The IT needs of small to medium business owners – even that of a solo entrepreneur – can vary quite differently from those of the regular consumer. Take, for example, laptops and tablet devices. Of course, while you can get by using a consumer laptop for enterprise usage, you may miss out on quite a number of useful features in enterprise-level devices that differentiate them from their usually relatively entry-level consumer brethren. These features, ranging from enhanced security such as identity protection or secure cloud computing to remote management and maintenance, offer additional functionality that can make a world of difference in business use.
And Intel’s recent announcement of its new 4th generation Core™ vPro™ processors is likely to further drive a wedge between the two different segments. Aside from offering enhanced graphics and significant battery savings through lower power usage, the processors also look at making the lives of the office IT department just that little bit easier. You’re looking at, for example, no password VPN log-in (yes VPN, the bane of mobility workers everywhere) and secure screen sharing and collaboration with Intel® Pro Wireless Display (WiDi), but really also simple yet often overlooked functions such as the easy ability to locate and connect to office resources such as printers, projectors and conference rooms (through indoor Location-Based technology in its Solid-State Drive Pro 1500 Series).
“We are knocking down the barriers that exist between the business end user and IT, to create devices that satisfy the needs of both,” Rick Echevarria, vice president and general manager, of Intel’s Business Client Platforms Division, has said. “With 4th generation Intel Core vPro, enterprises can be assured of a device that can run longer, is more secure and is more productive than in years past.”
Already manufacturers are looking at integrating these chips in their upcoming laptop, tablet and 2-in-1 devices, and we understand there are more than 70 of such Core™ vPro™-equipped enterprise-level devices planned for release in early 2014. So while these days it can be hard to decide between a business-focused Lenovo ThinkPad or a consumer-oriented IdeaPad for small business usage, by the middle of 2014 that distinction will be that much more differentiated.