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What's The Best Tablet For Your Business?

By Nick Pell for America's Backbone Weekly

When it comes to a tablet for your business there are so many options it's easy to feel overwhelmed. You know you need to make some kind of decision, but not knowing what operating system, size or model can have you sitting around doing nothing. Here's what you need to consider when choosing a device that can keep your company connected to all its stakeholders.

How Will You Use Them?
The first question you need to ask is how your business plans to use tablets. For example, if you're going to use tablets for a point of sale system, as many businesses are doing, you need an operating system that runs the POS system you're in love with. On the other hand, if you're going to be using tablets in client presentations, size and resolution are going to be bigger factors in determining what you buy. If your team will be using tablets for floor coverage, you probably want the smallest tablet with the fastest Wi-Fi on the market. And if you're going to let employees use tablets off the premises, you need an inexpensive data plan to keep your data usage costs to a minimum.

Tablets Need to Stay Connected
Unless you're strictly using tablets for point of sale or another purpose confined to your premises, you need a device with data coverage. A data plan is necessary even in a world where wireless connections are more common than ever. Nothing quite kills a deal for salesmen in the field faster than making a client wait until a wireless connection can be established. Tablets without mobile broadband don't save that much money, and can cost you a lot in lost sales.

What Are You Using On Your Other Machines?
For a graphic design business loaded with iMacs, it doesn't make sense to buy Android-based tablets. Apple's emphasis on compatibility means iPads sync flawlessly with MacBook Pros around the office and beyond. Windows Phone also offers similar syncing and compatibility options with Windows-based machines. Before you buy, make sure you're comfortable with the process of staying connected internally as well as externally.

Security Conscious
For businesses in fields such as healthcare or defense that require compliance with government standards and regulations, Windows tablets are often more easily certifiable—across a wide range of devices, and in many cases may be your only real option. Find out about any relevant regulations you may need to comply with before you begin your tablet research.

Apps Are King
A tablet is often only worth the apps you can put on it. This means iOS and Android-based machines stand head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd: there's way more stuff you can put on them than a Windows-based device. However, you still have a lot of options when it comes to selecting the right tablet for your business. While there's only one company making iOS tablets, there are literally hundreds of different Android-based tablets.

There is no one perfect tablet for everyone, but we can help narrow your options. Even narrowing the field down to four or five will make things a lot more manageable—and help move toward implementing the right tablets for your business.

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Nicholas Pell is a freelance small business and personal finance writer based inSouthern California. His work has appeared on MainStreet, Business Insider, WiseBread and Fox Business, amongstothers.
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