10 things you didn't know about business tablet p cs
10 (or more) things youdidn’t know about BusinessWindows Tablet PCs1 Powerful is ProductiveThe majority of Windows 7 Tablet PCsnow surpass the average office desktopPC in terms of performance. MobileTablet PC technology has come a longway over the last few years with theintroduction of dedicated mobile ULV(Ultra Low Voltage) CPU’s from leadingmanufacturers such as Intel. Intel workvery closely with Tablet PCmanufacturers to ensure all currentTablet computers make the most from their latest range of high end mobile CPU’s in terms ofmaximum performance without the sacrifice of mobile battery life. This is evident in the well-received i3, i5, and i7 Ivy Bridge processors from Intel.The CPU is not one of the only features which dictate fast responsive Tablet PCs, Graphics options(such as Intel’s latest HD4000 graphics) and RAM quantity/speed (Tablets now support up to 16GBDDR3 @ 1600Mhz!) dictate a smooth operating experience even on the most demanding operatingsystem and software set-up.It’s important to buy for the future too, so a few upgrades on specification at point of purchase willreap rewards in the years to come. The inevitable amount of new software installations and the “Ican also do this on my Tablet PC!“ discoveries will eventually push any system to the limit. So be pre-warned, although some units can be upgraded after point of purchase the majority of consumer typedevices will not be able to be upgraded due to the nature of one-off mass builds to cut down prices.Cheap is never best in my opinion, I prefer my Tablet PC hardware to last until the end – minimum 5years.2 Office IntegrationNever be out of the office.All Windows based Tablet PC have the ability to be bothyour main office PC and your mobile office pc. Equip youroffice with a docking station, and once docked, the TabletPC will act like any office PC, just add a keyboard, a mouseand an external Monitor (depending on Docking Stationtype) and you’ll not be able to tell the difference. AllWindows Tablet PCs will run Microsoft’s latest Office
package so no need to worry in regards to office integration, if your office is running a slightly olderversion of Windows, MS Office will take care of your documents and presentations.When out of the office, simply remove the tablet from the docking station and walk away. It’ll befully charged and ready for the busy day ahead. With MS Office, you can pick-up/receive Emails on-the-go and using the same mobile network, receive up to date job sheets with your orders of the day(or send them orders!). PDF Datasheets are easily viewed and zoomed in on if you require details onspecific parts etc.. PowerPoint presentations, Excel sheets, graphs, detailed photographs, onlinepresentation etc….All this is why the Tablet PC has become a staple in mobile computing. The encumbrance of aphysical keyboard has been replaced with functioning workable on screen solutions.3 Digitizer Pen InputTouchscreens haven’t been with us for long, I canremember the original influx of resistive type finger touchTablet PC back in the last decade, although great at thetime this left little to be desired in terms of accuracy andfunctionality (Although great with gloves on!). Capacitivetouch is now the flavour of the day and utilises the lowpulses of electricity which emits through our fingers. Thisis great while on the move and for hitting non-accuratelarge size boxes while manipulating dedicatedapplications, but it does have its drawbacks whenrunning a more user friendly operating system such asWindows 7 or Windows 8 Professional.This is why Digitizer has made the list, understated in the general Tablet PC market over the last fewyears (mainly due to the excellent marketing of world leading manufactures), it’s been well knownwithin the Windows Tablet PC faithful to be the best input method for a PC since the more famous“Mouse” hit the PC, and it’s just as natural to use too.Leading technology has been developed by Wacom over the past decade to produce a great userexperience. Don’t get this muddled up with capacitive pens though (they’re next to useless) this isthe real deal. Identical to the Wacom Cintiq’s (professional designer hardware) input method theWacom digitizer pen input gives you more control over your actions. For example, the harder youpress down on the pen the thicker a line will be produced (in dedicated applications such asPhotoshop or Windows 7 Handwriting Input Panel) alternatively the lighter you press down thethinner the stroke. This is hugely popular and a staple for Computer Aided Designers (CAD) favouredby cinematography professionals for large motion picture CGI artwork which utilises the Wacomtechnology to produce the most stunning scenes on big picture – it all starts with human input.Digitizer also displays a mouse cursor when you hover over the screen, so when you make an actionsuch as a screen tap on the Tablet PC you know exactly which pixel you’re tapping on.For applications such as the Microsoft’s Office Excel package, Digitizer Input is a god send.Attempting to manipulate drop down boxes on Tablet PCs with your finger becomes frustrating atthe best of times. This is where the Tablet digitizer pen input shines, simple handwriting to digitaltext input or signature capture to sign off documents the digitizer pen input cannot be beaten.
Currently it’s a little more expensive but that’s only due to the nature of the best-on-markettechnology. Best of all, the majority of Windows professional Wacom enabled Tablet PCs ship withcapacitive touch as standard so you get ‘best of both worlds’.4 Semi-RuggedSemi-Rugged is a relatively new term (Also known as business rugged). Semi-Rugged Tablet PCs fallin to a category of its own. Traditionally consumer grade Tablet PCs and Rugged Tablet PCs were theonly choice, this was great if you wanted an entry level Tablet or a fully hardened durable unit foruse in Military, mining, construction etc… but the latter comes with a higher entry level price. Thesehigh prices are warrantied though; fully rugged units ship with a high IP rating and can only gain thisrating by passing very stringent testing. This testing is not an inexpensive task and many units fail tomake the grade. Indecently, this is why the more rugged Tablet PCs tend to have older specificationsor will keep newer specifications un-upgraded for a number of years, once individual componentshave been changed internally the testing becomes void and the manufacturer has to retest the unitsat high expense.The benefit of Semi-Rugged is that the testing and chassis materials are not as expensive as fullrugged tablets and honestly, if you’re not putting a Tablet PC in an environment where it’s requiredto be fully rugged then why pay the extra? It would be wrong to say Semi-Rugged is not durable,though these still hold a high IP Rating and go through tough testing, such as drop testing and wateringress testing, it’s just these tests are to protect the unit against everyday use and everydayweather environment not the extremes of the fully rugged tablet pc. They are still built to last thetoughest test, the general worker!Motion Computing and Panasonic specialize in these devices and as such they have seen a greatincrease in market share (Motion Computing out sold all other manufactures worldwide in 2012 forsemi-rugged and rugged Tablet PC sales). Having a unit resistant to local yearly weather changes anddrop tested from Tablet PC (held at waist height) covers the majority of typical user accidents.For the first time we are now seeing Semi-Rugged Tablet PCs enter the market below the £1000.00mark, a welcoming price point from the entry level price of £2000.00 for a fully Rugged Tablet PC.5 Hot Swap BatteriesBattery life for Tablet PCs have drastically improved over ofthe last few years, this was initially due to the introduction ofLithium-Ion but nowadays, since the next upgrade for batterytechnology is still a little way off (Fuel cells?), the powersavings have come from more power friendly CPU’s and LCDtrans-reflective screen technology. Although a good Tablet PCwill just about last a full working day on low power savingsettings, there is still the need to draw more power from theTablet PC by means of integrated hardware. In simple terms,the more dedicated hardware items you use the more battery power you require. Items such asintegrated 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, High Brightness Screens, overclocked CPUs and dedicated GPS, willall push the best battery to the limit.
This is where a Hot-Swap feature excels. With a spare fully charged battery slab and one of thehigher end Windows Tablet PCs with hot swap features, you can simply switch the batteries in amatter of seconds and carry on with your workload, zero downtime! Add an eternal way to chargethe extra battery and you can put the Tablet PC to work 24/7 (just make sure to change the userevery once and a while). This is excellent where the Tablet PC’s battery has a quick charge cycle.Typical charge cycles are on a 1:4 ratio, charge for 1 hour and use for 4 hours, pretty impressive.6 Out Door ScreensIf you’ve never seen Motion Computing’s VAD (View Anywhere Display) then you have never seen anoutdoor screen. Most manufacturers use sunlight viewable technology, which while is not too bad, itutilises a polarising filter within the screen which reduces the reflective glare on standard screensthus giving improved visibility. But this relies on pushing brightness to the maximum for you to beable to see data on screen, which in turn greatly impacts battery life.The VAD from Motion computing however is second to none in my experience. This is taken fromthe manufacturers’ website which will explain a little more on the tech behind the VAD:VAD (View Anywhere Display)The View Anywhere display uses a proprietary optical enhancement process based on technologyinitially developed for high-end military aviation and marine applications.The View Anywhere display adjusts quickly from your office or home work environment andaccommodates a variety of outdoor work scenarios. This innovative solution was designed formobile users that use Tablet PCs in bright light environments.Compared with Motion’s standard display, the View Anywhere display technology enhances indoorviewing - while substantially improving outdoor viewing. 10:1 reduction in unwanted reflectance and glare 15% improvement in “light pass-through” efficiency 225% increase in sunlight contrast ratio over the standard display Better view-ability at wide viewing anglesThe view anywhere Tablet PC display technology also retains thetraditional feel of pen on paper that has become a hallmark of Motion’sink-enabled Windows Tablet PCs, and the solution is also stronger, moredurable and scratch resistant. Finally, Motion Computing accomplishesthis solution without compromises, complexity or high cost.Who should have the View Anywhere® display?High Ambient Light Usage Scenarios Ideal for inspectors, field engineers, surveyors, law enforcement personnel, military, constructionsuperintendents, sports/coaches, customer service professionals, aviation/pilots, realtors andother highly mobile professionals. Great for outdoor field use in conjunction with WWAN and GPS technology available in theindustry. Great for any user who uses a Windows Tablet PC in bright indoor light, in automobiles oroutdoors.
High Reflective Usage Scenarios Better solution than conventional display technology for individuals working in a room with brightfluorescent lighting, such as in a large retail setting, hospital or classroom. Medical professionals operating in bright artificial light.Actions speak louder than words, as they say, but to put it plainly, this is without a doubt the best-on-market display I have come across, stunningly excellent.7 Lightweight is best?Tablet PCs are becoming lighter and thinner, this is great! But the downside is that durability suffers.If you’re buying a new thin lightweight Tablet PC then make sure you look for a decent carry caseand other tablet pc protection solutions.On the flip side this means that more business tablet pcs are dropping weight too, it was only lastyear that Motion Computing brought out the Motion CL910 which weighs less than 1KG andPanasonic have also just released the FZ-G1 – this unit weighs only 1.1KG which is quite a feat for afully rugged IP64 Tablet PC.The above two units when in a carry solution are not noticeable when on the move, so while thinand light is great for entry level units there are alternative solutions available for the more ruggedtype Tablet PC.8 PeripheralsPeripherals are king when introducing newtechnology into your work life or everyday use,these can transform the functionality of your TabletPC and make you wonder how you ever dealtwithout them. As above Carry Cases are great forwhen you’re getting about and using the tabletwhen on your feet but it’s when you’re back in theoffice or at home where the accessories start toshine.The best set-up I’ve seen is a user with a Tablet PC &Tablet PC Docking Station hooked up to two externalmonitors giving 3 displays total. This was with one ofthe Motion J3600 Tablet PCs (a very powerful Semi-Rugged Windows Tablet PC) and the user wasrunning the full standard desktop version of CAD. The other ports on the docking station were usedfor fast internet connection via the Ethernet port and via the USB ports the user added a keyboardand mouse. This set-up was duplicated at home and in the office, ensuring the Tablet PC stayed withthe user at all times. Whatever your location work can commence. This might sound a little over thetop for the standard Tablet PC user but the savings made over a month paid for the entire hardware,food for thought and A professional Tablet PC solution for a true business professional.Other peripherals are available just make sure to see the individual Tablet PC in question and don’tforget to check the manufacturers’ page. More often than not these are more up to date with neweritems and updated frequently. If there is a lack of accessories then you may wish to consider thelongevity of the Tablet PC in questions. If no apparent support in terms of accessories, does this
mean support for the Tablet PC hardware will suddenly be non-existent? I’ve seen this countlesstimes for cheap Tablet PCs where manufactures disappear even before the warranty is up! Again,look for no shorter than 4-5 fully supported computing years, especially for technology at the truebusiness end of the spectrum.9 TEXT & EmailWith integrated 3G Broadband you’d expect to be able to send emails with your Tablet PC, but didyou know you can also send Text messages and even make calls? Nor did I until about 5 minutes ago.I used my standard phone SIM card to enable 3G on this Tablet PC and next thing a text popped up!Which was actually useful since my phone was off due to me removing the SIM Card, you can sendthem too it seems. I’d still recommend a dedicated card for your Tablet PC, all Mobile operators shipthem now and some are even free if you have an existing contract with a mobile 3G operator.10 This article has been written on a Tablet PC!You won’t see any difference, but this entire article has been written on a Tablet PC supplied fromCamtech Systems, I’d like to thanks them for their support by adding this ‘did you know guide’ to thiswebsite and hopefully help them a little too by giving them a mention:You can see their full range of Tablet PCs on their website www.camtechsystems.co.uk and forreference I wrote this on the Motion J3600, was a bit tricky to start with but once I got used to thewriting style it was on par with physical writing to a pad of paper (I used Microsoft Journal in thiscase since it’s supplied free with Windows 7 Professional) and once I’d finished writing my article thesoftware on the tablet pc converted my scribble to actual text, it even corrected the occasionalmisspelling. Thanks again to Camtech for their full support and quickly retuning any questions I hadalong the way.