5 easy steps for choosing the best rugged tablet

How many times have you accidentally dropped your tablet? Ever leave your smartphone outside in the cold?

Despite the best care we give our devices, accidents happen. This is especially true in the field. That’s reality. Water, dust, drops, knocks and extreme temperatures can all compromise your mobile enterprise devices.

Your best bet against device failure and lost data is rugged tablets. Built to withstand the demands of your mobile workforce, rugged devices are the way to go.

So, what should you look for in a rugged tablet? The answer is different for everyone. Here are five tips for choosing the best device for your needs.

Tablet Price and Budget

First, make sure the initial hardware and software acquisition prices are within range.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Beyond the acquisition price, TCO includes tangible and intangible costs over the life of the item. For a rugged tablet, these costs may include maintenance fees, breakdown costs, software integration and more.

You might be tempted to buy a consumer tablet because of the lower acquisition price. But when it ends up slowing down operations, you’ll get buried in costs for repairs and downtime. It may be pricier in the beginning, but rugged tablets are built to last—and a wise investment in the long run.

Degree of Ruggedness and Work Environment

How challenging is your environment? What is the potential for damage to your tablets? Rugged tablets must be durable, reliable and designed to protect against vibration and shock. They must be able to withstand drops, bumps, spills and drastic changes in temperature.

Carefully evaluate the conditions of your field staff. Look at all potential factors that could cause damage. This will help you determine whether to go “full rugged” or somewhere in between.

Tablet Ergonomics

Don’t send your techs out into the field with their new tablets, only to have them return with repetitive motion injuries. Your rugged tablets should be easy to hold, carry and use. Consider a tablet’s size and weight, and well as controls that are positioned to minimize fatigue and mistakes.

Device Compatibility

Rugged tablets should be optimized for business purposes and designed to integrate with your other business applications. Look for compatibility with available operating systems, legacy devices and software, and current and future scanning. Other factors to consider are communication requirements, platform flexibility and ease of upgrades.

Expert guidance

Want some expert advice on choosing an ideal rugged tablet? Give us a call: 888.682.3113.

AbeTech partners with the best manufacturers in the industry, including Getac, Motion Computing, Xplore and Zebra. We’re happy to chat with you about the different options—and help you make the right choice.

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