The tablet market has grown tremendously over the past few years. What started as a content consumption device for consumers has transformed into a device that has started to pull sales away from traditional notebooks. The obvious next step for tablets is towards the enterprise and business users.

As my usage models tend to be a bit unusual, when tasked with finding out how people use tablets for work my initial thought was to go to you all directly. So, how do you or could you use use tablets for work? What possibilities do you see for tablet use in work going forward? Respond with your thoughts in the comments, a lot of eyes will be watching this discussion and you could definitely help shape design decisions going forward.

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  • 8steve8 - Monday, June 17, 2013 - link

    If she's doing it all off a usb3 port then she is doing it wrong. She should be using the mini displayport from the surface pro to drive 1 monitor, or more using a displayport hub or monitors with daisychaining which is supported by DP 1.2 Reply
  • WeaselITB - Thursday, June 13, 2013 - link

    What you're describing, jamyryals, is pretty close to what I'm doing now with my Surface Pro that I've been using as my main work device for the past month or so.

    I'm in IT, but more on the systems side and less to do with development, and the Surface Pro is really really close to ideal for me. I just wish there was a better docking situation with it than my current "Plug USB hub, plug monitor, plug power" setup coupled with the "don't forget to take the power plug with you when you leave" that sometimes happens.

    I shopped between the Surface Pro and the ElitePad (among others) before I settled on the Pro, and the main deciding factors between the two for me were the screen and the processor. 1280x800 vs 1920x1080? Yeah, I'll take the Surface Pro. Atom vs Core i5? Yeah, I'll take the Surface Pro.

    (Also, the HP seemed to be all about selling the accessories. Granted, the jacket concept is pretty cool, but selling the jacket for $199 and the expansion battery that goes into it for another $149? Jeez, and people thought the Type Cover was expensive ...)

    It is truly amazing to haul this around instead of the 17" behemoth of a laptop I used to use, and provides a nice "Wow" factor when visiting customer sites for meetings. The ability to use full-fledged applications (such as OneNote that syncs back up to our intranet), coupled with the Wacom digitizer, is really powerful.
    Reply
  • jjj - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    First and foremost they shouldn't think of tablets and phones as fundamentally different, especially since there are at least 2 ways to kill tablets in a few years.
    Second, everybody thinks about the new form factors like they think about PCs and tend to equal productivity and content creation with the keyboard. That's the wrong way to look at it.
    And... i'll stop now since i see no reason for Anandtech to profit on my ideas, maybe when the site starts to be objective.
    Reply
  • theCuriousTask - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    The ability to be able to type notes and seamlessly switch to "hand written notetaking" would be a great use case. That would greatly expand note taking, which for students, has remained mostly stagnant. I would love a google docs version that has the ability to incorporate hand writing for collaboration. Reply
  • Da W - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    That's the surface pro with One Note. Reply
  • Azethoth - Thursday, June 13, 2013 - link

    No. Go take a look at a Coursera course. The lectures are on video which means you do not take notes. You watch them. In class you do exercises, discussions etc with professors and ta's. Note taking is really a bogus waste of your time stemming from the paper age and inefficient teaching methods. Reply
  • silenceisgolden - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    Right now, I only use a tablet for books if I do at all. I have not purchased a 7" tablet but that's one of the next purchases to do, and I'll use a tablet more after that happens. I DO NOT USE IT TO BROWSE WEBSITES UNLESS I'M FORCED TO (hint: make apps please). Apps offer a way better experience if they are even mildly designed; the mobile web is not there yet. With the 7 inch tablet I'd replace email checking, Facebook checking, news checking, and book reading: all things I do on my phone or tablet currently. I have no reason for deep usage for a tablet since the Chromebook pixel or a macbook air is a much better form factor for coding (my job) or even designing (also my current job). Reply
  • tech6 - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    Tablets are a light and useful email and web client when on the road but beyond that they just don't fit the way I work mainly because of the touch interface that make text and graphics editing a real chore. Reply
  • PCTC2 - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    I currently use a Surface Pro. However, it is not my only computer. I currently also use a Mac Mini, and a Linux Workstation at home and work, respectively. It's great for filling the gaps. I use the Wacom digitizer for hand-written notes in meetings, I use the Type case for quick code fixes (via SSH) and for typing emails/documents. It's small, has a great screen, a Wacom digitizer, and a functional keyboard. It can be used with one hand. When I need to anything heavy-duty, I can either remote into my workstation, SSH into my workstation, or wait until I get to my desk.

    In short, it's great as a secondary computer, for meetings, onsite calls (often in datacenters), and quick fixes. Would I use it as my primary? No. But that's why I have a workstation.
    Reply
  • firewall597 - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    I own the Surface RT, and since the app ecosystem leaves something to be desired right now, I personally find it more useful at work than for play.

    Between the touch cover, the great battery life, the RT Office suite, the calendar/email accessibility and the easy cloud access, it's been a great productivity tool to have in an office environment
    Reply

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