Tablets can be used for different purposes including industrial environments, field service, medical industry and supply chain. There are factors that we need to consider before we purchase a rugged tablet that can be used in these harsh environments. One thing that we need to consider is the physical ergonomics of the device. We should be able to achieve effective interactions with the tablet without having any kind of strain. The rugged tablet should be lightweight enough for us to carry without causing us any kind of strain. The tablet should also be adequate for left-handed people and we can use it without feeling awkward. The screen should be large enough and we could read the text clearly without having any kind of eye strain. The display must be visible under bright sunlight.
Rugged tablets should have wider operating range in humidity and temperature. This could be useful when we use the tablet outdoors in the winter or in the dusty desert with very high ambient temperature. Some rugged tablets can be mounted on vehicles and removed easily. Software ergonomics are also things that we need to consider before choosing a rugged tablet. It should be easy enough to use and the interface won’t obstruct busy professionals who need to get things done quickly. It should be easy for users zoom in on graphs, diagrams and blueprints, which are essential in many field operations. Tablets should also respond swiftly to changes in orientations, for example from horizontal to vertical. We should consider whether we need the signature capture feature.
Obviously, durability factors are things that we need to consider before buying a durable tablet. As an example, it should survive a drop onto concrete. However, we need to know from what height and how many times the tablet could survive a fall. Our tablet should cope with getting dirty and wet, whenever necessary. If necessary, we should be able to wash down the tablet with water and strong disinfectants, if these devices are frequently used in quarantine areas. Some durable tablets can be used for underwater diving for any kind of construction jobs. They are more usable than carrying a stack of plastics with graphs drawn on them. In industrial settings, we should make sure that the tablet can cope with dust and sand.
Obviously, rugged tablets are often carried to places where there are no network signals and nearby computing machines. Even so, tablets can’t operate standalone forever. It will need to connect with a desktop or laptop to download and transfer important files. Connections with Windows, Linux or Mac OS X machines should be easy to achieve. However, it would be much better if the rugged tablet is equipped with reliable WiFi connection and fast Internet access, whenever network is available. Bluetooth connections could also be achieved between mobile devices, as an example for barcode scanner, print and another tablet. Some rugged tablets are thick enough to accommodate RJ-45 socket that can help us connect with the LAN.