5 good reasons the iPad Air is great for the enterprise

"The iPad isn't a productivity device," they said. "It's just a giant phone," they moaned. "It's got rounded corners," they complained. "They" can say what they like: here are 5 great reasons Apple [AAPL] iPad Air is good for the enterprise:

5 good reasons the iPad Air is great for the enterprise

All day battery life

Apple promised just ten hours battery life in the new iPad Air, but the reviews are in and there are many that say you can expect even more than this. The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg clocks battery life at 12 hours 13 minutes -- that's enough time to fly from San Francisco to Tokyo.

In a classic example of under-promise and over-deliver, Apple has created a tablet you can use all day.

Seamless connectivity

If you travel a lot you probably carry a range of SIMs for your different destinations. In the past iOS devices each carried baseband support for a range of different carriers -- if your iPad lacked the right baseband support, you didn't get to use the carrier. That's not a problem anymore as the Air automatically supports all of these using one baseband chip.

This should help travellers of any kind. As will the much-improved MIMO Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth Smart support.

Light as a feather

OK, to be fair the iPad Air isn't as light as a feather, but it is light -- the one-pound tablet is the thinnest and lightest tablet available. If you're an enterprise user you'll like this because it makes the system easier to carry.

You'll like it even more if you're trying to squeeze as much as you can out of airline carry-on baggage limitations.

Fast show

Processor and graphics performance in these machines is something else.:

  • Anandtech says the iPad Air's graphics performance is 40-70 percent better than that of its predecessor.
  • Geekbench tests confirm the iPad Air to be over 80% faster than the iPad 4.

These performance improvements are even more impressive when you recognize Apple has achieved them in a device with a smaller battery than before.

Apps have it

Mossberg calls the iPad Air the "best tablet he's ever reviewed" (as does Engadget), not just because the product is good but also on account of the 475,000 available iPad-optimized apps, "far more than any other tablet platform."

Those apps that don't yet exist are either being developed (hello, Microsoft) or already exist as privately used apps within the nearly 35,000 big firms worldwide already building their own custom iPad apps.

"In China, AVIC International, a unit of Aviation Industry Corporation of China has equipped 27,000 employees with iPhones to access internally developed apps for office, administrative documentation, approval processes in key business intelligent systems," said Apple's Peter Oppenheimer.

There's even a free (but limited) productivity suite in the box (iWork) to help keep you productive on the road (particularly with one of these).

Don't neglect the forthcoming new generation of 64-bit iOS apps -- these will increase what's expected from application performance on tablets.

Taken together these five reasons mean Apple's likely to continue to maintain its iGrip on enterprise tablet adoption. The iPad accounted for 90 percent of total enterprise tablet activations in Q3, says Good Technology.

These are also reasons the shift from PCs to tablets is likely to continue.

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Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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