Field computing presents many unique challenges not found in the typical office environment. Dropped devices, overheating, freezing, and simple wear and tear are all common hazards faced by field equipment.
If applications from multiple operating systems are required in the field, the additional field hardware presents a significant liability.
However, advances in tablet computing now allow dual boot tablets that deliver high performance, reliability, and most importantly durability even in extreme field environments.
Why Enterprises Need Ruggedized Tablets
Just five years ago, using rugged tablet PCs would have been impractical in the field. Bad battery life, low computing power, and fragility were all regular hazards. Ruggedized laptops met some of the field computing needs, but those have significant limitations of their own (especially before flash storage like SSDs became affordable, thus preventing complete data loss with a drop). Most of all, rugged computers were extremely expensive, making them impractical for widespread deployment.
However, the advances in tablet technology beginning with Apple’s iPad have opened the doors for field computing solutions. Ruggedizing these tablets can offer greater device durability and protection, improved battery life, and even drop protection.
Some industries where ruggedized tablets would be useful include:
- Field services
- Manufacturing (such as in warehouse environments)
- Energy industry
- Public Safety
- Transportation Industry
In each of these industries, there exists a need for field computing. Through ruggedized tablets, especially dual boot tablets, a variety of computing needs can be served with excellent reliability.
Dual Booting: Delivering Greater Flexibility and Options
Another recent advancement in tablet computing delivers even more options for field computing needs. Now, tablets can have multiple operating systems installed on them, such as Windows and Android OS. Known as dual booting, this provides additional benefits to organizations that deploy them:
- Greater flexibility when choosing applications. The Windows 8 apps market has been traditionally limited, but it seems most vendors offer some sort of Android app. Thus, if an android app is needed, users can simply boot into the other OS and perform their tasks as needed. This also lets workers choose the best version of multiplatform apps. For example, Android apps often load faster on-the-fly than Windows apps. However, Windows apps are sometimes more powerful and offer greater flexibility in the field. Through dual booting, users can have the best of this flexibility, power, and speed in their work.
- Eliminates redundant hardware. Why carry two separate tablets when one can have a single device running multiple OSs? This saves at least a few hundred dollars over not having to invest in additional hardware. This also means fewer devices to maintain. When it’s time to upgrade software, this process will be faster and easier.
- Less expensive to deploy than laptops. Tablets serve as a much less expensive device to ruggedize and deploy in the field. With dual booting, tablets are now as flexible and powerful as laptops for many applications.
There are some downsides to choosing dual booting tablets as a solution.
Not a lot of selection in which tablet hardware you can use. This is due to the highly niche application of these devices
Additionally, dual booting tablets are not receiving a lot of support from Google, maker of Android OS. The company has pressured some large vendors to stop providing dual boot solutions. However, since Android Open Source Project is available for anyone to use, smaller vendors have taken the opportunity to offer these solutions to needing customers.
Developing the Right Dual Booting Tablet Solution for Your Organization
There are several factors used in determining which kinds of dual booting solutions are best for a specific use cases:
- Compatibility with existing software
- Security to ensure data on the device remains safe
- Total cost of ownership, including software upgrades
- Durability in typical field settings
There are several dual boot tablets solutions that can meet your organization’s field computing needs. Through dual booting, these ruggedized tablets have the potential to greatly improve your company’s effectiveness in the field by offering flexibility, power, and convenience. Contact Patriot today to learn about custom ruggedized dual boot tablets for field use.