Comparing tablet PCs

What makes a tablet PC a good fit for government work might be quite different from what makes it an irresistible toy at home. Federal Computer Week’s sister publication, Government Computer News, recently evaluated a handful of new tablet PCs for a variety of government work-related characteristics, including security, performance and ease of use. Here are some of the highlights.

Manufacturer and product namePriceProsCons 
 

Apple's iPad 2 (Wi-Fi) 16G

$499

Simple to operate, but those used to PC-based applications will need some retraining

 

Quite fragile, but an optional Apple Smart Cover case can compensate

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.2

$499

Multitasking powerhouse with a huge screen and full support of Flash apps

No extra security and not very rugged

Motion Computing's J3500 Tablet PC

$3,000+

Security features include biometric fingerprint scanner; rugged up to Mil-Std 810G specifications

Very expensive

Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad

$499

Powerful dual-core processor and standard security features, such as full-device encryption

Not particularly rugged

Motorola's Xoom

$799    

Runs Google’s elegant and fast Honeycomb operating system

Expensive

Research in Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook

$499

Excellent browser for Web apps; offers top-notch security when linked with your BlackBerry smart phone

Requires a companion BlackBerry device for the best — and most secure — experience

Source: Government Computer News

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1996, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

  • Shutterstock image.

    Merged IT modernization bill punts on funding

    A House panel approved a new IT modernization bill that appears poised to pass, but key funding questions are left for appropriators.

  • General Frost

    Army wants cyber capability everywhere

    The Army's cyber director said cyber, electronic warfare and information operations must be integrated into warfighters' doctrine and training.

  • Rising Star 2013

    Meet the 2016 Rising Stars

    FCW honors 30 early-career leaders in federal IT.

Reader comments

Tue, Jul 12, 2011

Only one of these is a Tablet PC, the others are big screen PDA's. What makes an IPad a tablet PC?

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group