We seem to be talking “Cheap Rugged PDA” quite a bit right now and inline with this Motorola have just launched their MC2100 product in an effort to extend their range and bring another budget product to the line.

Not to be mixed up with the MC2000, that DHL are using at the moment, the MC2100 as you can see from the picture above sits in between the MC1000 and the MC3100.  It’s a semi batch scanner that you can spec up to a full small warehouse PDA but the main feature is that it is cheap.  The device comes in 2 formats, the MC2180 is the top spec with a touchscreen and access to the 2D imager technology, the MC2100 has a non-touch screen meaning the keyboard is the only way you can control the Rugged PDA.

What we rate

  • New imager scanner will be a success.
  • Motorola scanner tech is still the best in our opinion, but we’re not sure which tech is in this device yet.
  • The size is small and there is definitely a market for this type of device, the Pidion BIP-7000 has proven this.
  • Keyboard overlays can make warehouse work easier for users.

What we hate

  • Processor is a PXA320 but only runs at 624Mhz, I think under the skin this is an old CPU.
  • Be careful what you get with the lower spec MC2100, you could miss something you later need like Bluetooth.
  • If cheap is what you want, then there are better alternatives to the MC2100, certainly better for less money with better support.
  • Windows CE 6.0 only.  No Windows Mobile.

We’re actually working with this device right now on a fairly complex project requiring all kinds of serial communication and a decent CPU and whilst the device is fairing OK, we are finding limits with it so it definitely has a niche but will quickly find its limits if stretched.

All in all though the bell curves are fattening and the MC2100 does have a niche in my view so it will be interesting to see what kinds of user downgrade from their more expensive kit and what kind of user this device will eventually be most comfortable with.  Definitely watch this space!

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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