tablet or macbook

When you are the individual (or team) running a business, you want to keep costs low and productivity high. Your employees need to be able to do their job and enjoy it without breaking the bank.

Many positions do not require the latest and greatest in technology, but society has evolved and grown to the point where you cannot get by with substandard equipment. With the rise of tablets and hybrids, people are wondering why they still use laptops. After all, we are so enamoured with touch technology that the tablet ads we see on TV and the Internet seem so futuristic and wonderful, why shouldn’t we all have tablets?

Let’s slow down though, because you’re not concerned with your employees staying on top of digital trends; you’re concerned with them being productive and doing their jobs effectively. If that’s on a tablet, great, but if they could be more productive on a laptop, buy laptops for everybody. But you can’t afford to get both, because that’s a big expense which has a high chance of being a wasteful expense.

With stories of employees around the world finding better productivity with either tablets or laptops, you do want to know which you should be using.

The right choice could drive down costs, boost productivity, increase revenue and increase employee morale.

Let us walk through your expectations of technology, and then which device does the job better.

 1. Performance

With rising company growth and increasing customer demands, your employees need to be able to handle customer inquiries and requests quickly and effectively. In order to do that, they must have technology that is capable of handling all incoming requests as well as the appropriate response. Failure to perform quickly enough could tarnish your reputation for effectiveness while giving your competition a unique selling proposition over your business.

All businesses and their products/services are different, but what is not different is which device is built to handle certain tasks.

Laptops, with their bigger size, have more hardware inside, which means more room for processing power. Without getting into all the technical details, more processing power means more speed and more power for multi-tasking.

For any company operation that requires more than one software application running at once, laptops have the memory and hardware to support that. Laptops also have more storage, which means they can hold more information and software. This is helpful when you are storing important files for later use as you are not deleting other files to make room.

A laptop’s hardware can handle more difficult tasks, such as video and picture editing. This is important for businesses that work primarily with media, or create media for their clients.

Tablets are naturally smaller and thinner than laptops, so that means less memory, thus less speed. As you might expect or have seen, tablets are not very effective for multi-tasking, and their ability to do so is quite limited. Their applications are also not as powerful or adept due to the lack of processing power.

Tablets are good when you need one window open at a time. If you need customers to sign a form, a tablet can carry that out and process it. If you are typing up a document, and only typing up a document, you won’t see much of a difference between a laptop and a tablet.

Winner: Laptop

2. Portability

Our economy is becoming increasingly globalized, whether you are aware of that or not. Your business might have branches across the country or even around the world. This means your employees are moving around, often frequently, and they need a way to stay connected to their work.

It could even be that your employees are meeting with customers daily, and won’t be at the office but still need to input data and work on projects.

Laptops and tablets were both designed for portability, but tablets are much easier to carry around. You can easily hold one in your hand and in your arm, and they are light enough that you could put in in your bag/purse and not notice a significant difference in weight.

Laptops are bulky, and the hardware inside means that you will be carrying around a box filled with fragile parts. The weight also makes a significant difference, as you will find your shoulders hurting if you carry a laptop around for a long period of time.

Winner: Tablet

3. Ease of Use

Employees need to be able to do their tasks effectively and quickly, and while performance is a big factor, another important factor is control, or how easy it is to perform tasks on your device.

Laptops come with a keyboard and a touchpad, but you often see a computer mouse attached. A keyboard makes it easier to type text into a document or input data into a database. A mouse selects specific objects, highlight certain areas and make precise selections. A touchpad can do the same thing, but you might be frustrated at their small size and lack of precision compared to a mouse.

Tablets have a touch screen and sometimes an attachable keyboard. Being able to touch your screen and make decisions is a fun feeling, but sometimes your touches lack precision, and using your hands too often can tire you out, especially since touching your screen is not the same as using a mouse. Hands are not as efficient as a mouse in selecting objects, scrolling down pages or highlighting.

Even a tablet keyboard, while letting you input text as if you were using a real keyboard, is not as effective as an actual keyboard.

However, the touch capabilities of a tablet are much more effective for writing and button selections, which are often used in customer settings for getting approval and signatures. These are areas where a laptop has a lot of difficulty competing, especially with writing where a laptop is unable to do that at all.

Winner: Laptop, but tablets are better for extremely simple tasks

4. Software/Applications

The most important part of any business are the tools required to carry out the necessary tasks. Nowadays, this is done through software which make it easier for a business to stay connected and handle the information received.

Software was designed for laptops/desktops. That may not sound impressive at first, but it means laptops can run all the necessary functionalities in software and have the hardware to support the usage. Just like with performance, this is very useful to businesses that work with media, but is also useful for those who work with CRM and other business related software..

Tablets do not have software capabilities like laptops, but this is fixed by applications or “apps” as they are called. Developers make them specifically designed for mobile devices, so you still have access to the same capabilities as software for laptops.

The difference is that these apps were designed for mobile devices and thus take into account their lack of processing power compared to laptops/PCs. However, this doesn’t make a big difference in the long run, as you can still get the same tasks done with a tablet as you could with a laptop. You just have to accept that tablet applications are not nearly as powerful as laptop software. Most of the time though, this won’t matter too much. If there’s an application for it, it’s probably all you need 90% of the time.

Winner: Tie. Either one has the advantage depending on how you want to see it.

So with all things considered, laptops are better for a working environment unless your employees are in front of customers often.

You might wonder why I haven’t gone over a lot of aspects of tablets like the user experience or laptops and their ability to handle different forms of data. That’s because for you, the CEO (or other management title), this isn’t important to you. You’re not going to be looking at whether tablets are good for watching movies and reading books, or whether laptops can run video games better. Employees shouldn’t be doing that on company property anyway (not to the point where it hurts productivity).

For your employees who work in the office, laptops are the more efficient purchase to get the most performance. If you find your employees out in the field with customers or going to meetings, you will want to consider tablets for your employees.

Not only do you need to find the right devices for your employees, you also need the right IT support in case they begin to fail. At MSP Blueshift, we know how to support your devices so that you can expect top performance every time, while knowing that if something goes wrong, we can fix it.

For more information on IT, follow us at @mspblueshift and on our Facebook page. If you would like a free look at your IT, contact us at 1300 501 677 and we will get back to you ASAP.