So it’s winter, the blog has been quiet largely due to flu, colds and sore throats here at RAM but we’re soldering on today with a look at one of the most popular Rugged PDA’s we sell, the Pidion BIP-5000, or should we say used to be the most popular. We get a little bit slammed at times for perhaps leaning towards certain brands, however I can honestly say we’re totally impartial, we just rave about stuff that’s great and that we have sold for many years and if anything we knock the kit that’s at the top, there for being knocked a bit in our view!! So we’re starting a series of rugged pda showdowns that get us back to our PDA roots whilst giving our customers a flavour of what choice is out there. There’s a longer tail of kit every single day and there’s a lot more out there than you think!
We’ll keep to a rigid set of rules and fight each PDA off in each category. Will the BIP-5000 be knocked from its perch!
In the Red Corner from South Korea, we have the ever popular Dotel H300….In the Blue corner, also from South Korea we have the champion, the undefeated Pidion BIP-5000. Ding, Ding, Ding…!
Spec – Winner Dotel H300
This is purely about the spec and features of the device. Both of these devices are very similar at the heart with the Same CPU but that’s where the similarities end. The H300 has 256MB RAM though, the BIP-5000 128MB, WM6.5 V 6.1 and it’s simply newer in every aspect. The H300 also has the option of HSPA (3.7G), the BIP-5000 is showing its age with only an Edge (2.5G) chip. Camera, BT, GPS and WiFi are also all better and newer in the H300.
Configuration – Winner Dotel H300
Well the BIP-5000 comes in many configurations but the H300 is freely configurable. Want a BT only device, no problem. Qwerty or numeric keypad…no problem, Want a device with UHF reader, gun handle and larger battery to run it…no problem! The H300 can also come with GPRS or 3G options, a standard or SUMMIT WiFi chip and QVGA or VGA screen. It’s just totally configurable to any config you want.
Service, Repair & Support – Draw
Both devices enjoy the exact same service products which will beat any Motorola, Psion or Intermec service product hands down in my humble view. This one’s a draw.
Usability – Winner H300
The H300’s keyboard in numeric or qwerty guise is a joy to use. Big spaced out buttons are superb and remind us of Intermec devices of old! The H300 is also much lighter, largely due to it’s smaller Lithium Polymer batteries that last for ages. The H300 also has a big backup battery which means swapping batteries does not require a reboot.
Developer friendly – Winner BIP-5000
The BIP-5000 has far better software support. It has Pidion based applications that help you use the device, better scanner apps and most importantly a far fuller and more usable SDK. The H300 has all of these, they improve every month but it’s still a way behind the BIP-5000.
Also the connector development on the BIP-5000 is way easier to use so if you need to talk to other machines using serial, the BIP-5000 has been there and done it. The h300 can do it, but it needs some work!
Ruggedness – Draw
Both have a similar drop spec and recessed screens. The BIP-5000 has an IP65 rating with the H300 at IP54. The plastics of the H300 are better and its better screwed together in my view. I think the H300 just pips this one in my opinion but on paper this one’s a draw.
In the box – Draw
Both these devices enjoy the same “in the box” accessories as part of the price and you’ll have everything you need to get running without having to buy extra’s. Both have a cradle, PSU, all leads, an LCD protector, stylus/tethers and batteries so this ones a draw, well done to both!
Acessories – Winner BIP-5000
The Pidion BIP-5000 has a lot more accessories but they’re arguable a bit of a jumble too. It enjoys more 3rd party involvement like Brodit for its car cradles and it has quad cradle options as well a better lead support. However the H300’s accessory list, small as it may be is extremely modular, clever and better value for money. I think the BIP-5000 just pips this one although its close.
Price – Winner H300
This is a close one. If you go for a common model of BIP-5000, say the MG2 then you’ll find simply through competition it’s a tickle cheaper…but not much. However add in a 2D scanner and it starts getting cheaper. But and this is a big BUT. You can have the H300 with no scanner which makes it terrific value for money and you can spec out everything you don’t want too so I think this one goes to the H300.
Quality – Draw
This explores the components in each device and in both cases you won’t be disappointed. Both use decent Centerion based chips, have extremely good scanners (Opticon and Adaptus in H300) (Moto and Own brand in Pidion),
USP’s – Winner H300
We’re always looking for something unique or special in a Rugged PDA and the BIP-5000, over time has lost all of its USP’s. The H300 however has a list as long as your arm. Lithium Polymer batteries, HF and UHF RFID options, the way you can configure it, QVGA or VGA screens, a lovely modular field accessory charging and syncing setup and more. This one is a hands down H300 win.
So there we have it a 5-2 win for the Dotel H300, also knocking off the BIP-5000 from it’s best value Rugged PDA title too. Come talk to us if you want to know more. However with the newer Pidion HM50 coming in the next 6 months or so maybe we shouldn’t hold our breath for too long. We’ll see how that fairs when we get one!
The Rugged and Mobile blog.