small_Kindle Fire (home 3)Our blog has had many posts on the rise of mobile IT in business and the move towards using phones and tablets in support of business needs. We also have written on the increasing necessity for managing mobility in business (and our website has additional information on this topic).

Recently, the WSJ published an article on popular tablets that are in a price range lower than the iPad, price points that are appealing to many business owners when reviewing mobile technology for their companies.

It is hard to believe that the iPad has only been around for three years. In that time, the technology has exploded, and Apple has sold over 120 million iPads, alone. Still, its $499 starting price is a deterrent for some. If you are looking for a less expensive tablet, you usually have to look for a smaller screen, around 7 inches, instead of the over 9 inch iPad screen. Some manufacturers are now lowering prices on larger screens, too.

One excellent alternative is the Kindle Fire HD, which has an 8.9 inch screen and whose price has now dropped from $299 to $269. The Kindle Fire is an Android tablet with Amazon’s user interface. It has a good app store and is enabled for email, browser surfing and social networking. The best advantage is the hardware front end to Amazon’s collection of digital books. Its biggest difference from the iPad is that it has two hours less of battery life, and it is still a more popular choice for home use.

Another good tablet that the WSJ featured is the Asus, which sells for about $299 and has a 10.1 inch screen. It is a standard Android with built-ins from Google. It has front and rear cameras (the Fire does not have a rear camera) and 16 gigabytes of internal memory (like the Kindle Fire). Its access to the Google app Store offers over 700,000 apps. Its battery life is not great, however, about 5 1/2 hours, compared to the Fire’s more than 8 hours.

Another large screen tablet is the HP Touch Pad, but it retails at $400 and has had mixed reviews. It has a 9.7 inch screen with an LED backlight. Its images are crisp and bright but it is heavy and doesn’t have the app selection of an iPad, but it is still a good choice for $400. Remember, when choosing any of these tablets, the availability and selection of apps is very important, especially when deciding how much, and for what purposes,  you or your employees will be using the tablet. Apps can give you the ability to create and store documents, be creative in how you store information, prepare for and deliver presentations, etc. Tablets can enhance the efficiency of your company, both remotely and in the office.

Visit our website or contact us for more information on security and management of your mobile IT.