Comparing mobile computers with barcode scanners
Mobile computers have several advantages over traditional barcode scanners. They come with keypads, and function similarly to smart phones – they usually support WiFi and/or Bluetooth. Using a mobile computer can improve the functionality of your business by giving employees access to valuable data while on the go. Remove the need to go to a computer in order to look over your scanned data – a mobile computer can view the data it has recorded on the fly, and adjust it as necessary.
Form Factors, Durability, Operating System and Other Considerations
Mobile computers do not have as many form factors as barcode scanners do. They are primarily limited to hand-held forms, sometimes with a pistol grip. A major consideration when purchasing a mobile computer is to assess its durability, generally measured through an Ingress Protection Rating (IP Rating). IP ratings on mobile computers determine how resistant they are to water or dust damage. You’ll want to choose a product that has a reasonably good IP rating so that you don’t have to pay for mobile computer repair later. You can also check their “drop rating”, which is a certification showing how many times the handheld computer can be dropped a certain distance onto concrete and still function. Many of the most durable mobile computers can survive repeated six foot drops onto concrete floors.
Mobile computers have a number of choices when it comes to communicating with the rest of your inventory control system. Traditionally, the most common option is WiFi, but you can also purchase Bluetooth capable systems. If you need something similar to Bluetooth, there are also some proprietary systems, such as Datalogic’s STAR wireless system.