Investing in tougher technology in the form of a ruggedized tablet, laptop or workstation is the ideal choice for many organisations across a number of sectors. Field based organisations in particular, such as those in the environmental, military, utilities and emergency services sectors, utilise rugged tech to enhance the service they provide to the public and rugged features provide a heavy duty solution to common issues encountered in more extreme working environments.

For those unfamiliar with the rugged technology market however, choosing a device that fits the bill isn’t as easy as it seems, especially in the emerging tablet market, where every model claims to the most compact, long lasting and toughest around.

Here we explore the five questions every business owner should ask when making a rugged tablet purchase.

Does the device offer value for money?

Rugged devices are notoriously expensive, and for good reason! Compared with consumer grade devices, rugged tablets last longer in field environments reducing overheads for organisations and minimising costly repair or replacement. But whilst rugged tablets are an expensive purchase, ensuring you buy a model that offers the best value for money is the key.

Compare your favourite rugged tablet models with devices of a similar hardware and software specification to determine whether you are paying above and beyond for the device.

What challenges do you face in the field?

Analysing just what level of ruggedness you require in your working environment is essential, and you will find that a number of tablets are not a suitable match for the types of challenges you or your workforce face on the job. There are a range of full and semi-rugged tablets available, each of which is designed to take on various extremities such as drops, water intrusion, temperature changes, vibration and shock.

Is the device suitable for my workforce?

As well as analysing the challenges faced in the field, you must also take into account the needs of your workforce. Choosing a rugged tablet that has a user friendly operating system may be high on the list of priorities for many organisations, whilst selecting a lightweight device that is easy to hold and carry may be more important to others.

How often will the device be used in the field?

One of the most important factors when choosing a rugged tablet is how long it will last in-between charges as power outlets are notoriously difficult to come by in the field. All rugged tablets have extended battery lives, however as this varies from six hours to 12+ you may have to be selective if your workforce spends most or all of their working day away from headquarters. Choosing a tablet that comes with a second battery may also be worthwhile for many organisations.

Is a rugged tablet right for me?

Rugged tablets unlock a number of benefits for many businesses, however weighing up these pros and cons cautiously will determine just how effective and efficient these tougher devices will be within your organisation.

For further advice on choosing a rugged tablet, please visit Steatite Rugged Systems.

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