It’s no secret that tablet computers have in no time at all become the most popular computing device in the consumer sector. And if analyst predictions are anything to go on, the same will soon be true in the business space.
Until now, however, it’s something that’s been prevented from taking place by the fact that CIOs and IT directors are opposed to the disruptive effect – specifically when it comes to security – of tablets in the business sector.
Because they’re designed to cater to the needs of consumers, the vast majority of tablet devices haven’t included the levels of encryption, network security and remote management capabilities network managers expected from the devices in their IT fleet today, says Alexi Hume, Lenovo product manager at Tarsus Technologies.
“And it’s been the source of much conflict in the business environment,” she says. “However, users assume that because they’re able to access their e-mail and make use of word processing or spreadsheeting applications on their tablet, it’s just fine for business.
“What they don’t understand, however, is how easy it would be for potentially sensitive company information to be compromised if their tablet fell into the hands of a criminal or competitor,” she adds.
The market has needed a device that incorporates everything that’s awesome about the tablet’s form factor, usage model and battery life, with the security and control afforded by a corporate notebook.
“And thus far, Lenovo – with the recent arrival of its ThinkPad Tablet – is the only vendor that’s been able to simultaneously satisfy the needs of the user and the business constraints under which they have to operate,” Hume says.
The ThinkPad Tablet is designed to cater for the needs of business consumers.
“For starters, it looks more business-like, sporting Lenovo’s trademark ‘Think’ colour scheme, namely black rubberised materials with red accents.
“From a features and functionality perspective, it uses the Android 3.0 operating system, has a super-durable Corning Gorilla Glass screen, built-in 3G broadband modem, digitiser pen for taking notes and an HDMI port for facilitating a connection to a projector or presentation screen,” she adds.
The ThinkPad Tablet also has an optional foldable combination folio case and keyboard, which makes the device that much more usable in the business context.
“And this has proven to be such a popular choice of accessory that Tarsus has decided to exclusively order the version of the tablet that comes with the folio as a standard fitment,” she says.
However, Hume says that the tablet’s party piece is its built-in security features.
“And in this department, there’s encryption capabilities for both internal and external (SD Card and USB drive) storage devices, anti-malware protection, VPN capabilities and the fact that the device can be added to, and function in, a Microsoft Active Directory network,” she says.
With the peace-of-mind it affords IT departments and the myriad business features it has on offer, the interest in the ThinkPad Tablet has been overwhelming.
“And we doubt it’s going to slow down. The tablet is the first product to strike a middle ground between the needs of the business and consumer. We’re expecting a bumper year ahead for this device,” she concludes.