I can’t remember the last time I walked into an independent coffee retailer with a traditional electronic cash register. Almost all of the small coffee shops are using a tablet with Square as their payment processing solution. Square is great for small business, but if you run a larger business with several locations and multiple point of sale devices at each location, your POS requirements are probably more complex.
Your company likely has it’s own merchant account for credit card processing and existing PCI compliance policies. Other backend systems, like accounting and CRM may be directly integrated with your POS. You probably use remote management tools to keep your POS system up to date. But the appeal of tablets as the physical hardware for a POS is undeniable.
Windows Tablets as POS Solutions
Windows 8.1 tablets may look like a better alternative in a number of POS solutions. With Windows tablets, you can get the same advantages of a highly portable form factor and touch screen interface while having the ability to deploy and manage your POS solution with the same tools you use in the rest of your corporate network. For instance, Windows 8.1 tablets can support the same hypervisor you use for the rest of your corporate network. Windows tablets easily conform to corporate group policies. Any of the remote administration tools you use for updates and security are also fully compatible.
The HP ElitePad Mobile POS Solution
While all Windows tablets have the ability to support the same virtualization solution and remote managment tools used on the rest of your corporate network, HP has taken things a step further with a fully integrated point of sale solution that scales depending on your business needs.
The core of the solution is the HP ElitePad 1000 G2, which runs the 64-bit version of Windows 8.1 Pro. With both WiFi and Mobile Broadband onboard, the tablet can work in a variety of connection scenarios, which is great for a consistent experience with a field sales team. The tablet also comes with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD.
It also has 2.1 megapixel front-facing and 8 megapixel rear-facing cameras. An expansion battery can last from open to close in most retail shops.
As a retail solution, the HP ElitePad starts to get interesting when combined with the HP Retail Jacket. The back features a hand strap so your sales team won’t drop it while walking the sales floor. The HP Retail Jacket also includes a built-in barcode scanner and magnetic stripe reader. All three combine to make the HP ElitePad Mobile POS Solution versatile for everything from retail shopping, to food trucks, to wait staff placing orders and taking credit card payments table side.
But wait, there’s more…
HP MX10 Retail Solution
For retailer who want the flexibility of mobility on the sales for or fixed point of sale terminals, the HP MX10 Retail Solution provides a full retail POS. The same portability available in the Mobile POS Solution is still present, with the added ability to snap-in to a retail workstation with receipt printer, cash drawer, handheld barcode scanner, and a variety of expansion ports that essentially make the ElitePad 1000 G2 into a standalone workstation, complete with USB ports, HDMI, Ethernet, and legacy serial port connections.
The modular design of the HP MX10 Retail Solution is both one of it’s best features, but also a potential drawback from a pricing standpoint. With each individual component, like the cash drawer, the handheld scanner, or an add-on pen for the tablet comes with an additional cost. I don’t think this will be a deterrent, since the competing POS options have similiar pricing models without the same versatility you get with a tablet, but it’s still worth noting.
Find out more about the all of the HP point of sale solutions. You can see the complete solution in action in the video below.