Slates vs. Convertibles - Which is the best?
by, 08-25-2010 at 04:56 PM (2158 Views)
As usual, this debate can be answered easily: it depends.
The good news is that the thing it depends on is your software applications. While we all like shiny, new tablet computers, our purchases should be drive by the programs we are running, not just the 'feeds and speeds'.
I'll give you one example that occurred recently where two customers in the same industry chose different platforms based on their users needs. Currently, I am working with a large, national moving company that is rolling out a new software application that helps their agents survey a house or business in order to calculate the estimated total for the move. By moving to this system (pun intended), the company will enable their salespeople to provide more accurate and timely quotes to their customers and prospects. This type of application is a natural for a tablet computer because the salespeople need to walk around the residence or office building and click through a list of items like furniture, lighting fixtures, audiovisual equipment, appliances and more. When they have all the information, the program calculates the quote which they can print out in a proposal or email to the client (or both).
For one mover, their staff were only going to survey the property and do the proposal. They didn't need the tablets to act as a desktop or laptop. They wanted to use it just for the estimating application. For them, a slate tablet was the best solution because it was the lightest, thinnest and most mobile solution. The other mover wanted their tablet to replace the salesperson's desktop and laptop. Since they wanted to do email, Microsoft Office and other applications, a convertible tablet was a better choice.
I know, you slate fanatics are saying "You can connect a mobile keyboard or drop it in a docking station". Very true, but for companies like these moving agencies, they have to deal with issues of support and training as well. If they can give the staff a laptop device that doubles as a pen tablet, they reduce the resistance to a new technology as well as give their employees a computer that can do everything they need.
So if you are looking at Slate vs. Convertible, carefully consider how it is going to be used on a daily basis and let your software be your guide.