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Using them with a home PC. Tablets can sometimes be used to save on hardware costs and software costs, such as supplying tablets instead of new laptops with Windows 7, as Schadler explains in the “novel ways to make the business case for tablets” section of his survey. iPads, in this scenario, would be used for in-person sales pitches, and then home PCs would allow the employee to store necessary data and other files.

“I think the big question for me is why would a given employee use a tablet instead of a desktop or laptop?” said Michael Coté, an analyst at RedMonk. “For employees always on the go or out in the field, it makes sense because they want portability, but it seems like most employees sit at a desk, so what advantage is there?”

He maintains that many of the applications needed for productivity—from e-mail, to documents, to presentation programs—are already available on these devices, with additional network security applications available, like remote wipe, password protection and VPN enforcement.

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Taking custom orders and utilizing tablets for custom orders. Schadler said pharmaceutical companies can save money, as the FDA requires them to destroy all printed material, such as handouts, when updates happen. Updated information can be kept on a tablet instead of a costlier device, and instead of having to reprint the material each time. Additionally, he said that retailers could use tablets for store-floor orders, with customizable applications created by the company to allow sales personnel to accept these transactions.