There’s no question that tablets are popular right now. They’re easier to carry around than a laptop and they’re easier to read than a smartphone, which is why many businesses are starting to incorporate tablets into their workplace. If you’re thinking about using a tablet in your business, you’ll want to make sure you get the right one.
iOS vs Android vs Windows
The first thing you need to consider is what operating system you’ll need–Apple iOS, Google Android or Microsoft Windows. The operating system is the system software that all your other software interacts with. You’ll need to make sure that any special software you might want to use on your new tablet will interact with the particular operating system on the tablet.
Generally speaking, if you use Windows in your office environment and require deep integration with Microsoft products, such as Office or SharePoint, your decision is easy: choose a tablet with Windows on it.
Likewise, if you use Apple in your office and are used to Apple’s interface, applications and services, then Apple iOS is generally the way to go.
Google Android on the other hand is a great middle-ground, and if you use an Android phone, it will have an interface you’re used to. Because it’s Google, it also integrates seamlessly with Gmail, Google Apps for Business and other Google services.
Broadband vs Wifi
The next thing to consider is what type of connectivity you’ll need for your tablet. Do you want it to always be connected to the internet (like your smartphone), or would wifi access be enough?
Nearly every tablet has built-in wifi, which means you can connect to any available wifi network like you would your laptop. If you’re at an airport or hotel that charges for wifi, you’d need to pay the access fee in order to get your tablet online.
If you want it to always be connected via broadband, then you’ll need to purchase the tablet from a wireless provider (e.g., Verizon or AT&T). Depending on the service plans available, you’ll be able to choose from different monthly data plans and connect via 3G or 4G like your smartphone does.
The other things to consider when purchasing a tablet for your business depend on how you plan on using the tablet. Will you be making presentations with it and hooking it up to a projector? Will you be using it as a portable cash register that requires stylus input? Here are a few other specs to get your wheels turning:
- Bluetooth: Most tablets have it, but make sure it’s there if you need it.
- Camera: Will you be video-conferencing or snapping photos on the field with it? Do you need both front- and rear-facing cameras?
- HDMI: If you’re going to hook your tablet up to a projector or TV, make sure it has an HDMI port or an available adapter.
- Input Devices: Do you need to use a stylus or will your finger suffice? How about an external keyboard or mouse? Most tablets allow you to add these peripherals with ease.
- Storage: If you plan to use your tablet with large files, make sure it has enough storage, an upgradable memory card or a port to use with an external hard drive.
Because there are so many tablet choices out there, it can be a bit overwhelming, even when you have an idea of what your needs are. The Minneapolis-based tech support team at OAC Technology can assess your needs and help you choose the tablet that’s right for your business.