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Buyers Guide: Mobile Computers

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Mobile ComputersWith an enterprise mobile computer in hand, your workers can access the information, applications and people they need to get the job done. The result? Productivity is up. And your customers experience the best service possible.

When choosing the best mobile computer for your business, the selection process can be confusing and daunting as there is so many different models and features. Use our handy guide below to help assist on your journey, and feel free to contact one of our experts if you need assistance.

Operating System:
Do you already have an application you will be using on the device? If so check with your software provider as they will normally develop the software with specific devices that are compatible.

The main operating systems used on mobile computers are Windows and Android. The Windows operating systems are usually a version of Windows Embedded Handheld, Windows Mobile or Windows CE.
The Android versions range from older versions up to the latest versions released by Google. You may find it strange you can still get old versions of Android on these devices, but being commercial devices they keep older versions going longer to support the business applications that run on them.

Form Factor:
Mobile computers come in many shapes and sizes, to suit many different requirements.
There are small models similar to a mobile phone, which are great for Retail store price checks and stocktaking.
There are larger models with Pistol Grips and Physical Keypads, which are great for Warehouses and using with gloves.
There are even devices which can mount directly to forklifts and inside cars/trucks.
When selecting a model it is best to think how it will be used, and what is the best form factor to increase your workers productivity.

Almost all mobile computers have an integrated scanner. Make sure you select the right scanner for your application. Some of the different scanners available include:
- 1D: Will scan 1D barcodes only
- 2D: Will scan 1D & 2D barcodes
- RFID: Allows you to scan RFID Barcodes

You can also get models with Extended & Long Range scanners, which can scan barcodes up to 10m away. These are perfect for larger warehouses and scanning from forklifts.

How your Mobile computer will connect is a very important consideration. For real time updates/connectivity you will need a model with WLAN/WIFI or 3G/4G. This way they will always be connected.
There is also "batch" models which don't have any Wireless communications, they need to be connected to a PC/Terminal via Cable or Cradle to upload and download information.

A mobile computer is supposed to make your workers more productive. If the device isn't up to the job then it will either be ditched by the worker and not used, or it will break. This is why it's important to make sure you select the right commercial mobile computer that will help and not hinder your workers.
Some businesses like to use the latest and greatest consumer devices, which are great for home usage, but when used all day everyday, they just can't keep up. This also applies to commercial mobile computers, there is devices designed for retail usage (stocktakes, price checking etc) and there is devices designed for warehouse & industrial usage (forklifts, mining, manufacturing). Make sure you select the right device for your application and keep up your productivity.

Most devices come with a standard return to base warranty. This means if something goes wrong you need to send it in to a service centre, wait for it to be repaired and then sent back.
In mission critical environments sometimes this isn't good enough, and any downtime can cost a lot of money.
This is why most brands offer different levels of Comprehensive warranties. These warranties speed up repair times, some even offer advanced exchange. They also extended the warranty period and cover things like accidental breakage.
We highly recommend taking up a Comprehensive warranty option with whichever device you choose.

All mobile computers have a range of accessories designed to improve your experience. Make sure you check what is available for your device and think of how it can assist your business.

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