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5 Reasons Why Your Warehouse Needs To Leave Consumer Tablets At Home

…And Switch to Rugged Tablets
We all want the latest and greatest technology in our warehouses; however, we also want this technology for the best price possible. For this reason, some companies choose to incorporate consumer tablets into their warehouses instead of rugged tablets. Consumer devices are excellent when you use them for their intended purposes like surfing the internet or streaming videos. When they are exposed to a demanding environment like a warehouse, however, you’ll quickly find out that they can’t keep up.  

So, do you use consumer tablets? Are you on the fence about switching to a rugged tablet? Here are five reasons to leave your consumer tablets at home. 

Consumer Tablets Aren’t Built For Your Warehouse’s Environment
We won’t ask for a show of hands, but how many of you have cracked your device’s screen due to a drop? It happens to the best of us! That’s one of the many reasons that businesses choose to invest in a rugged tablet. Rugged tablets thrive in the warehouse environment. They are specially made for the everyday drops, scuffs and bumps that occur in a warehouse.

Think back to a time when you left your tablet in your car on a hot day (it’s extremely easy for us in Phoenix). Did you notice decreased performance or drained battery? Exposure to extreme temperatures quickly hinders your tablet’s performance. This is another area where rugged tablets really shine. They can handle exposure to harsh environments, including scorching and freezing temperatures. Rugged tablets also recognize touch with gloves and wet hands: perfect for work environments where wearing gloves are common. Consumer tablets, on the other hand, do not react well to either. 

Rugged Tablets Have Higher Connectivity
Rugged mobile devices come with more ports, jacks and connectors than a consumer tablets.  Take Zebra’s rugged tablets, for example, that have 15 jacks on one device! You can hook up multiple readers and radios for just one tablet. Consumer tablets typically only have two input options: one for charging your device, and the other for headphones. Some consumer devices decided to do away with headphone jacks altogether.

Consumer Tablets Don’t Always Integrate with Your Software
Most inventory and asset tracking software are built for Android’s and Microsoft’s operating systems. That means that you may have trouble finding one that is compatible for IOS, let alone one that is optimized for it. Rugged tablets seamlessly integrate with virtually all warehouse management systems out there, whether they are cloud-based or privately hosted. That’s just one less operational headache for you and your team.

Rugged Tablets are Built to Last with Long Battery Life
When you’re working on the warehouse floor, you need a tablet with a long battery life. Most consumer tablets and rugged tablets share a battery life of 10 hours; however, you can extend your rugged tablet’s battery life to as high as 27 hours. This is perfect for employees who have long shifts, or for powering multiple shifts. Some rugged tablets even come with hot-swap battery options. That’s rugged reliability that you can count on. 

The Bottom Line: Consumer Tablets Aren’t Cost-Effective
When your tablet breaks, you’re not just opening your wallet to replace it. Breakdowns can halt your operations, cause sales losses and create employee downtime as they locate a new tablet or try to diagnose the issue. So, while consumer tablets may seem less expensive on paper, you will replace them far more often than rugged tablets. Zebra’s rugged tablets last on average 3-5 years in harsh environments, although some of our customers have used the same tablet for up to nine years!