Will a Tablet Computer Be Your Next Document Management Interface?

Suddenly, tablet computers are popping up everywhere.  Last week, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, practically every major company and a host of start-ups were showing off their new entries into the tablet category.  

Why are tablets among the hottest technology gadgets hitting the market?  As the workforce is becoming more mobile and wireless bandwidth more accessible, lighter weight more powerful devices are evolving to satisfy the demand for multi-tasking professionals to be able to handle tasks at any time of the day, wherever they might be.  Our Blackberries and iPhones give us continual access to email but don’t have a large enough display to serve up business documents and records at a scale optimized for human consumption.  Tablets are designed to make books, magazines and PDFs more readable without the weight, bulk and start-up lag times of laptops.   

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At 9 x 11 inches and only 1/4” thick the Hearst Corporation-backed Skiff Reader by Skiff will fit in a portfolio where you would normally carry a notepad.  

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The Que proReader by Plastic Logic is specifically targeted for the professional market with business applications in mind.

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Lenovo’s IdeaPad U1 hybrid allows you to detach the display from a Windows 7 laptop and use it as a tablet in hot-switched Skylight Linux mode without losing your place in your browser window.

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Other devices, such as the Notion Ink’s Adam Pixel Qi reader may be setting the standard for a device that can replace Amazon's Kindle for book reading and provide full color access to the Web and business applications and documents.   The screen swaps both from a color LED backlit LCD panel, to a black-and-white electrophoretic screen that saves battery time.

As you become more mobile and more flexible, and as stylus-written note recognition and voice translation technologies evolve, you may find the tablet computer to be just the thing for your mobile knowledge worker tasks.  But if you want to go old school, you can always interact with your tablet using your Bluetooth-coupled keyboard and mouse.

Since Digital Designs' digital document solutions are designed as Web applications they are ideal for deployment on tablet computers.  Stay tuned for tablet optimization functionality announcements coming soon to DDI’s suite of innovative enterprise document solutions. 

| John C. Queen