Looking Into The Future: The True Cost of Tablets

The price tag for new hardware is visible on the box, but what about the true cost of ownership? Unforeseen long-term costs of ownership might be hurting your IT department without them even realizing it.

HP-Elitepad-Image-8.pngIn a recent head-to-head study, Principled Technologies looked at the total cost of owning three tablets over the course of two years with respect to performing Microsoft Office tasks. The three tablets the study took into consideration were the HP ElitePad 1000 G2, Apple iPad Air, and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

Despite having a higher purchase price, the cost of ownership over two years for the HP ElitePad 1000 G2 came in at 15.9% less than the Samsung Galaxy Note, and 14.2% less than the Apple iPad Air. The costs of ownership over two years while taking into consideration numerous factors that added to the initial purchase price were $1,898 for the HP ElitePad 1000 G2, $2,212 for the iPad Air, and $2,258 for the Samsung Galaxy Note.

A primary reason for the cost variations is the difference in operating systems. Since the HP ElitePad 1000 G2 runs Microsoft Windows 8.1, it can natively run Microsoft Office. Meanwhile, the other two tablets require a different way to run Microsoft Office apps. One such way is through a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), the cost of which offsets the initial savings on the purchase price for the tablets.

Break It Down

If your IT department is set up primarily for Windows users and you’re considering supporting non-Windows devices, it’s important to know the costs associated with that strategy. While the per-unit cost savings over a two-year period for the HP ElitePad 1000 G2 is significant, it’s not just simple dollars at work. The cost of rolling out and supporting an IT infrastructure that allows non-Windows users to run Microsoft Office on their iOS or Android devices takes into account the hardware deployment costs, VDI licensing, warranties, upgrades, peripherals, help desk support hours, and more.

While businesses are constantly upgrading hardware and adapting their IT strategies to allow more BYOD options, it’s still critical to the bottom line to be forward thinking. Look beyond the price tag when considering new hardware — what you find out may surprise you.

For more information, click here for the whole Principled Technologies study.