If you want to keep your business in touch with your competitors, you have to be mobile when it comes to communications. From simply picking up the phone to transferring files or running your website, being able to get in touch or get online when you need to is quite simply crucial. But there are so many mobile solutions out there now; it’s hard to know what’s best for your business.
The good old smartphone can get an awful lot of your jobs done – perhaps all of them. Email, social networking, web access, sat nav and mapping – you can even create and alter Office documents with the right apps downloaded (you’ll find these are often free and pre-installed on Android and BlackBerry handsets, amongst others). As well as being a jack-of-all-trades, they have the added advantage of having everything on one bill – no need for a separate mobile broadband contract or gadget to carry around.
Laptops and netbooks
While the smartphone ticks all the boxes, it is really only the master of one – the phone conversation. Everything else is going to be bigger and better on a laptop. You’ll benefit from a full QWERTY keyboard and a much bigger screen, a far bigger hard drive for files, plus a DVD drive and USB ports too. You’ll also have the same operating system and programs you’re used to in the office, making life a lot simpler. The real downside is portability and weight, some of which can be avoided by taking the smaller netbook route – all you’ll tend to lose is the DVD drive and a good chunk of screen size. Laptops on contract can be great deals too, often letting you avoid paying for the netbook or laptop up front by including it in the price of the tariff.
Tablets and iPads
If you’re considering a netbook, it’s worth thinking about the new kid on the block – the tablet PC. They have a very similar set up to smartphones, running on either the same or very similar operating systems. This means you’ll be using apps, but on a screen of 7 to 10 inches rather than 3 or 4 inches. While they tend to be slower and smaller in the memory department than a laptop or netbook, with a touchscreen QWERTY, they certainly have the wow factor right now – as well as being light and convenient to carry. As with a laptop, you’ll need a separate mobile broadband SIM to get them online on the move, unless you can get by with Wi-Fi.
This guest post was contributed by Chris Marling, from Broadband Genie, the online consumer portal for mobile broadband options where you can find information on laptops on contract, netbooks, tablets and smartphones.