This post first appeared on Mobile Enterprise. Re-posted with permission.
It’s almost that time of year: your employees are itching for the latest tablets — some of which may show up under Christmas trees or as Hanukkah gifts next month. With seemingly every device manufacturer launching a competitive product these days, here’s a round-up of enterprise-friendly tabs that may be making their way into your workplace as part of the BYOT trend — whether your IT department likes it or not.
Windows Surface Pro
Availability: Early 2013
Microsoft’s consumer-friendly tablet reboot draws on the success of its Live Tiles, a new way of navigating the content and data that users rely on most. Powered by Windows 8, Surface lets users run current Windows 7 desktop applications and integrates with existing enterprise management infrastructure. It includes digital pen functionality for increased usability. With up to 128GB of storage, a 10.6-in. high-def touchscreen, and Intel Core i5 processor, Surface seems to be a sturdy workhorse. It will have to catch up on the apps front, however. Windows Store features 10,000 Windows 8 applications, which pale in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of apps for Android and iOS tablets.
HP ElitePad 900
Availability: January 2013
Another Windows 8 tablet, the ElitePad is designed for enterprise and government users, with features such as optional 3G/4G, drive encryption and digital pen input. The 10.1-in. tablet also supports voice input, and particularly tech-savvy users will appreciate the ability to service the device (with access to the battery and other parts under the hood). HP is throwing considerable security support and services behind its latest slate, with features such as HP Client Security, Device Access Manager, Computrace and Sparekey. With HP Wireless Hotspot, users in small workgroups can share Wi-Fi and network bandwidth. And ElitePad’s ePrint feature lets users print wirelessly from 24,000 locations such as hotels and business centers — without downloading drivers.
Price: Starts at $499 for 16GB
The biggest reason to splurge on the latest full-size iPad is its performance-enhancing quad-core A6X processor and the much-hyped retina display, which enables 1536 x 2048 resolution. Beyond those features, however, the specs remain largely the same as previous iterations. The iPad 4 may be a must-have for diehard Apple fans, but others can wait for the next generation without missing out on much.
Google Nexus 7
Price: Starts at $199 for 16 GB
With its $299 AT&T HSPA+ version selling out after just a few days on the market, the Nexus 7 seems to be creating excitement among Android fans. And for enterprises, the competitive pricing makes a convincing case for the tablet as “disposable” technology. Powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, the Nexus 7 runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and enables videoconferencing. It works with GSM and HSPA+ networks, and a smart keyboard with gesture typing lets users compose messages quickly. The device’s integration with Google Now gives busy travelers timely information — such as local time and currency, flight departure info, and traffic data — at their fingertips.
Read the rest of this article on Mobile Enterprise.