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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  • Gadgety - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    I'm not using one at the moment, but best for me would be a tablet with a foldable BT keyboard such as the old iGo, except with a trackpoint mouse. The Lenovo 8 inch Miix looks like a candidate. Among todays offering the Thinkpad Helix is attractive, albeit a bit too big. Reply
  • AK_HAZE - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    There is not a single thing that I would do on a tablet over a laptop or desktop, not for work (audio and image editing, emailing) or play (browsing, games, movies etc)
    If I read e-books then that would probably be the one thing, but I actually like books so...
    Reply
  • douglord - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    I'm using a DELL Latitude 10 right now.

    I bought the dock, a full keyboard, mouse and 22" monitor and everything is working great.

    I normally have Mail, Excel, Power Point, Real Player and IE with 10 or so tabs open all at once. No problems. I've got my music going and I'm putting together a simple Excel spreadsheet (data base type stuff) that involves researching stuff on the web, and cutting and pasting from IE and Adobe to Excel. I've also put together a number of 20 slide Power Point presentations.

    I wouldn't want to put together a REAL compute oriented Excel model, or do anything too taxing. I'm really looking forward to a ULV Haswell update or Silvermont.

    But getting 16 hours of battery life and being able to travel with just a 2lb tablet and Bluetooth keyboard cover is AMAZING.

    I will say this - the stylus handwriting stuff is broken. Basically a full letter lag when I try to write. Need more power and better software for that. Plus a less slick screen.

    I also dislike having to output 768x1366 to a 22" monitor.

    But I think we are 1 gen away from Intel tablets being real laptop replacements.
    Reply
  • Granseth - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    I'm looking for a tablet that extends the functionality of a laptop/desktop. I know some apps helps with some added functionality, but I'm really looking for a tablet that makes that immersion seamless and was hoping MS to do it with Win8, but so far no luck

    I do some lecture for example, and I want to use a tablet to run powerpoint and being able to draw on it and point and so on.

    I also would like the tablet to act as a second screen when I need it, and to push pictures and documents back and forth.

    So these are some of the possibilities I'm looking for
    Reply
  • davidbec - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    I currently use a Gigabyte S1080 Windows x86 tablet and its great (Running Windows 8). It has 2 full sized USB ports and an Ethernet port among others. I am a Computer tech, so I need versatility without compromise.

    I travel as well and carrying a full x86 computer with all those ports with you that weighs 2lbs is a life saver. You never know what you are going to meet, who you will connect with and having the capacity to accept and work with whatever they throw at you is comforting.

    So to the eyes that are watching we (I) would like a silvermont tablet with full sized ports (USB 3, SDXC/UHS, HMDI/VGA, Ethernet, SIM). Micro ports are a pain because it means I have to purchase and pack adaptors. If they are lost or damaged I lose jobs or time and time is money.

    Did you know that most digital cameras use full sized SD cards and those cards are larger and faster than micro SD for the same price? Why give me a micro SD slot on my tablet then?

    I interface with different devices from time to time to configure or troubleshoot, so the Ethernet port is a must have. Sometimes I also go to hotels and the WIFI is lousy, or none existent, I know you have had those experiences as well. It's nice to have an Ethernet port in those times.

    Even when you have WIFI, transferring files at 54Mbps and transferring files at 1Gbps are slightly different. :)

    It is small and relatively light. Sometimes the Server room where I have to work is small or sometimes has no table to place a laptop. So having a tablet is VERY good. Or maybe it does , but it has no chair to sit at the laptop. So the ability to stand and work is advantageous. I have had many of those experiences.

    Many people here will talk about what is nice to have, what is ideal. But I actually work in these areas all day every day. So for instance people will like a tablet that is extremely thin and light. But hello, you're not going to get a full sized SD on it furthermore an Ethernet port. So forget the thin light talk if you are building a tablet for professionals. If you want to build a tablet for executives then yes a thin and light would be perfect, cause all they want is email and browsing on WIFI or their data plans.

    So yes I love my tablet. I am looking forward to silvermont so that I can have a faster SoC and longer battery life.

    Build for function! That's my take.
    Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Thursday, June 13, 2013 - link

    I agree with the SD card slot and USB3... But Ethernet is overkill - why not use a thunderbolt adapter instead? I'd rather carry a couple adapters than a thicker device overall. Reply
  • davidbec - Thursday, June 13, 2013 - link

    I had to use it jut today actually. A customer brought in an old Linksys WAP54G Access Point to the office. It was configured for a previous purpose and no one knew the passwords. I stood up in the server room with my S1080, reset the AP and connected the Ethernet on my tablet. In 5 minutes they were back on WIFI. Now I went there with just the tablet initially. If I had a USB only or thunderbolt tablet. I'd have to leave, go back to the car and get that adaptor you speak of. Why do that if you already have Ethernet on the tablet? Why choose inconvenience in order to save 4 millimeters or a quarter of a pound in weight.

    Suppose there with some anxious executive there that wanted to use his ipad and I ran off to get my thunderbolt. Do you think I'd still have a job? This particular customer knows my CEO and is friends with my General Manager. They get invoices credited just by asking...

    We would all like extra thin tabs that weigh 1 pound. But what ever would you do with them?
    Reply
  • davidbec - Thursday, June 13, 2013 - link

    Soooo funny what I just saw as I was browsing the net on Windows Phone Central and thought about this discussion. Microsoft has just released a new driver for guess what; a USB to Ethernet adaptor to allow PXE boot. Built in Ethernet is not overkill. Reply
  • GotThumbs - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    I have one of the early Motorola Xoom tablets through work and its served me well since 2011. Others went with the IPAD which did not meet their expectations. I think many general users expect way too much from a tablet in the first place. The right tool for the right job is the way to go IMO. I sling SQL during the day and use dual 30" monitors driven by two Nvidia GT330 cards. A tablet is fine for web content consumption (streaming music from my home server at the moment via subsonic) and emails, but thats as far as it goes for me. We did just order two Surface Pros for the office and I'm eager to get my hands on one to see the possibilities.

    I think in time, we will see most users needs met with tablets and docking stations. There will always be a small group of power users who will need more capability than what any tablet can provide for this moment in time.

    Best wishes,
    Reply
  • Moizy - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    I do a lot of Excel work, so a laptop/desktop always beats a tablet there for me (larger screens, better keyboards, etc.). But where tablets dominate laptops/desktops is with reading. If I'm going to read a longer article, I want something I can put in portrait mode, hold in my hand, and look down on, instead of a landscape-oriented screen in front of me that I have to hold my head up for.

    I didn't realize how uncomfortable it is to read longer PDFs, articles, etc. on a desktop screen until I read on a tablet in portrait mode in my lap.

    So, if I need to do work but also read, a tablet that can dock to a desktop setup would be stellar. We're almost there.
    Reply

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