Our last blog began a conversation about tablet kiosks. As a mature technology, tablet computers have been at market now for a number of years and are produced by many more companies than we’re able to list. The first tablets mainly came from big names such as Apple (iPad), Google (Nexus) and Microsoft (Tablet PC) and had the expensive price tags to go along with the brand names. But with the category’s maturation, tablets are now being manufactured in inexpensive, practically throw-away models that are available well under $99 and sold as “generic” tablets from off-brands, usually with a version of an Android OS.
This dramatic drop in cost has meant that consumers now have incredibly easy access to tablet computers that are often even less expensive than their phones. The result is a level of comfort with this type of technology that wasn’t there even five years ago, and it’s part of what’s driving the surge in self-service technology deployment across multiple industries, including healthcare, restaurant and retail. The intriguing combination of consumer confidence, in tandem with the potential for decreased labor costs and falling tablet prices has proved irresistible to those companies constantly charged with the need to innovate while keeping overhead low.
Many of these less expensive, generally Android-based tablets have the added benefit of still managing to be highly customizable, an important factor for kiosk integration and deployment at market. While there is no debating that the Apple iPad is a powerful product, it’s not necessarily the right product for every application, given its lack of flexibility. In fact, whereas many Android tablets offer the option of expandable memory, and/or HDMI & USB ports, the iPad does not. Android-based tablets are even available in Flash-compatible versions, unlike iPads.
But what about Windows? Well, for as early as Microsoft entered the tablet arena (2002), they have never managed to catch up to the competition in most ways. Primarily, it has been hindered by its operating system. Windows has a few things going against it -- it’s the most expensive OS at market, it wasn’t designed specifically for tablet computing and is its incredibly susceptible to infection by viruses and malware. But Windows tablets do still have some significant advantages -- and ironically, the biggest is also thanks to its operating system. Because Windows is so widely used and familiar, it makes for a comfortable end user experience, and offers simplicity to most IT departments at the same time. Additionally, much like Android tablets, Windows tablets are also fairly customizable while offering Flash support, too.
Thinking about investing in kiosk tablets for your organization? Be sure to check out our next blog, and while you’re at it, RedyRef’s range of fully-integrated manufacturing solutions. We offer a one-stop solution for tablet kiosks from design to deployment, making it easy for companies of all sizes to integrate the latest and best interactive kiosk experiences into their businesses. Give us a call at (800) 628-3603 ext 525 or submit a request for proposal online and our team will be with you every step of the way.