Rugged PDA Accessories are an integral part of the Rugged Handheld choice and as art of the decision making process you should definitely consider the accessories as a large part of the success of your platform.
Whats in the box, or not in the box!
Perhaps the most common issue we find with customers of other resellers is knowing exactly what to expect from each manufacturer. The classic scenario is just thinking you got that Motorola quote to where you need it, only to find all you get is the device and battery in the box. You genuinely need to add at least £50 on to the price of any Motorola Rugged PDA to have a syncing/charging capable device. Others like Pidion bundle everything you need with even a solid rugged cradle in the box.
Rugged PDA Accessory Choice
People are looking for choice more and more and you really need to do this work before you decide or at least as you’re deciding on a rugged handheld. Are you using the device in vehicles a lot? Do you need cases, are quad charges, ethernet ready chargers or even battery only chargers a requirement? Leads, battery choices and all kinds can be the difference in a working solution and one that’s always going to be a struggle.
Rugged PDA Accessory Prices
There’s no hard and fast rule here. Some go for the cheaper use/abuse/lose and rebuy philosophy” with perhaps less of a rugged approach to their accessory line, others are just less expensive but offer a nicely rugged accessory list. Psion tend to be the best value, Motorola and Intermec are expensive but also good quality and the rest come somewhere in between!
Some accessories are worth the price. Some, like £10 plastic stylus’ are not!!
Accessories for Ergonomics
If you’re using a Rugged PDA in certain environments then you need accessories to make life easier or even to stop injury to your users. If you’re in a high intensity scanning scenario then you’ll need a gun/trigger attachment, with a holster holder or even neck tether for lighter devices. Quick release holders for vehicles or belts and vehicle chargers that make life just that bit easier for the Courier and handstraps, anti-glare screens and cases that keep the device at hand and easier to use in the field.
Here we’re talking about heated holders and insulated holsters for fridge/freezer solutions, some manufacturers do this better than others with datalogic and Intermec leading the way. For highway or mapping scenarios, specialist Trimble accessories help you with very precise GPS data capture. Always ask about accessories if you have an unusual scenario.
Rugged PDA Snap-Ons
Due to the hosted nature the USB ports on Rugged PDA’s can work under, we see a plethora of “snap-ons” being made, especially for the most common devices. Snaps ons range from IRDA, RS232 cable, RFID, Magnetic Card readers and Biometric Finger print readers and much more. The most common brands also have snap-ons from pure snap on providers like TSL and can be the difference when choosing, say a Motorola or Intermec device over a more obscure one.
With rapidly changing data capture solutions, we’re seeing the role of the snap-on increase markedly as it allows the rugged PDA to remain standard for longer whilst being able to perform tasks originally not capable for doing.
Don’t forget that we source and sell a whole plethora of off list accessories from vehicle cradles to impact resistant screen protectors so always make sure you ask because there are some very new and innovative solutions on the market. Tomorrow we’ll look at the modular nature of the Rugged PDA and why this is so important to providing your business with a robust line of business application.
The Rugged and Mobile blog.