What to consider when moving from desktop to tablet

Switching from desktop PC to 123Mobile

Extending the reach of your 123Insight system with 123Mobile is a logical step. It puts information directly in the hands of your users, has a finger-friendly interface that most people will be familiar and comfortable with, and is more cost-effective. In this blog we examine the elements you should consider when making the switch from desktop to tablet.

Device selection

One of the first aspects to consider when switching to 123Mobile is the device itself. Whether to go for Apple or Android may depend on if you are already using any tablets in-house. Apples' iOS devices have long been lauded for their seamless, intuitive interfaces and robust security. Android devices, on the other hand, are admired for their more open architecture. 

There are a much wider price range of Android tablets, however not all tablets are equal. Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets may run Android underneath, but it’s highly customised and does not include the Google Play store. This requires users to jump through a few technical hoops to get it on there, which could potentially open up security issues. While we don’t officially recommend hardware, many customers have used Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A range. Ultimately, your choice might be determined by your staff's familiarity, the device's compatibility with other in-house systems, and perhaps by budget.

In addition to the cost of the tablet, we’d also recommend factoring in some protection. Start with a case – this could be a simple neoprene shell around the back and sides, or a flip case that can also double as a stand. Magnetised desk stands are also an option, giving you a device that is conveniently mounted, yet easily detachable when you need to go walkabout. All of these are low-cost and can be picked up online from the likes of Amazon or eBay.


One large reason for switching to tablets might be to save space on the shop floor. A desktop or tower PC, monitor, keyboard, and mouse all eat up valuable desk space, whilst a tablet takes a fraction of the space. At the back of the PC, you’ll often have a birds nest of wires – in addition to PC and monitor power, you will have the video data, keyboard, mouse, and printer (if they are not wireless). By comparison, a tablet will need just one wire and low-power charger – this may even be an industry-standard USB C, capable of charging other devices around you.

In 2020, social distancing was all the rage, as the restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic forced manufacturers to rethink how they worked. 123Mobile played a significant role for many existing customers, and many others quickly adopted it. With staff having their own dedicated device, this drastically reduces the touch points. While the pandemic may be behind us, switching to 123Mobile can reduce the risk of any common illnesses such as colds and flu running rife through your facility.

Desktop PC on shop floor

Desktop PCs take up more space and use more power

Tablet on shop floor

Tablets are portable, use less power, and are easier to use for many

Adapting to culture change

If you're already using Shop Floor Data Collection (SFDC) within 123Insight, there won't be a significant cultural shift on the shop floor. The workflow process will be largely familiar but instead of the operator having to travel to a PC they’ll be able to enter the information wherever they are.

For those still using manual time sheets, there may be a concern that this feels like ‘Big Brother’, however this worry is easy to dispel. They are already monitoring times – just in a very laborious way, that is also potentially prone to error. With SFDC on 123Mobile, staff can enter data as processes are completed. The saving is two-fold, as not only do they not have to write everything down, but they also then don’t need to key it in at the end of the day or week. Some companies already tie in performance-related bonuses to the data that they take out of 123Insight, so having more accurate and immediately available data can only be a positive.


Staff will very quickly find that a switch to mobile devices simply makes their lives easier. They’ll be able to convert more documents to electronic versions that can be quickly opened and zoomed in on, have much less walking back and forth and will be able to perform tasks much quicker as data will be available to make decisions and day-to-day tasks can be done wherever they are.