What's the best tablet for gas engineers?

Marine Klein
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Smart phones and tablets are a great way to boost the productivity of your gas engineers.  Buying a tablet for yourself is much easier than buying devices for a whole team, which is a lot more expensive.  You need to be sure that you're buying the best tablet for your gas engineers while still keeping the overall cost down.

The major hesitations when deciding whether your business should invest in tablets tends to be:

  • Engineers with 'fat thumb symdrone'
  • Engineers will break them or loose them
  • Our older engineers won't be able to use them

These are pretty natural concerns.  While these concerns may be true, our tips below should help you pick the the best tablet for gas engineers.


Bigger is better when buying for 'fat thumbs'

If your engineers have fat thumbs, don't buy smart phones or small tablets.  Buy larger tablets.  It'll make it easier for them to use and reduce their frustrations when they can't tap on that tiny button. While I love tablets like the iPad mini, i'd much rather use a tablet the size of an iPad Air for work - your engineers will too.


Don't cheap out, buy the best tablets you can

While you may want to keep the cost of this down, don't cheap out.  Buying the cheapest tablet for £70 - £150 per device may keep your initial cost is lower but you'll soon regret it.
Engineers will hate using slow tablets that constantly crash and freeze.  Cheap devices are made with cheap parts and are built to a lower spec.  This means apps will run slower and may crash more regularly.  Engineers will give up, they'll make excuses and eventually the whole experience will leave you with a pile of unused devices.
Cheap devices also won't last.  Technology moves at an incredible pace.  Today's best tablets look slow compared to the next generation of tablets.  If you buy old models or cheap devices now, they'll soon age and you may find that you're replacing them more regularly than if you bought good quality devices that'll last a few years.

Is the best tablet a rugged one engineers wont break?

Yes and no.
While you obviously want a device that will withstand the daily lives of your gas engineers, buying a dedicated rugged device in my opion is overkill.  There are a few out there, like the Panasonic Toughpad.  However, they're expensive and often have lower specifications than your standard Samsung.
There are ways to protect your device, check out your top tips for protecting your engineers tablet devices. - check out our top tips 

With so many great tablets available on the market it can be difficult to know what the is best tablet for gas engineers.

Here are our best tablet choices for gas engineers:
The iPad is probably the most well known tablet and is favoured by a lot of Commusoft's smaller clients.  It's cost though does put off larger businesses as it is a premium price tag.
A beautiful screen, a solid design and a familiar interface will make it a perfect device for businesses.
The iPad mini is a great size for engineers, not to big and not too small.  The iPad mini has less power than the full size iPad, so wouldn't be great for resource heavy applications - for example, we wouldn't recommend it to managers who want to view and manage all diaries on a tablet, but it's perfect for engineers who just have their own diaries to worry about.  It's also a bit cheaper than the full size iPad, so is a bit more accessible for larger businesses that need to buy multiple devices.
Sony's Xperia Z4 Tablet is an incredible device that's easily in the lead where Android tablets are concerned. It boasts an extremely light and thin design, perfect for your engineers to take out and about. It's waterproof, making it suitable for use on outside jobs, whatever the weather, and features some powerful hardware that delivers high performance and extremely flexible software.
The only downside to the Xperia is the fact Sony exclusively sell it with a Bluetooth keyboard. If you were intending to kit your engineers out with the keyboard, this isn't a problem, but if you don't need or want keyboards to go with your tablets, it's an annoying and unavoidable extra expense.
The latest Android tablet from Samsung's flagship slate range is excellent. Its premium design is HDR-ready with a clear and easy to read display that won't let you down.
Keyboards are an optional extra rather than a necessity, and the tablet features an extremely powerful processor.
Coming with a handy S-Pen stylus and packing a real punch where software is concerned, the latest Galaxy Tab is versatile and durable.

5. Asus ZenPad 3S 10

An excellent option that's not quite as pricey as its Sony and Samsung counterparts, the Asus ZenPad is a durable tablet with a hi-resolution display. That being said, the ZenPad is extremely powerful and features a beautifully bright display.
Its swift response time and exceptional design make this a great tablet, however for engineers it may not be the best, as the quality of its construction isn't as strong as others, and it has a poor battery life. That being said, it's exceptionally good quality given the low price.
Google's Pixel C features an excellent screen and premium design that make it extremely good for use in the field. It's sturdy and durable, though heavier than other options. It's an extremely powerful tablet, and the crisp clarity of the display is certainly one of its best features. Keyboards are once again optional, but if you do want them, they are quite expensive.
That said, this tablet was definitely designed more for touch-screen use than keyboards. If you don't want the hassle of keyboards, it's a great option. However, if you're looking for one with an effective keyboard, Sony and Samsung have done a much better job of integrating them.

Another from the Galaxy line, this has a lighter, thinner design with an excellent screen. Exceptionally powerful and impossibly thin, this is a great, slick version of Samsung's premium tablets. Its downfall is the mediocrity of its camera, so if you need your engineers to take quality images while out and about, this might not be the one for you.
While the battery life isn't terrible, it's not great either. That being said, this does give you access to Samsung's Galaxy range at a much lower price point than the S3.
It's available with an 8-inch or 9.7-inch screen, which gives you more options to choose from while retaining functionality variants to challenge Apple's iPad mini and iPad ranges, with the smaller option being much cheaper and more portable.

Don't have the budget for a tablet?

The bring your device to work (BYOD) trend has taken the business world by storm and gives you the ability to roll out mobile devices to your workforce for little upfront cost.  It also allows you to remove the risk associated with a mobile strategy, as you don't have any upfront cost - so you can afford to experiment with the idea before committing to buying devices.
If you do want to roll out devices, but don't have the budget, try offering incentives for engineers to use their own phones and tablets, like money towards their mobile contracts - it's a win win as engineers get subsidised phone contracts and you get a mobile, digital workforce.
To get the best value from your tablet you need powerful software designed for your plumbing, heating and gas business.
At Commusoft we enable you to manage your business from an Android tablet. Your gas engineers can access the app anywhwhere, anytime with or without signal.
The app will sync in real-time, you can send quotations and track engineers jobs.  Engineers can create gas certificates, take pictures and create invoices.
Looking for advice on the best tablets to buy for your gas engineers? Or how to make your business paperless?
Get in touch, we're happy to discuss your needs and find the perfect solution (click here).
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