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A tablet PC is a lightweight, portable computer that is smaller and more compact than a laptop, but yet performs all of the similar functions. It is a flat, touch screen computer that runs off a standard PC operating system and uses wireless Internet for its functions. The technology was developed by Microsoft, and a pen was used for the touch screen features. The newer models have screen sizes comparable to laptop or desktop PCs. They can be used for both business and pleasure. There are both benefits and pitfalls for anyone who is considering purchasing a tablet.
One of the greatest features of tablets is the ability to take them practically anywhere. Most of the tablets weigh less than two pounds and have displays ranging from seven to ten inches. Compared to traditional laptops and even the new netbooks, tablets weigh almost nothing and can fit in most backpacks or purses. Because of the materials used, most tablets are also extremely durable. Although they’re not indestructible, tablets often have scratch-proof screens or scratch- or dent-proof casings, and most come with insurance and great warranties.
Although tablets’ amazing portability is a great feature, any feature on a tablet is only useful if the device still has power left in its battery. Battery life is truly the greatest feature of any of the tablets available. The shortest period a tablet will last is around three hours, with the longest being just over 12. Even the least of these is better than most notebooks on the market today. This 12-hour battery is housed by the Apple iPad, which, according to a recent study done by the IDC, has a 73% market share. The IDC also reports that Apple shipped over 10 million iPads during the end of 2010.
Another amazing benefit of tablets is the ability to capture handwriting and drawing on the screen. This allows users to use their own form of handwriting while taking notes or navigating through the tablet interface. This also allows artists and graphic designers to draw out their creations and easily translate them into digital form. Using a stylus on a screen is much faster and much more accurate than using a traditional keyboard and mouse for drawing. Having a touch screen can be much faster than using a mouse as well. This is because the clicks are instant; there is no travel time between clicks because the screen can be navigated by most hands.
Not only have tablets changed the way we can travel with computers, but they have changed how we read. Many people have stopped receiving their physically printed publications and exchanged them for their digital counterparts. eBooks have become an industry standard and a preferred format for many readers.
A tablet’s keyboard is an example of the great technology that is available for a relatively low cost. The ability to tap multiple spots on a touch screen simultaneously takes a lot of processing power and is still a fairly new feature. With this powerful technology comes a slight decrease in usability, while the hardware used to power the tablets increases in power and decreases in price. The keyboard on a touch screen can be much slower than a physical keyboard of a smart phone or computer. While typing long sentences, the delay can be much more noticeable, as the memory in the tablet caching the typing process begins to fill up.
Although an advertised tablet can seem like a relatively cheap product, there can be many hidden costs involved with the purchase. For example, having 3G wireless capabilities will end up costing you around $40 a month for a mandatory data plan. Other costs can include the price of peripherals like cables, an external physical keyboard or mouse, a car or travel charger, or the many forms of speakers and headphones available. This doesn’t even include insurance or tablet cases, which are almost always necessary.
The screen size can be an important feature that is heavily considered when choosing which tablet to purchase, especially when multiple tablets must be bought for a bulk business order. A hidden pitfall of screen size selection for tablets is how quickly an LCD screen can burn through the battery. Most users don’t often realize that the bigger the screen, the faster the battery is drained. Most tablets have a generally small screen when compared to laptops or desktops, so always remember that the smaller the screen, the longer the battery life. This provides longer working hours away from an electrical port.
Something to look out for when researching all the different brands is making sure that the software you want to run works with the tablet’s operating system. There are a few programs that are not cross-platform compatible, and these oversights can create quite a headache for users, especially those who are purchasing in bulk. Always make sure the program you are looking to use actually works on the hardware you are buying.
In a Nielsen survey of 12,000 consumers, less than 10 percent owned an eReader. While eReaders have gained in popularity, so have tablets. Tablets can do everything eReaders can and much more. For example, a tablet can surf the Internet and play Flash videos.
Cost of a Tablet
Tablets range in price depending on the features offered. A tablet with a 600 MHz processor will cost less than one with a 1 GB processor. A tablet with a seven-inch screen will cost less than one with a 10-inch screen, and a tablet with a resistive touch screen will cost less than one with a capacitive touch screen.
For example, in 2011, a tablet with an 800 MHz processor, a seven-inch resistive touchscreen, and an Android 2.3 operating system retailed for around $150. In comparison, a tablet with a 1 GB processor, a 10-inch capacitive touchscreen, and an Android 3.1 operating system retailed for around $600.
The choice on whether or not to purchase a tablet PC is strictly personal preference. For those who travel a lot but still want the functionality of a full-sized PC, tablets are perfect because they are lightweight and portable. For individuals who do not spend a lot of time away from their desk or those who tend to use word processing programs a lot, tablet PCs may not be the best option. Many individuals opt for both a desktop or laptop for work and the tablet for pleasure. The choice should be made strictly on what you will be using the tablet for.
When searching for the right tablet PCs to use in your place of business, the variety of choices can seem overwhelming. All of the different brands, styles and technical specs of tablets can make the task of narrowing down the options daunting. Consider the needs of your employees to make the right decision.
Tablets allow your employees to take work with them wherever they go. Offering your workers Internet access, data management and more anywhere they are enables them to be more productive. If circumstances arise where they workers cannot make it to the office, tablets can allow them to fulfill some duties from home.
Talking to a knowledgeable customer service representative is imperative to ordering the right tablets for your business. Factors to discuss include download speeds for document sharing and graphic capabilities for special reports and presentations. Other things to consider are the type of software included with a tablet PC and how much memory it has, because this can assist with future integration of your company's software.
The actual design of the tablet should also be taken into account. Choose a color and style that best represents your company. Find out more about tablets through the links found on this Business.com page.
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