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What you should know before buying a tablet

Tablets started gaining market share after the first Apple iPad was released in 2010, although it was not the first tablet. Since then a lot of people have bought an iPad or Android tablet and many others are considering buying one for themselves or others as Christmas gifts. Computer sales have significantly decreased down due to how many people are going the way of a tablet to replace their home or office computers. And with a tablet having much better battery life, weighing much less and taking less space this may be a great option! Before you buy a tablet, you need to know if it is the right option for your specific needs. I have spoken with many people who bought a tablet and didn’t realize they could not use it for everything they expected to.

The Big 3 Uses for a Typical Tablet

Not everyone knows a tablet can’t fully replace their office computer. An iPad or Android tablet has a different operating system than a Windows operating system and so it cannot run the same programs your Windows computer can run. However, your tablet does have several built in programs that can do some of the same things and some software developers do make iPad or Android programs that can work similarly to your Windows programs.

The 3 typical uses a tablet can do well right out of the box is games from the App Store, email (and calendar, and contacts), and surfing the web. If this is all you need for work then you are probably good to go. A tablet can’t run QuickBooks, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook) and other Windows programs, but there may be an alternative option that could fit these needs.

So Should I Buy a Tablet or Not?

The best thing to do is first speak to your office managed IT provider and see what they recommend for you. They can go over with you all the typical work you do and then see if there is a good option for it on a tablet. Although more expensive than an iPad, the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is also a tablet, but runs a full version of Windows on it as well. Since it runs Windows it can run everything your office computer can run and you still have the flexibility of a tablet. The Surface Pro 2 also supports a docking station and dual monitors, and full-size USB ports among other helpful accessories.

If your needs can be met by an iPad or Android tablet, I typically suggest the iPad for its ease of use and having the most programs to download through its App Store than Android tablets.

If you need help deciding what would best for your office needs, feel free to give us a call. We would also be happy to meet with you to see if our company is a good choice for your company’s managed IT needs.

Are you considering buying a tablet? We would love to hear your thoughts below.

1 Comment to “What you should know before buying a tablet”

  • Hi Chris,

    One thing that I’d like to point out about is that for many small businesses, like mine, much of the software I use for the administrative side is actually run in the cloud and accessible via the web browser. Services like Freshbooks (for invoicing), ZenPayroll (for managing human resources), Dropbox (for file management) and Google Drive (for document creation) have made my life much easier. Most of these services either offer a dedicated app for tablets, or provide a responsive, mobile device friendly, website.

    There’s no way you’ll talk me out of my full-fledged desktop computer anytime soon, but these types of services are certainly worth checking out for company’s that don’t have a ton of existing IT infrastructure.

    While we’re on the topic of tablets though, you’d be amazed how many corporate websites simply don’t look right or are downright unusable on smartphones and tablets! If employees expect to be able to access and intranet or other digital assets it’s worth exploring how well those types of sites work before going too far down the mobile highway.

    The Microsoft Surface 2 sounds interesting. I’ll check that out!

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