What are the best tablets of 2013 suitable for your business environment? To properly address this question we should first identify the key characteristics the best business tablet would have to have in 2013 to satisfy the most demanding businesses. For this exercise we will focus on the top 3 characteristics. Certainly when it comes to corporate IT infrastructure probably the most important requirement is security. Never before has this been more obvious than in 2013 where we have seen a sharp increase is cyber attacks on not just government institutions but also on the private sector. Therefore the best tablets 2013 for business would need to provide superb business grade security. The second most important element of the best tablets 2013 for business is the productivity suite. What use would be the investment in new 2013 tablets if they can’t improve the productivity of your workforce. By productivity tools we mean the applications and equipment available on the tablet to assist the employees in the execution of their duties. The third (but far from final) important element would be cost. Great if the desired best tablet for business in 2013 has all the bells and whistles one could imagine but without the right price tag your company just can’t afford it.
In general when it comes to security tablets have been lagging their older and more mature pc brothers. However with the recent surge in BYOD, tablet makers have realized the potential of cracking the enterprise market. As a result a number of the best tablets 2013 have been released or upgraded with enhanced tablet security features. One example is the Dell Latitude 10 which is one of the best business tablets of 2013 complete with Windows 8 Pro and tablet security features such as: Dell Data Protection with Access validation management drivers, also BitLocker from Microsoft, device-recovery, remote wipe technology and of course asset tracking software. However when it comes to more popular options like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, researchers have found serious flaws in the way data is stored and protected. The Galaxy lacks proper encryption policies for both work and personal data. The iPad on the other hand (one of our best tablets of 2013), fared better with stronger encryption polices but fell down in areas like weak data backup security as well as weak pass code policies. Oddly enough the research found that
the least favored tablet the BlackBerry Playbook was the most secure tablet of them all.
Indeed the BlackBerry Playbook was designed around the strong security focus BlackBerry has always had for its corporate clients. Not only does it provide good data encryption, it allows for separation of work and personal data which bodes well for work/life balance. The common theme here though is that strong players in the business computing space turn out to be stronger players when looking for the best tablets 2013 for business. So Dells, Microsoft and BlackBerry are expected to perform much better at security than Samsung, Google and to a lesser extent Apple.
When we turn to productivity many people will easily discount the BlackBerry though. Apart from great enterprise e-mail sync, most people do not see added value to owning the BlackBerry. This is because in the tablet world it is all about the apps. The Apple iPad on the other had would perhaps get the nod when it comes to productivity since it boasts over a million apps. Whatever you are trying to do, most likely there is an app for that. For this reason and stronger than average security features they are a contender for the best tablets 2013 for business.
However before we crown the iPad we must point out that the app craze was during the initial years of tablet devices. In the initial years the tablet was not considered a business device and so the best tablets had the most apps. In the mean time enterprise or business world continued to exist in the Windows PC world. Now that Microsoft has launched the Windows 8 Pro tablet pc (another one on our list of best tablets 2013), the landscape has changed. The productivity once enjoyed only in the office on a pc or Laptop can now easily be transferred to the Microsoft 8 Pro tablet. Microsoft will be able to provide unmatched productivity in this sense until a paradigm shift in the way we work occurs. That is away from Microsoft products and chances are with the advent of cloud computing this may not be too far off.
This then leaves us with cost. The best tablets 2013 for business needs to be affordable. Starting with the order of priority we recommend looking for a tablet that meets your security needs. So the Dell Latitude (or similar Windows devices), BlackBerry Playbook or the Apple iPad would be ideal. As for productivity the iPad has an ever growing list of apps to meet both personal and work needs. However for today’s business environment the Windows 8 Pro tops the list since it provides immediate return on investment as an extension to your already existing IT infrastructure. Cost wise though we can rule out the cheaper Android tablets for now with lapse security. Both the the Apple iPad and the Windows 8 Pro meet the requirements of being secure and productive but come in at the higher end of the price range. These devices are well worth the value and so if you can afford it then they are the best tablets of 2013 for your business. However if your budget does not allow for such premium priced devices then we recommend looking at more affordable Windows 8 based tablets such as the Dell Latitude.