Business gadgets this Christmas

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21 December 2012 | 0

There might yet be a business out there has a few coppers rolling around in a budget somewhere that need to be spent before the end of the year, or the budget will be reduced next year.
That’s one old excuse or you could make up your own, either way, you might be in the market for a business device this Christmas and we have compiled little list along with a compelling business case to ensure that you can justify that little purchase to the boss/tax man/CFO or whoever might dare question your wisdom.

1. Windows Surface
This tablet device runs the Windows 8 (Win8) operating system (OS) and comes in two flavours, the Pro and the RT. The Pro runs a full Intel processor and is the simply Microsoft’s own implementation of a Windows 8 tablet, however this is not yet available in the Irish market.

The RT version runs an ARM processor and so has a custom version of Windows 8 that cannot take full advantage of all the apps already emerging for OS.

 

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While some doubt the wisdom of Microsoft doing its own line of hardware in this area when OEMs such as HP, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung are all churning out such devices, it gives Redmond complete control of the platform, from plug to screen, and so should be a step ahead of the OEMs in terms of features and cutting edge usage of the OS.

Business case: For now, there’s a certain exclusivity around the Surface devices, partly due to the fact that they are not yet available direct in Ireland. However, despite being the newest shiny thing, the Windows 8 OS is so similar to Windows 7 in terms of management and control, it will not cause IT people any sleepless nights when you turn up in January and ask for it to be put on the network.

2. Windows 8 tablets
Windows 8 tablets in general are likely to be a major element in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend in the coming months. Unlike iOS, which requires some kind of mobile device management (MDM) system to properly manage it, Win8 should be easy to integrate with existing systems. However, the new niche of desktop replacement tablets is an interesting one that will likely see a significant business adoption of Win8 tablet and hybrid devices.

 

Devices: Dell XPS 12, Samsung ATIV SMART PC

Business case: The full capability of a desktop that also offers the portability and ease of use of tablet? Hard to argue with that!

3. Logitech Touchpad
Not everyone is going to go down the shiny new, touch-enabled route when it comes to Win8, some will simply upgrade their existing machines. In reality, anything that is happy running Windows 7 will be just as happy with 8. So, how do get all those wonderful touch features without a touch device?

Logitech, amongst others, have the answers. The Touchpad T650 is a small, multi-touch enabled device that is designed to give you all the touch control elements of Windows 8 on a non-touch device. It can be used with keyboard and mouse to give a full experience. There are even versions of Windows 8 keyboards that allow multiple Win8 devices to be controlled from them.

Business case: An upgrade of OS is cheaper than a new machine and these devices ensure you lose nothing of the experience in doing so. Win-win!

4. iPad 3 and Mini
There’s no denying that the iPad is still the device of choice in the tablet market. The good news is that with iOS 6 onboard, the iPad 3 is the easiest device to integrate into a proper business environment. However, it is still not as manageable as some other devices on the market in a business context.

The iPad Mini, though likely to appear on many a wish list, just can’t cut it in the business environment. It’s smaller size and modest specs mean battery life will be good, but the reduction in screen area means it is less of a business tool.

Business case: The iPad 3 has a better screen, better performance and can do more thanks to the new OS so is an easier argument with the purchasing manager than the iPad Mini, but it’s still likely to enter businesses by the side door.

5. Samsung Galaxy Note II and Note Tablet
Samsung has gone from strength to strength in the mobile device market, despite the ruling by a judge in the patent dispute with Apple that said the Korean company’s products were just ‘not as cool’ as Apple’s.

But a look at the Note II and Galaxy Note tablet shows that the Korean giant is taking tablet limitations seriously.

The pen input system used by both devices, SNote, allows handwritten notes and input to the likes of even third-party word processors. This squarely tackles the old criticism that tablets, and the like, are purely for consumption as opposed to creation.

Business case: Bringing all the capability of a tablet with an easy input system too, these devices speak for themselves. The only downside is that Android is the least favourite with IT administrators in terms of device management.

 

 TechCentral Reporters

This article was aired as an item on TodayFM’s Sunday Business Show on 9 December 2012

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