Choosing a Rugged PDA – Why Bother?

Choosing a Rugged PDA over a standard PDA is something we talk about here on a daily basis and we see all sorts of people who have or will be buying a Non-Rugged PDA where they really do need a rugged one. We often think of Rugged PDA’s as being the Servers of the computer market and there’s a good reason you need to consider them. I wanted to dispell a few myths about doing this right here:

1. The PDA is cheaper!
Not necessarily, you can get proper supportable, quality Rugged PDA’s for £500 these days. Have you seen the GaneData gStar recently? Last I looked the HTC HD2 was a lot more than this.

2. I don’t need support i’ll claim on insurance
Oh, dear!, where do we start on this one. So many customers have come back to us when they realise either their provider stops providing after the first 10 or so replacements (read the small print) or their insurance ramps up in year 2 due to the number of claims. If you use a non-rugged PDA in a Rugged environment, sooner or later you’ll end up paying this way and usually in a big way.

3. Yeah, OK, but Insurance is much cheaper than support
Average HTC or iPhone insurance is between £12-15 per month now and that’s based upon a 24 month contract too. The price for a 3 year comprehensive cover on a £1000 Rugged PDA is approximately £180. You do the maths… £180 / 36 = £5 per month. Another formula to think about is – Its cheaper because you’re not using it as much = Your business is live and running!

4. Insurance is a better product.
I don’t think so! Insurance replaces you with a reconditioned unit, accidental damage is very debatable and when you get the replacement it comes in a bag as is. With support you get proper accidental damage cover, it’s all courier based with guaranteed turn-around if you want it. You can have your solution pre-installed on the replacement so that it comes to you ready to go, oh and it’ll be a brand new unit or your own repaired one.

5. The non-rugged PDA solution will cost less
Over time the Rugged PDA solution will show its strength and you will slowly but surely see your costs not only come down but you will have a very controlled 3-5 year solution that will offer stability, a total cost of ownership with reduced costs such as training, support, software and admin over the whole project lifetime.

6. Product Road Maps don’t matter, All PDA’s are the same as long as they have Windows Mobile on them?
This is very dangerous to assume. There are enough differences in Windows Mobile  5.0 to Windows Mobile 6.1 to cause a lot of headaches and software re-writes and I haven’t even started on hardware elements and SDK’s yet. The fact is a Rugged device will give you a solid stable platform that you can base your solution on for years. You may not quite have the best 5MP cameras, the best RAM and the best Processor but you will have a stable much more trouble-free life.

7. And lastly – Warranty is as good as support, if the device is broken i’ll claim on my warranty, you’ll see!
My personal favourite!  Warranty only protects you from defects usually within a 12 month period only and even then you have no guaranteed turn-around time, your repairs are usually billed in some way and your device may not be deemed fixable at all. Remember warranty is about your device being as described, support is to keep your business running.

If you need to learn more about Rugged PDA support or Barcode Scanner support then come visit our website and give us a call.  I’d be only to happy to talk you through the best options for your business.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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