If your company employs a large team of field based staff, you might have considered which technology is more suited to their needs - laptops or tablets? With more and more businesses moving their field staff over from laptop to tablet usage, we look at the pros and cons of doing so.

The popularity of tablet computers exploded with the introduction of Apple's iPad in 2010. Since then iOS platforms have continued to dominate in terms of enterprise mobile use, with a recent report indicating that the iPad accounts for 92% of business tablets. For staff on the move, the provision of tablet tech seems an obvious choice but is it the right one?

Laptops

With the portability and durability of tablets well known, it may seem obvious to move staff who are mainly based in the field away from laptop usage. However, it's worth keeping in mind the following:

  • Do your field based staff need to write lengthy reports? If so, it might be advisable to retain laptop usage, which offers far more granular control through full keyboard and built-in mouse functionality.
  • Do your field staff require access to resource intensive software? Tablets, generally speaking, have far less processing power and memory, so you need to make sure that your new tech has the capability to run the applications and software that your staff need to fulfil their job roles in full.
  • Is there a need to store significant amounts of data on the specific device? Again, storage space on a laptop is generally far higher than a laptop. With the average tablet offering 16 to 128GB of storage, you need to ensure that is sufficient for your needs.
  • Do your staff require specific external media features? Many laptops offer optical drives for DVD and Blu-ray, USB connected flash drives etc. which are not generally available on tablet usage. If your mobile staff need to play presentations or show-reels to clients, this is a factor you should keep in mind.

Tablets

Alternatively, if your field based staff tend to use company technology for more 'light' usage, a tablet is likely to be ideal. Tablets offer:

  • A truly mobile solution – tablets are highly portable and easy to carry, making them ideal work tools for mobile staff.
  • A system tailored for app usage – if your customers need to complete simple online steps, tablets provide the best framework for this as they are built specifically to be app friendly.
  • Great durability – far less likely to break in the field, reducing your hardware replacement costs.
  • Excellent battery life – again, making them great for the road.
  • More affordability – they are generally cheaper than laptops, helping you to reduce your capital expenditure.
  • Simple to use – touch screen technology and simple interface makes tablets a great choice for businesses employing less tech-savvy staff.

Overall, if your field based staff need to do serious desk type work alongside their other duties, you should continue to provide laptop devices, or possibly look at hybrid technology.

Moving from laptops to tablets

Do you require assistance with moving your inventory from laptops over to tablets? TEK Express offers a comprehensivemobile device management solution, including remote management tools for your devices and software. Contact our friendly business development team today to find out more on 01293 7100 20