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Is the Business Market Finally Folding on Laptops?

What the Next-Generation of Mobile Computing Means to You (and Xplore)

In a world where hybrids are in high demand and mashups are clearly not happening by mistake, one might be inclined to stop gambling on “pure form” technologies such as laptops, desktops and tablets. After all, there are a slew of industry analyst statistics indicating a trend towards more flexible computing platforms:

  • Over the next four years, detachables are expected to grow at 21.2% CAGR, IDC says.
  • By 2019, 2-in-1 Tablet growth will show a five-year compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 57 percent, per Strategy Analytics.
  • At the same time, Gartner says global desktop shipments will decrease 5% over the next four years as enterprises opt for mobile computing.

Translation? Traditional laptops are no longer the “one” computer that can go anywhere – or that professionals really want to lug around everywhere. This is driving OEMs to increasingly invest in 2-in-1 tablet designs that can serve as laptop replacements – and research shows that businesses are buying into these tablet-based alternatives given the numerous benefits to both end-users and IT (i.e. the business’ bottom line).

Business-owned tablets are expected to grow at a combined annual growth rate of 6.9% by 2022, according to Forrester Research.

The Xplore XBOOK 2-in-1 Tablet / Laptop

So, instead of market competition focused on touting the advantages of one form factor versus another, we’ll see a mashup – or marriage – of tablet, laptop, desktop and even in-vehicle computer features, ergonomics and capabilities. Manufacturers will tout new hybrid computer designs that can be customized with the right combination of mobility, computing, connectivity, security and safety features based on your business goals and workflow requirements. The Xplore XBOOK computers launched at DistribuTECH are a prime example of this new trend, and just the start of what’s to come this year.

The real reason behind Xplore’s refinement of tablet-based 2-in-1 laptop replacements
Bottom line: Rugged tablets have never been a one-trick pony. They are, however, the one fundamental platform that can be equipped to support nearly every worker’s specialized computing needs. And they are the one form factor that can easily transition between mobile, laptop and/or desktop configurations, which is appealing to mobile and their employers alike.

We’ve clearly entered an era where every worker needs – and expects to have –company-issued computers and mobile devices. In North America alone, 85% of enterprise and business workers said they expect their employers to provide them with the technology that allows them to work from anywhere in this recent study. At the same time, more than three-quarters said they also expect their employer to allow remote work.

In other words, the definition of mobile worker now extends far beyond traditional frontline/firstline workers charged with customer-facing sales, maintaining critical infrastructure in the field, protecting communities, or producing the goods that society depends on down on the factory floor. Nearly every employee is going to consider themselves a mobile worker soon, if they don’t already, and neither a desktop or laptop alone will suffice as the only accessible computer in the course of the day. They need more flexible mobile computers that can do everything their handheld/smartphone can’t.

Fortunately, nine in 10 executives surveyed by Forbes Insight and Microsoft “place high importance on equipping firstline workers with the right digital tools and platforms to achieve business success over the next three to five years. At the same time, only 36% say that the majority of their firstline workers have the tech tools they need to do their jobs effectively.”

That explains why IDC expects U.S. spending on mobile workforce technologies to top $1.8 trillion by 2020. However, as we’ve witnessed with many customers over the last 20+ years, there is such thing as wasteful spending, especially on mobile and computing technologies that offer repetitive capabilities.

The Xplore XSLATE R12 2-in-1 Tablet / Laptop

Most workers don’t need more than one computer given the advancements made with 2-in-1 devices.
We’re entering an era where companies are no longer forced to buy multiple computers for employees – not even mobile workers with specialized needs. Transformational computers such as the XBOOK detachable 2-in-1, or even the versatile XSLATER12 2-in-1 rugged tablet, are empowering enterprises to consolidate all computing devices into one fully featured computer without forcing you to compromise on user experience, security, safety, mobility or connectivity.

In fact, if you ask me, we really should be considering many rugged 2-in-1 tablet-based computers as 3-in-1 (tablet, laptop, and desktop) or even 4-in-1 (vehicle-mounted computer) solutions given their expanded form factor flexibility. Even Forrester notes: “The diverse use cases for 2-in-1s is driving that segment's growth.”

With a single detachable 2-in-1 rugged computer, you get a tablet/laptop/desktop that is:

  • Compatible with all your business systems and peripherals, including Android if you want to bring it into the office;
  • Truly mobile;
  • Rugged enough to survive any work environment (or any worker’s less-than-careful handling);
  • Always connected to the network and powered up (i.e. always online);
  • Always secure;
  • Always safe to use, even in Hazardous Locations; and
  • Just as easily used on a desk in the office as in hand while walking and working in remote locations.

Plus, every business – from enterprises to one-man-shops – wants mobile computing technology that’s easy to image, configure, and connect with existing software and IT architecture. Every business wants to decrease data errors and eliminate data transmission delays. And, no one is going to push back on technology that gives you greater network accessibility and helps you achieve greater workflow automation while delivering greater collaboration tools (that workers will actually be happy to use).

The Total in TCO

Whether you’re not quite ready to ditch your laptop, but need a computer that’s truly mobile, or just prefer to have just one mobile computer for all “offices”, the new detachable 2-in-1 computer category was made just for you. (And the chunk of 105 million+ U.S. mobile workers that your company will have to support by 2020.) 

The takeaway?
The next logical technology investment for every business may just be a detachable 2-in-1 “mobile office” that can take the form of a large-screen tablet, lightweight laptop or full-blown desktop with dual monitor setup, should you desire, in a matter of seconds. Before you waste time and money deploying, managing, protecting, and – yes, likely – replacing multiple computers per mobile worker, consult with a mobility solutions provider that can help you identify a device that will improve workflows without requiring significant business process changes. They will also help you decide whether transitioning to a versatile detachable 2-in-1 rugged mobile computer is precisely what you need to regain a significant number of resources – and gain an unprecedented level of productivity from your workers.

Don’t think that a detachable 2-in-1 mobile computer could compare to your current device (or offer everything that your many devices do)? I challenge you to compare.
Check out these XBOOK Windows and Android computers now. Carefully evaluate their feature sets, their capabilities, and their performance technologies. Look at their inherent ruggedness, flexibility and future-proof scalability. Then comment back here with your thoughts on how they compare to a) a tablet, laptop or desktop alone and b) to business-grade/consumer off-the-shelf 2-in-1s. Or, call us to discuss you questions and feedback directly. We’d love to hear from you, as our customers ultimately help us make our products better. 

Learn More about Xplore XBOOK Rugged 2-in-1 Tablets