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Rugged Industrial Tablets vs. Consumer-Grade

Honeywell EDA71 Rugged Tablet


Mobile technologies including tablets have had a lasting impact on the way industrial businesses operate. From advanced features that improve communication and process efficiencies, to reduced operational costs, the right tablet can be a beneficial investment to improve work processes in your warehouse or distribution centers.

However, many businesses mistakenly believe that consumer grade devices will work just as well as tablets that are designed specifically for industrial use. While consumer devices can contain great software they lack in the areas of durability and performance that is needed in industrial environments. Enterprise-grade tablets like Honeywell’s rugged EDA71 combine the advantages of consumer devices and the purpose-built enterprise computers into a single package. Designed with the end-user and application usage in mind this tablet will be functionally easy for workers to use.

When you add industry-leading software to the durable hardware, rugged tablets are a take-anywhere, do-anything solution for workflows that require mobility and functionality. Let’s review why consumer grade tablets are inferior to their rugged, enterprise-grade counterparts like the EDA71.


Industrial environments can be a hazardous place for a tablet. Consumer tablets are vulnerable to water, dust, falls, drops, shocks, chemicals, and exposure to hot and cold environments and just aren’t built to endure in these types of harsh conditions. However, rugged tablets are designed with inherent durability. Rugged tablets like the EDA71 have an IP64 rating making it drop-resistant, waterproof or resistant, dustproof or resistant, has protection from harmful chemicals, and are fully functional in extreme heat and cold. Although the initial cost of a rugged tablet is slightly greater than a consumer-grade tablet, that cost is repaid in the potential cost of repairs and replacements to consumer-grade tablets. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Spending slightly more upfront on rugged devices provides a greater ROI than investing in consumer-grade tablets that have high costs of repairs and replacements.

Power Management

The EDA71 Tablet is designed for productivity. The tablet includes several power management functions to help ensure batteries last an entire shift. For remote mobile workers, device uptime is crucial. Dead batteries could mean a lost day of work. If you need to change a battery, the EDA71 has hot-swappable battery packs that can save you the hours of downtime that can occur when a device loses its charge.

Furthermore, because wireless communications, barcode scanning and portable printing all place an additional burden on batteries, the EDA71 power management advantages ensure batteries will last the length of the shift, even when peripherals are heavily used. Consumer-grade devices just can’t live up to these enterprise traits.

Powerful Scanner

While general-purpose scanning may only involve a few inches between the scanner and barcode, industrial environments, like warehouses and distribution centers, are much more likely to involve fast-paced barcode scanning from a variety of distances. The EDA71 comes with an enhanced imager. These imagers are designed for high-volume scanning applications. Consumer tablets that use cameras as a scanner can slow down and frustrate users.


Rugged tablets provide workers with the flexibility to work from nearly anywhere. However, how do workers hold, manipulate, carry, charge, use, and store them while performing their jobs? Another benefit rugged tablets hold over consumer devices is that they come with an extensive portfolio of accessories for mounting, carrying, and charging in the field to fit any environment. Like the tablets themselves, accessories are designed exclusively for each unique device and aim to eliminate potential workflow inefficiencies, boost productivity, and prolong the device’s life. For example, a rugged tablet can be equipped with a mounting unit for a forklift to keep the tablet safe from drops and shocks that could shorten the life of the tablet. The mounting unit also keeps the tablet in one spot, so they don’t mysteriously “walk-away” and operators always knows where to find it.

Better ROI and Total Cost of Ownership

Every business wants to reduce expenses, grow revenue, and maximize profits. Based on previously made points, enterprise-grade tablets, although slightly more expensive upfront, are clearly the wisest investment. When doing a full total cost of ownership (TCO) evaluation, ruggedized equipment often comes out as having a lower or equal TCO, due to its longer life and the ability to use a single device across multiple shifts, avoiding down-time due to battery shortages, more efficient scanning, and more durability.


Investing in the Honeywell EDA71 rugged tablet over consumer-grade tablets is a smart decision. To see how a rugged, enterprise-grade table can improve your business contact Taylor Data Systems Today!