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Using Tablets for Business: A How-To guide for using your Surface Pro for Business Part 1

By:Christine Fettinger

Part 1: Using Tablets for Business – Introducing the Surface Pro

This is a multi-part guide. You are on Part 1: Using Tablets for Business – Introducing the Surface Pro

Click here to go forward to Part 2: Setting up your Surface Pro for Business Use – Outlook

One of the best parts about working in the IT industry is getting to play with the newest toys and gadgets. I got a chance to test out the Surface Pro this week. At CyberStreams we are excited about this tablet’s potential for use in the business world.

The use for tablets in the business world is really only limited by a company’s ingenuity. One of the main features that people tend to focus on when thinking about the business uses for a tablet is their mobility – tablets offer a lightweight portable way to access projects and information at any time. From sales presentations to accessing email while traveling, tablets are becoming more present in business.

The Surface Pro brings the potential for tablet use to a new level. Because it operates on the same Windows Operating System as a laptop (as opposed to Windows RT). This allows businesses to run applications that would, until now, never have operated on a tablet. For many companies this might be their CRM (customer relationship management software), their ERP, or any other industry specific applications (which typically aren’t designed for mobile).

Further, Office 365 makes using a tablet for work easy. The same Office licensing rights carry over from your PC or laptop (e.g. you aren’t paying for Office again). Further, all the information you need from work can be easily accessed and shared on the cloud.

This blog will go through a step-by-step how-to for setting up your Surface Pro for business use, and using Office 365 on your Surface Pro.

Remember, this is a multi-part blog. Feel free to move between sections to find the information you need.

Background on the Surface

Microsoft has produced two types of Surfaces – the Surface Pro and the Surface RT. The essential difference between the two is all in the processor.

The Surface RT runs on a NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad core. This is more or less the same thing that your Windows phone runs on. This type of processor is significantly less powerful than what you would expect from a laptop, but it is also noticeably more light-weight and compact (as it doesn’t require the same cooling equipment). If you are looking for a tablet in the more traditional sense of the word, this would be the product for you.

The Surface Pro runs on an Intel Core i5 dual core. This is likely similar to what your laptop runs on (or perhaps faster for many readers). Because of this the Surface Pro is significantly more powerful than the Surface RT. With that processing power, however, does come a bit more added weight. While this does not impact the tablet’s portability, it definitely feels like you are carrying a small laptop around, rather than a tablet.

Tablet Blog Post 1

Deciding Surface RT vs Surface Pro

Before you purchase a Surface RT, Pro, or any other tablet, consider how you want to use that machine, as that will determine what product is appropriate for you.

As a business, we chose to purchase a Surface Pro over a Surface RT for several reasons. The most major reason is the fact that most Business Productivity programs simply won’t work on the Surface RT. Most Business Productivity software is designed to work on a standard computer operating system. This operating system is different in phones and most tablets, including the Surface RT. For example, we use an internal CRM that is very important in our day-to-day operations called ConnectWise. This product would not work on the Surface RT, and thus the Surface RT would not be useful to us in business operations.

Both the Surface RT and Surface Pro have their advantages. Given how we are focusing on the Business applications of the tablet where processing power matters, however, we will be focusing on using the Surface Pro.

Note that if you are using a Surface RT many of the following discussions will not apply to your machine.

We will now proceed to how to set up basic business productivity functions like Outlook on your tablet.

Please reference the guides below, but if your business is running into problems using tablets, we encourage you to contact us! Helping clients with tablets like the Surface Pro falls into our expertise as IT Consultants and IT support. If your company is interested in CyberSteam’s HelpDesk services or have been experiencing problems with your tablet or any other IT issue, please contact us!

This concludes Part 1: Using Tablets for Business – Introducing the Surface Pro

Click here to go to Part 2: Setting your Surface Pro up for Business Use – Outlook