The Best Mobile Computing Options for Entrepreneurs

mobile tablet entrepreneursI just gave in after months of debate and picked up a new tablet to get work done on the road, in the air, at the coffee shop, or wherever else I decide to work.

As business becomes less location dependent and you can work from anywhere, it may be a smart idea to find the best mobile work device for your needs.  If this sounds like a tough financial decisions to make – skip that for now.  You can use companies like Leasing4Business to help you lease the technology you need for your business.

Laptop

If you need serious computer power, a traditional laptop is still the best option. It has a built in keyboard and can do anything your desktop can do. From smaller netbooks to high power laptops, you can run any Windows or Mac program, or Linux if that’s your style, anywhere you go.

The biggest benefits of a full size laptop are the computing power and full computer options. I work as a DJ on the weekends and evenings, and can run the resource intensive DJ programs and store my entire music collection for use on the go. If I can do that with my Alienware laptop, I am sure you can find a laptop that suits the needs of your business.

The biggest downsides of a laptop are the cost and size. My DJ laptop wasn’t cheap, and it isn’t light weight. If you need something lower cost, there are some low end netbooks that start in the $200 range. However a power PC or Mac can easily run up to $2,000.

iPad

The cool kids love the iPads, and there is a good reason for many people. For the cost of a typical laptop, you can potentially replace it with something might smaller and light weight. If you add on an optional keyboard, it quickly becomes a portable version of a Macbook.

The cost can vary widely, starting at $320 for an iPad Mini and up to $970 for a 4G enabled iPad with 128GB of storage.  Once again, if you have concerns about price, maybe consider leasing through a company like Leasing4Business.

I am not an iPerson, but I know that a lot of people love the simplicity of Apple devices. You can’t run all Windows apps on an iPad, which is an issue for some people that need specific business applications. If all you need is basic web and office programs, though, this may be a good option.

Surface

This is the new tablet it bought for myself. I decided on the low end Surface RT tablet for $349 plus the type keyboard cover. The Surface is a full Windows 8 tablet that can run any app from the Microsoft Store.

I decided on the Surface because it can do anything I need from Office (it comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote installed) and I can snap on the full keyboard for writing. With the built in stand, it is essentially a laptop with an optional keyboard.

The higher end, and more expensive, Surface Pro can run any Windows 7 or Windows 8 program, but I didn’t need that kind of power for the mobile computing I was interested in.

Your Phone

These days almost all of us are walking around with a powerful computer in our pockets. My Android phone is exponentially more powerful than my first PC, and with great new options like the Google Nexus 3, the Samsung Galaxy, or an iPhone, you can take care of quite a bit from there.

I use my phone for email, basic web use, and taking credit card payments with Square. My phone is certainly not a replacement for my PC, but it does do a heck of a lot and I always have it with me.

How Do You Compute on the Road? What do you use for computing on the go? Please share in the comments.

About Eric Rosenberg

Eric is a finance blogger at Narrow Bridge Finance and a serial entrepreneur. He runs a media company, flash mob company, and DJ business from his hometown in Denver, Colorado. You can read more about his finance background and connect with him around the web.

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