Tablets are a great tool for people in all kinds of work. Doctors can use their tablets to take notes while chatting with patients, entrepreneurs can use their tablet to stay up to date on the latest business news, and designers can showcase their portfolios to potential clients on a big-screen tab. With so many uses, many professionals are skipping their annual laptop upgrade in favor of getting a zippy new tablet. Planning on buying a new tablet for business this year? Here’s our guide to which tablets should be on your short list.
1. Lenovo IdeaTab
Learn more about the Lenovo IdeaTab A8 & A10 tablets in the video above.
Lenovo is well known for their business laptops, so it makes sense to consider this company’s line of tablets if you need a more portable business solution. This tablet is lightweight and offers up to eight hours of battery life in the eight-inch model. The front-facing speakers with Dolby Audio are more than equal to the task of playing your favorite music and movies during your down time, or showcasing multimedia presentations to colleagues and clients alike.
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10-Inch Version)
Check out the video above, which features over 40 tips and tricks for Galaxy Tab S owners.
While a lot of tablets out there have pretty wimpy on-board storage, this tablet offers the ability to expand up to 128 GB memory with a microSD slot. There’s also an 8.4-inch version of the Galaxy Tab S, which may be a more appealing size for some tablet hunters. The larger version is a bit better for business, as long as you don’t mind the extra bulk.
Price: $449.99 and up (10 percent off)
3. Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Check out the Verge’s review of the Surface Pro 3 above.
If you need a full-functioned version of Windows in a lightweight package, the powerful Surface Pro 3 is the tablet for you. It’s been extremely well-received by critics. Engadget gave this tablet an 8.0, while IT Pro writes that the Surface Pro 3 has the edge over the iPad Air 2 in terms of inputs, specs, and connectivity.
The only downside here is the price. The Surface Pro 3 is powerful, but the price goes up drastically when you start looking at the models with the most onboard storage. Plus, the accessories can be a little more expensive for this tablet than for some other models out there.
Overall, if you’re looking for a great business tablet than can easily work as well as a laptop, this is a device worth splurging on. There’s also a ton of different storage options to choose from, which is a nice perk for those who need more onboard storage. Still, if you need a fat business write-off for 2015, this is an excellent tablet to use for your business needs.
Price: $779 and up, depending on options selected
4. iPad Air 2
Check out a short but sweet review of the iPad Air 2 in the video above from the Verge.
The iPad Air 2 is Apple’s most powerful tablet, and the team at Apple showed off all of its great business applications at the iPad Air 2’s debut Keynote presentation last year. It’s just 6.1mm thick, making it ideal for people who want a slim, portable, lightweight tablet. Its powerful processor makes this a stellar option for personal or student use, but it really shines as a business tab. If you already use an iPhone for business, having a tablet that operates in that same iOS ecosystem just makes sense.
Price: $499 and up, depending on options selected
5. Final Thoughts & Looking Ahead
Overall, when you’re shopping for a tablet this year, there are a couple of business-centric features you should be looking for. The most important feature for business is ease of connectivity with your colleagues. While the majority of applications and document types can be viewed across Windows, Android, and iOS tablets, it will probably behoove you to have the same type of tablet as other people in your office or division. For one thing, you’ll be able to share chargers and other accessories with ease.
You should also consider what tablet size is most appropriate for your business needs. Designers and people who do a lot of collaborative work should consider a larger format tablet, something in the 10-inch or 12-inch range. This large screen will make it easy to show off projects, designs, or media. Those who travel a lot for business will probably appreciate a smaller tablet, something with a screen around seven or eight inches. A tab that size is easy to tuck into a purse or briefcase, and something lightweight is great for keeping your carry-on luggage nice and light.
Planning to buy a tablet for business later this year? TabletMonkeys has a great list of all upcoming tablets you should be aware of. Rumored tablets that might debut this year include Apple’s plus-size “iPad Pro” and perhaps even Microsoft’s rumored Surface Mini. Tablets with more firm release dates in 2015 include the HP Slate 7 VoiceTab Ultra, the Lenovo Folder Pad, and at least one new tablet from Samsung.