As technology continues to play a more integral in the way companies operate, many are now opting to use mobile tablet computers for their business purposes.  In fact, According to Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report of the NDP Display Search, by the year 2017, 75% of PCs shipped out will be tablet computers. This will amount to roughly 455,000,000 tablets.  While this is encouraging news for computer manufacturers, unfortunately, some management teams are unclear about the real reasons why they should invest in rugged tablets over cheaper-priced consumer tablets.

Rugged Tablets Are More Durable than Consumer Grade Tablets

Many verticals, including industrial and manufacturing, present much harsher work environments for computer utilization, and their staff requires durable, high-quality computer equipment that can tolerate these harsh environments and still operate reliably.  Cheaper-priced consumer grade tablets almost always mean a lot less durability. The framework of these tablets is not designed to endure industrial work environments, and their internal processors are not built to handle the level of processing required by busy companies.

Because of some of the demanding environments they are used in, tablets are often accidentally dropped on hard, solid surfaces and from a high level of elevation. A consumer grade tablet can easily shatter in these types of situations, but a rugged tablet is specifically designed to withstand the shock and impact. Ruggedized tablet PCs are built to survive drops, as well as heavy shocks and vibrations.

Equally important to note is that consumer tablets are not designed to be resistant to submersion in water or other liquids. In fact, many of them cannot withstand wet work environments. In a situation where business has to be conducted outside in the pouring rain, a consumer grade tablet would render itself useless. A rugged tablet, however, is designed to operate optimally in these conditions. Users can also wear gloves and still utilize the touch screen functions on a rugged tablet.

Consumer Grade Tablets Cost Companies More in the Long Run

Consumer grade tablets may seem like a cheaper alternative to an industrial grade rugged tablet when it comes to the initial purchase price, but in the long run, these lower-priced tablets will often end up costing companies more money in the long run due to repairs and replacements, as well as downtime costs.  With a rugged tablet, a business faces less downtime, which increases production, and in turn, company profitability.

Many companies are actually surprised when they realize how much higher the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is for a consumer tablet versus a rugged tablet. You can easily use a TCO calculator to determine the actual amount of money you will save by using rugged tablets to conduct your company’s business.

What’s more, rugged tablets are upgradable in the field, and they can be repaired with tool-less access. This limits company maintenance and downtime costs because you don’t have to send broken units out for updates and/or repairs. All of this accounts for a lower TOC when it comes to rugged tablet ownership.

If your company requires computing equipment built for optimal usability — even in the harshest of environments — rugged tablets are the way to go. The initial investment you make will end up saving your company both time and money in the long run.