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The HQ Conundrum
Which is better for an on-the-go exec—an ultra-thin laptop or a tablet? Both! That’s according to Dan Young, president and CEO of PC Laptops. The real trend, he says, isn’t one versus the other, it’s one and the other—and the interconnectivity of multiple devices.
How They’re Used
“Most executives now will have not just one device, but four or five different devices as part of their arsenal,” Young says. Included in that arsenal are a smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop. Some people have multiples of some devices, and growing in popularity is the convertible, which is a laptop with a screen that can flip around to act like a tablet, Young says.
For skimming emails, watching movies or checking stock prices, Young says people will pull out the smartphone or tablet. They’re easy to use, portable and almost every business person has one or both.
When it comes to real computing, though, Young says people still have a desktop and high-powered notebook computer. When someone is away from home or office, they still need something with a bigger capacity and better memory—what he calls a “creation station.”
PC Laptops has noted increased sales in desktops because people are using them for entertainment now. And Young says there’s still no replacement for the power and screen size you need for some tasks like high-quality photo editing.
Laptops and desktops are for creation, while phones and tablets are for consumption, he says. “There’s no best device. It’s like having a sports car and an SUV and a motorcycle. They have different purposes.”
How They Combine
The real job is to make sure everything works together, Young says. Many people now don’t have brand loyalty across devices, so may have a Samsung phone and an iPad with a PC computer, Young says.
To make that work, the key is getting software that allows you to share across any platform. Young says Dropbox and Google Drive are the two he uses, but there are others out there with similar functionality.
Someone can create and edit a huge spreadsheet on their desktop, put the file in Dropbox and then access it from any other device wherever they go. That kind of accessibility is key for execs, Young says.
On a typical day, Young says he and other business people will go from one device to another several times over the course of the day. One of the first things he does in the morning is get on his phone to check stocks and answer emails and texts.
Then, after getting some coffee, he goes to his desktop computer with three monitors and checks stocks again, listens to music, maybe looks at magazines, then works on a spreadsheet. He says desktops are perfect for spreadsheets or other detailed projects because the bigger monitor allows you to see everything at once.
With his projects saved in Google or Dropbox, Young says he can go on the road and still have everything on his laptop while in a hotel. After work is done, he can pull out the tablet to watch something on Netflix while he’s Facebooking or talking to people on his phone.
“The average business person has at least four devices,” he says. With every device having different strengths, no executive will need to search for the right device for the job anymore.
Ultra-thin Laptops vs. Tablets