5 arguments why businesses need to break their consumer tablets habit

The best business tablets are built for enterprise use and are now as  intuitive and familiar to use as consumer equivalents.

If you ever happen to drop in a high street store and check the white appliances section, you might notice that many carry a warning: “Not for commercial use”, a warning many businesses seem happy to ignore!

That’s because appliances destined for a consumer-based usage can rarely withstand the requirements of a commercial environment, causing them to fail in even the least demanding business settings.

This is especially true for that most business-critical device: the tablet. Especially those destined to be used all day in environments where bumps and drops may be common. Put simply, if you want to empower your workers with better mobility technology, go for a tablet that has been designed and built for a business to use, one like the Zebra ET5x series.

Making a tablet fit for business requires far more than just putting a consumer model in a bumper case. There’s far more involved in order to deliver a higher ROI coupled with a longer lifecycle. Here’s what you need to look for.

Durability: Does your tablet carry an IP rating? The ET5x series is IP65 rated which means that it can survive liquid hose-downs, impact and dust far better than any consumer tablets on the market. That translates into higher productivity (thanks to lower downtime periods) and lower maintenance and replacement costs.

Longer lasting power: A battery expansion pack, allowing near continuous operation, is one of the most requested accessories for any mobile device. Being able to work in the field for a "full shift" whether that's from 9 to 5 or longer, is a prerequisite and can only be achieved with high capacity, hot-swappable battery packs.

Full lifecycle management: A tablet is much more than just hardware and software, there’s also services and after sales support where usual consumer coverage plans simply aren’t enough. In the case of the ET5x series, that means offering 24/7 technical support, device diagnostics, comprehensive coverage, advance replacement and regular guaranteed software updates.

LifeGuard for Android is Zebra’s software security solution that extends the lifecycle of Zebra Android enterprise mobile computers. Consumer OS security support ends after 36 months, well short of the 5+ years of service life that most businesses need. LifeGuard adds years of OS security support after consumer support stops, helping significantly lower total cost of ownership.


Platform for further development: Enterprise tablets will often be available in multiple versions to suit the needs of their customers. That often means offering Android (with or without Google Mobile Services) or Windows. Zebra’s devices offer a unique Mobile Extensions architecture, a set of features that turn standard Android into a true enterprise-class OS. 

Those in the ET5x series are designed as platforms for further development, allowing businesses to explore additional applications and development over its lifetime. Zebra even offers an Android downgrade path to support legacy applications.

Increased flexibility: Consumer tablets usually come with an incredibly limited menu for accessories, generally improving the consumer experience. ET5x tablets also support a far wider range of accessories and hardware or software features, which enable them to perfectly address a wide range of business uses. That includes NFC, 4G/LTE, docking stations, rugged frames, expansion back that can hold a wide variety of peripherals, holster, stylus, 1D/2D barcode and much more. 

Make no mistake. While consumer and enterprise tablets share the same components and core software, they address very different audiences that have varying levels of expectations. For mission critical, business-grade applications, tablets built for the consumer market will offer businesses too little at too high a total cost of ownership.

Visit the Zebra ET5x series, one platform with many accessories and an expansive application ecosystem.