Onsite Mobility Solutions Part One: Tablets

I’m often asked which tablet is best. The truth is that it depends. There is no easy answer to this question. Which solution is best for your company depends on who will be using it, what technologies they are used to and what their skill level is. In this article I’ll make your choice a little easier.

 

With so many tablets on the market, how do you choose a tablet for your company? In this article I hope to make your choice a little easier by narrowing down the field. I’ve seen over 20 different tablets used in the field across 50 different businesses and one clear lesson has proven to be true – you get what you pay for. We could almost leave the story there and recommend the most expensive tablet on the market and be done with it except there are quite a few tablets now making their way into the top of the market.

 

From the beginning there has always been the Apple iPad. The creator of the tablet craze that we see today. Apple started with a beauty of a Tablet and followed up with the iPad 2. Even more refinement and more power to add to a superbly easy to use operating system. They invented swipe to change pages and pinch to zoom out. Using the iPad is a synch. Other tablets have caught up to the iPad’s power and many have duplicated many of the features.  The galaxy tablets running on the Android operating system has been making inroads and now has a solid cult following. It has the backing of google with it’s own app store and regular improvements to the operating features. We also have Windows 7 tablets currently in the market and Windows Mobile 8 Tablets estimated to be entering the market in October 2012.

 

My recommendations in reverse order are as follows:

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab

A solid tablet with plenty of heritage in which most of its issues have been sorted out. The design of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the cleanest and sleekest design so far. It’s about the same size as the iPad. In fact it’s a little lighter and thinner. It has a dual core CPU and as such operates quite quickly when zipping around the operating system opening and closing windows.

Data entry is quick and easy via the on-screen keyboard which has been easier and easier to use as refinements have been made to the Android OS. Battery life is quite good to with about 8  hours of actual real time use reported from the field. This translates to about 2 days of normal work use between charges.

There are no extra ports for memory cards, USB or HDMI but it does come standard with wireless and bluetooth. There is a 3MP camera for taking photos of jobs or items needing to be quoted on.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 scores 4 out of 5 for business use in the field.

Click here for C-Net’s review of the Galaxy Tab 10.1

 

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime

This is a second generation Tablet that is different from most in that it comes with a fully removable keyboard. The keyboard has it’s own battery, separate from the tablet battery, thus allowing the tablet to have an extended battery life while providing keyboard and mouse support.

When needed the keyboard can be released with one quick button to reveal a lighter and thinner tablet with more graphical power and a quad core processor that makes it one of the most powerful tablets on the market. The Eee Pad Transformer Prime is quite robust with a metal backing on the keyboard and tablet, thus providing adequate protection from accidental knocks when closed.

There are Micro HDMI and Micro SD card slots which are very useful to have but the USB port is one of the most useful features and a rare find on tablets of this size.  In real time use we’ve seen up
With its extended battery life and keyboard, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime scores 4.5 out of 5 for business use in the field.to 14 hours of use with the keyboard plugged in which translates to 3 to 4 days in the field between charges. The 8MP camera provides crystal clear photos and HD video which can easily be stored and transferred via USB or SD card between devices.

Click here for C-Net’s review of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime

 

Apple iPad 3

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer had the edge over the iPad 2 but before word could get around the all new Apple iPad has redeemed itself and re-asserted itself back at the top of the Tablet market once again. There is nothing extraordinary in the new version of the iPad but it has re-enforced everything good about the iPad 2 with added power, new camera and beautiful display.

The New Apple iPad now sports a dual core processor with quad core graphics and a mind blowing display with an unheard of resolution of 2,048×1,536 pixels. This makes this tablet the finest resolution screen ever released. The clarity and definition of this screen make viewing web pages, reading PDF documents and even editing A3 sized engineering plans a breeze. For connectivity hardware adapters for the Apple iPad can connect to USB and HDMI if needed.

With 4G capability allowing for ultra fast mobile data speed and With applications like ‘Drop Box’ to synchronise photos and documents with any PC or Mac in real time and SIRI which alows voice dictation of notes into any text field the Apple iPad is perfect for field staff who are better at fixing than typing.  Pair this with Apple’s super polished operating system makes the All New iPad (iPad 3) the pick of the bunch and scores 5 out of 5 for business use in the field.

Click here for C-Net’s review of the All New Apple iPad (iPad 3)