tablet/laptop recommendation

Abraham Deutsch
Abraham Deutsch used Ask the Experts™
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I am looking for a tablet/laptop that employee can use when they are on the go.

I will have an access program running on it [the database is on the company server].

Need to connect to their office computers in a domain environment via a VPN connection.

Light work [no robust system]

Work on Verizon network.

Purpose of porches giving the employees access to their computer on the go and using the access program.

Any recommendation, please.
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IT Systems Engineer
Commented:
the surface pro is very good for what you want to do, we use it here and it works wonders.

also depends on how much memory you need and how big the HDD needs to be? what will they be using it ? if theyre going to be using Excel you'll need something decent. like an i5 I would say.

Thanks
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
It's not clear to me if you have an access database or an access front end to a SQL database.  Unless you're looking to corrupt the access database, you should not be accessing an Access database over a VPN.  Instead, use VPN to enable the users to connect to a system on premises with RDP. or migrate the data to a SQL backend.

Hardware wise, if you want the user to be productive, I would recommend evaluating a few products and allow the end user to make the final decision based on the ones your organization finds acceptable.  

Personally, I do like Microsoft's Surface devices, but there are other options.  BUT, laptops/tablets have varying keyboards and screens and I've found that when you dictate what a user must use, you can potentially reduce their productivity.  There should be some control - make sure you're getting business quality items, but give the user options.  I've got keyboard and screen preferences that not everyone shares - what I want is not necessarily what you want.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
Surface Pro is a good choice (I have seen them in use at the Microsoft Global MVP Summit).

When you take a Surface and add a mouse and unfold it, it is as large as a small laptop.

I use a ThinkPad X1 Carbon. 2 pounds and a bit, 6 hour battery life, 1 TB SSD, 16 GB of memory, VPN, Office, all kinds of tools and is my travelling consulting workhorse machine. When opened up, little more space than a Surface, but 14 in screen, top notch keyboard.  

I present it as an alternative to another good choice.
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Brandon LyonWeb Developer/Designer
Commented:
Price range?
Battery life?
Any other feature requirements like number and type of USB or monitor ports?
Does it matter if the display is matte or glossy?

I agree with the Surface Pro recommendation, I love mine. The battery life isn't the best but it's still good for most cases. To elaborate, I specifically like the i3 or i5 models. Less than that is slow but more than that causes reduced battery life with more thermal throttling and/or fan noise. Additionally more RAM is better than less RAM (I like 8GB as the sweet spot but 16GB is good too).

Depending on the type of work you might want something with a different display aspect ratio. Surface Pro has 3:2. This means that they're taller but not as wide as a 16:9 or 16:10. I feel like taller is probably a good thing for database work but I could be wrong.
HP Envy x360 is another good choice.
Abraham DeutschIT professional
Top Expert 2016

Author

Commented:
corrupt the access database
Spoke to the developer, and they say it's ok should not do any corruption.

Price range?
Not looking to pay a dollar more needed, but need it to work would say not more then $600 range

Battery life
Does not matter will not work on it for a long time at once thy thy can charge it between uses.

Any other feature
No

Does it matter if the display is matte or glossy
I personally like batter glossy but would not make any difference on what to choose.

thermal throttling and/or fan noise
Don't care about this

The main focus is on performance comfort and display.

A very important point I forgot to mention, needs to work with LTE so I can add to my plan with my wireless carrier (Wifi in not enough)
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
Last question first: Get a laptop WAN ready or with WAN card and make sure it works with your ISP.

$600?   Consumer laptop, hard drive (possibly slow) or tiny (128GB) SSD drive. Performance low and short lifespan.
Abraham DeutschIT professional
Top Expert 2016

Author

Commented:
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
It has a very tiny SSD drive. A user would run out of space within months.

i5 is satisfactory as is 8 GB.  So it is fair but I would set my sights higher.
Abraham DeutschIT professional
Top Expert 2016

Author

Commented:
All I am going to use it is to remote in the office computers and run a front end access. I don't want taff to use it for any other purpose (I plan lock down the tablet/notebook (Kiosk)
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
OK, If no big storage needs then the Surface you picked out should be fine.
Brandon LyonWeb Developer/Designer
Commented:
Note that the model you linked to isn't one of the ones which includes LTE. You'll need to pick a more expensive model or add an external LTE adapter.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
It has a very tiny SSD drive. A user would run out of space within months.

I call BS on that.   My Surface and Lenovo Tablet both have 128 GB and both aren't close to full... and both I've had for 2+ years and are running Windows 10.  No, you can't load everything on the planet on them, but Office, basic utilities, Windows, cached email (with limits) - NO PROBLEM AT ALL, short or LONG term.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
The main focus is on performance comfort and display.

Is this for you or other employees?  Actually, it doesn't really matter... as I said earlier, MAKE SURE you like and are comfortable with the screen and key layout.  The Surface has a higher than standard resolution and while Microsoft has made advances in how the screen displays things with high resolutions, you might still have issues, depending on your preferences.  If COMFORT is truly a concern, you NEED to be HANDS ON to evaluate.  Go to a Best Buy, Microsoft Store, or find a friend or colleague with one to play with a little (not days, but to sit in front of, open Office apps, visit web sites...)  If you like it, GET ONE.  If not, keep looking.

And understand, that a decent performing tablet / laptop combo for $600 is somewhat difficult to find.  The surface you're pointing to is no longer sold (though they may be clearing out inventory.  And technically, it's $100 more than what you said your budget was).
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
Most Surface devices don't include LTE.  You would have to use tethering to your phone for them.  The Surface Go has (or will have) an LTE option but adding JUST that to a device - any device - usually increases the price $50-150.  Again, well outside your stated budget.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Easy enough to add a USB internet stick. I do this and have a plan from my ISP . Easy
Abraham DeutschIT professional
Top Expert 2016

Author

Commented:
You are right I see I'm was totally off with my price range. But it is worth for me to pay the extra $150 for something that has built in LTE rather than using a usb or hot spot to connect to the internet
Brandon LyonWeb Developer/Designer
Commented:
While I agree that it isn't necessary to have it built in, I also agree that it's worth $150 to have it built-in because that means fewer users losing a usb or hotspot device, introducing a potential security risk, or having to support users who don't know how to use those things.
Abraham DeutschIT professional
Top Expert 2016

Author

Commented:
Thank you all for you advice
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You are very welcome and I was happy to help you.

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