Tablets vs smartphones: Which one is more enterprise worthy?

Andrei Geralt

Jul 8, 2021

8 min read

A few years back, both smartphones and tablets were considered consumer-centric devices. Today, these devices are used extensively in almost every industry out there. It’s not a surprise to see people taking notes on their tablets or scrolling down reports in the subway.

Both smartphones and tablets are handy, and their accessibility, in turn, improves both user convenience and response time. This could boost the effectiveness of the workforce. Now that we’ve warmed up, let’s put the big question out there. Tablets vs smartphones. Which one is best for your enterprise?

Aren’t they kind of the same?

Considering the fact that both tablets and smartphones run on the same operating system, you aren’t at fault if you think of tablets as a larger smartphone. However, tablets and phones are pretty different when you consider their use cases. Sometimes, using a tablet would be more convenient for a task. Other times, your phone would do.

If you are currently on ‘the thinker’ mode, facing the tablets vs smartphones situation, think about the device use case. Here are a few criteria which could help you decide.

Portable and pocketable

Both tablets and smartphones are both pretty handy, like literally, they fit in your hand. This is what makes them super useful in an enterprise scenario. Running around the office with a desktop is an impossible event. With a laptop? A marathon, where you’d get tired eventually. A tablet would be something akin to a book, making them pretty nifty when you go on business trips and attend presentations or meetings.

If you consider tablets handy, then smartphones would be super convenient. Tablets certainly could be carried everywhere, but we need to emphasize the word ‘could.’ People would still leave their tablets in the office when they go out for lunch or when even they go back home. Smartphones, on the other hand, would always remain on person. This enables work to go where the employee goes.

Tablets vs smartphones: So, when it comes to portability, smartphones have the upper hand.

Size matters

Device size matters!
Device size matters!

There was a time when people were obsessed with bigger screens. Well, it’s not wrong to say that people still are. Larger screens come at the price of portability. If your device can’t fit in your pocket, that means you need a bag or something which is not convenient. However, there are some benefits to having a bigger screen. When it comes to tasks involving more screen time, people naturally prefer the larger screen. This is the better alternative to squinting your eyes and staring at your 5-inch phone screen.

Tablets are viewed as the perfect devices when it comes to taking notes and perusing reports. They are also ideal when making presentations or more time-consuming tasks like creating sheets and documents. In these cases, we can say that size of the screen is proportionate to employee productivity. The smaller screen size of mobile restricts the user from prolonged screen time. This restriction caps the extensive use of mobile devices for work.

Tablets vs smartphones: Tablets are more suitable for longer screen time tasks than mobile devices.

A series of kiosk tales

Tablets certainly make the ideal kiosk devices. These imaginary stories would help establish the point.

What do kids love?

Riley oversees the IT needs of a school in her town. The school planned on handing out devices to their students as a part of digitalizing the institution. They knew they wanted a kiosk configuration set up on the device, but they didn’t know how. They were also confused about what device to go for.

A few months later, all the students received their own tablets. The devices were locked to a set of selected applications by using kiosk capabilities offered by Hexnode UEM. This feature ensured that the students could not access other applications which could distract them. The website blacklisting capabilities also made sure that the students could only browse the internet for academic purposes.

Riley was satisfied with her decision to go for the tablet. The kids found no difficulty in reading texts or answering tests. An hour of screen time didn’t seem to pose a problem as well. These perks made tablets an ideal choice of device for Riley.

A dream come true

Matt had just retired after decades of deskwork as a corporate employee. His lifelong dream of opening a restaurant was about to come true. There was just one more hurdle for him to overcome. He wanted his customers to avoid having to wait for placing orders.

This could be easily resolved by placing a small kiosk device affixed to each table. Then, the customer could place orders on the table, which could eliminate delays. Matt knew the solution but didn’t know the steps to get there.

Matt’s business was doing great after he got this problem solved. With the right tablet and the right UEM solution, his menu kiosk was a great success. Using Hexnode’s kiosk to lock the device to a single application made sure the customer did not exit the app. Hexnode’s device security and location tracking features also ensured that Matt could work in peace without worrying about his tablets.

Tablets as kiosks in restaurants
Tablets as kiosks in restaurants

Tablets are a great informational kiosk device. In this case, the menu contents have to be visible and should be accessible by any customer. There is no other role for the device, so it must offer no other distractions. Matt was happy that his dream had come true.

Capturing feedback, the kiosk way

Jake was a big man with a big heart. He had recently taken over a chain of motels, the family business and wanted feedback from his guests. He wanted to learn how he could improve the business. Jake’s size and silent (shy) demeanor made him seem unapproachable.

After setting up tablets as feedback kiosks in the receptions and other common areas, ideas came flowing. Jake grabbed every opportunity to make his motels more homely. With Hexnode’s multi app kiosk capabilities, he pushed a feedback app and a couple of games. This would keep his guests engaged when waiting.

Tablets make the ideal feedback kiosks. Their large screen not only makes reading easier, but also makes watching movies, playing games a lot more enjoyable. Jake would often see his guests smiling and waving as they left the motel. He is quite content with the choice he made.


Communication is vital in an enterprise. An office worker probably has a team, and the associated tasks may require a certain level of teamwork. You’re probably thinking that all communication happens on the laptop or desktop. It may be the case, but what happens when a sudden issue arises and your manager is on a lunch break?

There are cases where having a smartphone or tablet would be a more efficient way to keep track of the latest updates and office happenings. Naturally, smartphones would be considered the ideal choice since people carry them around almost at all times.

Tablets vs smartphones: Smartphones are better than tablets in this case. It’s a little difficult to imagine waking up and checking your 10-inch tablet, no?

Battery life and storage

Remember the size matters section? Not all the time. While tablets certainly do have a bigger frame than smartphones, there isn’t a lot of difference in battery life and storage capacity. While smartphone battery capacity does end up going down overuse, this is purely due to high charging cycles. So, it’s a tie.


So, the winner! Okay, it’s more of a tie. Both devices are great choices, but the final decision should be based on the use case when facing a tablets vs smartphones scenario. Mobile devices are nifty and are an excellent choice for applications that do not involve much screen time or tasks that involve a lot of precision. Tablets, on the other hand, can do almost everything but are not handy enough. While you can expect a person to carry their phone 24/7, you can’t expect the same with a tablet.

The bottom line

Smartphones and tablets are no longer tied to consumer hands. Both are slowly taking over tasks previously handled by desktops. However, saying that desktops are gradually being replaced wouldn’t be exactly true. There are certainly a lot of tasks where using desktops would be the more optimal choice. The right device can only be finalized after checking if it’s a proper fit for your use case.

So, devices of different platforms will be used within the workplace. The fact is irrefutable. To manage all the other devices used within the enterprise, we need a single standard solution. When it comes to deploying devices in bulk, using a UEM solution is again, the better solution. For devices of all platforms? A UEM like Hexnode would be the best solution. Choosing your tool is an essential first step. Keeping your devices secure is your second.

Andrei Geralt

Frolicking on the keys while appreciating the serenity behind the screen.

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