We support all (4) new iPad Pro & Air tablets that came out - click on [BROWSE BY TABLET] in the upper left to find your enclosure & order now!
We support all (4) new iPad Pro & Air tablets that came out - click on [BROWSE BY TABLET] in the upper left to find your enclosure & order now!

How can we save more money on an iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Microsoft Surface, or Amazon Fire tablet / kiosk setup w. VidaMounts?

How can we save more money on an iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Microsoft Surface, or Amazon Fire tablet / kiosk setup w. VidaMounts?

Having been involved in hundreds of thousands of kiosk setups based on tablets, we at VidaBox see that the final choice of tablet + mount is very often driven by cost. The goods news is - by starting with a tablet, you're already on your way to enjoy significant savings. Simply compare the cost of a dedicated touch panel in the thousands, versus an equally functional, tablet based mount / setup that cost somewhere in the mid-to-high hundreds in hardware & other up front costs. It's obvious to see why many are opting for tablet mount / kiosk setups with VidaMounts, instead of the high costs of traditional setups.

While there's certainly nothing wrong with being budget-conscious, we have seen far too many deployments make choices that are "penny-wise & pound-foolish." Thus, we wanted to take a moment to share our experiences in how to avoid those pitfalls, and discuss where the greatest cost savings in tablet based kiosks & VidaMount setups can be found!


First - out of this total cost, the biggest chunk goes into the tablet itself - whether it's an iPad, Galaxy Tab, Surface tab, or Amazon Fire. In some cases, people jump to solutions like the Fire due to cost, but then they don't have support for the app that they want - so you're back to square one. This is why the app to be used and considered should drive the tablet selection process.

Next - another big issue that we often see being ignored is in considering the cost of a tablet-based kiosk setup is the "Total Cost of Ownership" (TCO). Like a car, there are other, long-term expenses to consider when selecting a mounted tablet kiosk. The obvious costs are any monthly / recurring fees for the apps being used / Choice of App, but the other less-obvious expense is the cost of labor in maintaining the setup. Let's break this down in further detail:

- Cost of App
Depending on how many iPad + mounts, Samsung Galaxy Tablets + mounts, Microsoft Surface tablets + mounts, or Amazon Fire tablets + mounts (i.e. total setups) we have, the cost of the app being used can make or break a project. Consider the use of a "free to start" app or something that provides a "free trial" - but then pricing jumps to $20 per month per device after the trial is over, and we have over (20) separate deployments. This translates into $4800 1st year costs alone after the free trial is over! On the other hand, other apps may only require a local server licenses that's sold at a seemingly expensive high, 1-time charge - but then there are no additional costs per screen or over time. In this example, even a $4000 one-time license in this setup may still be less expensive - especially in the long term!

- Cost of labor
If we do have a choice between operating systems and tablets, the next thing to look at is: Cost of Labor. Alot of clients are focused only on the "upfront" cost, without considering what we call the "Total Cost of Ownership" (TCO) - which includes things like IT support costs, time & labor spent on upkeep, etc. For example, folks that mount Amazon Fire tablets can save money upfront, but that also means spending more time to sideload APKs in the beginning, then manually doing updates later on / over the life of the setup. In a small scale, mom-n-pop operation where the proprietor is doing the setup, it's negligible and a part of the overhead. Conversely, large scale corporate deployments should take maintenance costs very seriously. Why? A billable hour here... and another billable hour there... - the labor can quickly add up in costs. This is where using iPad tablets + mounts really shine with options like JAMF and other remote device management tools - since these add-ons make it super easy to update and maintain a large number of tablets.

- Screen size
Once we figure out the choice of app and determine our upkeep costs between the different tablet options - one of the last decisions is screen size. In some cases, a smaller screen is just as good as a large screen - but it can be significantly less expensive. If we're budget sensitive, then it makes sense to go with the lower cost option, if need be. At the time of writing (Jul 30, 2020), here are some price comparisons based on screen size:

iPad (via Apple.com)
- 12.9": $999
- 11.0": $799
- 10.2": $329
- mini: $399

Samsung Galaxy Tab A (via Amazon.com)
- 10.1" (2019): $229.99
- 8.0" (2019): $139

Microsoft Surface
- Go 2: $399
- Pro 7: $749

Amazon Fire Series
- Fire HD10: $139
- Fire HD8: $59
- Fire 7-inch: $48

So as you can see, it's quite easy to make changes to a tablet based kiosk setup to save quite a bit of cost upfront. Depending on what the setup requires, we may be able to get away with a lower cost tablet - while on other deployments, a higher-quality tablet + mount that costs more upfront may actually reduce long term total cost of ownership.

Not quite sure what to do if you have a fixed budget, and the current tablet mounting options / solutions currently being kitted together with our VidaMount exceeds it? Give us a call at 844-4-KIOSKS / +1 516-499-5050 - we're always full of ideas and suggestions to help change the tablet kiosk / setup's design to help meet any realistic budget!