Intel has added notebook/tablet “hybrid” 2-in-1 devices to its regular PC refresh program, in addition to regular laptops. Of course, since these devices connect to the internal Intel network, they can’t be just any device. We chose models that passed encryption and connectivity tests and that have the compute power our employees need to do their work in a secure and efficient manner.
While 2-in-1s are an option for all employees, they’re a particularly good solution for our engineers and technicians working in the factory. These ultra-mobile workers use the 2-in-1 devices as they move around the factory floor and transition between the factory and office many times during the day. Even when they’re not at their desks, these workers have access to their regular suite of applications to stay on task or participate in meetings—even while in the middle of doing equipment maintenance in the fab.
Separating the keyboard from the tablet
The 2-in-1s weigh less than a laptop and don’t have lengthy wake-up and sleep issues. Of the types of 2-in-1s, the detachable is the preferred form factor, partly because it provides a lighter tablet experience than one with a swivel screen. Our technicians can completely remove the keyboard, then carry the tablet around to use for day-to-day work. If they need a non-touch-enabled legacy app or need to do a lot of typing, they can snap on the keyboard they brought with them or use one of the extras at various stations around the fab.
The Power of the 2-in-1
For more concentrated work that may require a larger screen, users with any of the 2-in-1s can go to one of the common work-area desks that
have docking stations with full-size monitors and keyboards. Since the 2-in-1s they use are their regular computers with an Intel® Core™ i5 (or i7 or i3) processor, when they dock at one of these desks, they have the full compute power that other employees have access to.
An added benefit of these detachable 2-in-1s is the accessories available to make the tablets waterproof or semi-ruggedized when that’s needed for other use cases, such as for security personnel, warehousing staff, and those working outside in facilities or in construction.
The 2-in-1 answer
Nobody is saying that the 2-in-1 is the answer to everything. But they’re great tools for people who need to be extremely mobile and yet have specific computing requirements, like doing advanced analytics or accessing legacy applications that are not touch-enabled, all without losing the option to also work with a tablet.
Putting a laptop-equivalent computer with the convenience of a tablet at the point of activity allows these employees to be much more efficient, even while they are providing preventive maintenance activities on equipment on the factory floor.
Check out the paper we wrote earlier this year: “Factory Mobile Computing Proves Enterprise Value of 2-in-1 Devices.”