›› ›› Tablet vs. Traditional POS: The Pros and Cons
Tablet vs. Traditional POS: The Pros and Cons

The term Point of Sale (also called POS) is the place where a transaction is made. It is the point at which the customer makes a payment and the transaction is recorded in the system.  

When point of sale systems entered the market, every restaurant & cafe business wanted to have these amazing devices to facilitate the everyday business process. One of the main advantages was the idea to store and save these transactions into a computer system for reporting, inventory control and forecasting purchases.

At first, we only had the bulky big screens, which is what we refer to as ‘Traditional POS’. Currently the term is used to derive a “McDonalds” type POS System. The common size of these traditional POS is 15” inch. 

On the other hand, since the release of the iPads followed by Microsoft’s Surface tablets, we are now seeing more and more of these ‘Tablet Point of Sale Systems’.

Traditional POS Systems

Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of these systems to help you decide which will best fit you and your business needs.

One of the benefits of using a traditional POS is the size of the unit. 15” inch touchscreen point of sale systems is quite large with an amazing and very stable touchscreen technology. The ‘touch’ technology for 15 inch systems has been around for many years, it is mature, stable and usually gives comfort to the user.

These machines are usually quite big and heavy; if you own a takeaway or a café shop inside a shopping centre, you might tend to purchase these bulky systems to avoid having to move them inside every night. Especially if you have a shop front that remains open for public after hours. Basically, big and bulky screens give thieves the perception that they are hard to detach.

However, bigger may not always be better. One of the main disadvantages of having a traditional point of sale systems is mobility. If your pos software doesn’t have the feature for remote login, you can’t exactly unplug the touchscreen PC and take it home to retrieve some reports or change the menu.

Tablet POS

These portable devices are increasingly becoming more popular every day, and it’s easy to see why. The cost of buying a complete tablet system is (on average) between 20 and 25 percent cheaper than traditional POS. They are portable, easy to use, light and super-fast. Apple was first to introduce a ‘tablet’ based machine, soon after Microsoft followed suit with the release of the Surface Pro tablet. More recently they have released their best tablet yet, the Surface Pro 3.

I have been lucky enough to try –hands on- these Surface Pro 3 tablets with an i5 processor. They are great. Quite simply amazing! The screen is about 12” inch but they are much wider than the traditional 15” inch point of sale systems.

They can be easily mounted onto a stand, giving a look that is quite unique. You should consider buying a tablet system especially if you have a restaurant or café business. At night, simply unplug, take home, retrieve your reports and send your purchase orders to suppliers.

One of the main disadvantages of having a tablet POS is the ongoing fees and charges that some companies enforce on their tablet solutions. Fortunately, I have come across an Australian company that has quite an amazing, advanced and unique tablet point of sale system for restaurants & cafes, visit https://sassco.com.au/tablet-pos/ to find out more. You can buy outright or pay weekly with the option to cancel anytime!

You can also read this article on why SASSCO experts do not recommend iPad POS Systems.


If you’re still unsure whether to buy a tablet or a traditional POS, we highly recommend the tablet solution. Cost, size and portability make for an easy choice.
tablet pos