Why Slate Computers Are Perfect For Startups


Chalk Up Your Successes With Some Solid Technology For Your Small Business

When Windows 8 was first released, let’s just say it wasn’t immediately loved by all. To many critics it was a ‘Jack of all trades and master of none’, essentially boiling down to the Windows 7 interface with a ‘touch mode’ awkwardly slapped on.

The Start Menu was gone, workflows were interrupted, and serious business users felt snubbed. But this reaction was largely due to a misunderstanding about how Windows 8 was meant to be used. The problem was that too many people were using Windows 8 on old hardwarethey had simply upgraded their old machines and now the experience seemed slow, awkward, and cumbersome.

More recently, though, hardware has slowly begun to come out that’s designed specifically for the new OS and it has created a world of opportunities for businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs. Couple Windows 8 with a removable keyboard and a stylus, and you have something that’s perfect for the small business—the slate computer.

What Is a Slate Computer?

Well, essentially it’s a laptop-tablet hybrid that allows you to combine the power of an ultrabook with the convenience of a tablet. This means that you can sit at your desk and type out an article or code some 3D software, but then pick up the screen when you leave and take it with you into the kitchen while you make some tea. This essentially allows full support for ‘legacy’ software that your business uses and the specs you need to run it well, along with a far more intuitive and convenient interface for ‘upright’ use, all on one device.

The Benefits

But in practice what does this form factor mean for the end user? Well one example might be if you were showing clients a web design you had created for them. With a slate computer, you could build the website using software you use in the office, then just pick up the slate and pass it around in a subsequent meeting to show your work to the client. Your clients could interact with demo and take notes with the stylus which would all be there for you to work with back at the office or at home.

Alternatively, a slate computer might allow you to sit at the desk while editing videos, but then take your slate over to the couch to sit down and draw or surf the web on your break.

Slates are the most versatile devices yet created, and that’s perfect for a small business that need to remain flexible. As an added bonus, they also look amazing, which makes them perfect for impressing your clients and demonstrating that you’re right on the cutting edge.


If you’re sold on owning a slate computer, now all you need to do is to choose one. To help you out, here are some good ones to look into:

  • The HP ElitePad: This is a slate computer running on an Atom processor. That means low power and multitasking capability, but a long-lasting battery and light build.
  • The Surface Pro: Microsoft’s ‘Reference Hardware’ designed to show developers how it’s done. This is a powerful machine in a sleek case that was built specifically for Windows and features a great stylus. The downside is a relatively small battery life and storage capacity.
  • The Sony Duo 11: The Sony Duo 11 works differently to the Surface Pro, allowing users to ‘slide’ the keyboard in and out rather than removing it entirely. It’s slightly heavy, but is easier to use on your lap than the Pro is. Plus, it has a beautiful build quality to it.
  • The Iconia W5: Imagine a slate computer that ran full Window 8 Pro but was only 8 inches. Well, that’s precisely what the Iconia W5 is. Of course, it’s not quite as powerful as its bigger brothers and the small screen can be fiddly, but if you want a way to edit word documents and use PhotoShop Pro with a device that fits into your breast pocket, then this is it!


As you can see, slate computers are highly versatile and have uses and capabilities above and beyond anything that’s gone before them. If you’re running a startup then they might just be able to tick all your needs in a single sleek package.

Image: iStockphoto

About The Author

The founder of Berkeley Sourcing Group, Greg Fisher, is the brains behind this article. When he is not busy working, he enjoys reading tech magazines or playing a good game of chess with his friends. He has a strong affinity for creative writing and an undying allegiance to eco-friendly living.