7 PC Alternatives For Work: Tablets, 2-in-1s, Ultraportables - InformationWeek

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12/1/2015
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7 PC Alternatives For Work: Tablets, 2-in-1s, Ultraportables

A recent spate of enterprise-class tablets -- and a significant increase in the ability to create content on tablets -- could change how enterprise users view the devices.
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(Image: StockSnap via Pixabay)

(Image: StockSnap via Pixabay)

Proclamations that the PC is nearing extinction have been spouted for the better part of a decade. Most recently, Tim Cook took a swipe at the venerable PC in order to promote the new iPad Pro tablet. In an interview with The Telegraph, he stated: "I think if you're looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?"

Seems like plenty of people would still opt for a PC. In early November, Gartner released the results of a survey of 19,000 consumers in the US, Brazil, China, France, India, and the UK. According to the survey, only 2% of respondents who are planning to replace a desktop PC in the next 12 months said they would choose a tablet instead of another computer. Only 4% of respondents who are planning to replace a laptop said they would choose a tablet instead.

So it's hardly a surprise that the enterprise IT executives I speak with in the course of my work are not rushing out to replace PCs with tablets. Tablets and their ilk have long been considered by many in enterprise IT as content consumption devices, not content creation devices. And, in most employee situations, content creation is absolutely necessary.

[ Are tablets actually helping PC sales? Read 8 Reasons The PC Is Not Dead. ]

A recent spate of enterprise-class tablets -- and a significant increase in the ability to create content on tablets -- could change how consumers and enterprise users alike view tablets. Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system, along with the latest 2-in-1s and ultraportables, blend the benefits of tablets and PCs.

Added to the list of hardware and OS advancements found in these devices, we now have a number of enterprise applications that fully function as mobile apps -- or at least as Web-based applications -- which will likely run well on touchscreen devices.

If you're considering a shift to tablets as the main computing device for some of your employees, we're here to help. Here's a look at eight of the latest pro tablets, 2-in-1's, and ultraportables that are worth considering as a replacement for a full-blown desktop PC or laptop for some of your users.

The latest devices offer several key advancements. For one, device screen size and resolution are significantly better than in earlier models. Most devices featured here also have the ability to easily connect to an external monitor when at the desk. Additionally, most come with a built-in keyboard, or one can easily be attached.

So here's a look at the ultra-thin and ultra-cool devices that are vying to be the de facto standard employee device in your enterprise. After you've taken a look at the options, tell us what you think in the comments section below. Are you already using a tablet or 2-in-1 as your primary computing device? Could you realistically consider any of these devices as a replacement for the the PC as your device of choice for work?

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Andrew has well over a decade of enterprise networking under his belt through his consulting practice, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and datacenter build-outs and prior experience at organizations such as State Farm Insurance, United Airlines and the ... View Full Bio

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Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
12/2/2015 | 7:56:50 PM
Re: Forgot a classic
There are many variables involved for instance, local street crime rates and regions that tend to purchase devices that are priced at the higher end of the spectrum but, take into consideration the following figures. According to Statista, there are around 37 million smartphone users in the UK and according to UK's National Mobile Phone Crime Unit between 250k to 300k phones are reported stolen each year.

It seems that there is a 0.8% probability that a phone is stolen in the UK, it is a small percentage but, the employee that depends upon their phone to complete their job duties will have a bad day (week) if their phone is stolen.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
12/2/2015 | 6:52:46 PM
Re: Forgot a classic
I really liked the Dell and HP options. I can see myself replace those with my PC (yes, I still have a PC).  I think today's market for laptops can really compete against any PC.  Unless probable for gaming or really intensive computing.  I remember at my university, security wise, PC are better because they can be hooked up to a cable and a  thief can't steal computers so easily.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
12/2/2015 | 5:11:14 PM
Re: Forgot a classic
A cost saving alternative would be to offer a rebate of around $200 to all employees on the purchase of a Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL (terms and conditions would apply). As the employee comes in to claim their rebate then, hand over a $100 Microsoft Continuum device as their laptop replacement and the company might be able to operate for another 1.5 years without the need to upgrade -- $300 expense. 
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
12/1/2015 | 8:01:37 AM
Forgot a classic
You forgot an alternative that some governments (including Russia and Germany) are reportedly turning to...

The typewriter.  ;)  It's more secure and the UI is straightforward.
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