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A TOUGHBOOK G1 being used in a dirty environment with gloved hands

10 Questions to Consider when Choosing the Right Tablet for Work

Written by Axelle Hantson - Insticom

10 questions to consider when choosing the right tablet for work

A tree surgeon using a TOUGHBOOK M1 tablet

173.3 million tablets will be sold worldwide this year according to Strategy Analytics' Connected Computing Devices (CCD). Thanks to the strong trend of digitization, tablets have not only stolen the hearts of consumers, but are increasingly used in the business world. A tablet means professional added value for the work of market researchers, sales managers, mobile managers, healthcare professionals and various technicians who work on location.

 

More Possibility from Professional Tablets

In a professional context, however, a tablet often has to meet other criteria than it would for a consumer's personal use. That is why there are special professional tablets for mobile employees. However, these models are often skipped in the selection process because they are more expensive and less attractive. That is completely understandable, but not smart. Anyone considering purchasing one or more tablets for professional use should look beyond the hype. Thanks to the ever-changing digitized world, professional tablets offer a lot of possibilities for a wide range of companies.

"We see too often that mobile employees have to work with hardware that is not suitable for working conditions," said Margot Lannoy, Country Manager Benelux of Panasonic Mobile Solutions Business Division Europe. “Mobile employees work in a variety of conditions and they need hardware to perform well in these harsh conditions. By providing them with equipment that is not resistant to changing or rough working conditions, the benefits of the digitization process are cancelled out. Companies would also be well advised to set aside budget for the purchase of adequate hardware in order to optimally benefit from the efficiency gains and the increase in productivity that the digitization process brings.”
 

On the basis of the yes / no questions below, it is easy to discover whether a consumer tablet is suitable for the intended work activities. If the answers to the ten questions below are more "yes" than "no", a consumer tablet is sufficient in principle. If "no" is in the majority, your mobile worker needs a professional tablet to properly perform his / her activities.

1.    Does the tablet stay in the same place for use?

73% of claims with consumer tablets are caused by bumps and falls (SquareTrade Inc., 2012). Seven out of ten tablets with damage were in a protective case.

2.    Is the tablet mainly used indoors?

Most consumer tablets are unreadable in direct sunlight and switch off if the hardware gets too hot or too cold. They also have limited resistance to contact with water or dust and the touchscreens rarely work in the rain.

3.    Does the operation of the tablet occur with bare hands while working?

Consumer tablets often use a capacitive screen that does not respond to gloves or other objects.

4.    Can the tablet itself still be used efficiently for work without a data connection?

On location, signal strengths can often be too weak for consumer tablets to be able to connect to the back office.

5.    Does the user need software applications on the tablet that require use of adapted ports and slots for his work?

Consumer tablets often do not support barcode scanners, Hi-Res cameras, USB and serial ports, or SD card slots.

6.    Can the user continue working unhindered if the battery drains quickly on location?

The low battery of a consumer tablet cannot simply be replaced by the user on location. This is possible with professional tablets.

7.    Is there always a backup of all tablet data on an external server or in the Cloud?

The flash RAM of a regular tablet is compact and works quickly but does not offer the same security against data corruption or loss as a removable HDD.

8.    Do you find your company data sufficiently secured with a four-digit pin code or a visual pattern?

The security options of a consumer tablet are not equivalent to those of professional tablets such as authentication via a digital fingerprint, a smart card or RFID.

9.    Are you willing to invest in the development of specific apps for iOS or Android?

Most fully-fledged professional applications are only available ready-made for the traditional operating systems.

10.    Are you willing to write off your tablet in two years?

The average and generally accepted lifespan of a consumer tablet is only two years.

For more information about the wide range of professional, rugged tablets from Panasonic, visit the website.

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