Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options
Application designers should always aim to provide field workers with drop down and multiple choice menus for data entry. However where a process requires that a narrative should be added to a record using a keyboard is often unavoidable. As these devices are intended to be used on the move plugging in a desktop keyboard is not always practical. So in cases like this it’s good to know that there are some mobile rugged tablet PC keyboard options.
But first! re-read our blog about screen types.
Built in Numeric and Function Keypad
Users of rugged tablets are often stuck with using the on screen keyboard when the most ergonomic route may well be a numeric keypad, especially in high volume scenarios like surveying van sales and merchandising.
Both our T7200 and T1200 products feature an integrated numeric backlit and tactile numeric keypad that include programmable keys as well as Enter, up / down / left / right navigation, tab, escape,Security, rotate display, function key barcode scan and suspend/power Full Stop!
Also included is a built in decimal point/full stop key. Very useful where surveying and measurements are being recorded.
Windows 7 on Screen
In some situations a process may require an amount of data entry beyond numbers. Where narrative text needs to be inputted into a standard Windows product like Excel or a custom made app it is possible to use the on screen pop up keyboard that is part of Windows 7. Pecking out letters to transcribe lots of text can be a chore, the handwriting recognition software works fine but does take some getting used to. Best approach is to have your app designer adopt drop down value menus.
Resistive Multi-Touch with on Screen Keyboard Windows 8
The “Metro” interface of Windows 8 works best with multi-touch, but the capacitive touch technology used in consumer media tablets does not work with gloves or in the rain. So for the T1200 resistive multi-touch is used which means the device can be used in any operating condition. An on screen soft keyboard is supported and legacy applications with small screen elements and user check boxes can be precisely operated with a stylus. A built in keypad allows for direct entry of numeric data.
Snap On QWERTY Keyboard
A snap on keyboard that attaches to the bottom of a tablet can be a solution where text entry on the move is a major part of a process but using the on screen keyboard is not ergonomic. The addition is backlit and includes a number of extra ports. The snap on can be used in conjunction with a vehicle dock.
In Vehicle Cradle with Full Size PC Keyboard
Where an employee works out of a vehicle and they return to it to enter data a full size keyboard can be attached to the vehicle cradle. The unit can be adjusted to maximise ease of use for the operator.
Key Point; which input method will suit the application and the circumstances of the user?