The Case for Fixed Tablets

By Jack E. Gold  |  Posted 2011-02-09 Print this article Print

The case for fixed tablets

So, why discuss fixed tablets at all? HP has just released an update to its TouchSmart PC line, including one tailored toward business users (the HP TouchSmart 9300 Elite Business PC). Running an Intel next-generation processor with Windows 7, as well as an innovative, tilting 23-inch screen and lots of memory, these machines can provide a level of capability for a user that is unavailable from portable tablets. Plus, although the market is fixated on what portable tablets can do (and they can do much), there is still a substantial potential for fixed devices in business settings (and, of course, consumer applications as well-although that is not the focus here).

I estimate that as much as 25 to 35 percent of business applications now being developed for portable tablets would work better, be easier to manage and offer improved user interactions if deployed on a fixed tablet rather than a mobile tablet device. To be sure, fixed tablets can't replace the needs of a highly mobile work force. Many fixed-location workers can easily be served by walk-up terminals dispersed around a workplace (for example, retail checkouts, warehouse "picking" and health care delivery). If the user interface takes best advantage of the touch and swipe interfaces so prevalent and popular among mobile users, it can go a long way towards improving business applications and providing real-time information to companies who are currently struggling to obtain an optimized solution for their work force.

Jack E. Gold is the founder and Principal Analyst at J. Gold Associates, an IT analyst firm based in Northborough, Mass., covering the many aspects of business and consumer computing and emerging technologies. Jack is a former VP of research services at the META Group. He has over 35 years experience in the computer and electronics industries. He can be reached at

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