Mobile Devices Extend Your Reach in Business and Beyond
In the modern work/life world, more and more employees are utilizing a variety of mobile technology to conduct business. Using a combination of laptops, tablets and smartphones, business can now be conducted from virtually anywhere, helping to create a better work/life balance.
However, one question remains … is one type of hardware better than another? The benefits of tablets such as the iPad® are great, with many functions performed more efficiently than on a laptop. Combined with the lower cost, it’s easy to see why many businesses are questioning if they should replace their employees’ laptops with tablets.
While each new tablet release provides more functionality and features than its predecessors and thus, users find themselves relying on their PCs less and less, there are many instances where a tablet just cannot replace the functionality of a PC. There are other instances where the use of a mobile device is able to extend the usability of a PC, enabling employees to get out of the office and find a better work/life balance, while staying connected.
Usability of Laptops vs. Tablets
- Portable, but sometimes heavy and bulky. Shorter battery life means users must remain close to a power source.
- Full keyboard allows for faster and more accurate typing, especially when working on long documents.
- Larger screens and higher resolutions provide a better canvas for viewing photos, webpages and other content.
- Greater computing power for developing presentations, spreadsheets, photo editing, video editing and word processing.
- Provides the ability to see all open applications at one time and quickly switch between programs, enabling multitasking.
- Hard disk capacity typically about 10 times larger than a tablet’s memory.
- Can view and navigate all types of websites, including those that use Flash.
- Familiarity with the desktop and overall operating system allows for greater employee efficiency.
- Can run native Windows applications that most tablets cannot, including most business software, which tends to be Windows-based.
- USB ports support all types of hardware, including printers and mice.
- Many functions, such as data entry and content development can be done without an Internet connection.
- Lightweight, small and highly portable. Long battery life enables users to stay connected for longer periods of time.
- Bluetooth keyboards available for light typing tasks, such as entering sales data and note taking.
- Touchscreens provide a greater interactive experience, as well as better drawing and illustrating capability.
- Efficient for browsing emails, giving presentations and taking light notes, as well as accessing and reading data and reports.
- Multiple applications can be open at the same time, but the ability to see all open applications and toggle between applications is not available.
- Additional applications, such as Dropbox or other cloud storage solution required due to limited storage space.
- Flash is not available on the iPad and some website features are difficult to use on tablets, such as dropdown menus.
- Intuitive interface and ease of use reduces the learning curve.
- Many business applications are not compatible. While there are some applications that may replace software, they are not fully featured.
- Cannot connect to a printer or mouse; although wireless printing is an option.
- Requires Internet connectivity for all functions.
The conclusion? Both laptops and tablets are beneficial within the workplace. Tablets are here to stay and are perfect for those employees who need greater portability or who need to stay in touch while away from the office. But those same employees will need a laptop or PC back at the office for tasks that simply cannot be done on a tablet.