What Is the Best Business Tablet for the Job? Ask 4 Questions
For almost two years, tablets have been pushed in our faces, like people showing off pictures of their own kids. Yippee, another kid eating ice cream. Since the iPad was announced in April 2010, businesses have been trying to figure out a way to fit these devices into their environment. Just about every company that has anything to do with technology says they have the “most compelling” tablet offering on the market. It would probably be easier naming the companies that don’t make tablets, than to actually name the ones that do offer their variation.
I tried counting the tablets that are available today but gave up after 10. To find the tablet that will fulfill your customers’ dreams of cumbersome free computing they could always register their needs at an online dating website. But I suggest just asking how they plan on using their tablet, which would require a lot less commitment. If you are an IT Consultant or a Value Added Reseller ask your customers these four questions:
- How will your IT department be managing tablets?
- What applications and management tools do you currently use?
- How do you plan to secure your company’s data on the tablet?
- Will work need to be created on the tablet or will it be used to view the work that was completed on your PC?
Business applications are driving your customer’s decision. So, in this case choosing a tablet should be easy. There is no need to play heads or tails, rock-paper-scissors or any other game that will help your customer make up their mind. The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet is the most secure, most manageable and easiest to deploy tablet on the market (disclosure: Yes, I work for Lenovo). Not to mention the winner of LAPTOP Magazine’s 2011 Tablet World Series. This tablet really sets itself apart by the built in USB port, SD card slot and the extremely durable Corning Gorilla Glass 10.1” display. This tablet is for business professionals who would utilize a true pen experience. It includes applications with productivity in mind, like the MyScript Notes Mobile app, where hand written notes get converted into text as needed and Documents to Go, which enables the end user to read and edit Microsoft documents.
That should do it, right? Wrong. When your customer goes to their CIO to let them know they’ve finally figured out a way to bring a tablet into the office, the realization sets in that there are limitations. From a business class standpoint, the ThinkPad Tablet delivers big, but the tools and legacy applications that are used in most offices were developed to run on a Microsoft operating system. Not on the Android or iOS Software that’s running on almost every tablet out there. You read right. Almost.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X220t is a convertible tablet with a wide view 12.5” HD LED, IPS display and your choice of an outdoor Corning Gorilla Glass display or Multitouch five-finger gesture screen, each coming with a digitizer pen. It has plenty of power with the 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 or i5 Processors to the 320GB spinning hard drive or 128GB SSD.
The real difference between the X220t and all of the other tablet offerings is that it runs all Microsoft applications. This system was designed for the healthcare industry and for mobile professionals who require power and durability. ThinkPads utilize Enhanced Experience 2.0 developed by Lenovo in partnership with Microsoft. This gives you a faster, and much improved Windows® 7 experience over the competition. The only knock you’ll hear on this system is about its weight. If durability and reliability are your main concerns then the beefy 3.97lbs (including 6cell battery) shouldn’t be of much bother. This bad ass piece of machinery passed eight (that’s right…EIGHT) military grade stress tests with ease. This is a tough tablet with the power of a laptop.
To the IT Consultant or Value Added Reseller, I recommend that you use the Android-based ThinkPad Tablet as a conversation starter with your customers. Get your customers to talk about all of the Microsoft-centric applications, manageability tools and security schemes in their environment. This conversation will transition nicely into showing your customer how the ThinkPad X220t is the best of both worlds.
The fact of the matter is that although tablets are cool and everybody has one, more than likely, they can’t provide your customer with the tools they need to do their job. Laptops and desktops are not going away and tablets will not replace these systems anytime soon. They will however, work in conjunction with a PC. If your customer needs an all day tablet and requires enterprise security and robust computing power, then I suggest you have them take look at the ThinkPad X220t, the real tablet.
Mike Ferrell is ThinkPad brand manager at Lenovo. Monthly guest blogs such as this are part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsorship.