As the bridge between mobile devices and laptops, tablet PCs offer a range of functionality for business users. But the market is relatively new and can be confusing. Does your business need tablet PCs, or should you stick to more conventional products?

As the bridge between mobile devices and laptops, tablet PCs offer a range of functionality for business users. But the market is relatively new and can be confusing. Does your business need tablet PCs, or should you stick to more conventional products.

 

 

 

 

What are tablet PCs?

Tablet PCs were historically laptops with swivelling screens, which could be folded back onto the keyboard and used as a touchscreen. These did not achieve widespread popularity in consumer or business markets. The current wave of tablet PCs are slim and fast, while lightweight and easy to transport. The software is designed specifically for the hardware and for touchscreen interaction, resulting in a smooth user experience. A range of specialised software, designed to run quickly on the tablet PC’s operating system, allow tablet users to perform many tasks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does a tablet PC differ from a laptop?

Tablet PCs bridge the gap between laptops and mobile devices, so they tend to offer many of the benefits of laptops without the drawbacks. Their specialised operating systems result in quicker start-up times, and their battery life is significantly better than that of even the most economical laptops. Generally they allow similar tasks to be carried out including word processing, note taking and audio/video playback.

Of course, their convenience comes with a price; the operating system is often unable to run the latest software and games, and the lack of a keyboard and mouse may frustrate some users. Tablet PCs are also unable to make phone calls natively, although some specialised applications allow voice calls to be made over a Wi-Fi connection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can businesses benefit from tablet PCs?

The mobility afforded by tablet PCs mean they are useful business devices, particularly for executives who travel regularly. The sheer number of software applications available (known as apps, see below) make them hugely functional devices that can create efficiencies in a wide range of business contexts. Their shape also allows them to ‘lie flat’ making them ideal for using in a diverse range of environments including on your lap, meeting room table or plane tray.