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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  • Moizy - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    So a dockable tablet would be awesome. But I've heard that USB 3.0 docks aren't the best graphically, and struggle with video (some rely on the CPU for rendering, if I'm not mistaken). This is where Thunderbolt could be awesome for more users. If the GPU could handle rendering and video, and the CPU could handle the rest, and this all could be docked and harnessed through a single Thunderbolt port, that would be awesome. Full desktop productivity, full tablet comfort all in one device. Reply
  • codedivine - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    I am not sure I will ever use tablets, as they exist today, for work. The reason is simply because I find the screen real estate to be too small. I heavily use IDEs such as Visual Studio and Qt Creator and find it hard to use them on anything smaller than 13'' or so. I can use a 11.6'' notebooks when out on short trips, but they are certainly not going to replace my desktop or my 15.6'' notebook anytime soon. I also find the weight argument to be useless. I don't have a problem with carrying 2kg notebooks around.

    In short, I may move to a 14'' or 15'' ultrabook perhaps because they will give me more battery life but not likely to use a tablet for work.
    Reply
  • dawza - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    Use for work now: No
    Could use for work: Maybe, but unlikely

    Product management, so I can appreciate lightweight, long battery life, etc., especially when traveling. However, most tasks require Office, and like most corporations, we're primarily Windows-based. I also rely heavily on some data modeling tools that are Windows-only.

    When traveling, I always have my primary work notebook, which must have a removable battery and an excellent KB/trackpoint (preferably a Lenovo convertible notebook). I like to have a backup most of the time, which means either a lightweight notebook/ultrabook or a tablet PC. The way ultrabooks are going (thinner, lighter, and better battery life), I just don't see a compelling use case for a tablet-- although the next generation Surface Pro/Windows Tablet PCs could be contenders.

    Tablets are great at home, though.
    Reply
  • toooskies - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    Use cases where a tablet is better than a laptop:
    1) Space is at a premium, i.e. you don't do much work at a desk. If you have to hold your computer while you work, you want a tablet.
    2) Travel is a necessity. Whether this is nationwide (i.e. airplanes and remote meetings) or in-office (meetings, IT technicians, etc)
    3) Tablets have superior apps to desktops/laptops (i.e. you have an Android tablet or iPad, and Windows doesn't have the app yet)
    4) Tablet is a "second screen". Much like a tablet is a second screen to the TV at home, you can use it as a device to separate a task from the main machine. I.e. to-do lists or emails on the tablet while your main laptop/desktop is for the "hard stuff".
    Reply
  • DaBoSSs - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    I still use an original Motorola Xoom. I am a critical care physician and use it to access patient info, securely, while at the bedside. We respond to all in hospital emergencies and it also give me the ability to pull up patient information while in the room during an emergency. With the transition to EHR's the paper chart does not contain the information needed in these situations so a tablet gives me the ability to access all I need, at the time I need it.
    Most rooms in our hospital, outside the ICU, do not contain computers in the room, and during emergencies there is not enough room for a portable workstation in addition to all the people I need to help deal with critical situations. Without a tablet I would have difficulty accessing what I need for patient care.
    Many docs in our facility use iPads, but the smaller screen makes it more difficult to read, less information on screen at a time.
    Reply
  • kamper - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    I develop software for medical document sharing. I personally don't use a table, but our (web) user interface dude tests on one and he'll often use a tablet for demos at trade shows. However, I don't think we have many (any?) tablet-using users in the field right now as our interfaces tend to be more geared towards I/T than clinical users.

    I use my phone a fair bit for reading work email but don't tend to write much email on it because the screen is too small. If I were in support, I would probably find a tablet useful for email and logging in to the support portal while out of the office.
    Reply
  • kamper - Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - link

    table = tablet :/ Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Thursday, June 13, 2013 - link

    I see a lot of iPad minis... Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Thursday, June 13, 2013 - link

    Of even phones for those who don't carry a tablet with them Reply
  • GotThumbs - Thursday, June 13, 2013 - link

    So the use is for content viewing only? Are you able to input data/information through the tablet onto your main system? Notes or EKG data?

    Cool use of a tablet for sure.
    Reply

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