The new rage in mobile computing is the tablet, but some businesses have been left scratching their heads on how they can successfully integrate these devices into their networks. The main issue with most tablet devices is that they don’t run an operating system that is compatible with the business applications that you use on a daily basis. The answer to that will come largely through a new generation of tablets that run a full blown version of the new Windows 8 Pro operating system.

There are a couple important distinctions to make here. One is that not all Windows 8 operating systems (OS) are created equal. Windows RT comes preinstalled on the majority of Windows tablets, but is very limited in what it can do when compared to the Pro version. Windows RT is a touch-optimized OS that comes with the basic set of office 2013 applications, but you can’t install the majority of your business applications on it. RT also can’t be joined to a domain and is short a lot of the goodies that you get with Pro. If you want to be able to work on a tablet, you probably want one that runs Win 8 Pro.

There are a bunch of Windows 8 tablets that have just come out or are scheduled soon. Considering the above, I’ll highlight 3 that run Win 8 Pro and might be good picks. Here they are, in no particular order:

The Surface from Microsoft
We’ve all seen the ads plastered on TV and other media. The Surface RT came out a little while back, and the Win 8 Pro version arrived last month. Here are some quick specs on the Surface.

CPUDual-core 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5-3317U[7]
Storage capacity64 GB (23 GB available) or 128 GB (83 GB available)[8] and microSDXC slot
Memory4 GB dual-channel DDR3-1600 (25.6 GB/sec)
Display10.6 inches (27 cm) 1920 x 1080 px[9] (208 ppi) ClearType HD screen with 16:9 aspect ratio
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 4000
Input10-point multi-touch screen, pen input, ambient light sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, compass, dual microphones
CameraFront: 1.2 MP, 720p HD
Rear: 1.2 MP AF, 720p HD
Connectivity2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n), USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort
Dimensions10.81 inches (27.5 cm) (w)
6.81 inches (17.3 cm) (h)
0.53 inches (13 mm) (d)
Weight2 pounds (910 g

Microsoft Surface The Surface will be able to run most of your business applications, join a domain, and has some pretty nice hardware for a tablet. It also comes with some accessories that add functionality. The touted type cover is built to snap easily onto the tablet to give you full keyboard functionality. Thin and lightweight, it is a good option. One important note is that the Surface does not have any type of docking capability, so for mobile professionals that like to be able to dock when they are in the office, this may not be the best fit.

The Latitude 10 Windows Tablet
Dell has come out with another great option to compete with Microsoft’s first foray into the hardware business. The Latitude 10 is specifically designed to be durable for mobile business users, runs a full version of Win 8 Pro, and has some cool accessories to go with it. Here are some quick specs on it.

Processor1Intel® Atom™ Processor Z2760 1.8GHz with Intel® Burst Technology, 1.5GHz HFM, 600MHz LFM
Operating System Options1Microsoft® Windows 8 32-BitMicrosoft ® Windows 8 Pro 32-Bit
Memory22GB DDR2 SDRAM (800MHz) integrated
Graphics2 OptionsIntel® Graphics Media Accelerator (533MHz)
Display10.1” IPS (1366 X 768) Wide View Angle LED with Corning® Gorilla® Glass, Supports Capacitive 10 Finger Touch and Optional Wacom Active Stylus
Storage3 OptionseMMC up to 128GB
Optical Drive OptionExternal USB DVD+/-RW (optional)
Multimedia OptionsHigh quality speakers, stereo headphone/microphone combo jack, integrated/ noise reduction array microphones, integrated 720p HD front facing video webcam, 2MP front facing camera, and 8MP rear facing camera
Battery Options2-cell (30Whr) Lithium Ion battery (swappable) Optional 4-cell (60Whr) Lithium Ion battery (swappable)
Power/Charging Options30 Watt AC adapter
Charge via micro-USB charging portCharge via optional docking station
ConnectivityWireless LAN + Bluetooth (Standard): Dell Wireless™ 1536C (802.11 a/b/g/n 1X1) and Bluetooth 4.0 LE Combo CardMobile Broadband4 & GPS Options:
Dell Wireless ™ 5565 HSPA+ Mini Card Option
Gobi™ 4G LTE Multi-mode (Dell Wireless™ DW5806 for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless) Option
Ports, Slots & ChassisUSB 2.0, SD Memory Card Reader, Docking Connector, Stereo headphone/ Microphone combo jack, Mini-HDMI, Micro-USB charging port, Micro-SIM (WWAN-only)
InputCapacitive multi-touch and optional Wacom active stylus
Expandability (optional)Latitude 10 Series docking station with 4 USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit LAN, HDMI, Power Input and Audio Output
Peripherals Options1Griffin® Survivor™ Protective Case, Dell Soft-Touch Case, Timbuk2 Cases, Mini- HDMI to DVI/VGA/HDMI/USB/Power Cable Choices, 3M Privacy Films, Charging Carts, Monitors, Wireless Keyboard/Mouse combo
Dimensions & Weight8Width: 10.8”/274.0mmHeight: 0.4”/10.5mm with standard 2-cell battery 0.64”/15.9mm with optional 4-cell batteryDepth: 7.0”/176.6mm
Starting Weight: 658g/1.45lb with 2-cell battery
Regulatory and Environmental ComplianceRegulatory Model: T05GRegulatory Type: T05G001

The Latitude Windows tabletThe Latitude 10 with Windows 8 Pro can join a domain, run all of your business applications, and has some cool accessories and the all-important docking capability. The hardware isn’t as nice as the Surface for processor or memory, but it should do the job for most routine tasks. Weight and size are comparable to the Surface, but the screen resolution isn’t as high. This would likely be a good pick for a user that needs to be able to dock and doesn’t do any high-powered computing.

The Thinkpad Tablet 2
Lenovo released their new Windows tablet offering a little bit ago to pretty decent reviews. It’s comparable to Dell’s offering and designed for business users. It boasts a full version of Windows 8 Pro, can join a domain, and has docking capabilities and some cool accessories. Here are some quick specs.

Intel® Atom™ Processor Z2760Dual-core™, four-thread, up to 1.80 GHz processorWindows® 8 x86 (32-bit)Windows® 8 Professional x86 (32-bit)Windows® 8 Single Language x86 (32-bit)2
Windows® 8 China Only x86 (32-bit)2
Intel® Integrated HD SGX545 GFx(12 bit, 1080P Video @30fs, DX9)
10.1 inch (16:9) IPS, LED Backlight, anti-glare, 5-finger multi-touchHD WXGA (1366×768) (720p)2GB LPDD2 SDRAM
32GB/64GB (e-MMC)802.11 a/b/g/nBluetooth® 4.0Gobi 4000 (LTE /HSPA+)5 (for US with AT&T only)Ericsson (HSPA+) (ROW markets)
25 days: Connected Standby150 hrs: MP3 playback (LCD off, HW off loading)10hrs: Video streaming (720p, HW offloading)5V 10W AC/DC AdapterGPSCompassAmbient Light Sensor
Proximity Sensor
Sensor Hub
Button: Windows with Logo and Power On-OffSwitch: Audio Volume Up/Down, Rotation Lock and Reset to disconnect Battery input(1) USB 2.0(1) Mini HDMI(1) MicroSD Slot
(1) Docking Connector
(1) 3.5mm Mic/Headphone Combo
Front: 2MP, 720P HD Webcam with LED (inside LCD)Rear: 8MP, Auto Focus with LED Flash (outside LCD), Motion JPG
Dual-array Digital Microphone with Noise Cancellation, VoIP and Noise Suppression(2) Stereo 1W, 8ohmOptional
10.1” x 6.9” x 0.34”
(262.6 x 164.6 x 9.8mm)
565g (1.25lbs) – Wi-Fi only
585g (1.29lbs) – Wi-Fi + Pen/Digitizer
600g (1.3lbs) – Wi-Fi + Pen/Digitizer + 3G/4G

There are a lot of good options for those that are looking for a portable Windows tablet that can run all of their essential business applications. To help select the one that is best for your specific business needs, contact the professionals at i.t.NOW.