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Xplore Rugged Mobile Computers

Xplore_Tablet_webMobile computing in the enterprise empowers workers and gives them the freedom to move where they need to go to get things done. The flexibility mobile devices provide, particularly those with network access and apps, fulfill a variety of needs. They have proven to be a huge benefit for organizations working toward differentiating themselves from the competition because workers can perform their jobs faster and more accurately. From picking, to packing to forklift operation, mobile devices keep workers close to the job with at-their-fingertips data at all times.

Tablets, in particular, have become more prevalent in recent years. Perhaps this is because we are already using them in our personal lives, and they also offer much of the same functionality as a desktop computer, but without the burden of being tied to a desk. For that reason alone, it’s no surprise that tablets have become so popular at the enterprise level – and as this trend continues, providers are finding ways to make these devices even more powerful, flexible and durable for a variety of environments. The problem is, they are coming in at a higher price point than consumer tablets, so many businesses are opting to stay with consumer tablets. Which begets an even bigger problem: Device failures.

Rugged vs. Consumer Devices

In a recent rugged vs. consumer device whitepaper written by Xplore Technologies Corp., they say that upfront costs of hardware adoption accounts for only 9.8% of mobile computer TCO (total cost of ownership), which means that over the long-term, rugged computers cost less than non-rugged computers. Other important data includes:

  • TCO falls with each level of ruggedness, so that the more rugged the computer, the lower the TCO over time, resulting in more than $3,900 per device, per year.
  • On average, the TCO for rugged computers over three years is 15% lower than that of non- rugged computers, meaning savings of hundreds of dollars per unit.
  • Lost productivity accounts for more than half of the TCO for mobile devices.

The bottom line is if you are going to be using tablets in a challenging environment like a warehouse, factory, cold storage facility, distribution center or even outdoors, and are looking to keep expenses to a minimum over the long haul, rugged tablets should be strongly considered.

What to Look for in a Rugged Tablet

Aesthetically, it will be easy to identify a consumer tablet from an industrial tablet, since they often are built to look like there are bumper guards around them, and many are designed with Corning® Gorilla® Glass for added durability, but there are a few questions you should ask of your provider before making any purchases:

  1. What are the drop specifications? Since drops constitute the largest percentage of total failures on consumer tablet devices, this is an important specification to understand. And you’ll want to get the full scoop on the testing that was used to deliver the spec. To what type of surface was the device dropped? How many drops? The results should satisfy the requirements of your facility.
  2. What is the operating temperature range? This is particularly important if you run a cold storage operation, live in a particularly warm climate or will be operating these devices in extreme temperatures or humidity.
  3. What is the IP (Ingress Protection rating)? This rating is a universal standard to assure continued operation when exposed to certain elements. Closely evaluate the ratings of the devices on your list and cross off those that do not match your requirements.

Other important information includes battery life, ease of swapping out batteries, keyboard replacement (if applicable). Interested to know exactly how durable a rugged tablet can be? Check out this drop test video below from Xplore Technologies, then contact us for more information to further your rugged device research!