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Whether you’re running a busy warehouse, a retail store, logistics hub, or an industrial field service operation, labor and efficiency are at a premium right now.

Everyone is trying to figure out how to get more done with less labor and cost, especially with labor and operating costs on the rise and worker shortages making it difficult to hire.

Fortunately, this is where technology and automation can potentially save the day, but not if the technologies you’re using are getting in the way. One thing that we consistently see in industrial operations is the inability of aging and outdated mobile computers to keep up with growing efficiency demands, so addressing these roadblocks should be a top priority.

An investment in upgraded mobile hardware can help industrial workforces radically improve their efficiency and productivity by making sure they have the fastest computing power and connections as well as the best barcode scanning and communication tools at their fingertips.

Right now, is a perfect time to look into making major upgrades in these areas, especially with the recent release of Zebra’s new MC9400 ultra-rugged mobile computer, which has introduced one of the biggest leaps in mobile computing power, Wi-Fi speeds, cellular capabilities, barcode scanning, and workforce communication that we’ve seen in years.

In this article, we’ll look at the top highlights of this new device series and why we’re already recommending it as the best rugged industrial mobile computer on the market.

What’s New with Zebra’s MC9400
Zebra’s MC9000 devices are nothing new, as there are nearly 5 million that have been in use around the world, particularly in industrial and retail operations. But the next-generation MC9400 has delivered a huge increase in processing power, faster wireless, more advanced scanning, and better workforce efficiency than ever before. Here’s a quick overview of what’s new and improved in these devices:

  • 2.5x Processing Power and 50% More RAM
    With Qualcomm octa-core 2.4 GHz processing, 6GB RAM and 128 GB Flash, you can run multiple resource-intensive industrial apps, including the newest next-generation solutions, with lightning-fast app response times.
  • Wi-Fi 6E for the Fastest Speed and Capacity
    The MC9400 series offers a big step up to new Wi-Fi 6E technology, which enables three times faster Wi-Fi speed, four times the bandwidth and capacity, and three times the available spectrum.
  • Private and Public 5G Wireless Support
    The MC9400 is the first gun-style device to offer private and public 5G wireless with nano SIM and eSIM options. With so many companies now investing in private 5G networks in their industrial and field operations, this is a big win.
  • Advanced Bluetooth 5.3 Connectivity
    Bluetooth technology is also upgraded on the MC9400, with BLE 5.3 for higher-quality connections, advanced security, and increased energy efficiency, which helps extend your battery life between charges.
  • Longer-Range Scanning from Up to 100 Feet
    With the MC9400, Zebra now offers more barcode scanning range than any other scanner, and it also provides a green laser aimer. A green aimer offers seven times better visibility when scanning barcodes from long range, especially high on warehouse shelves.
  • OCR Wedge Scanning to Capture ID Numbers
    The MC9400 also introduces advanced optical character recognition, so you can automatically capture container, tire, VIN and other ID numbers with the push of a button.
  • Push-to-Talk and Secure Text Messaging
    If you add Zebra’s Workcloud Communication software to your device, you get access to an all-in-one solution for instant push-to-talk communication, group chats, and file and image sharing.
  • Seven Keypads to Match Your Data Entry Needs
    The MC9400 is both a touchscreen and keypad device, and there are seven different keypads you can choose or swap to match your workflows and make data entry far easier.
  • Fast-Charging Hot-Swappable Battery
    Zebra’s Power Precision+ 7000 mAh battery delivers long life for long shifts, plus real-time battery stats. And you can also remove and swap it for a freshly charged battery, without powering off your device or suspending your app sessions.
  • Easy Indoor and Outdoor Display Viewing
    The MC9400 has a large 4.3-inch display with advanced technology to ensure indoor and outdoor visibility, which is especially critical for field operations.
  • Biometric Facial Recognition for Better Security
    You can say goodbye to the risk of shared or compromised passwords when you upgrade to the MC9400, as it includes biometric facial recognition for secure authentication for each user.
  • The Latest Android Usability
    The MC9400 series includes built-in support through Android 17, with security and OS updates and over 100 optional new features.
  • No More Lost Devices
    This one is huge, especially for your mobile hardware budget. With the MC9400 and Zebra’s Device Tracker, you can use your network connections, proximity indicators, and optional Bluetooth battery beacons to easily locate any lost or misplaced device, even if it has powered down due to low battery.
  • Ultra-Tough Durability
    As always, Zebra’s newest device is also extremely rugged and durable. The MC9400 series is waterproof and drop-proof. It can even be fully submerged in water and come out unscathed. It’s also built with Corning® Gorilla Glass® for maximum scratch and shatter resistance, so you can save thousands on repair and replacement costs.
  • Specialized Purpose-Built Devices
    The MC9400 series is available in standard Wi-Fi-only or Wi-Fi and 5G models, but there are also specialized freezer and non-incendive models for use in cold storage and in places where flammable gases and materials are present. The freezer models include a heated touch panel and scanner exit window, plus a freezer-rated battery as well as temperature and humidity sensors. The non-incendive model is Class I/II/II Div 2 certified because it eliminates the risk of sparks inside the device.

Want to Learn More About the MC9400 Series?
Believe it or not, we haven’t even covered all of the new, improved, and upgraded features and capabilities of Zebra’s new MC9400 series. To learn more, check out our spec sheet for complete details. If you have questions or would like to request pricing and schedule a demo, feel free to reach out to our industrial mobile technology experts at AB&R. As experts in advanced mobile and data capture technologies for 40 years, we’d be happy to help.