Friday, July 31, 2009

Slate vs. Convertible Tablet PC in the medical world

If you work in the hospital or a medical office, do you prefer to use a slate tablet PC or a convertible tablet PC? Maybe you don't even use a tablet.

I find that as people realize the efficiency of pen-based computing, they end up using the pen more than the keyboard. As a result, it may be better to train physicians to use tablets so they can quickly navigate and enter information using the pen. One nice thing about a dedicated slate tablet is that it is generally thinner and lighter. Convertible tablets have traditionally been at least 0.5 pounds heavier than a slate. However, there are fewer slate tablets to choose from. The leading manufacturers for full-size slate tablets still seem to be Fujitsu and Motion Computing. TabletKiosk is also out there selling slate tablets. HP used to make some slate tablets, but I haven't seen anything new from them. Lenovo never made any dedicated slates. The X-series tablets have all been convertibles.

Are we going to see more slate tablets emerging in the near future? Or is the tablet PC industry truly dying? My hope is that the increasing uptake of electronic health records (EHRs) will revive the tablet PC industry. However, EHR vendors really need to properly leverage the power of pen-based computing and push that message across to those who decide to adopt an EHR.

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