Rugged PC Review carried out an xTablet T1550 Rugged Tablet Review when the device took over from the previous T1500 model.
Affordable flexibility is the key with T1550. Integral 1D or 2D scanning GPS and NFC are all options. Along with 2 cameras Wi-Fi and Bluetooth a serial port is also a standard feature something not very common on devices at this market level.
While the xTablet T1550’s processor and memory make concessions in the interest of affordable pricing, the tablet’s display definitely does not. Measuring a roomy 10.1 inches diagonally — it’s very noticeably larger than the 8-inch screen of the smaller xTablet T8540 — it offers WXGA resolution. That’s 1280 x 800 pixel in 16:10 wide-format — 30% more pixel that the 1024 x 768 XGA format that was commonly used in rugged tablets (even ones with larger screen sizes) for many years, and is still being used today.
On a 10.1-inch tablet screen, that translates into 149 dots per inch (dpi), which is not very high by today’s standards, but still more than adequate. The xTablet T1550 uses 10-point projected capacitive multi-touch for effortless tapping, panning, pinching and zooming. We can’t think of many crucial operations that require more than just a couple of fingers, but Microsoft wants ten, and so ten it is.
The display is of the IPS (in-plane switching) variety that makes for perfect viewing from all angles. We cannot overemphasize how important a wide viewing angle is for a satisfying, non-disruptive viewing experience. Older and lesser display technologies are prone to often dramatic color and contrast shifts when viewed from different angles, something that we don’t consider acceptable anymore. The xTablet T1550’s IPS display is totally immune to such shifts, which makes it a pleasure to use. And outdoors the display feels brighter than its listed 320 nits luminance rating.
One of the major innovations with the new Flex 10A has been the detachable tablet keyboard. An inexpensive option that goes really well with the easel which at low cost it turns the Flex 10A into a great productivity tool across a variety of application scenarios.
Hybrids are a real growth area of the overall PC and tablet market. Just take a look at the innovative detachable keyboards on the market and all the heat around the Microsoft Surface and it’s competitors. Even rugged manufacturer Panasonic has replaced their Toughbook laptops with hybrids.
Back in the real world where budgets are perhaps not so generous the tablet keyboard for the Flex 10A is an 87% scale QWERTY with US layout. That aside the Flex 10A tablet keyboard has a sturdy hinge that benefits from the addition of the easel and excellent tactile keys that actually move! Unlike some of the space age designs on consumer grade devices.
You are connecting the tablet keyboard to a Quad Core Intel device which has 64GB of Storage and 4GB of memory.that can be ordered with Windows 10 Home or Professional. Flex 10A is an entry level is MIL-STD-810G 26 drops rugged it is not “sealed” tablet that has a 1280 x 800 10 point 10″ capacitive screen at 280 nits. The Flex 10A ships with a mesh tip stylus, 2 cameras, AC adapter, back of hand strap carry handle integral WI-Fi and Bluetooth.
Rugged tablets and hybrids have historically been over-specified for many users who require a level of ruggedness beyond consumer grade but balk at the huge investment needed. If this sounds like your project and the Windows OS is on your wish list then the Flex 10A may well be for you.
To learn more take a look at the specs or get in touch with us to arrange a webinar our 90 Minute Tablet Workshop to discuss the Flex 10A.
The latest version of the Microsoft Surface Pro gets a mild update to keep it among the best Windows hybrid PCs on the market. Reviews have been positive and most geek magazines have ended up recommending it.
Our rugged case has been approved by Microsoft and now supports this latest version of the Microsoft Surface Pro. More of our clients are using their Surface in the field for what have always been rugged laptop applications. Pressure on cycle times and site labour costs all add to the having the right mobile computing system is critical to productivity.
12 Reasons why the New Microsoft Surface Pro and our Rugged Case is Such a Great Combination
Access to powerful modeling and rendering tools.
A mobile computing device small enough to carry, yet powerful enough to handle demanding tasks enables even greater workflow efficiencies
Use the programs you know and trust: Adobe’s Creative Cloud, Autodesk’s AutoCAD, Rhino, Dassault’s Katia 3DS and of course Office 365.
Microsoft Surface Pro seamlessly transitions from office to vehicle to work site.
Make changes immediately using mouse, keyboard finger or pen input.
All of the project files, sketches, schematics, and notes are at hand and available on the cloud.
Lightweight and portable with long battery life and large display.
HD Cameras for documentation, progress updates and video conferencing.
The rugged case comes with an easel, multiple carrying straps, protected ports, rubber bumpers and is compatible with the Type Cover.
The Microsoft Surface Pro & rugged case combination has been tested by an outside agency to military standards MIL-STD 810G
Unlike most rugged cases that can use up to 5 operating units before failing the test our Rugged Case for the Microsoft Surface Pro passed using only one.
First rugged case to pass the thermal testing process for the new Surface Pro.
To learn more read the review or get in touch to arrange a webinar or meeting about using our rugged Case for the New Microsoft Surface Pro. Buy one here.
Rugged PC Review had taken a look at the classic Flex 10 3 years ago and decided to do a new xTablet Flex 10A rugged tablet review and put the new Cherry Trail version through its paces.
The New Flex 10A has been a real hit since it’s launch earlier this year. Users like the traditional MobileDemand ruggedness and ease of use features, Windows 10 Home or Pro OS, accessories such as the detachable keyboard and of course great value for money.
It’s important to understand MobileDemand’s philosophical approach to the Flex line. In essence, the difference between the company’s higher end xTablets and the Flex models is that the former are designed and built as cohesive, fully integrated rugged tablets with significant performance and capabilities, whereas the Flex line makes a ruggedized package available at the lowest possible price.
For the Flex models, MobileDemand is sourcing generic tablets that meet the company’s features and performance goals. MobileDemand then custom-designs protective rubber boots with thick bumpers to securely cushion and cradle the tablets, and that assembly then goes into a sturdy, also custom-designed polycarbonate backplate. The picture below shows that the Flex approach goes well beyond what any third party aftermarket case can offer.
Unlike the weird waver-thin accessory keyboards offered for many consumer tablets, MobileDemand’s Flex 10A keyboard is a true keyboard with full keyboard functionality, good key travel, and excellent tactile feedback. It also has a very sturdy hinge that allows for a very solid connection to the tablet. Combined with the easel, it makes for full and complete laptop functionality, should that be required.
A true first in its class – a Rugged Tablet Scan Handle !. Our cordless, high-performance Bluetooth scan handle for the T8650 allows users to quickly scan 1D/2D barcode images while using a rugged 8″ Windows 10 Tablet at the same time. The handle attaches to the T8650 via a Snap Mount plate which comes standard on the device itself. The module is powered by a 2,000 mAh battery providing users 85 hours of continuous use. This attachment helps to leverage your investment in T8650 platform – read the review.
Rugged Tablet Scan Handle includes:
Scan Handle module.
Two rechargeable batteries.
Two charging cables – Micro USB to USB.
To get a better understanding of how the Scan Handle works take a look at the short video and check out all the specs on the T8650 page. The Scanning process uses a high performance digital imager scan engine to read in codes in the most fast and efficient way. This can all have a significant impact on inventory operations where a large number of barcodes need to be scanned and access to a larger than PDA screen is preferred.
To learn more take a look at the specs and video or get in touch with us to arrange a webinar or meeting about the T8650 rugged tablet scan handle.
What is A MADP – Mobile Application Development Platform
MADP refers to an inclusive group of products and services that allow mobile applications for the Enterprise to be developed. Think of MADP as different from the traditional app development tools. Enterprise Mobility generates unique challenges that are different from those faced in the development of consumer mobile solutions.
MEAP to MADP So what..?
MEAP has been around for a while and can usually be characterised as an interface with existing back end systems to enable data and applications on mobile devices. Whilst popular they were often a jumbled set of “parts” for developers to cobble together with custom code, leading to time-consuming and costly development projects. Headaches teams undertaking B2B enterprise grade app development could do without. In contrast the MADP helps to build a set of common features and services that can be leveraged in mission critical apps for integration to multiple platforms in a “we need it yesterday” business environment.
MADP Platform Selection Essentials
Single skill set that client developers can adopt and use.
Support for devices to work in network disconnected mode.
Make use of dynamic data.
Well proven barcode thermal print and GPS support.
Built in Mobile Device Management – MDM
Desktop console to manage the entire system.
Simple to deploy and integrate.
Pick a Highly Regarded MADP Supplier
Our partner MobileFrame has been recognized in Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms MADP
We have been working with MobileFrame for 10 years providing clients with mobile apps tailored to their unique workflow. MobileFrame is a leading code-free mobile application development platform that includes everything a company needs to ensure that their mobility projects run smoothly. With MobileFrame technology, companies can give their field force the apps they need on the devices they love. Even the most complex applications can be written once and simultaneously deployed to any iOS, Android and Windows based device.
In their sum up Gartner says that, “if you don’t already use a MADP, evaluate and deploy one as a cornerstone product supporting your mobile development strategy, especially if your organization is starting to develop and deploy mobile apps at high volume (for example, more than six apps per year).”
“We’re proud to maintain and build upon a strong and loyal customer base committed to supporting us in identifying areas of core strength and further growth. Our client testimonials speak to MobileFrame’s ability to deliver better time to market and ease of use through our platform”, said Lonny Oswalt, Chief Executive Officer, MobileFrame.
Read the entire MobileFrame Press Release about this prestigious award.
To receive a complimentary copy of the Gartner Magic Quadrant click here.
To learn more get in touch with us to arrange a webinar or meeting about MobileFrame MADP.
The Microsoft Surface is one of the best tools for teaching and learning in a learning environment. It has the full power of a laptop in a lightweight touchscreen tablet form factor and has useful digital inking capabilities. We know how challenging some education environments can be so developed the Microsoft Surface Rugged Case to help you protect your investment and get the most out of your implementation.
Our Microsoft Surface Rugged Case is impact-resistant with protected ports, preventing unwanted water and dust from entering the device – great for those field trips !
The Case is engineered for maximum protection are constructed out of an high grade plastic with rubber bumpers on each corner for added shock absorption. Lightweight yet durable.
For a device to pass a MIL-STD-810G drop test it must survive 26 drops from four feet. Many companies use up to five devices to pass those tests we only uses only one and provide video recording and test reports as a resource.
Easy to Carry and Hold
The Case offers a comfortable back hand strap, convenient briefcase handle and shoulder strap for reliable mobility. A secure grasp on the device is key to ease of use and preventing students from dropping the device, keeping repair costs down.
Fully Adjustable Easel – The cases feature an innovative rugged easel with a strong hinge to allow for viewing at any angle. Strong magnets are embedded in the case which keeps it securely closed when not in use. When closed the easel helps keep the Type Cover Keyboard securely attached to the tablet.
Surface Screen Protector
In addition users can shield the display of the Microsoft Surface from scratches, smudges and chips by attaching a chemically strengthened glass screen protector. The water-resistant screen protector reduces wear on the device while preserving optimal screen clarity and fast response with both touch and Pen.
To learn more read the review or get in touch to arrange a webinar or meeting about using our Microsoft Surface Rugged Case in Education.
Or buy through our official on-line retail partner:
A software house develops an application for a 7″ tablet computer. The users want a cheap reliable tablet and a tablet is sourced. The problem lies in the word “cheap”. A cheap tablet can still be somewhat reliable depending on use and with the hundreds of budget tablets flooding the market there will be some.
A cheap tablet means a consumer grade tablet, and with consumer grade items means a limited product life span. Technology is quickly progressing in the tablet and smartphone markets. Upgraded processors are regularly released and internal parts like cameras, NFC, storage, speakers frequently upgraded.
How Long Will My Device Be Available ?
Manufacturers of consumer devices make no commitment to the lifespan of a product. Take for iPhone 6 & 6s for example. Images and specs of the iPhone 7 were leaked soon after the 6 was released. A manufacturer will deem the product a viable option in the consumer marketplace until competition means the unit will need to upgraded or replaced. This could be a 1 year cycle, sometime more, sometimes less.
Enterprise grade mobile devices look at this issue from the other side. Devices are built for a purpose be it warehouse scanning, field service or another vertical. Maintenance contracts can be bought for the units extending their lifespan, plus spares will be available for several years afterwards.
Whereas consumer units are usually on break and replace pair, enterprise units are based on a break fix repair. And that cycle is getting shorter and shorter.
Touching on the software briefly, if a device is changed it is possible the software will need to be altered. Customers are less likely to remain loyal should they need to buy a new tablet each year to continue using the software.
Selecting a cheap tablet has its advantages for cost, there are better alternatives to ensure long term solutions.
To learn more get in touch with us to arrange a webinar or meeting about your project. The key point being, do not recycle – fix it!
A smartphone with a 16mp autofocus rear camera, 8mp front camera, and recording in 1080p or UHD 4K is becoming somewhat the norm. This is mainly on the case on the consumer side rather than enterprise, but the enterprise is following suit. A typical old school Windows Mobile MC67 for example has an 8MP rear camera.
Windows Mobile devices are somewhat limited here as the 32mb RAM allowance means large images and videos will probably crash the unit. This is where iOS, Android, Windows 8.1 or 10 for the Enterprise are key.
Giving the end user the ability to capture media in high resolution is a big plus point. Images of completed works, or videos problem areas can be highlighted in detail. But at what cost?
Cost!? Surely a high res image is better than a low res image? Agreed, but what is the cost of transmitting a 16mp image, or a 30 second 1080p video? A 16MP image is roughly 5MB, one visit can require 1-10 images for example. Worst case of 10 images, that is 50MB of data. A 30 second video clip in 1080p is about 210MB (other file types may be increase file size considerably.) UHD 4K would be even bigger.
If the device is 4G compatible uploads speeds are very fast @ 8MBps, 3G considerably slower 0.4MBps, under 3G it becomes a big issue. 4G would take about 30 seconds if a good connection.
210MBps video file / 0.4MBps upload speed = Nearly 9 minutes to upload. That assumes a solid constant connection for the full nine minutes. Driving to/from jobs means the signal will strengthen/weaken or stop altogether.
Why Capture High Resolution Images
The purpose of real-time mobile applications is to receive the results back in real-time, no delays, immediate billing cycles customer records instantly updated etc. If working in large cities with a good 4G presence this may work fine, if uploading images over Wi-Fi only this is also a solution, but not real-time in the majority of cases.
Consider if a 16mp image is actually required. Would a 5mp image suffice? On a PDF report to the customer the image will be scaled down anyway. Smaller file sizes improve the mobile connection speed and increase the probability of real-time communication, as well as greatly reducing the storage requirements on the back-end.
Get in touch to book a webinar or meeting about Windows based enterprise mobility devices.
Advancing technology and a shift in work habits have seen more employees working out of the office by leveraging the use of mobile devices and cloud based services to improve business tasks.
Creating solutions that map processes and increase productivity is a moving target. So what do we think will be the seven key enterprise mobility IT trends for 2016 ?
As the number of mobile users increases so does the risk of a security threat. A mobile device with access to company resources can be a key target for theft as well as cyber attacks.
If a device is lost or stolen what happens to the data stored on the device, or applications with access to company data? If that data is stolen or lost what would be the impact on the company’s reputation and how would it continue to operate?
Two years ago Gartner estimated that more than 75% of mobile applications would will fail basic security tests, there is no reason to believe that has changed
Data theft digitally can cause many problems. How are mobile users accessing data? Where is the data stored? Where are the devices used? Controlling the environment the devices can connect to and securing the channel of communication has become equally as important and securing the physical device themselves. Frost and Sullivan believes that security will be the biggest issue in the IT industry driven by rapid adoption of Cloud, Mobility and the Internet of Things.
Expect a more heightened emphasis on data protection of enterprise mobile data on devices in 2016 and beyond.
2. R.I.P. Android in the Enterprise… well not quite..
If the future of Enterprise Mobility is tablet shaped then the resurgence of Microsoft Windows may give many cause to pause as they specify Android or iOS as platforms.
We have seen Windows Phone take a real beating in the smartphone space, IDC believe that by the end of 2015 world wide share will be no more than 10.2%. Part of this is put down to the “app gap” a phenomenon where not enough apps are being developed – resulting in less take up for the OS.
Apps in the “rugged” or Enterprise area often are highly customised or built to map a specific, often still paper based process so the appeal of Microsoft as a corporate platform is still attractive. According to Strategy Analytics Windows Tablet shipments are projected to hit 49 million units in 2019, a 120 percent increase from 2015 levels.
So whilst Microsoft gets Windows 10 Mobile ready to fight Android and iOS more Enterprise clients will specify Windows 10 on an ever increasingly array of tablet devices as a preferred enterprise grade platform.
3. Line of Business Devices Still Relevant
World wide IDC believes that smartphone consumption will see it’s first “single digit” growth year in 2015.
Those of us in the enterprise space recognise that generic smartphones can offer great value for money for some projects. But it is often discovered that each organization has unique mobile worker requirements making a one sized fits all phone a tough deployment and support proposition.
LoB (Line of Business) rugged devices were in the past almost exclusively based on Windows Mobile 6.5 although now there are many Android devices available. They have been perceived as lacking in innovation, not surprising when compared to new shiney smartphones. However they can often have specific and high performance attributes built in that in the long run will enhance TCO. Features such as desk and vehicle docks, IP67 sealing, integral scanning and more robust construction plugs and sockets.
Whilst the value proposition of consumer grade devices on any OS has been enhanced by device management solutions if the unit was never designed to be used in a line of business environment in the first place it can give rise to large failure rates. Up to 50% in some studies.
LoB devices have not gone away they have just got a whole lot more relevant and less costly. Products like the new Aegex Windows Tablet aimed at the ATEX market is a case in point.
4. Enterprise Mobility Servitization
Incorporating all the elements needed for an enterprise mobility solution in one offering funding and support wrapper is not new. Servitization challenges existing thinking so that the solution is configured more around the delivery of the clients service to “its” customer.
Aston University Business School in Birmingham England think so much of this that they started a whole department built around the concept. The road to transform a business from a “manufacturer” to becoming the provider of a “service” is well explained in this video.
This approach is the norm in some industries. It is likely that that train or plane you traveled on last was not ticketed owned serviced or staffed by the brand on the outside. More likely by a facilitating organisation that focuses on the delivery of some or all of the elements to you the end user.
Cloud based apps, more flexible devices and MDM are some of the reasons we can expect mobility to be the glue that makes this initiative a reality. Look out of examples especially in scenarios where the client has high touch field based activities such as managing multiple contracts delivering field service or multi site FM.
5. Data data and even more data….
Citrix estimate that the number of mobile devices managed in the enterprise increased by 72% from 2014 to 2015 – most of them mobile
According to Gartner, by 2020, 25 billion devices will be generating data about almost every topic imaginable.
In the enterprise this sets all companies up for a significant challenge in 2016 and beyond: “How do we manage and make use of all this data coming in from location services, IoT integration with host systems etc in such a way as to convert it into a demonstrable competitive advantage”
6. Cloud Based Apps on the Device on your Choice.
What if your SME enterprise does not have access to in house IT or the budget to fund a traditional build from scratch enterprise mobility project ?
The good news for 2016 and beyond is that many businesses already have competent devices in the form of SmartPhones or Tablets. Plus more line of business apps are deliverable via the cloud on a subscription basis. This will allow businesses to run a project with reduced up front and ongoing costs that address mobile and back office productivity and deploy it with an excellent ROI.
7. Internet of Things IoT
We have heard lots about the adoption of the IoT but like RFID a few years ago can it break into the mainstream enterprise mobility sector. In 2016 the answer is…probably not.
Gartner believes that the providers of Internet of Things platforms are currently fragmented and would benefit greatly from cobbling together a better ecosystem where data is shared more broadly. 451 Research believe that at the moment a relatively small number – Nineteen percent of companies are using, planning to use or will be evaluating the use of IoT in their organisations.
A more immediate solution may well turn out to Near Field Communication (NFC) as a way of adding value in key deployment scenarios.
What sets NFC apart from typical RFID is the nature of its peer-to-peer communication feature making it able to act both as a reader and as a tag. NFC has a become more available on all manner of consumer and LoB grade devices like the T1500 making it a popular choice for contactless payment.
Have a great 2016, get in touch to arrange a webinar or meeting about your enterprise mobility project.