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While computer desktops and laptops are still widely used in traditional workflows, tablet use has increased dramatically in the past few years. Early tablets offered relatively limited productivity applications and awkward virtual keyboards, and weren’t capable of multitasking (working with two applications simultaneously). Today, newer tablets are frequently used in workflows because these past limitations are gone. Could a tablet work for you?  

Desktops versus Tablets
According to Forbes, “Desktop computers are beyond inconvenient. You can’t take them with you easily, they tie you not just to a specific building but a specific room in that building just to be able to use them. That’s less than ideal for lots of people.”

While there are still work tasks perhaps ideally suited for a desktop computer, lines are becoming blurred. While the death of the desktop is greatly exaggerated, their use in an office environment has certainly dwindled due to increased use of mobile devices and tablets.

Laptops versus Tablets
While the number of laptop and tablet users can’t accurately be calculated, Statistica estimates that 180 million tablets will be shipped in 2019, versus 170 million laptops, with tablet shipments continuing to grow year-over-year while laptop shipments decrease. Though laptops will without a doubt remain part of a typical workflow, many businesses have found that employees can accomplish a majority of tasks using a tablet.

Getting the Job Done with a Tablet
Due to hardware and software advancements over the past few years, high-end tablets are now powerful enough to serve as a desktop or laptop replacement. And because tablets are lightweight and can be carried around wherever needed, they’ve become key components in workflows where it’s beneficial to untether workers.

Early tablets only offered virtual keyboards which were, at best, awkward to use. Adding a physical keyboard will streamline a workflow, whether it’s a standalone device or is integrated into the tablet’s case. Numerous keyboard styles are available; some are traditional hard keyboards while others are slimmer and softer. For those who like using a pen, a stylus is an excellent input tool for taking notes, making annotations, or drawing.

To be truly productive, users need Internet access from their tablet, and while all tablets support Wi-Fi, users must be near a hotspot to access it. Choosing a tablet that can connect to a cellular wireless network means users have high-speed Internet access wherever they go.

Popular productivity apps are now available for tablets, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, Google G Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides), and many more. Videoconferencing, accounting and financial management, collaboration, web page creation, video and music editing, and much more can easily be accomplished from a tablet. Cloud storage, available from Google, Microsoft, Apple, Dropbox, and many others, means projects are saved in the cloud versus the tablet, and are accessible from other computers and mobile devices.

Depending on the workflow, a potentially useful accessory is an adapter that allows users to connect their tablet to a larger display when needed. And though tablets are designed for energy efficiency and long battery life, a battery pack may be useful for people who travel or attend events where a plug is hard to come by.

The tablet has truly become a viable and productive option for many workflows. If you’d like to discuss the benefits of using tablets in your organization, or would like assistance implementing a tablet-based workflow, please contact us.