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Desktop, laptop or tablet: Which is the best fit for my business?

Desktop, laptop or tablet: Which technology is the best fit for my business?

Mobile technology is being adopted by many businesses and for good reason, but many also choose to avoid it because of security concerns. Here we run through the pros and cons of each so you can make the decision that’s right for your business model.

 

Desktops and laptops

Pros:

  • Higher performance-to-cost ratio: desktops and laptops still have a clear lead in that they offer more bang for buck than most tablets and other mobile business solutions. This is especially true for laptops, which can pack desktop power into a small and light package.
  • Expandability: need faster graphics? More storage? Desktops, and to a lesser degree laptops, can be upgraded iteratively with increased storage space, improved graphics cards and new software, whereas the whole tablet must be replaced. Repairs are also easier.
  • Screen size: a large display isn’t just easier on the eyes; it can be vital for tasks that use a lot of screen real estate, such as design and heavy research. Tablets are getting bigger, but the need for portability becomes a limiting factor.

Cons:

Reduced portability is a clear disadvantage with desktops, and laptops to a lesser degree. And around 87 per cent of connected device sales by 2017 are predicted to be smartphones and tablets – so for businesses that rely heavily on technology in the workplace, it will be adapt or perish.

Tablets

Pros:

  • Easier to use: desktop operating systems still come with a learning curve, whereas mobile devices are specifically designed to be intuitive. That means less training and faster adoption.
  • Lower cost of entry: depending on your model of choice, tablets tend to be a cheaper option than a laptop or desktop computer. This can mean it’s possible to outfit each staff member with their own tablet rather than having several employees share a PC.
  • Flexibility through portability: the extreme portability of tablets makes them useful when desktops and laptops just aren’t practical. For example, doctors can use a tablet to show a patient their scan results or to record symptoms during a patient consultation.
  • Convenience: as an ‘always available’ method of computing, tablets allow you to fit more into your day, making them ideal for workers who like flexibility. You can review documents in the taxi on your way to a business meeting or can respond to important emails immediately.

Cons:

Besides reduced computing power (although they are catching up) and smaller screens, tablets are more fragile and more easily misplaced or stolen. And of course, when BYOD (bring-your-own-device) is allowed, data security issues can arise.

There is no 100 per cent right or wrong answer to the desktop/laptop versus tablet question. Technology in business will always be evolving, and ultimately, it’s up to you to find the right balance for your business.

Whichever option you choose today, you can be sure a new version is just around the corner that will be faster and more powerful than the last. Find out how to decide if you should upgrade.

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