High TCOBy Don Reisinger
Itâs Focused On Consumers
iPad2 is arguably the most attractive product on store shelves for consumers. With consumer functionality comes distracted employees who aren't working. And that is simply unacceptable in today's corporate world.
A Productivity Drain?
If employees are using the iPad 2 to access entertainment, play games they downloaded from the App Store, or watch Netflix movies, then they aren't working. It might sound rather Draconian, but you may need to give employees a device that is decidedly enterprise-focused, and thus, not so tempting for consumer exploits.
Oh, Youâll Pay for 3G
Pricing for iPad 2 starts at $629 for the cheapest Wi-Fi-and-3G version of the tablet, Consider that you'll also need to pay for that mobile connectivity each month. Data fees add up quickly. The spending doesn't end when you purchase the device.
Beyond 3G, you'll also need to think seriously about getting accessories for the iPad 2. The tablet boasts a big, 9.7-inch touchscreen that will probably need a physical keyboard add-on for employees who need to get real work done. And, if you want to keep the tablet safe, you'll need a case. Simply put, accessorizing the iPad 2 will be costly.
Beware the total cost of ownership on the iPad 2. As mentioned, the cheapest option retails for $629, and costs only go up from there. You can buy a netbook for a few hundred dollars or a nice Lenovo laptop for around the same price as the cheapest 3G-equipped iPad 2.
Training Is An Issue
Apple's iPad 2 is arguably one of the more intuitive devices on store shelves. However, you'll still need to train employees on how to use the tablet, since it features touch functionality that some folks just aren't used to. Combine that with the fact that it's running iOS, a platform many PC-based employees have never used, and training might be more trouble than it's worth.
Windows Is Better for Compatibility
If you have several applications that are absolutely necessary for your company's continued operation, remember that Apple's iPad 2 is runs on the iOS platform. The vast majority of enterprise-focused programs do not support that operating system. If you're looking for software-compatibility, don't waste your time on the iPad 2.
The BlackBerry PlayBook?
There are several tablets options on store shelves. One such device, the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, is arguably the most enterprise-focused of the lot, thanks to its support for BlackBerry Enterprise Server and its superior security features.
It May Be Old News Soon
Keep in mind that rumors abound about an iPad 3 launch in fall 2011 or, at the latest, early next year. At this point, it might be best to wait for the next iteration.