Cipherlab week lasted 7 days but there we go. It’s been particularly busy here so sometimes we can’t keep up!  So we’re completing this series of articles celebrating the last of the new devices this year by Cipherlab.  Today we’re doing a first look on the Cipherlab CP50 rugged handheld.

So, to just summarise the Cipherlab range now, we start at the CPT-9200, at the top we now have the CP60 rugged handheld and we still have a few devices hanging around that these should largely supersede now for new buyers. So what does the Cipherlab CP50 bring and where does it fit in?

Well in a nutshell, the Cipherlab CP50 fits right into the middle of these 2 devices creating a device that’s firmly in the “lightweight fully rugged PDA” class for us. IT competes with devices such as the Motorola MC65, Pidion HM50, Dotel H300S and the Honeywell 7800.  This is the most competitive class for rugged equipment though so the CP50 needs to bring something different and also needs to good.


Surprisingly the Cipherlab CP50 isn’t super value for money on price so the Dotel H300 and Pidion HM50 still have that side of things firmly tied up. It is however still some way short of the price of a Motorola MC65, Honeywell 7800 or Intermec CN50/51. A rough price comparison on a fully specced, WEH6.5, 1D laser with 3G device is below:

  • Motorola MC65: £1080
  • Honeywell 7800: £950
  • Cipherlab CP50: £830
  • Winmate C350T: £650
  • Pidion HM50: £620
  • Dotel H300S: £640 (Includes cradle and all leads)

So the Cipherlab CP50 again isn’t going to win any prizes on price, so what does it offer and why buy it?


Well the CP50 has numeric and qwerty keypad layouts and sports Cipherlab’s “Smart Shell” which is supposed to make the rugged PDAergonomic and easy to use but on paper I can’t really see it offering all that much! I’ll have to reserve judgement until I see one.


Ruggedness isn’t anything to shout home about either.  The CP50 is certainly rugged with IP65, 1.5M drop spec and a 1000 tumble spec so that’s bang in the middle of this market.

Other things to note

  • Only 1 size 3300mAh battery.
  • 2GB flash memory will cater for most storage needs.
  • Samsung 6410 800MHz CPU with 256MB RAM and WEH6.5 OS option means the CP50 has just enough power, it’s nowhere near class leading though.
  • Lots of different configurations available so you can find a device that fits your needs and pocket.
  • 1D and 2D barcode scanner options.
  • HF RFID an option.
  • Lots of bundled software to get your solution going.

So looking at the Cipherlab CP50 you’re left wondering what it’s all about and why it’s even here. In fact some of us even talked about it being a “filler” device for their range but on looking at the device a little more something suddenly made sense.

The spec, pricing and general attitude of the CP50 are not aimed at the Motorola MC65 class of thinking, they’re aimed at the MC45 way of thinking.  However we don’t really recommend the MC45 for most users for a whole host of reasons, but the Cipherlab CP50 does do this right.

The price is roughly £150 more though but would we still buy the CP50 over a Motorola MC45?  Absolutely!, the quality of care is ten-fold over that you get with the Behemoth Motorola but would I go for this over a Dotel or Pidion?…….

…..What do you think?

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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