty good.

Cheers

Steve
 

picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
85
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Just a little more background on this as it's been quite a long journey then I'll stop droning on :)

The first printer I bought for this project was a Milestone MHT-L5801 here:


And it really is a piece of junk. The plastic clip that holds the platen roller in place broke very quickly and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. One issue was the blutooth range which was about 3 inches lol. I almost had it working,then it started printing very light, with parts of the text missing, Cleaning the head with an IPA wipe made no difference.

I contacted Milestone initially by email and got no reply to my first email or chasers then facebook and they said they would send me new firmware by email. Nothing arrived and when I chased them, they just said 'sorry'. Chased them again and they jsut said sorry again, but no firmware.

So, poor mechanical design, crap firmware with zero support.

Next up was a Zebra LP2824 printer here:


I bought it for 30 quid on eBay and Zebra printers are good quality. They are designed for use in warehouses etc. It's a desktop printer which makes it a bt heavy to lug around, but it *just works* and there are plenty of spares for it on Aliexpress so it can be maintained.
The power supply is 19v, like most laptops and I bought a USB/19v power bank from aliexpress which works using 18650 batteries here:


The power bank powered the printer just fine and next up was to connect the RS232 port to a bluetooth dongle so the it would be transformed form a desktop printer which was battery powered with bluetooth.

I bought a couple of Bluetooth modules, but coudn't get them to work, then I saw an eBay ad with a guy selling the ZQ310 printers cheap (£100.00) which are designed to be portable (battery powered and Bluetooth) so bought one.

Now the desktop LP2824 is on my desk.

As mentioned earlier the Android software is very old and a bit scrappy, but it seems to work.

I didn't want to use some random labelling software, all I wanted was to be able to print from Open Office and I could then print anything. With Andopenoffice, this all works well and I can print text, fonts and graphics so job's a good 'un.

It's been a labour of love (and hate!) but now everything works fine.

I'm going to email Microchip and see if they are considering producing an Android compiler for their PIC chips. I guess they will think I'm nuts, but if I could program PICs on the train my life would be complete lol.

Ok I'll stop banging on now :)

Cheers

Steve
 

picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
85
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
And finally (Ithink) here it is cast to a PC monitor using an Amazon Firestick
With the phone running andropenoffice

The firestick plugs into the HDMI port on the monitor and you go to:

Home/Settings/Display/Enable mirroring and it works like a dream :)

See attached pic.

Cheers

Steve
 

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speedtripler

Senior Member
Aug 24, 2013
451
103
It looks a bit bizarre tbh but if it works for you and you have good eyesight go for it

I would guess a 14" laptop would be miles more productive but the phone is surely powerful enough to be a workhorse if necessary
 

picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
85
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Hehe I just got on abit of a roll and wanted to see what could be done. My eyesight is crap but I have good glasses and you can always zoom a web page.

I must admit, I like the laptop better, but for long battery life on a train with no Internet, USB or mains power, the phone is a good substitute. It takes a bit of getting used to, but my speed is improving daily.

You're right - it's a flippin' powerful computer and so small :)
Cheers

Steve
 

bark1234

Senior Member
Sep 11, 2010
418
154
Huawei MediaPad X2
Xiaomi Mi 8
I have tried using large phones with Bluetooth mouse and keyboard cases for a long time. Every time I realized Android cannot replace desktop OS. Multi-tasking in Android is painfully slow, whatever you use, split-screen or free size windows, and whichever OS version, I have tried from android 6 to 10. Nevertheless, if you are keen on trying here is some setup I have used

Tablet autofit cases: http://amazon.com/ZAGG-Bluetooth-Keyboard-Android-Tablets/dp/B00IBW5XWY, it has a spring holder, tablet just fits snugly in the top shell. it becomes a foldable laptop-like device.
This used to come in 7 inches, 8 inch, and 10-inch compatible sizes. I used this with Huawei mediapad X1/X2, Mediapad M3 8.4

I then got this mouse Logitech t630. It's a very small slim mouse with a touch surface.

When I moved to a little less wider phone, due to unnecessary skewing of display aspect ratios (16:10 -> 18:9 -> 19:9 -> 20:9), the Zagg autofit keyboards no longer fit the phones even of 7+ inch diagonal.

I have Huawei mate 20x most recently. For this phone, I use this keyboard and Logitech T630 mouse as mentioned above.

Another trick to try is to add custom keyboard shortcuts from accessibility -> switch access.
 

picitup

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2011
274
85
Deal
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Hi @bark1234

Thanks for all the useful info. Although my speed with the setup described isn't yet as fast as a laptop, I'll be doing 5 hour train journies, so any time I can use fruitully is good. Some eBay pages don't seem to scroll or zoom so that's an irritation, particularly when giving feeback.

I guess time will tell. I will either eat if for breakfast or pull my hair out lol. Fun project though :)

Cheers

Steve
 
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  • 8
    You bought a 1500$ cellphone and can't afford a decent laptop to get your job done?
    Get your priorities straight.
    4
    I disagree.This phone is powerful enough to comply with all his needs, what's the point to spend money on a laptop? The only reason he should buy one is the use of Windows
    3
    Well, the keyboard/case arrrived and it works well (see pic).

    The keyboardi s removable and very thin. It atttaches to the case with integral magnets. The only gotcha is it's a US keybaord so shift-3 is # and not £.

    Need to find a good key re-mapper or save the £ symbol in a text file.....

    Cheers

    Steve
    1
    Hi All

    This isn't rocket science, but thought I would pass on something I've been working on.

    My Ultra has more ram, more storage and a better processor than my laptop along with 5x the battery life. So... I wanted to use it to work on the train and needed to print labels and stuff envelopes.

    I bought a Zebra ZQ310 which is a very nice battery powered Bluetooth receipt/label printer. The printer is brill, but the Zebra Android software on Play is very old, but works.

    I bought AndropenOffice Pro for £7.99 which I really like, it's got a mouse icon at the bottom and pressing it offers an area of the screen at the bottom as a touchpad, but for me,I bought a Jelly Comb Bluetooth trackball which is easier for me and won't take up too much area on the table. And, significantly it's much lighter than my old clunky laptop with a spare battery.

    I bought the pro version of andropen Office as you can't print with the free version. My original idea was to use Google Print but that was jettisoned in December last year.
    The only irritation with this is I bought it from the Amazon appstore and it requires you are running appstore and be signed into it to use andropenoffice. This is irritating as I'm guessing they are harvesting my personal data at the same time.

    Any road up, Noroot firewall sorted that out. The appstore app is now blocked and andropenoffice seems to work just fine.

    The combination of AndropenOffice and the Zebra printer work very well. I can print text, fonts and graphics and it's all fine.

    For the keyboard, I've bought one of those PU leather wallets with an integral Bluetooth keyboard (see pic) so it ends up quite like a laptop.

    This morning I processed half a dozen orders and printed address labels and it works well. It takes a little getting used to, with the small screen and occasional large windows that need dragging around but I'll stick with it and see how I get on.

    Although our local trains often have Internet and mains power, you can't guarantee it so I've got an 18650 power bank which will charge the phone and the printer which, conveniently, is USB-C.

    Although there are many more apps for Windows, I'm going to push ahead and see how far I can go. I use paint.net quite a bit on the laptop, so if anyone knows an equivalent for Android, please let me know.

    Oops uploaded an Amazon joke too,so enjoy....

    Cheers

    Steve
    1
    Well, the keyboard/case arrrived and it works well (see pic).

    The keyboardi s removable and very thin. It atttaches to the case with integral magnets. The only gotcha is it's a US keybaord so shift-3 is # and not £.

    Need to find a good key re-mapper or save the £ symbol in a text file.....

    Cheers

    Steve
    great setup man, you gave me idea that i can do some parts of my job with phone too