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April 4, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 3:04pm

5 best tablets for the workplace

Forget the iPad, these are the top tablets for your business.

By Joe Curtis

Thanks to the consumerisation of IT, maybe it was inevitable that the iPad is so dominant in the enterprise market. But there’s some better options for your business than the admittedly sleek device.

While Apple may have the cool factor, it can’t easily handle USBs, and is arguably a bit too fragile to be toting around on business trips.

So here’s CBR‘s picks for the top five tablets that are suitable for enterprise IT.

Asus VivoTab

Asus VivoTab

Asus Vivo runs the unfairly-maligned Windows 8. While the operating system doesn’t work very well on desktops, it’s designed for touchscreens so the tile layout is pretty easy to use, as far as we can tell.

The fact it runs on an Intel Atom processor (with a handy 2GB of RAM and 64GB of convertible storage) means all that legacy software filling up your desktop will run pretty smoothly on it.

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With two USB ports and a keyboard slot means it’s the perfect business device really, plus it sports a handy stylus pen for jotting quick notes.

Price around £300
OS Windows 8
Weight 675g (1,340g with keyboard)
RAM and memory 32GB/64GB with 2GB RAM
Screen size 11.6 inches

Surface Pro 2

Surface Pro 2

Picture from Microsoft

If (it’s a big if) you can look past the £719 price tag on Microsoft’s tablet, you’ll actually see a pretty attractive business device.

It boasts a pressure-sensitive stylus pen for note-taking (and doodling) at meetings, while it offers free Office activation as part of that hefty RRP. While its large screen (10.6 inches) suggests Microsoft came kicking and screaming to the mobile device market, it’s actually a really great size for working on.

With lots of tablets too small to use for business, when you link the Surface to a keyboard you’re ready to type away wherever you are.

The only downside we can see aside from the cost is its weight – a not inconsiderable 1.9lbs.

Price £719 (starting price)
OS Windows 8.1 Pro
Weight 1.9lbs
RAM and memory 64/128GB with 4GB RAM or 256/512GB with 8GB RAM
Screen size 10.6 inches

Galaxy Note Pro

Galaxy Note Pro

Picture from Samsung website

Samsung’s Galaxy Note Pro comes in at a rather large 12.2 inches. We’d barely think it qualifies as a tablet it’s so big. While it’s certainly big enough to work on, the device is so gigantic as to prove hard to hold and use.

Really what extra do those two inches give you apart from cramp? However, you do get some serious productivity apps along with the hardware, specifically office and remote working kits. Its battery life is also impressive for how large the device is, lasting ten hours and more even during heavy use.

Saying that, the Android app ecosystem isn’t as work-oriented as Microsoft’s, but that could change with time. Another thing that is yet to happen is for Microsoft to release an Android-based Office app, but it’s done it for iPad so it surely can’t be long coming now…

Price £600-£650
OS Android KitKat 4.4.2
Weight 750g
RAM and memory 32/64GB with 3GB RAM
Screen size 12.2 inches

Asus Transformer Pad TF701T

Asus Transformer Pad TF701T

Picture from Asus website

Not as cool as the other Transformers, Asus’s range certainly count as tablets in disguise. The TF701T comes in two pieces, a screen (the tablet bit) and detachable keyboard dock.

It may not be the snazziest bit of kit on the market, but this Android device is ideal for business people looking for something more serious than an iPad but without the cost of a Surface. It’s got an excellent 17-hour battery life even with the keyboard and the 10.1-inch screen is the perfect size for working on.

Price £434
OS Android 4.2
Weight 585g
RAM and memory 32/64GB with 5GB web storage space
Screen size 10.1inches

Google Nexus 7

Nexus 7

Picture from Google’s website

Another Android one of course; Google have made some exceptional devices and the Nexus 7 is definitely one of their best. Possibly the best value for money tablet on our list, the latest Nexus model boasts an HD display and even a 4G version that would suit mobile workers. The price point is one of its biggest benefits, starting at just £199.

Calling the Android app ecosystem disappointing would be unfair, but it’s not business-oriented. However, that’s perhaps the only downside of this outstanding tablet.

Price £199
OS Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Weight 340g
RAM and memory 16/32GB with 1GB RAM
Screen size 7 inches

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