Mobile Stock Trading System and Charting Software Requirements
Mobile computer systems like laptops, notebooks, netbooks and PDAs have improved tremendously in CPU power, so much so that it is now possible to handily run sophisticated trading applications and stock charting software on these platforms. With their added advantage of portability, a trader or investor can literally be anywhere in the world and still keep in close touch with the financial markets and monitor their stock investments in real-time. Add to that the ever improving wireless internet capability like Wi-Fi, Wi-Max & 3G internet, a trader has the capability to monitor the markets wherever there is 3G cellular, Wi-Fi hotspot or wireless internet coverage.
Laptops for Trading
Even today's budget Pentium Dual Core CPU based laptop computers and Intel Atom powered netbooks, can easily handle most of the sophisticated trading platforms and trading charting software available today like eSignal, Tradestation, MetaStock and QuoteTracker. Higher spec'd models like those with Core 2 Duos, Core 2 Quad and especially the newer Core i3, i5 & i7 based systems have enough muscle to run "almost HFT-type*" of trading applications like NinjaTrader with Zenfire datafeed. (*HFT - High Frequency Trading)
The main disadvantage however, to using a mobile platform for trading, is the screen real estate available to view charts. Even this limitation is fast disappearing given that many laptops now come with standard widescreen sizes of 15" - 17" or more. Most laptops now, like the hugely popular IBM ThinkPad series of laptops, also allow you to operate multiple-monitors from the same laptop. Find out more about Multi-Monitor setups for Laptops.
Ultra Mobile Platforms
Many financial brokers and data vendors have introduced mobile trading and charting applications for PDAs and other ultra mobile platforms for e.g. smartphones like the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android based platforms like the Google Nexus S and Samsung Galaxy S2 (read How to Trade Stocks on Smartphone). For example, eSignal's Quotrek is a streaming, real-time stock, futures and options quote system that lets you take your portfolio on the road. With worldwide market quotes, charts and news via a BlackBerry, Java-enabled or Google Android smart phone, QuoTrek allows a trader access to real-time streaming market data and charts anywhere around the world. Other options available to get free delayed stock quotes, charts and company news on your smartphone with internet data connectivity is through Yahoo Mobile.
Using Laptops To Complement Desktop Trading Systems
Many traders, instead of getting multiple monitors for their desktops, run both laptop and desktop side by side and normally devote the laptop to their broker's order entry system (since a laptop's battery acts like a UPS in case of a power failure) and the desktop for the more CPU intensive real-time data and analytics. This solution works very well as the 2 components of data and order entry are separated and do not hinder each other.