It is not easy trying to decide which device will suit you best when you start investigating PDAs, rugged computers and smart phones for your start up Not only are there a lot of manufacturers to choose from, but the configuration and device choice numbers up into the thousands. To make your search a little bit easier, put these five tips to use once you start your hunt.
1- The first thing to think about is where the device will be used. An internal or external location is an important point to consider. Intermec, Honeywell, Motorola and Psion are amongst the limited number of manufacturers who make devices that are strong enough to be used outdoors. The next point to think about is whether the operator using the device will be wearing gloves or has big hands. Hand size impacts the device size that you will look at buying.
2- Form factor relates to the type of software your device is going to need, and this decision is individual to the user. For example, if the person using the device needs access to a big document, such as maps or drawings, then they need a rugged tablet. Honeywell, Motion, Glacier and DAP are all manufacturers who make tablets that suit this environment. However, smaller devices to fit in pockets need a rugged handheld device. This type of device has the capacity for wireless conversion and allows the user to access drop down screens. Rugged handhelds are made by Honeywell, Psion, Intermec and Motorola amongst others.
3- Be sure to follow the industry standards for the ruggedized laptop you choose. When considering a rugged mobile device, remember that the data collection and information you obtain from this device must comply with industry standards. It is important that a situation does not arise where the device you have chosen doesn’t meet specific needs for security or connectivity while the user is out and about.
4- Strong Support – Careful consideration should be given to the type of support you will get for your mobile computers. You want to make sure that support costs are low, that the device is compatible with your management and IT asset management’s systems, and that the support provided is always user-friendly and does not impact on productivity. You may find that the manufacturer you choose to buy the device from has a management system that works on more than one type of platform. Psion, Intermec, Honeywell and Motorola are all examples of device makers who offer this. If you are looking for just mobile device management, consider Wavelink or Soti for your needs.
5- Power Consideration – The device you choose will use a lot of power thanks to the tasks that will be performed on it. Make sure a device is chosen that can stand up to the rigors for power draw ahead. Consider whether any of the manufacturers you like offer information about how long the battery life is. Of course, there are a number of other points to consider, including:
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What happens to data during power loss. Is the data lost too?
- How long does it take to recharge a dead battery?
- Will the battery be overcharged if left on the charging dock too long?
- Is there a limit to the number of charges a battery can have?
- Is there information on the device about the amount of battery being used?