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What Exactly Does Rugged Mean?

You may have heard the term “rugged” to describe laptops, tablets, and even phones. In fact, you might be left wondering whether this is the technology your field employees need to function better, but without a clear understanding of the term, it can be tough to make any decisions. Take a closer look at the definition so you can decide if this technology is right for you.

When you purchase consumer grade technology, a big part of the attraction is that sleek look. There’s a relatively short product cycle because consumers have a constant appetite for new technology. Almost none of it, though, is really tested for durability. Manufacturers understand that the equipment will eventually fail, and thus they plan a release cycle that will meet the needs of those ready to replace their devices on an annual basis. These devices are almost expected to break.

In the commercial world, though, the cycle doesn’t work the same way. Instead, companies expect to replace devices on no less than a five year cycle, so they need their requirements addressed very differently. Nowhere is this more true than in the world of field work. It’s this level of demand that gave rise to the ruggedized versions of smartphones, tablets, and laptops. They have to work constantly and continue to do so in tough conditions, even when they’re dropped.

A rugged device is simply one that has been specifically designed for durability. They have longer product cycles, of up to five years, so businesses don’t have to replace them instantly. The rugged nature results from a number of different factors. The housing materials are quite different, as there is added protection both internally and externally. Shock absorption is built in, and the choice of parts is different. Seals and gaskets have been added to help make many of the devices waterproof, and often moving parts have been eliminated as well. All of these things work together to ensure the working conditions common in the business and industrial world don’t affect the tablets themselves.

Thinking rugged tablets or smartphones might be right for your team? Contact us today to learn more.

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