Getting the Most for Your Money When It Comes to Tablets

IT departments have likely seen an increase in employee requests for tablets or mobile devices as the consumerization of IT continues to shape and change the corporate landscape. Whether staff need network access under a BYOD scenario or are being issued company-owned devices, cost and performance are two important factors when determining what devices to purchase.

A low-cost tablet can be an effective way to provide the mobility features employees want without having to make a substantial investment in new equipment. In some cases, staff can be outfitted with a 2 in 1 device that will serve their needs for productivity as a traditional laptop while giving them the touchscreen display of a tablet (see our TCO report Save with a 2 in 1 Ultrabook). To help with this decision process, Intel commissioned Principled Technologies to review three Android tablets to determine which would be the most cost effective for staff.

-IT Peer Network Administrator

Principled Technologies reviewed the Dell Venue 7 – powered by an Intel Atom processor, along with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 and the Google Nexus 7 – powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors – to see which had the best combination of web browsing experience and cost.

To start, the Dell Venue 7 was the least expensive device at $149, followed by the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 at $169 and the Google Nexus 7 at $229. Next, Principled Technologies tested the browsing experience on popular websites like nytimes.com, abc.com, huffingtonpost.com, nba.com, and others, and found that the Dell Venue 7 and Google Nexus 7 had the same relative experience. The Samsung Galaxy Tab, however, had several display issues, including choppy scrolling, blurry text, and slow load times.

Because manually testing websites can be subjective, Principled Technologies used their WebXPRT and Mobile XPRT technologies to mirror four HTML5 and JavaScript-based workloads: Photo Effect, Face Detect, Stocks Dashboard, and Offline Notes. As you can see from the tables below, the Google Nexus 7 had slightly better performance than the Dell Venue 7, but both out-performed the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

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Based on these tests, Principled Technologies concluded the Dell Venue 7 tablet was the best device when considering price. Though the Google Nexus 7 had equal storage and a better web browsing experience than the Dell Venue 7, at almost $80 less than the Nexus 7 the Dell Venue 7 was considered to be the better value.

Of course, the Dell Venue 7 isn’t the only Intel-based tablet on the market. Intel is committed to improving security on Android tablets and working with hardware partners on optimized 64-bit processors for the platform, so more robust devices are likely to be rolled out to market soon. Carefully choosing what mobile device is best for your organization requires planning, and often times a 2 in 1 device might be more appropriate for staff that travel on a regular basis, but hopefully this quick guide will help IT decision makers save time and money when selecting a tablet.

For a more in-depth review of the three tablets, check out Principled Technologies “A better Android tablet experience for your money.” Are you considering purchasing a tablet for your enterprise? If so, what features are necessary for your staff? Leave a comment below or join the social conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #ITCenter and #tablets.