Skip to content
Tablets vs. Traditional POS Terminals: Which Is Right for You?

Tablets vs. Traditional POS Terminals: Which Is Right for You?

POS terminals are fundamental machines in various industries; from completing transactions to tracking inventory, POS terminals can complete various operations for your business.

The days of scribbling on notepads and calculating final totals in your head are gone. Now people realize the evolving nature and endless advantages POS terminals provide.

However, within this technology are specific options that may determine your approach in POS system integration. Many business owners want to know the best option when they search for a POS terminal.

If you are investing in a POS system, ask yourself this: “When considering the ideal equipment between tablets versus traditional POS terminals, which is right for you?” Before coming to a decision, here’s an in-depth look into traditional and tablet-based systems. We will explore how they are similar and different from one another.


In comparison, tablet-based systems and traditional POS systems both contain many functions that serve multiple industries.

For example, both machines can process and finalize transactions, accept payments, control inventory while predicting sales trends, and keep tabs on employee operations.

Transaction Management

Transaction management is a central element in traditional and tablet-based POS terminals. In restaurants, these devices may issue receipts to guests when they close their checks and give the staff a tip.

Another vital component of tablet and traditional POS system is a rapid-processing interface. Restaurants need a smooth, rapid-processing interface to complete sales and transactions with ease. Afterward, the POS system generates a paper or digital receipt for customer record.

Payment Processing

Without the ability to process a payment, tablet-based and traditional POS systems can’t facilitate a transaction, essentially taking away the business’ purpose! In brick-and-mortar establishments, POS terminals rely on credit card readers to accept multiple credit cards.

In recent years, credit card chips and near-field communication readers have become an innovative development. They expanded a terminal’s functionality.

Inventory Management

At any retail store or restaurant, you’ll expect to locate merchandise or inventory of some kind. Businesses selling products require a system to efficiently track inventory and determine incoming shipments from the outgoing ones.

The best standard and mobile POS systems will have functionalities to facilitate merchandise management by setting a reminder notifying you to reorder more. These features would also help optimize a product line and manage levels in real time.

Sales Forecasting

Whether it uses tablet-based or traditional equipment, POS systems are helpful in tracking a business’ sales performance. These machines may closely monitor vital metrics and produce reports based on the information gathered to gauge projected sales at various periods of the day.

With the help of these reports, you can make informed decisions and leverage sales data to optimize daily operations while streamlining the best path of profitability.

Employee Management

POS systems may also aid with employee services within your location. For instance, equipment can monitor in and out times, track hours worked, commissions, and tip allowances. Some advanced machinery can indicate an employee’s weekly schedule that they can access through software.


While tablet POS systems and their traditional counterparts have plenty in common, there are several differences that present unique challenges when we use them. Tablet-based terminals are more mobile than traditional systems. That is a prominent difference that restaurant owners can enjoy when they use tablet-based terminals.


Traditional POS systems always stay in one area. They are forever connected to an outlet and a server with many cables. Staff workers in restaurants will always return to POS stations to input orders during trips to the kitchen, drink area, and dining room.


On the other hand, tablet-based systems can give staff flexibility to shift between guests, input orders, and process payments while on the move. These features eliminate the need to travel back to a terminal to input orders. This contributes to a smoother table turn-around.

Mobile POS systems would also be useful in retail stores since they allow staff to process more transactions, encouraging more sales. They also decrease he amount of “abandoned carts.”


While both traditional and mobile POS systems can generate reports to track transactions, mobile terminals are beneficial in that they allow viewing from anywhere in the store, sometimes at other locations. Traditional machines require access through specific computer technologies, sometimes restricting file access.

Conversely, mobile terminals have a significantly lower processing power than a traditional station. If your business has a specific rush hour, you want to avoid using mobile terminals during this time.

Also, mobile terminals rely on the Wi-Fi to conduct operations. Should you find yourself without a direct internet connection, you may not have access to most functions.


Security is another significant quality that may affect your decision in POS systems. While thieves target traditional terminals and cash drawers, mobile systems do their best to discourage theft by locking drawers remotely.

Advanced mobile equipment can also include tracking software to monitor stolen drawers and terminals, facilitating retrieval.

Other Qualities

Despite being known as bulky, traditional POS systems promote easier usage. Buttons on these machines are often larger than those you would notice on a mobile terminal. This detail is an advantage since smaller keys on a tablet can present challenges to those with accommodations.

While cost-efficient, a mobile POS system’s durability is in constant peril since it isn’t physically tied to a desk. With the constant exchange between staff, you can risk damaging a device if someone drops it on the floor or leaves it in an unprotected location.

When comparing tablets versus traditional POS terminals, knowing which is right for you mainly depends on your industry and whether your location can benefit from mobile services.

While tablet-based POS systems offer freedom to finalize transactions anywhere, traditional POS equipment can collect and process more data needed to efficiently run your business.

Before solidifying your decision, remember to consider your establishment’s needs and optimize the software functionality. While you’re at it, you’ll need a durable stand to hold card processors to complete your POS terminal setup!

At Hilipro, we specialize in manufacturing POS machine holders like the PAX s300 stand. Whether mounted on a wall or on the counter, this device can maintain your card processing machine in one location, facilitating a smoother checkout process. Please visit our webpage for more information!

Tablets vs. Traditional POS Terminals: Which Is Right for You?

Previous article Stationary vs. Swivel Credit Card Machine Stands