Semi Rugged PDA’s are a funny breed when it comes to buying a PDA.  Are they a smartphone?  are they rugged?  Whats the point of them and why would you buy one instead of a smartphone?  This article looks at some of the main reasons why you should opt for Semi rugged and not a smartphone.

1. Roadmap

Probably the top reason is the lack of roadmap smartphones have.  not only do they come and go with a weeks notice, but too much changes on newer models.  Screen sizes and ratios change throwing software out of sync, OS changes also create major issues and a device that might be perfect 1 week can be a nightmare the next.  most (not all) Semi-rugged PDA’s have a roadmap and we have far better knowledge on its life-cycle.  This is key to be ing a mission critical solution for your business.

2. Repairs, service and parts

You can repair a Semi-rugged PDA….Officially.  Yes you can send smartphones to a repair centre, but it’s not official and there are no service products and they are ad hoc.  Semi-rugged PDA’s have parts guarantees for years after End of life and they all should have a decent service offering you can buy for at least 2 years.

3. Ruggedness

Semi rugged are in fact “semi” rugged!  It usually means they have a drop spec, just miss the IP rating but for most that’s what they’re looking for.  The devices are inherently less rugged than a full rugged PDA, but when compared to a smartphone you can see how much better they are.

4. Big Batteries

Semi-rugged PDA’s usually have the option of a properly big battery!  Even today smartphones tend to hanker between the 1200 and 1600mAh size.  Semi rugged go up to at least 3000mAh, the Pidion Bm170 has a 3200MaH battery.  If you need something that runs all day but you want it to be small then this is your best chance.

5.  Accessories

Cradles, chargers, cases, stylus, battery chargers, vehicle kits etc ec.  It’s all here and its all here for years so getting a battery 2 years down the line should not be a problem.

Remember that not all Semi rugged PDA’s are equal, you need to ask and perhaps refer to a previous set of blogs about this.  However when compared to a smartphone the key thing to remember is that Semi-rugged PDA’s are not fancy but they are Mission critical.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.