data collection, barcode data collection system, handheld

Why should you go rugged?

Rugged mobile computers not only extend office efficiency to the field, but another benefit of rugged tablets and handhelds is that they bring low total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) and fast ROI to your bottom line.

When it comes to mobile computing, what does rugged mean? From a user perspective, rugged is the computer’s ability to keep operating under all exposed working conditions. And not just once, but for the life of the unit, which can easily be 3-5 years.

However, depending upon the kind of work being performed, what is rugged for one user may not be rugged for another. For example, a mobile computer in a warehouse is likely to be dropped often and may be exposed to a lot of dust, but is unlikely to face extreme temperatures or rain. On the other hand, a forester will need a unit with protection against water and a wide temperature spec, but is probably not too concerned about dust.

For Handheld, ruggedness runs deep. It’s what we stand for — our core value. From a user perspective, ruggedness describes a computer’s ability to operate in any type of exposed working condition, not just for a single use, but for three to five years of its life expectancy. Depending upon the type of work performed, however, what is rugged for one user may not be rugged for another. Ruggedness is defined by testing environmental specifications. The three most common tests are for temperature range, military standards (MIL-STD) and IP rating.


Temperature specifications define a device’s operational temperature range. Handheld purposely targets a broad range of temperature: We offer products that can operate from -40 C up to 60 C.

MIL-STD testing methods

The United States Army’s Developmental Test Command issues MIL-STD-810G ratings on equipment for military (and now, civilian) use. These ratings include 24 laboratory tests in a variety of environments, from high-altitude performance to surviving ballistic shock. No mobile computer has been tested with all 24 methods, as many of them do not apply to mobile computing — but generally speaking, the more tests a unit passes, the more rugged the unit. The most rugged units (such as the Nautiz X1) have been tested using between eight and ten MIL-STD-810G methods.

IP definitions

IP stands for Ingress Protection. An IP rating describes levels of protection for electrical equipment against solids and liquids. The rating is displayed using two numbers. The first digit describes a level of protection against dust, and has seven different levels from zero to six. The second digit describes a level of protection against liquids (water), and has nine different levels from zero to eight. All of our rugged computers are at least IP65-rated, which means they are completely dustproof and can withstand jets of water.

Source: Handheld UK