News, views and insights from CNC

Take care choosing new hybrid kit

3 March 2018

There’s a growing demand for devices that combine laptops with tablets but businesses need to choose carefully to avoid wasting money on kit that’s just not up to the job.

Demand for both convertible hybrid laptops and detachable hybrid tablets is growing much faster than was expected a few years ago.

But what’s the difference?

Convertibles can usually be folded 360-degrees and the screen of the laptop turns into a touch-screen tablet whilst hybrids are primarily tablets with a keyboard attached.

Both are extremely versatile tools that appeal to an increasingly mobile workforce. They make it possible to communicate from virtually anywhere more quickly and efficiently. Data-logging and other information can be gathered remotely, reducing the need to transfer it onto a database back at the office.

What makes employees’ jobs easier is also good for your business.

Hybrid devices can improve productivity and reduce office rental costs. Some job roles may no longer need costly desk space. Certain workers may only visit your office for regular meetings and work from home for the rest of the time.

Gary Jowett from Computer & Network Consultants in Brighton says: “Switching to hybrids makes good sense for most organisations – but choose carefully. There are some relatively low-cost versions available from well-known retailers but these usually have less powerful in-built processors and are made from less durable materials. Going for something worth just a few hundred pounds is likely to be a false economy. It’s wise to invest in enterprise-grade equipment that will last for a number of years and can cope with constant daily use by your people.”

Which is best?

There are many models vying for top slot in the growing marketplace for hybrids. Choosing the right one can be a daunting choice for many IT departments that need to find the best quality to suit their budgets. That’s why it’s a good idea ask an independent IT consultant about which device to buy. An experienced consultant will have considered the whole range of hybrids on the market and will have other clients who are already using certain models.

Explain to your consultant what tasks the user will be doing and what sort of data storage capacity they’ll need.
Is the user someone who needs to sit and record information a lot? Or someone who does a lot of walking about in their job?

These factors are worth bearing in mind because a convertible’s battery and motherboard are usually located in the base under the keyboard so it’s balanced for use primarily as a laptop.

The detachable hybrid tends to be top heavy because all the key components are usually stored under the screen.

One thing’s for sure, those that predicted the death of the laptop and PC, with people opting for iPads and other tablets, were plain wrong.

Gary Jowett says: “Sales of tablets are set to fall sharply for the third consecutive year with Deloitte forecasting a 10 per cent fall to under 165 million. The move to convertibles will affect the way everyone goes about their working day, raising new expectations among customers and business partners. It’s worth investing in new equipment soon to help your people boost productivity and enable them to provide a better service to customers.”

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