Choosing The Best Hardware for Microsoft PowerApps

Choosing hardware for PowerApps can be difficult and this blog article will provide useful insights for making your decision.

PowerApps is a platform created by Microsoft which allows users of all technical backgrounds to build mobile applications. If you would like to see some tutorial examples of PowerApps check out our top 10 PowerApps Examples article.

These apps can then be available to everyone in the organisation to use on multiple platforms including Windows, iOS and Android.

This flexibility on the device that you can use makes PowerApps a great asset for businesses to use in order to improve productivity and accessibility.

In this article we will cover multiple areas for what you should consider when buying a device specifically for PowerApps. Although PowerApps can be run on laptops and desktops, they will not be featured in this article and instead we will focus primarily on tablets and mobiles.

Examples of The Best Hardware for Microsoft PowerApps

PowerApps Hardware Considerations

Hardware Specifications

To run PowerApps on your device there are some recommended specs to ensure that the App runs smoothly to make sure you get the best user experience. For Android, it is recommended to have Version 7 or higher devices with at least 4 GB of RAM and for iOS devices Version 10 or higher devices with at least 2 GB of RAM. You are able to run PowerApps on devices with lower specs than this however, depending on the size and complexity of the App, this may cause the App to lag and make inputs less responsive.

PowerApps is also able to be run on , support for these devices has been discontinued. As a result, these will not be featured in the recommendations. Further details can be found here: Click Here

Audio

Some PowerApps use sound to play videos or for Apps such as Hazard Spotting App which sends the users reminders and notify once a new task has been generated. When choosing hardware for PowerApps, audio is not widely used so a high sound quality is not needed.

Mobile phone audio as hardware for powerapps

Touch screen

When choosing hardware for PowerApps one of the most important things to consider is touch screen.

Responsive touch screens are vitally important for all PowerApps as it is the primary input for navigating and entering data into the app. If the device is sluggish, the touch screen may develop a delay which will have a huge negative impact on user experience.

It is also important to regularly clean the screen of the device to remove any build-up of dirt. To clean the screen, use a soft lint-free cloth (or microfiber cloth) with a small amount of soap and water, or screen wipes. It is also important not to apply any liquid directly onto the device as this can damage the touch screen. Cleaning the screen every 3-6 months (or when needed) will extend the lifespan of the device.

When the device isn’t being used, be sure to cover the screen with a case and keep out of direct sunlight as the excessive heat and UV light can damage the display causing discolouring or dead pixels which will prevent the touch screen from working.

Touchscreen tablet being used as hardware for powerapps

 Choosing Hardware for PowerApps on Battery Life

A long battery life is a bonus when using devices to use PowerApps, as it will allow for more actions to be completed before the device needs charging up again. However, all rechargeable batteries wear out, so it is important to take steps to maintain the battery.

Firstly, it is important that the device is not constantly on charge 24/7 as this does more damage than good. Instead, periodically allow for the battery of the device to drain down below 50% before charging it. Ensure that you are charging the device is a cool, dry room out of direct sunlight.

BYOD

‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) is a good approach for organisations to consider as generally this will reduce costs as new devices will not be needed. However, it is important that steps are followed to maximise the benefits of using BYOD whilst also reducing the risks.

One of the most important steps when stepping up BYOD is creating an effecting policy. This policy should prevent any unauthorised devices from accessing sensitive business or personal information meaning that authorised devices are only able to access the data and services you are willing to share with BYOD employees.

There are many more steps that you should consider with BYOD. To find out more, visit the National Cyber Security Centre’s website.

PowerApps Hardware Recommendations

We have researched a number of models of tablets and phones from different prices ranges and compared the features below. This should help shorten the process of choosing hardware for PowerApps.

Tablets

Below we have included 3 different tablets from 3 different price brackets which of which are great for running PowerApps depending on your needs.

Lenovo Tab M10 HUAWEI MediaPad M5 Lite iPad Air
Image Tablet Tablet 2 Tablet 3
Price  £150 £300  £450
Display Size 10.1” 10” 10.5″
Operating System Android Android iOS
Processor Speed 2.0GHz 1.7GHz 2.49GHz
RAM 3GB 4GB 2GB
Item Weight 480 grams 475 grams 456 grams
Audio Stereo speakers Stereo speakers Stereo speakers
Camera 5-megapixel camera 8-megapixel camera 8-megapixel camera
Pro’s Cheap

Large Screen

Light and Thin Design

Good Stereo Speakers

High-Quality Hardware

Excellent Battery Life

Overall Good Performance

Good Cameras

Lightweight
Good Stereo Speakers

Responsive

Simple Design

Large Screen

Lightweight

Long Battery Life

Fast Changing

Con’s Low RAM

Poor Cameras

Small Battery

Processor Sometimes Sluggish Expensive
Notes Due to this tablet’s low specs, PowerApps can often run poorly especially on larger apps. However, on small simpler apps this tablet would work well. Almost all PowerApps will be able to run on this tablet thanks to its 4GB of RAM. It also includes a good camera and sound quality that can be important for some apps.

Overall, this tablet is a great alternative as it is able to do and run almost everything that the more expensive iPad can do at only a fraction of the price.

The iPad Air is a great tablet to use for a wide variety of PowerApps. Its specs will allow it to run even the more demanding PowerApps.

However due to its cost, it may be unachievable to have one per user.

More Info Click Here Click Here Click Here

Mobiles

Huawei P Smart Asus ZenFone Max Pro (M2) iPhone 8
Image Mobile 1 Mobile 2 Mobile 3
Price ~ £140 ~ £200 ~ £400
Display Size 6.21” 6.3” 4.7”
Operating System Android Android iOS
Processor Speed 1.7 GHz 2 GHz 2.39 GHz
RAM 3GB 4GB 2GB
Item Weight 160g 175 grams 148 grams
Audio one speaker Stereo speakers Stereo speakers
Camera 13-megapixel camera 12-megapixel camera 12-megapixel camera
Pro’s Great Price

Large Screen

Huge Battery Life

Good Specs

Good Audio Quality

Lightweight

Sleek Design

Long Battery Life

Fast Charging

Responsive

Con’s Poor Sound Quality

Battery Life

Slow Charging Expensive

Small Screen

Notes For the price, this phone really packs a punch. It will be able to run most low-medium sized PowerApps. It can struggle at times especially when processing large amounts of data causing moments of the touch screen being unresponsive.

Overall, a good phone to use if the more expensive options aren’t an option.

A good phone for almost all situations. It will allow for the user to be constantly be using PowerApps for 9-10 Hours before running out of charge. With normal use, the phone will be able to be used for up to a day and a half. However, if you have forgotten to charge up, it can take up to 5 hours to recharge to full.

The good specs of this phone will allow for the user to run most PowerApps smoothly without any issues.

This phone has everything you will need for PowerApps and has the ability to run the apps as smoothly as other phone and tablets on the market. The large battery and fast charging will easily allow for this phone to be used all day.

Overall, although this phone is great to use for PowerApps and other apps, it is simply too expensive compared to other smartphones which can do the same job at a much lower price.

More Info Click Here Click Here Click Here

Surface Hub

Microsoft Surface Hub Hardware being used for Powerapps

Price £8000
Display Size 50”
Operating System Windows 10
Processor 8th-generation Intel Core i5
RAM 8GB
Item Weight 61.6 lb (28 kg)
Audio Full range front facing 3-way stereo speakers
Camera 4K Microsoft Surface Hub 2 Camera
Pro’s Given its large screen it becomes an obvious focal point of the workplace that can effortlessly display a lot of information.
Con’s The downside being they are very expensive, and it might not be justifiable to purchase these when compared to a smaller cheaper tablet.
Notes The surface hub is a great device for businesses to use. Due to its size and cost, it’s unrealistic to get one for every user or team within the organisation. However, we have worked with organisations that place one of these Hubs per office or building site to allow for simple data input.
More Info Find Out More

Want more information on PowerApps?

This blog article is an extract from our recent whitepaper “Power Apps Governance Strategy”.

If you would like more information in regards to getting started with PowerApps then please download the whitepaper below.

Power Apps Governance Whitepaper

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    Need Help Choosing Hardware for PowerApps?

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    Author


    Valto
    Dougie Wood
    Dougie@valto.co.uk
    10 Watergate Row
    Chester, CH1 2LD