Bytes Digital have been providing wholesale tablets, iPads and accessories to the construction sector for many years.
Our expert team are highly experienced in helping construction companies choose the right tablet for their business.
To help you find the best tablet, our wholesale team have put together this top 10 list of the best tablets for construction workers and building contractors in 2022…
1. Samsung Tab A8
The top of the list is the Samsung Tab A8, as the best all-round tablet for construction workers and the construction sector.
Retail price: £ 219 (Available for bulk wholesale order from Bytes Digital)
The Samsung Tab A8 ticks all the boxes for most construction companies. It’s reliable build quality, coupled with decent internals make it a well rounded tablet for those working on construction sites.
Bytes Digital currently provide the Samsung Tab A7 (the end-of-life version of the Tab A8) to the UK’s largest construction site—which should give you an idea of how popular tablets are currently are in the construction sector!
With the latest Android OS, and the Google Play Store, the Tab A8 gives you access to every application your team need while working on site. This, coupled with the optimised Samsung Chipset makes the Tab A8 perfect for AutoCAD software, construction drawings, general administration and even Augmented Reality.
The Samsung Tab A8 comes in both WiFi and LTE models. While WiFi is common in construction site offices, it is quite common for construction companies to utilise the 4G network to run their tablets. Using LTE models with low cost data-only SIM cards allows your construction team to stay connected while they’re on site—something that can’t be easily done with a laptop.
The one downside of the Samsung Tab A8 is the lack of ‘rugged-ness’. While this tablet is built well, the harsh environment of a construction site may be too much for the glass screen and aluminium shell. That’s why we would normally recommend a ruggedised Samsung Tab case, and tempered glass screen protector.
2. Samsung Tab Active3
The rugged Samsung Tab Active3 is perfect for those worried about tablet damage on site.
Retail price: £ 379 (Available for bulk wholesale order from Bytes Digital)
Coming in at number two, is the Samsung Tab Active3. The Tab Active3 scores highly on our list due to it’s rugged exterior casing. As the name suggests, the Tab Active3 is designed for outdoor use, and offers substantial IP68 protection against the harsh environment of a construction site.
Samsung claim a 1.5m drop resistance for the Samsung Tab Active3, as well as dust and water resistant for that extra layer of protection. The built-in SPen support also allows construction workers to continue using the tablet with their gloves on.
While the internal specs of the Tab Active3 don’t quite match that of the Samsung Tab A8, they’re still pretty substantial. A 5050mAh battery, an Octa-core CPU and 4GB or RAM means that this tablet is no slouch—and should provide even power users with long battery life. The battery is also fully replaceable.
One slight downside of the Tab Active3 is the smaller screen size. At only 8 inches, it is quite a bit smaller than the bigger Tab A8. For some this isn’t an issue, but may be harder for the more technical applications that require more screen real estate.
3. iPad (8th Gen)
It wouldn’t be a tablet list without an iPad sneaking in.
Retail price: £ 319 (Available for business from Bytes Digital)
Many people see ‘iPad’ and immediately jump to ‘expensive’. However, Apple’s standard, the iPad 8th generation is a hell of a tablet for the low price tag. The 10.2 inch retina display and A13 Bionic, offer a great user experience. With high power available for the big tasks, and a heavily optimised software experience for increased battery life, the iPad 8th gen is another great all-rounder.
The iPad 8th generation also comes with Apple Pencil support, which is handy for construction workers who use gloves and PPE as it allows touch-less working on your tablet.
Coming in at only £ 319 retail price (get in touch with us for business pricing), the iPad 8th generation won’t break the bank—even on large rollouts. With budgets tight and construction companies looking to maximise the bang-for-buck, the iPad 8th Generation is a great bet for construction workers—especially when paired with a ruggedised case and screen protector.
4. Lenovo M10
Perhaps one of the lesser-known tablets is the Lenovo M10.
Retail price: £ 109 (Available in bulk quantities from Bytes Digital)
Out of this entire list, the Lenovo M10 is the most budget tablet for construction companies, coming in just above the £100 mark.
The M10 comes with a large 10.1 inch display and a 4850mAh battery. While the M10 does offer a good experience for light everyday use, it can suffer with more professional, power hungry applications. The Lenovo M10 only comes with 2GB of RAM as standard—which likely not enough for many construction workers using cloud applications and technical drawings etc.
The reason the M10 is number four on our list is purely down to price. We frequently get asked if there is a tablet in the £100 price-bracket, and the answer is always the Lenovo M10.
Our wholesale team would recommend the Lenovo M10 for the budget conscious, and those that require a tablet for light work only—such as sending emails, browsing the web etc.
5. Samsung S7 FE
The S7 FE is the baby brother of Samsung’s top-level tablet, the S7.
Retail price: £ 519 (Available for bulk wholesale order from Bytes Digital)
The Samsung S7 FE is a great compromise between price and specs. Falling perfectly in the middle ground—between the £1000+ iPad Pro, and the £200 Tab A8. Running on Android, also means access to the Google Play store, and all it’s associated benefits.
Internally, the S7 FE packs a punch—providing construction workers with premium specs, reliable battery life and a colossal 12.4 inch display. The S7 FE is perfect for the power user—from cloud computing applications to construction site modelling, CAD and even AR while on site.
Pair the Samsung S7 FE with a data only LTE SIM card, and you’ve got one hell of a tablet package for your construction team.
The Samsung S7 FE is in at number five, not only because of it’s specs, but also it’s future-proof-ness. When choosing a tablet for your construction company, ensuring it will continue to work well into the future is important—as you don’t want to be replacing the entire fleet in only 12 months time. The S7 FE with it’s modern specs ensures that you’ll be working far into the future.
6. iPad mini
Small but effective, the iPad mini is in at number six.
Retail price: £ 479 (Available for business from Bytes Digital)
The main downside of the iPad mini is the price. Retailing at just under £500, it’s by no means a budget option—and the small form factor and screen may mean that this tablet isn’t best suited to larger construction sites.
That being said, the iPad mini is still a great tablet for many construction workers and companies. The amazing retina display and high efficiency internals mean that, although it doesn’t have the same internal specs as a Samsung S7, it will easily breeze past it in terms of performance.
The Apple Pencil compatibility is another nice touch—perfect for finer details or for working with gloves on.
Another consideration should be the strength of the tablet. In our experience, the iPad mini can be a touch on the fragile side, which is fine for every day use, but we’d always recommend a strong, ruggedised case for your construction sites.
7. Panasonic Toughbook A3
The lesser-known Panasonic Toughbook is perfect for harsh construction sites.
Retail price: £ 1127 (Available for business from Bytes Digital)
As the name suggests, the Panasonic Toughbook is built specifically for rugged environments—such as construction sites. Huge bezels around the display protect the screen from accidental knocks, scrapes and drops. The Toughbook A3 is IP65 certified (not that impressive compared to Samsungs Tab Active IP68), meaning the Toughbook is dust and water resistant. Panasonic also claim to have tested the tablet from 1.5m drop height.
Naturally, all this extra padding will come in handy for construction sites, offering increase tablet protection—even without a case.
The Panasonic Toughbook A3 is more like a computer than a traditional tablet. Although it runs android, and does’t have the typical mouse and keyboard, the Toughbook does have a certain air of ‘laptop’ about it.
The main reason this tablet isn’t higher is down to the price, and what you get for your money. Panasonics Toughbook is over the £1000 mark, and, to be honest, you don’t really get your monies worth in terms of specs. We’d normally only recommend a tablet like this if you desperately need the added protection, but even then, a Samsung Tab Active may be a better fit for your construction company.
8. iPad Pro
Top of the range, and top of the spec sheet.
Retail price: £ 749 (Available for business from Bytes Digital)
The iPad Pro is Apple’s flagship tablet, supercharged with the M1 chip and Apple silicone, the iPad Pro is one of the most powerful tablets on the market today. With the iPad Pro, you’ll have access to the App Store and plenty of software updates to keep your tablet future-proof.
One fantastic feature of the iPad Pro is the built-in LiDAR Scanner. This sensor can create very accurate augmented reality environments using only your iPad.Perfect for HD renders, AutoCAD and BIM softwares often used on construction sites.
The iPad Pro is on the pricey-side, as you would expect from an Apple flagship tablet. If you are looking to roll this out to your construction workers, then we’d recommend a ruggedised case and screen protector, just to safeguard that investment while it’s on the building site.
9. Samsung Tab Active Pro
Top of the range, and top of the spec sheet.
Retail price: £ 679 (Available for business from Bytes Digital)
The Samsung Tab Active Pro is a great tablet for construction companies, with a ruggedised outer shell, and IP68 protection, the Tab Active Pro offers high level of insurance against accidental drops, bangs and even dust and water.
The Samsung Tab Active Pro comes with a 10.1 inch display, and all the doo-dads, like SPen support, AR features, expandable storage and 4GB of RAM.
PIC ON SITE
You may be asking, why is the Tab Active Pro at number nine on the list? Well that is mainly down to the price. Retailing at £679, the Tab Active Pro is quite a bit more expensive than the Tab Active3. While the specs are more impressive on the Pro, when rolling out these tablets in bulk to your construction workers, costs can soon mount up.
Quite a popular setup, is to provide most construction workers with the Tab Active3, with the managers and higher-up construction workers using the Tab Active Pro. This splits the cost, and provides everyone with a reliable, ruggedised tablet.
10. Huawei MatePad 10.4
Finally, a Huawei sneaks in at number 10.
Retail price: £ 229 (Available for business from Bytes Digital)
Huawei are becoming an increasingly popular brand in the UK and across the world, with their tablets rivalling that of Samsung in terms of specs. We’ve put the Huawei on this list due to it’s low price tag.
At just £229 retail, the MatePad 10.4 is a great choice for construction workers looking at that mid-level of tablet, but also those conscious of specifications.
However, one big downside of the Huawei MatePad is the software experience. It’s been all over the news recently, with the USA banning Huawei software due to ongoing disputes over spyware. In fact, the UK Government is removing all Huawei equipment from it’s 5G networks. The security is something to consider, especially when buying tablets for your business.
There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing a tablet for your construction business. Providing workers with reliable tablets, that are future proof, but also cost effective can be a challenge.
Our team are here to help recommend the best tablet for your requirements. We’ll listen to what you need, your budget, use cases and time frame and recommend the best tablet for your construction workers.