Tablets for business

A survey conducted earlier this year by iGR, a mobile and wireless marketing strategy company, found that more than half (52%) of small and midsized businesses (SMBs) in the US have employees that currently own or use a tablet computer. Further, nearly a quarter (24%) of SMBs surveyed said they supplied their employees with tablets as an official policy, while 26% said they would be buying fewer laptops as a result of their recent tablet purchases.

In another recent study, Newtek Business Services found that 33% of business owners use their smartphone or tablet to run business applications and 14% expect that one of these devices will eventually replace their PC.

With tablets quickly becoming mainstream business tools, it’s more important than ever to choose the right devices, apps and accessories in order to maximize productivity.

Tablets, tablets everywhere

While there is an abundance of tablets to choose from, here are three that are definitely worth considering.

ASUS 10.1" Transformer Prime 64GB ($577.00)

ASUS Tablet

If you’re already familiar with the Android platform, it makes a lot of sense to choose an Android-based tablet such as the ASUS 10.1" Transformer Prime. At only 1.29 lbs. and with a screen that’s protected by durable Corning Gorilla Glass, the ASUS Transformer Prime is highly portable and a great choice for road warriors. It’s equipped with a micro HDMI port enabling presentations and videos to be output to an HDTV. The Transformer Prime comes with Polaris Office pre-installed, enabling you to work with documents, spreadsheets and presentations while on the go.

BlackBerry PlayBook 32GB ($149.00)

BlackBerry Tablet

If you’re looking for the ideal tablet to pair with your BlackBerry smartphone, then be sure to check out the BlackBerry PlayBook. Competitively priced at only $149, the PlayBook has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 32GB capacity. The PlayBook enables you to wirelessly connect to your BlackBerry smartphone for real time access to email, calendar, BBM, etc. and to use your smartphone as a modem for web access, no matter where you may be.

Apple 16GB iPad, 3rd Gen, Wi-Fi, Black ($519.00)

Apple Tablet

For Apple enthusiasts, the iPad is an obvious choice. The iPad’s 9.7-inch Retina display renders images, HD video and text in crystal clear form and, with up to ten hours of battery life, it will enable you to do plenty of work – and play! – between charges.

Essential accessories

Whichever tablet you choose, you’ll need some accessories in order to get the most out of it. The following accessories will be a perfect complement to your new tablet and help you to work smarter and faster.

Verbatim Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard ($59.99)

Verbatim Tablet Accessories

Many people prefer to use a traditional keyboard rather than the on-screen keyboard built into their tablet. If you fall into this category, then be sure to take a look at the Verbatim Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard. Compatible with any tablet that supports Bluetooth and HID, the keyboard features a built-in rechargeable power supply, meaning you don’t need to change its batteries. The keyboard also has smart function keys for cut, copy, paste, and undo and additional controls for functions such as power off and device locking. At only 0.2"(H) x 8.7"(W) x 4.7"(D), it’s extremely portable and even comes with its own carrying case.

Adonit Jot Stylus ($20)

Adonit Tablet Accessories

If the pen is your weapon of choice, check out the Adonit Jot Stylus. It’s durable, pocket-sized, extremely precise and compatible with all capacitive touchscreens.

Jawbone JAMBOX Diamond Bluetooth Wireless Speaker ($198.84)

Jawbone Tablet Accessories

If you’ll be using your tablet for presentations, you’ll want to make sure your audience can hear the sounds being played on the device. The JAMBOX can work with your tablet or smartphone up to a range of at least 33' and is completely wireless – no cables and no docking station needed. The JAMBOX is powered by a proprietary acoustic driver and delivers crystal clear sound via a single, small dome speaker. It can even be used as a portable speakerphone. Of course, it’s not all about work: the JAMBOX is also great for listening to music.

Belkin iPad Tri-Fold Folio with Stand ($34.99)

Belkin Tablet Accessories

This combination screen protector and stand makes it easier to work and easier to protect your iPad. The Tri-Fold cover converts into a multi-level stand, providing you with optimal angles for viewing and typing. When closed, the soft interior will protect your iPad from damage. Hidden “AutoWake Magnets” will automatically wake your iPad when the cover is opened.

BlackBerry Convertible PlayBook Case ($49.99)

BlackBerry Tablet Accessories

Like the Belkin iPad Tri-Fold, this is a dual-purpose case and stand. The case has a microfiber interior to protect your PlayBook from bumps and scratches and converts to a stand that provides you with three different angles for the best possible view.

Apps, apps, apps!

There are an overwhelming number of apps to choose from, but here are three that you’ll definitely want to consider adding to your arsenal.


Dropbox is an excellent cloud-based file synchronization and sharing app. It’s super-easy to use and works with iOS, Android and BlackBerry as well as Windows, Mac and Linux-based computers. With Dropbox, you can synchronize folders on multiple systems, create and share links to specific files, invite others to access certain folders and a whole lot more. Dropbox provides you with 2GB of online storage space for free with additional space available for a monthly fee.

Google Drive

Like Dropbox, Google Drive is a cloud-based storage and synchronization service and it’s also the home of Google’s  web-based office suite, Google Docs. With Drive and Docs, you can create documents and even collaborate with other users in real-time. Google Drive provides you with more free online storage space than Dropbox – 5GB compared to 2GB – and additional space is available for a monthly fee.


Skype is the VoIP service that does it all: telephone calls, conference calls, group video calls, screen sharing, instant messaging and more. Skype has extensive platform support and the best part is that many features and options are completely free.

Square and Payfirma

These apps turn your smartphone into a point-of-sale (POS) terminal. You can either key in credit card information manually or attach an optional swiper to your phone. They're an easy, secure and affordable way to collect payments wherever you happen to be.

What’s your tablet of choice and which accessories and apps do you find make your life easier? Leave a comment to let us know!

Rhonda Callow is an award-winning freelance blogger and editor who has worked with numerous leading high-tech companies. She also helps companies with their public relations and social media management. Rhonda is a photography enthusiast and enjoys camping and hiking with her family during her free time. You can follow Rhonda on Twitter (@rhondacallow) or contact her at [email protected].

By Rhonda

October 20, 2012