The market is overflowing with consumer tablets, but it’s only recently that IT manufacturers have started to target corporate users with devices more suitable to business use.
Sure Apple’s iPad has made its way in the travel bags of many executives—along with the iPhone—but it’s not the right tool for content creation on the go. This is where Windows 7 and Android tablets are showing their competence, allowing users to work on spreadsheets, databases, presentations and long word documents almost as comfortably as with a laptop—but without the bulk and lengthy boot times.
Panasonic hopes its Android-based Toughbook Tablet will be the answer for those people seeking a ruggedised tablet alternative, while Lenovo’s ThinkPad Tablet includes several business-oriented features that answers the call for a professional, durable, secure, IT-deployable tablet. Then there’s Dell with its Latitude ST Tablet and Motion Computing with its specialised ruggedised tablets for field professionals.
Not to be outdone by the growing number of devices hitting the market, Fujitsu took the wraps off its very own water-defying tablet offering at Fujitsu Forum 2011. Touchscreen only—no stylus is supported—the sub-600g Arrows Tab F-01D is Fujitsu’s first product in its professional grade Android-based tablets. The 10.1-inch (multi-touch) Honeycomb-toting tablet is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor and also manages to squeeze in 32GB of internal storage, a USB 2.0 slot, SD slot and dual cameras to boot (one at the front and one at the rear of the device).
Unlike Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab or the other line-up of tablets found in your local PC World retail store, the 10.1-inch Arrows Tab F-01D is firmly aimed at the enterprise market. Pitched at businesses seeking a rugged tablet device, the Arrows Tab is best suited to highly mobile users who also work outdoors.
However, unlike Panasonic and Motion tablets, the Arrows Tab F-01D is not suited to ‘challenging conditions’ such as aviation, construction, field service and public safety. Think of it more at a ruggedised, water-proof (up to 1.5 metres) Galaxy Tab.
And unlike tablets from Panasonic and Motion Computing, the Arrows Tab F-01D doesn’t support a wide range of work accessories, such as vehicle mounting, ergonomic hands-free holsters, swipe card readers, docking stations, or mobile keyboards.
On the plus side, the Arrows Tab F-01D is definitely a well-built and well supported (Fujitsu’s enterprise pedigree is renowned) tablet that could find its way into many workplaces due to its well-rounded business design considerations.
The Fujitsu Arrows Tab F-01D is coming to market early in 2012. Pricing TBA.