05 October 2021
Rugged devices have continued to develop
over recent years, with not only the technology becoming faster and more
complex, but with the number of different device types now available. With more
options on the market, it can be hard to know which one is best to fulfil the
needs of you and your company.
Two devices you could choose between are
rugged handhelds and rugged tablets. Both have their benefits, but which is
best for you?
What is a rugged handheld?
A rugged handheld is a portable device,
designed to be compact and easy to use. These mobile computers are
ergonomically designed, and traditionally come in two shapes; with a gun/pistol
grip, or similar to a smartphone. Both shapes can come with buttons and a
touchscreen, or purely operate via a touchscreen, which is toughened and protected
to ensure it can withstand the tough working conditions they’re designed for.
What is a rugged tablet?
A rugged tablet is a slightly larger
portable device, designed with a larger screen than a traditional handheld
device. Due to their larger size screen, a rugged tablet often only has a
touchscreen that is durable and designed to absorb shock or damage. These
tablets can also be designed to be multi-functional, from use in a warehouse
straight out into an HGV or van to help with good transportation and delivery.
An alternative to a rugged tablet is a
rugged truck mounted device. Similar to a tablet, a truck mounted device is
more robust and remains fixed to warehouse and logistic vehicles such as
forklifts and counterbalance trucks. These devices can either be touchscreen or
with a keypad, depending on your needs.
Which device is best within the manufacturing sector?
Within the manufacturing sector, a rugged device can help
increase productivity within operations, whether that be in a plant or
warehouse. They’re there to help provide visibility of materials, flow of
finished and part-finished goods, and tracking materials and labour throughout
the supply chain.
For this environment, handheld devices can be the perfect
solution, such as the TS8200.
They’re ideal for maintaining productivity within a busy factory environment, including
reducing errors. If a lot of information needs to be displayed, a tablet could
be considered which offers a sensitive touchscreen that can be used in the
warehouse, even if you’re wearing gloves. Or consider a truck mount if the
operations are warehouse based, such as the TS7200,
which works in a range of warehouse vehicles including forklifts, and can be
undocked for ease.
Which device is best within the transportation and logistics sector?
For the transport and logistics sector, rugged mobile
devices can help transform a logistics process by integrating the flow of
information throughout, from materials handling to transportation.
Both a tablet and handheld device can be a reliable tool
within this sector, depending on your needs. For example, a truck mounted
device, promotes productivity and can be used within the warehouse during materials
handling. For an individual driver out on the road, a handheld device, such as
can assist in the delivery process and increase efficiency. To learn more about
the differences between wearable and truck mounts, explore more on our blog; Rugged truck mounts or rugged wearables? Which is best?
Which device is best within a hazardous environment?
When working in a hazardous environment, the health and
safety of workers is paramount, and therefore the equipment they use must meet
the legal safety standard. This includes meeting the ATEX certification which outlines the minimum safety requirements for workplaces
and equipment used in explosive environments.
In these challenging environments, a tablet is the best
rugged device to use, such as the TS3200, which
offers high-performance scanning and data capture, in a durable and shock
absorbing rubber casing. The TS3200 also can be used in a cradle system which
provides a user-friendly mounting system for use in any HGV, van, forklift or
Transform your business operations today
Here at TouchStar, we offer a range of rugged mobile
devices, including handheld and tablets. They can be highly effective in a wide
range of industries, such as logistics and manufacturing. To find out more
about how they could benefit your business, get in touch today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - PETER MARSH
Peter joined TouchStar (formally Belgravium) in a sales manager role in 2001. Prior to joining the company, Peter held Partner and National Sales Manager roles within the parcel and logistics industries.
In 2011 Peter was promoted to Sales Director and is now actively involved in promoting the value of TouchStar’s Rugged Mobile Computing solutions to the warehouse, logistics, manufacturing and field service industries. When not involved in the business, Peter is a keen and enthusiastic football and cricket fan.