Question: Should I buy a rugged handheld device or something that could break under normal circumstances?
Answer: Sorry to be “that guy” but I’m going to answer your question with more questions; “What are you trying to do?” and “How will it be used?”
If you are looking for a handheld device to use at home on your couch, then you’ll probably be happy with just about any of the devices on the market. If you’re working in a warehouse or out on a route, chances are your devices get dropped, wet, kicked around and all sorts of nasty stuff that would make a consumer grade device disintegrate just thinking about the abuse.
Now, with the emergence of tablet, iOS and Android-based devices, the consumer purchasers are heavily influencing the “workers.” Motorola’s Rugged Enterprise Tablet, ET1, is a nice marriage of what you would expect from Motorola’s Enterprise devices and what the consumers have come to know and like about consumer devices.
Let’s talk specs…The ET1 has the Android 2.3.4 operating system, which can be upgraded to 4.x. It comes standard with 1 GB RAM and 4 GB Flash, and 4 GB microSD (8 GB flash, total), and an SD slot which supports up to 32 GB. The tough Gorilla glass, IP54 rating and multiple 4 ft drops (Military Standard 810G) assures you that it can take it. The standard 8 Megapixel camera is great for images and occasional barcode scanning, but if your applications are intense, an optional scanner/imager and mag-stripe reader are available. The ET1 comes with 802.11a/b/g/n, BT 2.1, GPS, and optional 4G/HSPA+ or 3G/EVDO radios.
Let’s talk about security. If used in a retail environment, the ET1 can be PCI compliant in moments. If a device is lost or stolen, not only is the data encrypted, but you can wipe the unit clean so there is no loss of data integrity.
With the tools Motorola supplies, such as MSP, you can remotely troubleshoot or monitor your devices. Do you need voice? The ET1 is compatible with Motorola’s TEAM solution, allowing push-to-talk on the wireless network, and with the proper infrastructure, you can communicate with other wireless devices, IP phones, and walkie-talkies.
Take a look at your local newspaper’s Sunday ads. You will find a new phone and a new table every time. Do you want to run your business by replacing your current devices with the device of the week? Motorola realizes that this can put a crimp in your business operations. With the ET1, you get a stable device with a stable OS. You can buy this for three years since its introduction, and know that an additional three years of support will be available after the product is discontinued.
So, before you spend your money foolishly and buy something because it’s cool, give us a call to talk some sense into you. Look at the long term picture rather than the device-du-jour. We will be happy to help you.