An Android rugged tablet is a touchscreen device that can withstand tough conditions. We explain how to choose a rugged tablet and key applications here.
The average citizen's tablet, usually not a rugged tablet, should last around five years. However, the average citizen's home is a lot different than a harsh working environment.
For example, a home is more likely to have floors that are covered with soft carpets. These are less likely to damage a tablet if it falls. Factories, on the other hand, more often have floors made of hard concrete that can quickly shatter a dropped tablet's screen.
Then there's the movement. The average homeowner is more likely to lay back on a sofa or bed with their tablet. A factory worker should be constantly moving around the workspace with the device in his or her hand.
Homes are also less likely to experience many extreme temperature conditions. Factories often have freezer sections or places that are hotter from machinery.
All of these harsher factory floor conditions can severely reduce the lifespan of the average tablet. Therefore, if we supply our businesses with them, we'll be replacing them constantly. Getting a rugged tablet is a better option.
Read on to learn how to choose the best-rugged tablet.
What Is an Android Rugged Tablet?
Some professionals believe that a rugged tablet is merely an average consumer tablet with a particularly tough case around it. However, there are numerous more features innovators have added to rugged tablets to make them last longer in harsh environments.
These inclusions do make them cost more than the average tablet. However, the many benefits of a rugged tablet, as listed below, can make the price tag worth it.
Wireless and Compatibility Features
Professionals might feel concerned that an Android rugged tablet's hardware and software features may be too different than what's used in their facility. However, rugged tablets still come equipped with standard wi-fi, Bluetooth, and 4G or 5G connection features. The operating systems that the rugged tablets use can also be the same as what our facilities use with their other technologies.
Built-In Additional Tools
Rugged tablets are not limited to the hardware that comes on regular tablets alone. Buyers have the option to purchase tablets that have built-in hardware features like barcode scanners and card-readers. These can both add another level of security and facilitate higher production speeds.
Variety of Size Options
One downside that a rugged tablet has but a standard tablet doesn't have to do with weight. The added features of a rugged tablet can make it heavier than the standard versions. This can make it somewhat difficult for workers to carry them around.
However, there are a variety of options when it comes to size. If it seems that a tablet is too heavy for workers, we can choose smaller rugged tablets instead.
No Moving Parts
The hard drive on a basic consumer-level tablet has a lot of moving parts. When a tablet with one of these hard drives gets dropped, these parts get jostled. As a result, they're likely to sustain a lot of damage.
Rugged tablets don't have this weakness. Manufacturers often fit them with flash or solid-state hard drives. This makes the devices far less susceptible to hard-drive fail should they get dropped in the line of duty.
Sealed Against Dust and Water
Being dropped in water is often the last action that a consumer will take with their tablet. Dust, sand, and other particles that enter a device's vent can also interfere with the tablet's functionality. As industrial situations deal with these materials often, one may think that professionals would be replacing their tablets often.
However, rugged tablets are sealed against these dangers. This is possible because they use an internal heatsink rather than a fan.
Optimal Screen Features
Many rugged tablets come equipped with screens made of shatter-resistant materials like Gorilla Glass. Despite this, many are still sensitive enough to sense gloved hands. This allows workers to use the device while still following safety protocols.
Also, it's often difficult to see the screens of regular consumer tablets in direct sunlight. This can make it difficult for outdoor workers to use their devices. The option for a rugged tablet screen to resist sunlight glare mitigated this issue.
Longer-Lasting and Replaceable Battery
The battery charge of a regular tablet is rather limited. This isn't always an issue for the usual consumer. They'll more than likely be in a situation where they can just plug their tablet into a nearby outlet and continue using the device.
This isn't the case for industrial workers as they often need to keep moving around a space. In many cases, they may also be in outdoor situations where there isn't a charging station for miles. Luckily, many rugged tablets have batteries with long lifespans.
When workers will be away from charging stations for a long time, there's another option. Unlike many consumer tablets, the batteries in rugged tablets are replaceable. Thus, workers can carry several batteries with them to make their devices usable for longer.
It's enough of a benefit that a rugged tablet can withstand harsh conditions. However, another added benefit is that we don't have to take manufacturers at their word. Rugged tablets usually go through several tests to make sure that they meet certain industry standards.
The MIL-STD 810 is one such standard. To gain this certification, a device must be tested in several conditions. Examples of these include humidity, shock, and leakage.
Other often used standards are the IP dust and water protection protocols. As the name suggests, this standard tests the device for how hard it is for particles and liquid to enter the device's software.
What Are Some Rugged Tablet Uses?
There are many ways that we can use rugged tablets in a variety of industries. They can also be our best option for certain harsher situations. Some examples of industries that can use and how they would use rugged tablets are listed below.
The warehouse workers must have portable devices. They often need to be able to walk to products to scan and/or take note of them when doing inventory. They may also need to free up their hands quickly to grab products and tablets can be quickly stowed away in bags.
However, as mentioned previously, warehouses often have harder floors that are not kind to tablets should workers drop them. Certain warehouses can also have a freezer or refrigerated sections so that they can keep perishables viable. Many standard tablets cannot withstand such temperature changes.
In addition, particles such as sand can also be a common feature of many warehouses. This is especially the case if a warehouse houses products that feature certain sand-like items. Therefore, warehouse owners need to supply their workers with rugged tablets rather than regular ones.
Construction workers can easily access blueprints on portable devices. They can also get signatures and sign in to work on them. There's a rugged tablet application for each of these.
In addition, most construction work takes place outside. This means that the devices can experience conditions such as rain, snow, extreme heat, extreme cold, and lots of dust. Workers may also not have easy access to power sources and this makes the long battery life useful.
In addition, gloves are a common feature of construction work. It can be very convenient for workers to use their tablets without having to remove their gloves. It's also safer for them to do things this way as well.
Delivery workers have a lot more protection from weather and debris as they spend a lot of time in their vehicles. In much the same way, their devices will get exposed to these weather conditions a lot less. However, even small amounts of exposure can quickly ruin regular tablets.
Beyond that, delivery workers can use barcode scanners to keep track of products. They can also use the integrated wi-fi to contact clients, warehouses, and postal services.
Rugged tablets can be a great tool outside of the industrial and customer service industries as well. Field scientists, such as archeologists, need an easy way to take photos and notes and keep track of their data. They can also make good use of maps, research, instructions, and other important information.
While they can use physical notebooks, cameras, maps, and print-outs, the weather and debris conditions they'll face can easily damage these. In addition, it can be more inconvenient to have to carry all of these items around. Thus, a rugged tablet is the best choice of tool for these professionals.
How to Choose a Rugged Tablet
As mentioned, there are a wide variety of rugged tablet options. Depending on the kind of work that we do, certain features of these tablets can be more or less inconvenient. We should ask ourselves multiple questions to decide what kind of tablet is the right one for our businesses.
What Is Our Budget for Rugged Tablets?
It's a great idea to figure out what we can spend on rugged tablets first. That way, we won't end up falling in love with a tablet only to find out that we can't afford it. If we do, we may waste time having to check other models of tablets.
When we set our budgets, we need to make sure that it is realistic. Rugged tablets can cost $1,000 to $5,000 each. Our ideal budget for rugged devices should be set around this range.
Also, the prices of tablets that we look at should fall in this range as well. If it's much higher, the vendor may be charging us too much. If it's any lower, the quality of the tablet may be poor.
We should also include the many other charges that we may face by using rugged tablets in our budget. We'll likely end up paying for things such as IT Support, device repair, and lost productivity time due to device failure. We must do our best to estimate these possible future charges.
What Conditions Will the Tablets Experience?
Will the tablets get dropped often? Will they face a lot of hot and cold temperatures? Will they need to last for long periods without getting recharged?
These are the kinds of questions we need to ask as we're considering which features our tablets need. Also, keep in mind that most tablets are strong in one area but weak in others. We're going to need to prioritize certain features over others.
The best way to learn the features that our tablets will need is to learn about the day of our average worker. We can interview him or her or shadow them as he or she works. Giving the worker a dummy tablet, asking him or her to pretend to use it, and then watching what happens to it is another idea.
Whatever method we choose, we're going to need to consider everything that's going on around the tablet. We should notice how far away the worker stays from a charging station. We can also estimate or measure the shifts in temperature and weather along with the amount of debris.
Other examples include how often the worker wears gloves, drops the dummy tablet, and/or stands in the sun. We should then gather all this data and put it in a place where we can find it. We can then refer to it as we're
What Hardware and Operating System Do We Need?
The technology in our business doesn't all have to work on the same operating system. Many applications can work across many different systems. We can also have two or more networks of technologies that work with the same operating system.
However, the latter strategy can be inconvenient to work with. In addition, it can be bad for our business budget to pay any fees for several apps at once. Therefore, having all the pieces of technology work on the same operating system.
We also need to keep hardware features like ports and barcode readers in mind as well. These can be essential for operations in our businesses. Without them, there can be a great slow-down in our everyday business operations.
We need to know every piece of hardware that our standard business operations need. Like with the conditions, we can learn about what hardware features our tablets need by shadowing employees. Another option is to ask any tech-savvy employees to give us a rundown on what operating systems and ports are present in our current technology.
We can then use this information to help us choose the rugged tablet that our system needs.
What Opinions Do Others Have About Certain Tablets?
It can take a lot of time to search through all the features of different tablets. We may not have the time to do this. Luckily, there are several time-saving strategies that we can use to find tablets.
One thing we can do is ask other professionals for tablet recommendations. This is an especially good idea if we know other professionals in the same industry. Likely, a few people in our professional networks and/or social circles use certain rugged tablets.
However, we don't have to ask seasoned professionals for their recommendations alone. Our employees can help us in this area as well. They may remember the types of rugged tablets that they used in a previous job position.
What if we struggle to find recommendations in our social circles or business? If this is the case, we can look online. There should be plenty of social media and/or forum pages that are tailored to our particular industry.
We can then ask for rugged tablet recommendations on the particular page. There should at least be some industry professionals that are willing to share their secrets. We just have to be cautious and make sure that those recommending products to us aren't being paid off.
After we find out all these recommendations, we can make a list. Then we can start looking at the features of the members of this list rather than going about things blindly.
What Is the Quality Level of the Android Rugged Tablet Manufacturers?
Even after looking at these different features, we may still struggle to choose between one or two different tablets. If that's the case, we can look at the companies behind the selling and creating of the rugged tablets. The quality level of these businesses can give us a good idea of the quality level of the tablets.
Some methods that we can use to gauge the different businesses are listed below.
Call Their Customer Service and/or Tech Support and Ask Questions
We're likely going to engage with a company's tech support throughout the time that we use their tablets. As such, it's a good idea for us to check the quality of the support we're going to receive beforehand. We don't want to end up devoid of optimal assistance in the middle of the crisis.
We don't have to spend a long time doing this. All that we need to do is write down some questions that we want to ask the company about their tablets. Then we can call up customer service and ask these questions to the operatives.
While we do this, we should take note of how the operatives act. To start with, the customer service operatives of the best tech support company should be knowledgeable and well-organized. Take note of how quickly and clearly the operatives answer these questions.
They should also act polite and professional. Study how engaged and formal the operatives seem as they speak.
Look Up the Credentials of the Manufacturers
One of the biggest features that can prove the quality of one manufacturing company over another is the number of years it's been in service. This doesn't just show that the managers have the necessary experience to make fewer mistakes. It also shows that their clients have kept their business alive for that long by continuing to come back.
Any awards and/or credentials that a company has is also a plus. Most of these are only given to businesses by respected officials who know what separates a good business from a bad business. An example of a good certification would be one from the Better Business Bureau.
We should also check if the business has warranties on its products and insurance. This not only shows that the business cares about giving each customer the best quality service. It also shows that they have faith in the quality of their craftsmanship.
In addition, having good insurance and warranties also guarantees we'll be compensated should something go wrong with the product. This is a great way to ensure that we don't experience a great financial loss due to a faulty product.
Find Some Reviews of the Company
Along with reviews of the products that a manufacturer makes, we should be able to find reviews from previous clients of the company as well. Sites such as Yelp and Google Customer Reviews should have some of these. We can also ask about certain manufacturers on social media sites themed around our industry.
We need to approach these with caution, however. There are services to buy tons of fake positive reviews. We need to do what we can to spot fake reviews so that we aren't fooled.
If we're looking for more honest reviews, sites like the Better Business Bureau should offer what we need. Organizations like these work a lot harder to get their reviews and reject untrustworthy ones.
Look at These Options for Great Android Tablets on Winmate
As we can see, it should take us quite some time to find the type of rugged tablet that can truly help any organizations we run. At times, having to have this level of organization can be frustrating. However, we need to remember that all the hard work will be worth it in the end.
Also, these Winmate Rugged Tablets can be a great option for our business needs. They can withstand the harshest conditions. In addition, they've won the Taiwan Quality Honor for their cutting-edge design.
Check them out on this page.
Series in this Android Rugged Tablets (2)