Tablets are currently the most fashionable form of computing, and their slick form factor and high production values makes them very attractive when compared to the relatively cumbersome laptops. At the same time their highly intuitive interfaces makes them a great way to get the non-computer literate using and thriving with machines again, which is something well worth considering as a manager or a CEO.
But of course buying tablets is a big investment, so is it one your company really needs? Here we will look at the answers to those questions.
The interface and form factor of the tablet computer is no doubt its strongest selling point both commercially and for businesses. The tablet will really come into its own when you use it to demonstrate to a client or business partner who is standing beside you what it is your business does or pictures from your portfolio. There is something very slick about being able to hand a potential lead a thin, light tablet with a high definition image of a website you’ve designed or of an office layout you had a hand in. It allows them to intuitively interact with that image with gestures. The alternative would of course be to hand them a laptop, which would be highly awkward and would take you ages to load up, as well as be liable to overheat or run out of battery.
For a company that has to woo potential clients on the road, this is highly useful. At the same time the tablet in this scenario will have the great advantage of giving your company kudos for being cutting edge and hip enough to own tablets in the first place. These are premium, slick devices and they communicate only good things about the nature of your organization.
There are downsides as well to using a tablet. The ultimately reality is that currently they are not full replacements for PCs. While they have lots of great productivity apps on them and can do things like editing documents, the lack of split-screen multitasking and lack of physical keyboard means that you can’t quite achieve the same productivity.
Meanwhile, if your business uses any kind of specialist software, then it is going to be designed to run on Windows or Mac and won’t run on a tablet. This means that for business trips a member of staff can end up carrying with both a tablet and a laptop. Of course this is actually less practical than carrying just one of either. It may be that while tablets are useful for presentations and corporate events, you don’t necessarily need one yet for every member of staff – particularly when a smartphone can accomplish much of what a tablet does in terms of quick access to e-mails and web browsing.
Choosing the Tablet
If you do decide to invest in some tablet computers for your staff, then you need to think about what kind of tablets your workforce would stand to benefit from most. Here you might opt to get iPads, which definitely have the wow factor and make the best impression on clients. But at the same time it’s worth bearing in mind that iPads are far more expensive than Android devices and less flexible in terms of software. You need to decide whether your business is more arts based, whether you are more interested in demonstrating your products and services to clients, or whether your business is more corporate and you are using this more for on-the-move productivity, in which case something like an Asus Transformer might suit your needs better.
Robert Samuels is a well known tech blogger who regularly provides periodic reviews about the latest gadgets launched in the market.