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4 Business-Friendly Tablets

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Why drag a bulky laptop to meetings when a tablet will suit your business needs? Here are four tablets that get the job done.

By Jasmine France (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0)

Tablets have gotten much more robust over the past year; some even offer a full desktop operating system in an ultra-compact form factor. As a result, more and more business-friendly models are hitting the market. Staying on the leading edge is important for those running a technology company, and swapping out your laptops for tablets is a step in the right direction. Bonus: it’ll be easier on your back as well. Find one to suit your needs below:

Dell Latitude 10

This Windows 8 tablet will only set you back $499 for the entry-level model, but you’ll need some upgrades to make it a business machine. The system offers Intel Platform Trust Technology to help keep data secure, and there’s an option to add a fingerprint scanner and smart card reader combo. As with all Windows 8 systems, you get the full desktop experience, with the ability to add any software and apps you need to conduct business. Battery life is rated at ten hours, and Bluetooth and WiFi are standard (mobile broadband is optional). Other worthy upgrades include a productivity dock, and a Bluetooth keyboard.

Samsung Galaxy Tab

For those operating a business within the Google environment, the Samsung Galaxy Tab fits the bill. This tablet ranges in size from 7-inches to 10.1-inches, and starts at $299. Battery life varies depending on the size of the display. Useful features include multi-tasking; integrated VPN; secure push synchronization of email, contacts and calendar items via Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. And don’t forget the business-friendly Android apps.

Apple iPad

The iPad is not your typical business tablet, since it doesn’t run a full OS. But it’s a great option for those running a company in the art and design realm. You can pick up a 16GB model for as little as $499, but you’ll definitely want upgrades such as a Bluetooth keyboard and video output cable for displaying your presentations and portfolios to bigger screens. And don’t forget the apps. Some top choices: FileMaker Pro, Adobe Photoshop Express, FTP OnTheGo, Dropbox, and Autodesk SketchBook Mobile. Battery life is rated at ten hours.

BlackBerry Playbook

Operating on a tight budget? Check out the Playbook, which starts around $150. It includes Documents To Go, which lets you view and edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Other useful features include multi-tasking, video conferencing, and built-in security. You can also use your BlackBerry smartphone as a keyboard and mouse for the tablet. Battery life is rated at ten hours.

Which tablet are you using?

FB 3About the blogger: Jasmine France is a travel-addicted, food-obsessed Bay Area writer with a decade of experience covering consumer electronics, digital music, mobile apps and cloud computing. Follow her on Twitter @WeirdEaredJas.