Recommend Keyboard Capable Tablet For Small Business Use
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 42
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,154
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4218
    Likes (Received)
    3828

    Default Recommend Keyboard Capable Tablet For Small Business Use

    Looking to obtain a tablet for use of augmenting PC for the office/clerical work of our shop. Needs to be able to run typical MS Office apps and hopefully even Quickbooks. So, what are we looking at?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Country
    SOUTH AFRICA
    Posts
    1,626
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1191
    Likes (Received)
    667

    Default

    I think DMF Tom did some research on this a while ago. Not sure if they landed up with a solution but maybe PM him.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    29,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    9036

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    Looking to obtain a tablet for use of augmenting PC for the office/clerical work of our shop. Needs to be able to run typical MS Office apps and hopefully even Quickbooks. So, what are we looking at?
    Easier to ID what will NOT do that than what will do.

    User have standard eyeball spacing and full-sized fingers? Those particular apps, you want a proper keyboard. I plug-in an "Apple" USB one, ANY machine I use. Keys fit the adult hand, but it is more compact than WinBoxen ones for air-travel carry-ons.

    I just put a new "Acer Aspire" laptop, quad-core Ryzen 5 with right-decent video and 15" screen viewing-angle onto my own desk.
    Wanted the low-no fan noise and low DIRT intake of the new AMD Ryzen CPU's. Got it, too. Fan hasn't yet come on in several months of use, so I haven't a klew it it makes any noise.

    All over the place at around $300. Came with Windows 10 IIRC. Never booted that, just installed OpenBSD + LibreOffice, etc.

    My older Thinkpads, Lenovo's, Dells used to die from rocks, tobacco tar, kitchen and shop airborne oils, insect poop, and dog hair ingestion gumming them up and overheating. And I haven't had a dog in thirty years, yet. Go figure.

    No longer a problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Country
    NEW ZEALAND
    Posts
    97
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    27
    Likes (Received)
    17

    Default

    I can use a bluetoth dvorak keyboard (and mouse) with most of my blackberry devices. HDMI output to a screen if I want a bigger picture.
    Of course they have the PKB (physical keyboard) on device, which works brilliantly. Though screen real-estate is limited for large spreadsheets etc.
    Neither would be my choice if I were to type my memoirs, that's why I have a laptop.
    My first query to you would be, why is a Laptop unsuitable? They will piss all over a tablet by nearly every metric.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    29,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    9036

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MihiT View Post
    .. why is a Laptop unsuitable? They will piss all over a tablet by nearly every metric.
    Cost at the head of the list for what they deliver.

    We started using laptops optioned active, lid-shut (sysctl thing) as *BSD SERVERS in racks ages ago.

    Tight power and air-con budgets. Cheaper and less hassle than "blades" and the like. Dead-easy to swap fast.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Midlands UK
    Posts
    528
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    308
    Likes (Received)
    528

    Default

    #1
    "a tablet" so we are not talking one per machine.
    Who will be using the tablet?
    Where?
    How frequently?

    Apart from Office what types of data input and output?
    Just viewing the screen? or Cables, Wifi, Bluetooth, mouse/pad selection, text input, taking photos, screen shots, voice memos, speech to text, text to speech?

    "Ruggedised" tablets are available, and would suit shop floor use, premium prices.

    The highest specification Windows tablets currently available are the Microsoft Surface range.
    Many in the Surface range are hybrids with detachable keyboards.
    Microsoft Keyboards are available for tablets not sold with a keyboard.
    No experience, they are out of my price range.

    Wide selection of non OEM keyboards available. Function with one or more OS. Wifi/Bluetooth/cable connection.

    Lenovo, Dell, HP and many other well known manufacturers offer a cheaper than Microsoft Windows tablet solution.
    I have two 8 year old Lenovo laptops, chosen because of their bulletproof reputation, on 12-14 hours EVERY DAY, now dated, they still work.

    Quickbooks (your non Office concern) is, according to Google, a native Windows product, so should run on any of these devices, the only accounting software I have used (Sage) would require another "seat" for an additional device, is this an issue?

    Also available a selection of cheap, lightweight, Windows laptops with 12" screens. Might not be suitable wearing gloves or near high pressure coolant.

    Have an Android tablet already? Emulators available, eg Limbo (free), that run Windows on Android devices.
    You will need more computing knowledge to use this route.

    I have no experience with Apple products.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    29,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    9036

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ManicMetalBasher View Post
    chosen because of their bulletproof reputation, on 12-14 hours EVERY DAY, now dated, they still work.
    Hours? My "uptimes" are in months, even years.
    Quickbooks (your non Office concern) is, according to Google, a native Windows product,
    Also runs well in a virtualizer, so is cross-platform whether they planned it that way or not, even on G4 PowerPC architecture (older Mac) or anything else.

    No real wizardry required. QB is fairly sane, pretty bullet-proof itself as applications go.

    Apples are for people who don't really want to f**k with computers. Want them to be appliances that Just F****g Work. Like coffepots or refrigerators. Not complicated like microwaves or toaster-ovens with all those damned dials and buttons.

    I buy them for the Wife so I don't have to mess with them or even answer dumb questions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Country
    UNITED STATES MINOR OUTLYING ISLANDS
    Posts
    3,841
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1734

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    Needs to be able to run typical MS Office apps ...
    Because of this I'd go with some sort of laptop. Tablets are cool for some things but running Office is not one of them. Add a keyboard to make it comfortable and what do you have ? A device that's more cumbersome than a laptop would have been in the first plece.

    Unless you enjoy that fingerpainting stuff. In that case, ignore me .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New Jersey
    Posts
    2,422
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    213
    Likes (Received)
    1309

    Default

    I'd look at a Microsoft surface...it's considered a 2 in 1, they can be had for around 400 bones.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/su...%3aoverviewtab

  10. Likes Zahnrad Kopf liked this post
  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    961
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    114
    Likes (Received)
    277

    Default

    The new Microsoft Surface Go looks like a winner to me. The type keyboard and accessories are sold extra but the Surfaces are nice machines.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    29,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    9036

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rbent View Post
    The new Microsoft Surface Go looks like a winner to me. The type keyboard and accessories are sold extra but the Surfaces are nice machines.
    So one avoids a product (laptop..) then kit-builds back TO the same product just avoided in order to do any real work, only at 50% more spend, yah?

    Works well for Microsoft. How's it work for you?

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,154
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4218
    Likes (Received)
    3828

    Default

    People..., people..., people...

    If you're old enough to remember RIF... Reading is Funformentals...

    Poor form be damned, I'll quote myself for the reference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    Looking to obtain a tablet for use of augmenting PC for the office/clerical work of our shop. Needs to be able to run typical MS Office apps and hopefully even Quickbooks. So, what are we looking at?
    Onward...

    Quote Originally Posted by ManicMetalBasher View Post
    #1
    "a tablet" so we are not talking one per machine.
    Who will be using the tablet?
    Where?
    How frequently?
    Apart from Office what types of data input and output?
    < mega snip >
    Exactly what was posited in my original post. No more. No less. The only time it will see a machine will be through a window or if it's being carried by the person that came to ask me a question.

    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    I'd look at a Microsoft surface...it's considered a 2 in 1, they can be had for around 400 bones.
    and

    Quote Originally Posted by rbent View Post
    The new Microsoft Surface Go looks like a winner to me. The type keyboard and accessories are sold extra but the Surfaces are nice machines.
    Thank you, gentlemen. It's on the list.


    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    Works well for Microsoft. How's it work for you?
    Not well.

    Quote Originally Posted by MihiT View Post
    My first query to you would be, why is a Laptop unsuitable? They will piss all over a tablet by nearly every metric.
    Because she said so. That's why. And that is the only metric that really matters. Isn't it?

  14. Likes digger doug, BugRobotics liked this post
  15. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Near Seattle
    Posts
    4,823
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3217
    Likes (Received)
    1333

    Default

    you can get pretty decent keyboards, using bluetooth connections for most any tablet - or your phone for that matter

    apple does NOT support any sort of mouse on the phone/tablet/ios devices, which means that spreadsheets and the like can be awkward by nature even with such a keyboard - but they do work

    that aside, your main question will be which tablets or hybrids actually run the VERSIONS of the apps you actually want. the surface PRO machines are x86 compatible and run a lot of software other tablets will not.

    surface pro would be first thing to check, second an ipad with bluetooth keyboard - which is what i am using to type this

    also microsoft ships a free ipad app that is a remote desktop client for windows - so your ipad can be a remote window onto your windows machine - this can be very handy

  16. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Near Seattle
    Posts
    4,823
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3217
    Likes (Received)
    1333

    Default

    Part II - is there some particular use that she (or you) are intending? If so, it might be that what she wants is an ipad mini 4.

    Why? It fits in a fair sized pocket, or is small enough to wear around one's neck, AND it easy to hold one handed - so one could wander among shelves with the mini4 in one hand, making notes with the other (slowly but at least direct into whatever software) I've used it at trade shows to take pix and notes.

    if she (or you) are windows users, the surface pro is a latest generation version of windows. if she (or your) are iphone users, the ipads are essentially enlarged iphones - they run *mostly* the same apps, slightly different versions of the same operating system.

    The surface in tablet mode, or a larger ipad, are rather smaller than a laptop, but at least for me are harder/more tiring to use one handed....

  17. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Maryland near DC
    Posts
    350
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    80
    Likes (Received)
    68

    Default

    Surface is reported to be frustratingly slow. Try before you buy.

  18. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    British Columbia
    Posts
    2,672
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2212

    Default

    Hi Zahnrad Kopf:
    I have a Surface Pro 4 bought in 2016 with the biggest hard, drive the fastest processor, and the biggest memory available at the time and it is not a bad fit at all for your stated needs.
    It will run Microshit software as smoothly as they run on any machine so I get crapouts and hangs and other shenanigans at the same frequency I do with my desktop machines.
    It will run Quickbooks 2016 Premier (not the online version) acceptably but with a few graphics issues I haven't bothered to figure out. Some icons are unreadable, some are overlapped etc etc.

    It will not run Solidworks 2015 acceptably, so I would reject it if you ever think you might want to.
    We (former company) bought it with the expectation I could and it has been a severe disappointment.
    Major graphics issues, an unreadably small screen with tiny icons, an unresponsive mouse, crashes etc etc.

    It has the usual Windows 10 issues, and a few that are possibly unique to the Surface Pro.
    The facial recognition log in sucks bag bigtime, but that's easy to circumvent.
    Windows 10 updates are a nuisance, the constant harrassment to do shit the "Windows Way": all are minor rather than major nuisances but annoying nonetheless and I occasionally have to contain my fury and not toss the Goddamned thing out the window when it gets particularly irritating.
    If Cortana ever showed up on my doorstep in person I could murder her with a smile.

    The layout and the keyboard are nice; very nice in fact.
    Nice enough that although I mostly use it docked, I use the keyboard that came with it.
    The touchpad is a piece of shit however.
    It's one of those "intuitive" ones that isn't intuitive at all so I run an external mouse.

    The keyboard and the mouse really reduce its portability for me; switching from tablet mode to desktop mode is cumbersome enough that I don't bother carrying it around in the shop; it's more of a pain in the ass than a benefit.
    Ditto for trying to take pictures with it; it's clumsy and when the keyboard is hanging off it it's almost useless as a camera.
    It takes nice pictures though; as good as the best Smartphones.

    Onboard software and "apps" are mostly garbage; this thing is intended for playaround shit and shopping, not serious work, so there's a lot of crap that gets turned off or ignored.

    The price tag was breathtaking; I think it was over 3 grand and that was the processor and the memory talking.
    For a tablet, it's pretty nice; for a SHOP tablet you're going to beat the shit out of, I'm not so sure...it costs too much to slide it onto a greasy bench and start pounding away with dirty fingers.

    But I'll bet the cheapo version will still do all you want from a shop tablet and the keyboard IS very nice.
    It's basically a laptop in a small form factor, and it has the horsepower to be a proper laptop (except it won't run Solidworks for shit).

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining

  19. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    29,053
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    9036

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    Because she said so. That's why. And that is the only metric that really matters. Isn't it?
    LOL! And the uber-space-efficient distaff side just.. well. "Keeps score" differently, yah?

    Ex: Wife and 89-years-young M'in law arrive. Eight of the twelve IP slots on the "Guest" channel of the WiFi router go active.

    Her Macbook Pro is still in Hong Kong. It was up-armoured to safely trade equities and manage a couple of dozen bank accounts, Family Inc.

    Each of my gals has FOUR keyboardless gadgets with flat glass screens. Each of them needs a power-strip for the four wall-warts, plus the uber-battery external booster & hub.

    Sizes range from cig-pack X-Y but thin to laptop-screen size.

    "No keyboard" is a natural for Chinese. Their language is deceptively fast to finger-stroke key because each character has a "stroke count", a "stroke order", and a "stroke" can be made exactly one way in exactly one "order". The most complex character among nearly 60 thousand has 13 "radicals" - smaller characters - that make it up. It can be computer recognized from the first TWO strokes of its outer wrapper. That was not an accident.

    Same again with voice recognition. Artificially constructed "tonal" language at work. Computer recognizes Mandarin flawlessly, speaker-independent.

    Both were planned that way when the "computers" rested between the ears of the scribes of Mongol warlords who spoke none of the "Han Chinese" dialects (153 recognized, officially for about a third that number of ethnicities ~ 3 each).

    Other than taking pictures of all meals to share, globally, watching concerts of their favorite entertainers or world Cup feetball, I've not the least KLEW what they are up to.

    Oh.. and these fool gadgets make weird noises. All eight of them different "sets" of noises
    And they talk. In Chinese. At random. 24 X 7.

    Fortunately, I have spare pillows and large New England seafood dinner steamers. The girls are off to their daily golf game, I can get a nap.

    The nieces and nephews & their partners visit? Not so bad. Yet. Still shagging age.

    The only insight I've been able to draw?

    God plans well ahead. Bought advance stock in Huawei.

    Then invented menopause.

  20. Likes digger doug liked this post
  21. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,154
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4218
    Likes (Received)
    3828

    Default

    Marcus,

    Thank you. That is actually more helpful that you might expect. I too have wished for Cortana's brutal, and bloody undoing... In fact, I went through some gymnastics to all but remove it from the laptop that I use. Very much worth the effort, too. It's so much better, now.

    Your review is encouraging, as this will never need see CAD/CAM of any form. Intended user has one of the later Kindles and likes it very much. Just simply wants something more portable than the PC they use for the office duties of the shop. As such, a keyboard becomes a desirable feature. However, is not very keen on having a full blown laptop. No matter the form. So, I tend to believe her when she says she'd like to investigate a tablet as alternative. My job is to make sure that it will do what she is intending to do with it.

    Thanks very much.

  22. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    961
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    114
    Likes (Received)
    277

    Default

    Best buy has a 14day return policy. I've used it before on tablets and laptops, just do a reset before you give it back, no problem at all.

  23. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    British Columbia
    Posts
    2,672
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2212

    Default

    Hi again Zahnrad Kopf:
    One other thing I forgot to mention that I really like...the stylus.
    I use it to make sketches in a sketching and drawing software Autodesk bundled on to it
    I don't have it here with me so I can't recall just what it's named but it is useful like Microsoft's One Note is useful just without all the Microsoft obstacles to easy use.

    So the times I do use it as a tablet, I run it with the stylus instead of the mouse, and with the keyboard just pulled off it (it attaches magnetically so it can easily be removed and it switches into tablet mode as soon as you pull off the keyboard...a minor PITA but stoppable with a setting change if you prefer to stay in desktop mode).

    If I am doing things like inventory or talking to a customer about a project I make notes just like with a pen and paper pad.
    MUCH MUCH easier than screwing around trying to do those tasks with a keyboard and mouse while walking around or yapping on the phone.

    For your intended user I believe she will be very happy once she tailors it for her working style; the stylus will likely be a big help for that because it also has mouse functions and they do work quite well.
    I believe it even has decent write recognition software on it although I've never played with it, so you could, for example, carry it around like a paper pad but input into a spreadsheet and wirelessly dump the take onto your shop network, eliminating all the wasted time of transcribing hand written notes.
    That's a great combination for walking around types of tasks.

    Cheers

    Marcus
    Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
    Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •