As more businesses rely on a mobile workforce, the tablet has become the tool of choice. Lighter and more flexible than a laptop, choices in tablet technology have exploded. Let’s look at some business and student friendly tablet solutions.
Before you get started
Whether you are a student at Minnesota School of Business or a business professional, before deciding which tablet to buy, you need to answer a few questions. First is which operating system is best for you? Currently there are three operating systems.
- IOS is Apple’s contribution. IOS integrates seamlessly with your iPhone and Macbook.
- Android is Google’s offering. A Linux based system, Android is the most popular OS. It’s inexpensive and highly flexible when developing custom apps.
- The final option is Windows 8. If you’re a Microsoft user, Windows 8 allows for seamless integration among all of your Microsoft devices.
Once you’ve chosen an OS, determine how you will be using your tablet. You may want to consider a tablet that integrates with a keyboard. Most will work with wireless systems using Bluetooth, but several have built in keyboard connections that can quickly turn your tablet into a laptop. Most integrated keyboards offer USB connectivity so you can connect to peripheral devices.
Screen size is another consideration. Several tablets offer “mini” versions that are not much larger than a smart phone along with full sized units. If you do a lot of reading or writing on the road, bigger is probably better. If you will be using your tablet for email correspondence or for GPS functions, then a smaller screen may work just fine.
Top Tablets for Business
1. Apple iPad – starting at $499.00
If you’re looking to impress clients nothing is as slick as the iPad. The 3rd generation tablet features the amazing Retina display. If you use your tablet for presentations, they will look absolutely stunning on the iPad. The Apple Store offers excellent business apps like Pages, Keynote and Numbers and third party apps like Documents to Go add even more functionality. Combine this with Apple’s iCloud service and you can easily work across all of your Apple Devices.
2. Asus Transformer Pad Infinity – starting at $429.00
Asus specializes in hybrid tablets that can function as a touch screen device or a laptop. Featuring a 1.6GHZ quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 1 gig of RAM and a 1080p HD display, the Infinity is built for the most demanding graphics tasks. But it’s the integrated keyboard dock that makes this tablet shine. This QWERTY keyboard and multi-touch track-pad turns the ASUS into an Android based laptop. It offers USB connectivity and a battery built into the keyboard gives 7 hours of extended battery life. A regular SD, micro-SD expansion and micro-HDMI port allow for seamless integration with your PC.
3. Google Nexus 10 – starting at $399.00
This budget Android based tablet offers an impressive hardware set-up. It is the only tablet offering Google’s latest mobile OS Android 4.1 AKA Jelly Bean. It offers a bunch of tweaks and new features designed for business use. The People app has been vastly improved and the Calendar app has been optimized for the 7” display. Google NOW is the standout feature. It offers clever travel information based on your location and can shave valuable time off of your daily travels.
Tablets are the future of mobile computing. These three offerings are optimized for business. They offer features to make your business travels easier and more productive. There are many other tablets out there, but these three truly shine. Do your homework and make sure to check compatibility with your other devices before you invest in a tablet.