We've done a couple of posts now on using tablets in business/enterprise settings. In our final post in this series we're soliciting ultimate feedback. There's an interesting trend going on in the consumer tablet space now, with attention shifting away from 10-inch form factors down to 7 or 8-inch models. I suspect things will be different in business/enterprise markets though. For those of you who see a use for tablets in the workplace, what is the ideal form factor? I'd love to hear your responses in the comments. Go as far as you want on the spec list too - down to silicon, storage options, dimensions, etc... Upcoming tablets are obviously set in stone, but your input could definitely help shape future designs.

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  • trane - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    In terms of form factor, I have to say, Aspire P3 is already there. <10mm Z-height, ~750g, 11.6 inch. Plop Haswell ULX into it and it will be good for 8+ hours. Personally, I would prefer a 11.0/11.1 inch device. Surface Pro isn't too bad at 10.6 either. But it's not a huge deal, anything between 10.6 and 11.6 is fine by me. Pretty sure Haswell will bump Surface Pro 2 down to similar ~10mm / 750g specs. Metro already scaled pretty well, and now Desktop is finally getting good in 8.1, so I'll go for a 2560x1440 IPS display. Scaled to 200% it gives just the right balance between touch targets and real estate. Obviously what is most appealing is hot plugging in one of these to my dual 27 inch monitor setup. Or to a keyboard dock. In 8.1 monitors have independent scaling too. Desktop, tablet, notebook all in one, finally possible with Haswell and Windows 8.1. Reply
  • eszklar - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I'm very partial to the Microsoft Surface Pro form factor myself, especially a Haswell based version hopefully with the Surface Pro 2. I'm interested in the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix for a slightly bigger tablet than the Surface Pro 2. On the smaller size I like the Acer W3 form factor but hopefully then next generation will be more robust - I think an 8" Windows 8 Pro tablet has potential. Reply
  • Da W - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Surface Pro + typecover + a 20$ wireless logitech mouse + office 2013. It's as good as it gets.

    Could only wish for a lower price, thinner, lighter form factor, better graphics, better camera and longer battery life, may be with Haswell or Broadwell. And Windows 8.1. But these would be marginal improvements, Surface Pro is the revolution for work, it has all it needs. Alas not many people tryied it.
    Reply
  • zaddie63 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I use a 10.1 inch Windows 8 tablet and I find that is good size for me. 10.6 I think would be the limit. I'd like a dual core processor @ 1.8 -2.2 Ghz with Intel HD 4000 level graphics. I don't do any graphics work on my tablet. If I was going to graphics work I'd probably get a laptop or desktop with discrete video. WIFI, Bluetooth.

    Ports - 2 Full sized USB 3.0, full sized SDHC/UHS1, any HDMI, 3G/4G optional. SATA 3 or mSATA SSD. 720p front camera at least. Ethernet would be necessary for my work but I acknowledge a lot of people don't think it is necessary.

    Weight should be no more than 800 grams.
    Screen Resolution 1440x900 minimum, 400 nits, AMOLED screen.
    No fans.
    Stereo speakers 1.5 -2 watts
    Price : $700 USD maximum

    Optional Dock which has
    Ethernet
    Speakers
    HDMI,
    VGA
    4 USB/Thunderbolt
    Reply
  • zaddie63 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    4GB of the fastest possible RAM in a single memory slot, to help the GPU.
    The SoC should be in the 3-4watt area so that the batter can give 8+ hours of run time. Which is why I asked for a dual core rather than a quad core CPU. If a hyper threaded dual core will draw less power than a quad core then do that. But I would not want a quad core at the expense of run time.
    Reply
  • eaanders22 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    The Samsung Ativ Q comes the closest of any device yet to meeting the needs of someone that needs Windows but also uses a lot of Google software and apps. Hi-Res display, Core i5, 4 Gb, 128 SSD, Haswell, fairly light for a convertible, cpu and ports in the hinge for better cooling, and many display configurations for lap, desk, and stand-up presentation. I think they've hit the sweetspot. I'm waiting for your review. Reply
  • DrCheap - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    This device does look very promising, but we all will need some serious hands-on reviews before biting the bullet and buying one. I expect them to be pricey. Right now it is at the top of my list of likely purchases this year, but only if the implementation pays off as well as the tradeshow videos make it appear. Reply
  • zaddie63 - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Too big; Too heavy. Would make a great laptop though. Reply
  • blackjag - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Make the screen size the same dimensions as a 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper. In most industries and in school, having a tablet where papers and textbooks can be displayed without having to reflow and reformat the data would be huge. This works out to a 13.9" screen, which is pretty big but the benefits vastly outweigh the size. Every grad student I know would buy one. The absolute killer feature would be leveraging flexible screens to have the tablet fold in half for storage. I think this form factor would be a huge seller as an Android tablet mainly for reading and taking notes. It would need a solid digitizer though for writing notes. If the screen size is too unwieldy, removing .5" margins around the edges to bring it down to 7.5" x 10" (12.5" screen) would work, since every paper more or less has margins at least that big. The drive towards digitizing everything has been slowed by the need to create apps to fit the new form factors. If we reused the letter format, most existing paper based content could simply be digitized and displayed full size. Reply
  • DrCheap - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Yes yes yes! I have been begging for such a device for years now!
    The problem, in part, is that at the 16:10 ratio of many tablets to get 8.5" wide you need a 16" screen that gets you 13.6" tall. What we would need is a 4:3 ratio, at 14", which gets you almost exactly 8.5x11 display area. Now if we lop off some margins and go down to 13" at 4:3 ratio we get 7.8x10.4 -- so that may be the sweet spot. If someone made that, we would be damned close to a sheet of paper.
    Reply

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