Rugged Handheld Screen Sizes

Quick post today!  A fair amount of people are adamant on the Rugged PDA screen size before they come to us so it’s often a non-compromise element on the choice of rugged handheldLCD size on a rugged PDA is measured diagonally just like TV screens.

What Rugged PDA Screen size are there?

The main LCD size is still the 3.5″ which probably 75% of the devices out there use.  2.8″ is making somewhat of a come back too at the moment with a few new “small Rugged PDA” class devices touting them on a smaller but fully rugged form factor, like the GaneData GSMart and Intermec CS40.

Psion are the odd bunch here with their Psion IKON touting a 3.7″ screen and their NEO with a 2.7″ screen.  Do you tell the size difference…not in my opinion but the odd sizes probably make these device more costly.

3.0 and 3.2″ are still found and in fact Motorola’s ES400 has this size of screen.  3.0″ screen size gives you a very small form factor even after adding on a qwerty keypad, arguably what the customers are asking for in this class if you talk to Motorola.

4.3″ seems to be just making its way into the rugged market now with PartnerTech’s OT-200 touting a very iPhone-esq look and feel with its devices.

If you want smaller then there are some CE based devices out there with very small, square non touch screens.

and that’s about it for now.  I still the market is crying out for a 5 or 6″ Rugged PDA Screen!

Some tips on screen sizes

The larger the screen, the more battery you’ll need to power it.  Along with ruggedness this is one of the main reasons why a smartphone just doesn’t cut it for line of business solutions.

The larger the screen, generally the larger the device.  However we are seeing more semi-rugged PDA’s coming out with 3.5″+ screens that are bucking this trend.  You do need to check out the battery life or size of the extended battery option though.

All but 1 rugged PDA from Skeye have portrait screens

Check out the resolution of the screen too.  QVGA s is still the norm (320×240) but VGA is now the norm on newly updated devices (640×480) however there are other resolutions too like XVGA on 4.3″ screens giving them and effectively longer screen real estate.  Be careful to test when porting your application because we see many applications out there that have not been written correctly to be run on different screen resolutions.

That’s about it, told you it was quick today!  Tomorrow we’ll take a look at keyboards and wrap up with other areas that make Rugged Handhelds uniquely great for you mission critical solutions.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.