The technology to connect to a virtual desktop from a tablet computer exists, but whether tablets are viable daily...
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drivers in VDI environments depends on the device.
It should be no surprise to IT administrators that employees want to use their tablets to access virtual desktops. Tablets have become a standard medium for personal productivity: Portability and exceptional battery life, coupled with workloads ideal for tablets -- email, Web browsing and apps -- have created the illusion that everything is easier on a tablet.
Not long ago, it would have been very hard to make virtual desktop access on a tablet work. Configuring tablets for occasional use was another way to make a VDI more accessible, but it wasn't right for regular day-to-day work, due in part to a difficult user experience. Line of business applications that require mouse and keyboard input are often hard to use on a tablet.
Choose the right tablet for VDI
Today, many big manufacturers make tablets that are usable in the workplace because they have enterprise-grade operating systems, as well as keyboards and mice that help improve the virtual desktop experience.
Take, for example, the Dell Venue 11 Pro. It's a Windows 8 tablet with a whole ecosystem of accessories to make it more work-friendly. Most tablets have accessory keyboards, but the Venue can also use a Bluetooth mouse. It also has a docking station with a normal keyboard, as well as output video to dual monitors. Venue users get all the benefits of a tablet, and they can still dock it at home or at work to have functionality that's equivalent to what they get on a normal PC. The end result is that users can have a single device at home and at the office, which offers the best of conventional computing combined with the mobility and battery life of a tablet.
Dell isn't the only company doing this either. Microsoft -- with its Surface line -- and a host of Android tablet manufacturers, such as ASUS and Samsung, also have enterprise-worthy, VDI-friendly tablets. There are even some third-party vendors that offer docks and accessories for tablets such as Apple's iPad that make them much more viable at work.
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