Charging your Rugged Handheld or Rugged Tablet PC
You now have the perfect rugged handheld or rugged tablet pc and a great app from MobileWorxs and you venture off into the field. But how long will the battery last and how can you ensure it will stay charged? Charging your Rugged Handheld or Rugged Tablet PC is a real consideration for an enterprise mobile deployment.
Not surprisingly battery life of any unit varies depending how long the device is used for in total. If a device has no rest period and is in constant use with scanning 3G or Wi-Fi then expect the battery life to be limited. Compared to a user who uses a device for 20 minutes at a time on site and places the device on standby during travelling, his device would last all day. Lithium Ion batteries power most rugged handheld and tablet PC devices, and yes they do wear out so budget for new ones after about 2 years.
If device usage is going to be high the first consideration is to opt for high capacity batteries which are not hugely expensive. This can add half again to standard battery life. The next pointer does the unit accept dual batteries? This means a device has 2 batteries which can be separately changed while the device is turned on. When one battery is low the other is in use. It also means your unsaved work isn’t lost as with a hot swap feature there is no need to power down to swap a battery.
Be assured that even units with a single battery do have small internal backup batteries for saving apps and system settings just like a phone.
Charging Options – On Desk
Most rugged devices have accessories for office charging. These can be:
Docks/cradles which may have extra slots to charge spare batteries as well as ports for connecting USB serial devices and external screens.
Or just plain battery chargers. Depending how many devices and therefore batteries you intend to deploy a multi battery charger may be an option worth investigating. Also be sure to figure out where these desk docks or chargers are going to go. Space can be tight in many back of store retail or depot offices so putting up some dedicated racking and installing power sockets will help keep the whole thing looking like some thought has gone into the deployment.
Charging Options – In Vehicle
Vehicle chargers, have the ability to charge a unit in a vehicle on the move. The power source can generally be wired into the vehicle mains or through a cigarette lighter adaptor. There are a number of varying ruggedized vehicle docks, which some can cope with many more device cycles. Again these docks have additional ports allowing for a GPS unit for tracking, or connecting to a external WWAN stick.
If a device is operating apps such as Sat Nav then charging is a must. It is also a requirement in most countries to have the device permanently fixed whilst the vehicle is in motion.
The cost of a vehicle dock can sometimes seem expensive, but no where near as much as a new unit, or repair especially if the device ends up being thrown in the foot well after each use !
Otherwise is in vehicle charging required? Just carry a spare battery? This is a cheaper option if your charging dock has a space for a spare battery to be charged simultaneously.
Charging your Rugged Handheld or Rugged Tablet PC – Key Points
- If your device will see 6-8+ hours constant use then additional battery capacity should be a high consideration.
- Bear in mind that in many cases chargers docks and cradles are often not compatible across products – even from the same manufacturer. Strange but true !
We can help you navigate your way through this and many other snags that may arise during your enterprise mobility project.