Benefits of Rugged PDA’s – Semi-rugged PDA’s

We’re looking at the benefits of different sized Rugged PDA’s this week and today with a series of articles designed to show you the reasons there are a whole bunch of different classes of rugged handhelds.

We kick off with the bottom of the chain, semi rugged PDA’s today and take a look at the reasons your business would choose a semi-rugged PDA to run its line of business application.  Semi rugged PDA’s are fast becoming the most popular class of rugged PDA that we sell here and there are some good reasons for this.  However beware the pitfalls as these devices can be the worst mistake you made if used in the wrong scenario.

Main benefits of Semi-rugged PDA’s


Although we feel that cost of devices is only a fraction of your overall cost, it can and does often boil down to how large your budget is and you’re not going to find anything of quality in the rugged market for less than £500 (some less than £400) unless you opt for a semi-rugged device.  You still benefit from better roadmaps, Windows Mobile or WEH OS’s and all the rugged service elements of their larger family of devices but at a far lesser cost.


If you just need a PDA with or without a phone with no barcode scanner but with a well featured basic set of smartphone functionality like camera, CPU, RAM etc then this is the way to go.

Size / Weight

Semi rugged PDA’s are almost smartphone in size and weight so they’re not going to be a big brick to your users and they will offer a light more smartphone experience for them.  If the scenario is not very rugged and you need a smartphone capable device that can also run your line of business solutions then a semi-rugged handheld is the way to go.


Or lack of it in this case!  All semi-rugged PDA’s (and don’t let Motorola’s meaningless IP43 rating for its ES400 you) are not rugged.  They have a drop spec so they still have a toughness to them but they are far from dust and water proof.  If you need an all-weather, dust proof device then semi-rugged is not the way to go, if you don’t need this though, why pay for it and have the extra bulk?


Because of their cost, they are becoming more popular and so the 3rd party accessories grows for these devices.  We typically carry 4 or 5 styles of cases, vehicle chargers and holders, screen protectors and all manner of different accessories all designed to keep you running.


If you don’t have a rugged need in terms of the sheer environment you are working in but you still want to reduce risks to your solution with service, device road maps and everything else that rugged PDA’s bring then a semi-rugged device just might be the answer for you.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the next class up “Small rugged PDA’s” and why you would opt for this class of device over the classic larger rugged PDA’s.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

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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