Smartphones and Tablets vs. the Rugged Ranger

At AssetWorks Academy this year, many discussions arose about how to choose between consumer tablets and smartphones versus rugged computers. Consumers are inundated with wireless devices of every type, size, and shape imaginable with a plethora of price options. With wireless carriers looking to entice you on their network, there are many aggressive price plans on the hardware. While we as general consumers enjoy this, it is important to evaluate the value proposition between a rugged purpose-built hardware platform, like the Ranger, and a consumer grade platform, like a smartphone or tablet.

Are you worried about your Ranger’s ROI? You shouldn’t be. Here are three reasons why you made the right choice.

Product Longevity

Having to replace devices often or buy additional equipment to attain the functionality needed can dramatically increase the cost of a seemingly inexpensive commercial-grade tablet or smartphone. Consumer grade products have a short shelf life, and the ability to load specific functionality onto the next new version is not always seamless. You many need to engage your software provider in making application adjustments to run the new version, which can cause support headaches. Additionally, the lifespan of a commercial device is between 12 to 18 months, compared to 7 plus years for good quality rugged devices.

Reliable Device Power

Rugged in-vehicle devices are powered by the vehicle thus when the vehicle turns on so does the mobile computer. It is not possible to run the vehicle without running the computer, so there is never a loss of productivity due to the device not having enough power. Whereas a smartphone/tablet can lose its charge, Ranger is always connected to the vehicle battery and always ready to work. With the Ranger, the driver is unable to hit a power off button, so the driver is always accountable.

Driver Distraction

Smartphones/tablets with a small screen are challenging and dangerous to view while driving. A cellphone company policy is unable to stop a driver from getting distracted by his or her smartphone or tablet. Alternatively, in-vehicle devices offer controls that minimize driver distraction, such as suspending message capabilities, or providing limited functionality while the vehicle is in motion. A rugged device increases driver safety and reduces the liability of a company if their driver causes an accident while using their mobile device.

The rugged Ranger offers a host of benefits not found with commercial-grade devices. While the benefits of adding a consumer-grade tablet to your organization seem obvious at first glance, once you look a little deeper, it is clear that the ROI on a rugged device is substantially greater than a smartphone/tablet.