by Sarah K. White

Comparing 7 top enterprise tablets

Mar 15, 2016
AndroidCareersComputers and Peripherals

The line between enterprise and consumers devices is thin, but some hybrid-tablets come equipped with more business features than others. Here are the pros and cons of the seven top enterprise hybrids.

7 top enterprise tablets

Detachable PC’s are growing in the enterprise, according to a recent report from IDC, with an 8 percent increase in 2015 and a projected growth of 30 percent by 2020. And as they become more popular with consumers, hybrid devices are also finding their way into the enterprise. IDC predicts that Windows tablets will see the biggest increase in adoption, which explains why the bulk of the hybrid devices currently on the market run the Windows 10 operating system.

And even though the line between business and consumer devices is quickly fading, there are still features that are better-suited to the enterprise than others. Here are seven hybrid tablets that are designed to fit right into an enterprise environment.

Dell XPS 12 Convertible 2-in-1

Dell XPS 12

Pros: Dell has a longstanding history in the enterprise, so it’s safe to say that the Dell XPS 12 comes with Dells’ reputation for customer service and forgiving warranties. It also comes with two optional keyboards; one is a magnetic folio and the other has a sturdier docking mechanism. That means, users who want a slim design similar to the Surface Pro 4 can opt for the magnetic keyboard, while those who want a more traditional notebook design can opt for the keyboard dock, which makes the device a bit thicker.

Cons: While it’s a relatively inexpensive device, the Dell XPS 12 might not offer the right performance for power users. It features a 6th Generation Intel Core M5 processor with 8GB of RAM, which will most likely suffice for the typical user, but not for those who plan to run any resource intensive programs.

Lenovo Yoga 900

Lenovo Yoga 3

Pros: The Lenovo Yoga 900 features a sleek and stylish design that will please anyone who wants the aesthetics of a MacBook Air but in a PC. Rather than a tablet display that docks into a keyboard, the Lenovo Yoga 900 has a more traditional design with one unique feature; the display rotates back 180 degrees to lay flat against the keyboard. The Yoga can bend into a tent mode, viewing mode, or tablet mode for anyone out in the field who needs to pull up documents away from a desk.

Cons: Compared to some of the other more affordable options on this list, the Lenovo Yoga 900 starts at $1,199 for the entry level model which has an Intel Core i7 processor and 8GB of RAM. Chances are, the average business user won’t need something as powerful as an i7 processor, so when compared to the Yoga 900, there are more affordable options on the market.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Pros: The Surface Pro 4 is a natural choice for any enterprise that runs on Microsoft. The addition of the Surface Pro 4 will fit in among a fleet of Windows 8 or Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft also offers a portable and lightweight docking station with four USB 3.0 ports and two Mini DisplayPorts, making it a breeze to set up an office space without much hassle. The Surface Pro 4 can also be customized with a range of Intel processors with up to 16GB of RAM, which is more than enough for anyone from a casual user to a power user.

Cons: While the design of the Surface Pro 4 is sleek, it’s also not as sturdy as your typical clamshell notebook. The keyboard dock doesn’t support the tablet display, leaving it more vulnerable to drops and accidents. The Surface Pro 4 is also pricey compared to other devices, especially considering the keyboard is sold separately. It starts at $899 for the mobile processor, but quickly increases to over $1,000 and up to $2000 for an Intel Core i5 or i7 and increased RAM, and that’s without the extra cost of the Type Cover.

Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi

Asus Transformerbook

Pros: The biggest draw of the Transformer Book T300 Chi is its price point, which starts at $479.99 for the entr- level model with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. It isn’t the most powerful device, but for basic computing and web browsing, it’s more than enough. For a mobile worker who travels frequently or spends a lot of time on the road, it’s a sleek and lightweight machine that won’t add extra weight to your baggage. The design also offers flexibility, since the display can undock from the keyboard to function as a tablet, or remain docked to give the experience of a typical notebook.

Cons: For many users, this device might be underpowered, especially for anyone who needs to have multiple programs and browsers open at once. And, while its design makes it .29-inches thin, for desk workers or those who prefer to use a docking station the design won’t matter so much.

iPad Pro

5 iPad Pro

Pros: It’s the only device in the Apple eco-system aimed at bridging the gap between tablet and notebook. Apple’s ecosystems is also known for being user-friendly, which means there won’t be a huge learning curve for employees using the device. It’s also a great option for businesses that work on iOS, since there are a number of connectivity features between iOS and OSX devices and any business apps will naturally port over to the iPad Pro. It’s also worth noting the proprietary keyboard that also functions similar to the kickstand on the Surface Pro 4 that is available for purchase separately.

Cons: One major drawback to the iPad Pro, or any iOS device, is the lack of a mouse or a touchpad, which might be a deal breaker in terms of productivity. With other hybrid devices, whether they run Windows 10 or Android, users can connect a mouse or trackpad to easily navigate the device.

Samsung TabPro S

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro

Pro: Samsung unveiled the TabPro S earlier this year at CES 2016 and one thing immediately stood out about the device — it runs Windows 10 instead of Android. Up until now, Samsung tablets have shipped with some version of Android, but with this new Windows 10 device, it stands to become a contender for the enterprise. Like the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4, the TabPro features a keyboard stand that folds up and can easily be removed. But, unlike the iPad Pro, the keyboard comes with a built-in track pad similar to the Surface Pro 4 – and something else that lands in the pro column, the keyboard is included in the price.

Cons: One downside to the TabPro S is that it’s the first iteration of a Windows 10 tablet from Samsung, so users might want to wait for the next generation in case there are any quirks or glitches that need to be worked out. And it’s not a huge downside, either, because the same can be said for the first versions of the Microsoft Surface hybrids, but Microsoft has only improved the device with each new generation.

HP Elite x2

HP Elite x2

Pros: The HP Elite x2 is designed for business users as a tough-tablet that can take a hit, but doesn’t sacrifice on design. This isn’t your typical “rugged tablet,” it still features a stylish, thin and lightweight design. It’s also inexpensive compared to other options at just $899.99 for the entry level model with an Intel Core m3 processor and 4GB of RAM. Another upside to the HP Elite x2 is that it was literally built for the enterprise, with security features aimed at keeping IT happy and a fingerprint scanner for added authentication.

Cons: The entry-level model might be enough power for casual users, but for anyone that needs more intensive programs for day-to-day business, upgrading to a more powerful processor quickly increases the price of the device. And, while there are a number of options for customization, the device will only come equipped with an Intel mobile processor.