Apple to Begin Shipment of iPad Mini Tablets

Apple Computer announced their newest tablet computer, the Apple iPad Mini  on November 2nd. Expect the Apple iPad Mini with WiFi with Cellular LTE support to begin shipping sometime this week. The Apple iPad Mini joins a variety of choices in tablet computing including Microsoft Windows RT Tablets, Google Android Tablets and the family of Apple iPads.

Tablet computers are one of the fastest growing segments of PCs, so it is no surprise there is a wide range of choices. Here are some things you should consider when purchasing a tablet computer for your business.

What is the intended business use of the tablet computer?

Tablets are great for taking notes during meetings, one on one sales presentations, collecting data in the field, accessing patient information in the examination room and a variety of other tasks where the user is standing or sitting without a desk. Think twice if you expect your tablet to replace a desktop or laptop computer. For example, laptops are great for working on an airplane or taking work home or on the road. Don’t make your decision for a tablet computer as an “either/or” decision. Consider the business requirements the tablet computer will fill.

Do I have a policy for handling corporate data on a tablet computer?

One consideration when purchasing tablet computers is that they are more vulnerable to theft and/or loss. You should take precautions to ensure you have the ability to wipe corporate data from the device if it is lost or stolen. How will your business back up data from tablets? Employees may put personal data on corporate devices, so your business must have a clear policy for acceptable use and how personal data may be treated in the event of loss or theft of the tablet computer.

Are my critical applications available on the tablet computer?

Some mobile applications may only be available on specific tablet computers (e.g. Android Store vs. Apple Store vs. Windows Store). Mobile app developers have a choice of optimizing an mobile application for a specific platform (e.g. iPad vs. Google Android Tablet vs. Windows 8 Tablet, etc.) In this case, the apps will take full advantage of device specific features (GPS, camera). Some applications may be available with cross platform support. This means they will work in a web browser on all tablets but may not be optimized to take full advantage of the device features. Either way, make sure your critical mobile apps are available on your tablet computer of choice.

Whether you buy an iPad, iPad mini, Windows 8 Tablet or Google Android Tablet make sure you understand your business needs, have proper security policies in place and consider compatibility with your critical applications.

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