Are you looking to get one or more new computers for your business? 

Whether you’re finally upgrading from an older device or just trying to decide what to outfit your workforce with, choosing the ideal business computer has never been more difficult. 

A lack of options isn’t the problem—quite the opposite. Even if you were just looking for laptops, you could spend days going through lists of devices made by companies that all claim that theirs is the best option for you and your team.

But depending on your business’s needs, it may not even be necessary for you to stick with traditional laptops; you may very well be able to opt for their lighter and more nimble counterparts: tablets. 

But how do you know which is better to go with? And where do 2-in-1 devices, such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro series fit into the mix? 

We’ll explore these topics and more in this article so that you come out of it with a clear understanding of how to choose the best device for your business.  

What’s the difference between a tablet and a laptop?

difference between tablets and laptops

When you think of a tablet, it’s easy to imagine them as smaller versions of laptops; after all, if you remove a laptop’s keyboard, you essentially have what looks like a typical tablet. But it’s actually more appropriate to imagine tablets as larger versions of smartphones. 

Just to give you an example, Apple’s Ipads run on an operating system that’s based on the iOS system used by their iPhone devices, rather than being based on macOS. 

This means that, like smartphones, tablets have to efficiently use their batteries so that they can perform basic tasks like email, internet, and running certain apps, as well as a computer. 

For the most part, tablets perform these basic tasks well, but like smartphones, they tend to fall short for more specialized tasks. We’ll explore the pros and cons of laptops, tablets, and 2-in-1 devices in more detail below.

Laptops

Pros

Cons

Tablets 

Pros

Cons

2-in-1 Devices: The compromise you’ve been looking for? 

surface pro 2 in 1 device

These devices aren’t necessarily a new phenomenon, but their most recent iterations have caught the attention of business owners from all over, especially Microsoft’s Surface Pro series. 

The earliest device that could be considered a 2-in-1 device is the Compaq Concerto, which was released in 1993. Since then, they’ve only continued to evolve into better and better versions. Below we’ll explore some of the main benefits of using a 2-in-1 device. 

Important security considerations for using tablets in the business context

mobile device security scanning face

Tablets aren’t susceptible to computer viruses, but there are still several ways they could compromise your business’s IT security if not handled carefully. 

For one, many data breaches aren’t caused by someone hacking into your business’s network or devices but instead by exploiting your people through various forms of phishing attacks

A key ingredient in preventing the exploitation of your workforce by cybercriminals is education and awareness of the threats they need to look out for, both of which can be achieved with strong mobile device management (MDM) solutions and programs.

Mobile device management solutions utilize software to help your business both provision and protect your mobile devices, whether they be tablets, laptops, or smartphones. This not only helps keep your devices secure it also makes it easy to keep track of them and their usage. 

You can use MDM programs to manage who has what devices and how much access those devices have to certain systems in your business—an executive’s provisions device will likely have clearance to access private files that a middle manager wouldn’t. 

To mitigate human error, MDM policies and training should be put into place to make sure that all employees understand the best practices for keeping their devices secure. Such training should also be continually updated on at least an annual basis to stay relevant to the times. 

Another important thing to keep in mind when considering tablets for you or your whole business is that IT support for business tablets isn’t as common as support for laptops or desktops. 

Questions to ask before deciding between tablets vs. laptops for your business

team in conference room making decision

Choosing between tablets and laptops for your business can be a hard decision to make, but sweating the details with this decision can save you a significant amount of time and money; the last thing you want to happen is to purchase a fleet of devices only to return them dissatisfied.

To help you avoid that unfortunate outcome, we’ve put together a couple of questions you should ask when trying to figure out what type of device your business really needs:

  1. What use cases would a tablet be best for compared to a traditional laptop?
  2. Is there enough value to justify buying a tablet instead of just working with the limitations of a laptop?
  3. There are some tablets that are incredibly powerful and can handle business tasks, but they can also run for a high price. Do their convenience and portability justify such high costs to your business? 
  4. Regardless of whether or not you choose to have tablets in your business’s fleet, you’re almost certain to still use laptops or desktops, which use different operating systems than tablets and other mobile devices. Will your business be able to successfully integrate these multiple operating systems into your existing IT systems?
  5. Tablets are great for travel due to their size and lightweight, but does a large enough portion of your workforce travel so frequently as to warrant the adoption of tablets? 
  6. Do your business applications rely on devices with more processing power?

Settle on which the best device for your business

woman using great laptop for business

Tablets offer a suite of great features and perks that can really enhance your business’s workflow, processes, and even culture. 

But they certainly fall short in many areas that laptops still excel at. But whether your business chooses to adopt one or the other depends on your preferences. 

If you decide that tablets aren’t right for you at the moment, that’s perfectly fine; their technology is only going to keep on improving as the lines between mobile devices and computers continue to blur. 

In Summary: 

Are your business devices secure?

it specialist checking laptop for security

Ever since the rise of laptops as the go-to device for businesses looking to purchase a computer, the question of how you keep these devices and the private data on them secure has been a pressing question. 

There are a number of ways to address this question, from deploying mobile device management (MDM) software to having company training on the matter. 

But how do you choose the right software solution to use for MDM? What’s the best way to tackle the training—and who should be facilitating it in your organization? 

All of these questions are legitimate and necessary to consider when thinking about expanding or simply protecting your business’s fleet of devices. But regardless of their importance, you may not have the time or wherewithal to answer them properly. 

In which case, it may be worth working with an MSP like Commprise to take care of MDM for your business. Our team of professionals never offer cookie-cutter solutions to IT challenges because each business requires solutions tailored to their unique situation.

See it for yourself by booking a call with us today!