So you just bought your new estate of rugged pda’s, the boxes have arrived, all standing proud, new, crisp and just waiting to be handed out to your workers, but then one of them grunts…. “How do I charge it up?”… You look in the box and there’s nothing there, just a device and a battery…. oops!

OK, so a bit dramatic, but believe it or not, it’s not an uncommon scenario, especially when you’re pricing up competition and decided who’s going to supply you.  With this blog I wanted to just uncover a few things you need to know about what comes in the box with a rugged PDA, what to watch for and the pro’s and cons.

The whole shebang!

So lets start with some brands that give you a load of kit in the box.  They tend to come from the far east with Bluebird Pidion and Dotel leading the way bundling all they can think of in the box with their devices.  Screen protectors, stylus, tether and choice of battery type are just the beginning with a cradle, leads and power supply included too which means you practically have everything you need to get going.

Despite the price of these brands generally being lower than the Motorola’s and Honeywell’s of the world, some still might feel that they have kit they don’t want though which is potentially why some bundle the bare minimum.

The Rugged PDA meanies!

So we turn to brands like Motorola, Honeywell, Intermec and Psion. These brands bundle the bare minimum with device and battery only.  Psion don’t even bundle the battery! At first glance it might seem mean, but then at least you aren’t buying anything you don’t need and can add what you do at will. In fact even the latest Pidion HM40 and HM50 series do not come with the standard cradle kits any more and these are now a £80 addition if you want them.

What to watch for

Why am I telling you this?  Well the biggest mistake people make is to think they’re getting something they’re not and not comparing like for like.  Always make sure you know what you’re getting in the box so you can make a direct cost and feature comparison.

For example, despite a Dotel H300S being slightly cheaper (but equally as good) as say a Motorola MC45, you get everything you need in the box with the Dotel.  The MC45 will require at the minimum a USB based charger that’ll all but trickle charge the device eventually.  To get a proper snap on charger or even cradle you’ll need to add about £60-70 to the price or more for cradles and PSU’s.

Always ask what’s in the box with any device recommended so you know exactly what your final cost will be.

The rugged and mobile blog.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.