By Ben Weiner, CEO, Conjungo
‘Tablets’ are a more recent innovation and a further development of the PC. They generally comprise of a single screen and input is via the screen (by touch) or stylus rather than by a keyboard. The purpose is mainly for web surfing and for media use such as viewing films and photos. They also lack some of the functionality of a traditional laptop or netbook but peripherals such as keyboard and external DVD/CD can be added. While their use was originally seen as limited to the consumer market, many businesses are now using them for presentations and where a really mobile device is required to input or request information e.g. health and medical records.
When the first Tablet computer arrived on the scene a couple of years ago, I was somewhat cynical as to what the point was. I fully understood that the consumer market would buy them in droves, which they did but was unsure and unclear as to whether there was a need within the business community. Like all things technical especially when it comes to PC, laptops, mobile phones etc. the market is driven to a large extent by the market of developers who write new applications that entertain but more importantly are of business benefit.
Of course there are limitations to Tablet PC’s, but when use in the right situation and for the right reason can be very effective. Lugging around even a light notebook PC can be a chore but being able to quickly whip your Table is a positive boon! Outlining a presentation, accessing emails and using applications for your organisation on the move.
Having completed a few web searches, there seems to be a growing amount of applications that would potentially be of benefit to many companies and individuals so it appears that as long as this trend continues then the take up by the business market is set to continue, too.
Apps aside, there are a number of other benefits:
- Greater productivity. People can work where and when required, whether at home or at remote locations. This means that often less travel is required (commuting), or where mobility is required, for example travelling, work can still be carried out on public transport.
- Portability can also be major advantage for choosing a Tablet over a laptop computer. Portability means that a Tablet can be used virtually anywhere, not only at home and in the office.
- Flexibility. Workers will have greater flexibility as to where and when they work.
- Immediacy. Using a Tablet often means having instant access to information, whether in the form of saved files or from the Internet. Immediacy allows better collaboration between people.
- Size. Tablets are useful in areas where space is at a premium. Far more sociable than using a laptop when on a bus or train.
- Power & Cost Savings. Tablets are more power-efficient than a laptop and generally the battery life is far longer than a notebook.
However, do be diligent before taking the plunge. Be sure of exactly why and what you need. There are still many, many instances where a notebook or even a netbook could be possible better suited to meet your requirements.