With all the fuss made about the potential of tablets as entertainment devices, it’s easy to forget that they have also become an indispensable tool for many business users, vital for checking email, doing research and working on documents and presentations on the go. Indeed, many professionals now say that they would find it hard to live without their tablet, and that by increasing their productivity whilst travelling and commuting, owning a tablet has actually made them more effective. The question of which is the best tablet to maximize such productivity is then a key one, with professional users looking for different capabilities than the average consumer. Here then, in no particular order, are five great options for a productivity-focused tablet.
In any tablet discussion, the iPad will inevitably be mentioned – such is the ubiquity and market-leading status of Apple’s groundbreaking tablet. Unsurprisingly, the iPad has found favor among a large number of business users – and it does the job relatively well, with a responsive virtual keyboard and efficient mail client and web browser. However, to get the most out of the iPad as a business device, you will have to download (and, in most cases, pay for) a number of apps. It’s possible that the tablet’s popularity with professional users is down to familiarity with the operating system and status rather than intrinsic capabilities.
2. Microsoft Surface
The appeal of Surface, Microsoft’s new tablet, for business users is clear – the tablet comes with a full suite of touch-optimized versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for full productivity straight out of the box. Surface is also optimized for use with its compact physical keyboard for longer writing assignments, and it offers a strong overall interface that, again, may be more appealing to some users due to its similarity to current versions of Windows.
3. HP ElitePad 900
HP is clearly targeting its new ElitePad at business users; the company stated that it worked closely with the IT departments of large companies to produce a tablet tailored for professional use. What it came up with was a Windows 8 tablet thatis powered by an Intel Atom processor for high performance, as well as offering the ability to power up almost instantly and perform background updates of email messages etc. With such strong specs and a well-respected name in computing, chances are the ElitePad is going to prove an attractive proposition for many business users, illustrating the importance of good R&D.
4. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
With the Samsung Note series being built on a stylus-based interface, rather than a conventional touchscreen, the Note tablet is perhaps the ultimate tool for those who like to brainstorm on the go. The stylus makes it far easier to jot down mind maps and diagrams than it would be on any other tablet. Aside from this party trick, the Note is a strong Android-powered tablet, offering a quad-core processor and a well-thought-out mail client that even allows users to email handwritten notes. These capabilities are sure to make the Note attractive to a large number of creative professionals.
5. Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2
It is no surprise to find Lenovo’s ThinkPad tablet here, when we’re looking for the best tablet – the ThinkPad name has become synonymous with an entire generation of mobile business computing. For the tablet version, Lenovo has chosen the reliable and increasingly familiar Windows 8 operating system, and incorporated a battery life of up to 10 hours, up to 2GB of memory, and a range of Intel processors that go up to an Intel Core i7. With great connectivity, functionality and battery life, it looks like Lenovo isn’t prepared to let go of its mobile business computing crown without a fight.