Google's New Tablet Making Apple's Sauce
Small and midsize businesses are becoming more aware that in order to stay competitive, they need to stay mobile in the increasing BYOD world. Though the Apple iPad is generally still the tablet to beat in many areas, the device can be a bit tough on the SMB budget. The latest entrant in the BYOD market, Google's new Nexus 7, has reportedly been beating out the iPad in many side-by-side comparisons, not the least of which is price. According to The Telegraph, the Nexus, which operates using Android's Jellybean, was designed primarily for users more familiar with the Kindle and their ilk as opposed to trying to compete with Apple's development of what is essentially a rudimentary laptop.
Pros and Cons
What the Nexus offers is a generous 9-hour battery life, a screen resolution adequate enough for HD viewing, and a quad core processor. It also comes with the Google Chrome browser, Gmail, and Google Calendar already installed--very useful for the SMB employee or manager trying to stay in sync with the office. Its smaller size and robust durability make it even more portable than other portable devices, and the modest base price of $199 makes it more easily replaced if something catastrophic should occur.
However, with the Nexus, streaming movie rentals and digital book sales are pushed to the fore, and developers are counting on users spending a lot of time at the Google Play Store, Google's virtual warehouse of both in-house and third-party applications, to customize their tablet experience. But that doesn't mean that Nexus users can't check their email or even place a video call--provided that they are within wi-fi or bluetooth range. Unlike the iPad and other similar devices, the Nexus does not offer a 3G option, at least not at present.
In a series of durability tests conducted by SquareTrade and reported by Slash Gear, the Nexus 7 is apparently the clear winner over iPad. But the test meant to simulate "being knocked off a table", for example, was actually conducted outside on a concrete walkway, and without any protective case for either device, something most consumers consider mandatory for any portable. And while there was a great deal of cosmetic damage to the iPad, functionality was not mentioned.
Still, for the SMB employee or manager on the go, a smaller, more robust, and more adaptable device like the Nexus 7 (or even the rumored soon-to-be-smaller iPad) may be the way to go if maintaining simple connectivity is the reason for choosing it. One can certainly stay on top of emails and schedules, and can even look over important documents. But the smaller price tag may be the biggest appeal to the SMB looking to keep mobile.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.