Smartphones have shown undeniable value for businesses, as have new ultra-portable laptops and in many cases traditional desktops. Each of these devices has a specific purpose.
We use smartphones to fulfil computing and communications functions out on the road, whether that’s checking emails, taking phone calls or messaging with coworkers. While travelling, we use laptops to take over the functions of a larger computer in the office. These are usually things like web browsing, CRM system access and document production. Then of course there’s the aforementioned office computer – often a larger desktop with a bigger screen and keyboard, where you’re able to get every other computing task done.
But there’s a third category of device (beyond smartphones and laptops/desktops) – the tablet.
It’s a device category that’s been around for some time, and certainly taken the world by storm. In 2015, total tablet volume globally was over 207 million units according to ABI Research. While sales are declining, the question has to be asked: do these devices actually have a role to play in business?
Tablets in a business context
So it’s true that tablets can provide some use for businesses, but rare is the case they’ll be more effective than laptops or smartphones. When comparing something like an iPad with a traditional laptop running a full operating system, it’s easy to guess which device someone will pick to get real work done.
However, there is a type of device which may soon have a big role to play in business – thanks to the rapidly evolving computer market.
A fourth category of device
So-called 2-in-1 devices, which are essentially a combination of a laptop and a tablet, have long been seen as ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ devices. Following the release of Windows 8, an operating system designed for easy use on both touch screens and traditional devices, manufacturers sprung to the challenge with a range of computers able to flip over, detach the screen and twist the keyboards to take advantage of the new system.
With the release of Windows 10, as well as advancing computer technologies, manufacturers are now starting to release 2-in-1 devices that can accomplish both tablet and computer tasks without any loss of functionality. These are devices like the Microsoft Surface Book and Surface Pro 4.
International Data Corporation (IDC) explained that while tablets are starting to drop off when it comes to sales, 2-in-1 devices are gaining momentum.
“It will take some time but we expect that once IT departments are done evaluating Windows 10 and the awaited iPad Pro, they will start migrating some their portable PC and tablet installed base towards 2-in-1’s, which will accelerate the adoption of the form factor,” said tablet research director Jean Philippe Bouchard.
If you’re interested in learning more about the role that new devices can play in the workplace, it may pay to get in touch with the experts. Of course, it’s also important to effectively manage these devices as well as the networks they’ll access on a regular basis. Reach out to NetCraft to learn more.