Ultra Rugged Tablet
Xplore Technologies is often asked: what is the difference between a consumer tablet and a fully or ultra-rugged tablet PC?

For most, a consumer tablet works best for entertainment and personal use, such as checking emails, browsing the Internet, using web-based applications or viewing streaming media. Rugged tablets, on the other hand, are used primarily in harsh environments that require more durable design and features from a tablet PC, and are used for enterprise mobility initiatives by businesses to outfit field workers and service technicians.

Consumer tablets are not designed to withstand grueling conditions out in the field, such as dirt, grit, heat, humidity, wind, rain and even bright sunlight. Every Xplore Technologies tablet is tested using MIL-STD 810 standards, which are tests that the military uses that simulates how a product will stand up to stress in harsh conditions. Some conditions that rugged tablets are built to withstand include: extremely high or low temperatures, vibration, dusty conditions, direct sunlight, wet conditions, and drops onto hard surfaces.

When you add the cost to maintain consumer tablets out in the field, including shipping expenses, replacement tablets and down time, a rugged tablet can withstand a rugged work environment, typically has a longer warranty, is easier to maintain and costs less to repair. The costs incurred from deploying a consumer tablet versus a rugged tablet PC are detailed next.

Consumer tablets are known for being fragile and not being able to withstand punishment. These constant repairs increase your total cost of ownership, or TCO, for a consumer tablet, which can be expensive, compared to little or no maintenance with a rugged tablet PC. A VDC Research study indicates average failure rates for commercial-grade tablet PCs are 16.7% as opposed to the 8.5% failure rate for rugged tablet PCs. Furthermore, according to industry sources, a standard tablet that spends more than 40% of its time outside of the office has an annual failure rate of more than 30% per device. The total cost of ownership for a consumer tablet skyrockets when you factor in having to fix broken tablets, shipping expenses, having spares available to ship out, as well as reduced productivity when your workforce does not have the tablets.

This is especially true in areas like field services. Field service workers can be in different environments, from laying cable in neighborhoods to inspecting roads and bridges. Equipping workers with a rugged tablet PC is a better option in these harsh environments considering the increased chance of accidents including dropping or scratching the tablet requiring them to be sent to the repair shop.

Many consumer tablets rank among the lowest on repairability scores, according to ifixit.com. Other more rugged tablets are designed for the rough environment required while working in the field, which reduces the incidences requiring repairs. Features of some rugged tablets include the ability to repair the tablet in field without having to call the IT department. For example, the XC6 has an externally accessible drive compartment on the back of the tablet and is held in place by a tool-less pressure lock.

There is a substantial difference in the total cost of ownership between a rugged tablet PC and a consumer tablet. From their fragility, high cost of total ownership and questionable reparability, it should be clear why a consumer tablet isn’t suitable in the field service workforce, unlike Xplore Technologies’ rugged tablet PCs.

Contact MicroWatt today and find out how much money your business can save by using rugged tablet PCs.

Ref: Xplore Technologies
Article Link: http://www.fieldtechnologiesonline.com/doc/total-cost-of-ownership-the-difference-between-a-consumer-tablet-versus-a-rugged-tablet-0001