Types of Mobile Computers

There are a variety of different styles and numerous types of mobile computers, but most fall into a few broad categories: key-based, pen-based, vehicle mounted, or some even provide a combination of features from several of the categories.  All categories of mobile computers offer a rugged design that can be used in any environment and a long list of additional accessories and features.  Some of the common features in mobile computers these days are scanning capabilities, cameras, Windows based platforms, WLAN or WWAN network connectivity, GPS capabilities and even fingerprint readers.  It’s this considerable variety that makes mobile technology a must-have for successful operations.  Here’s a closer look at each category of mobile computers and the benefits they provide.

Key-Based Mobile Computers:

Key-Based mobile computers are ideal for applications that require manual entry of information; they come equipped with easy-to-use alphanumeric keyboards and large LCD displays.  Many key-based models have multiple keyboard options, providing you with flexibility in your applications.  The key-based mobile computer at the left is the Intermec CK31ex; this mobile computer comes equipped with many of the features mentioned above.  The CK31ex has versatile scanning capabilities, can capture images and connect to corporate networks.

Pen-Based Mobile Computers:

Pen-based mobile computers don’t have a keyboard; instead information is entered and retrieved through a touch screen.  These mobile computers are ideal for information intensive applications and on the go field technicians who collect data wherever and whenever they need to.  Pen-based mobile computers have several of the same add-ons that key-based mobile computers have and an additional benefit is that many pen-based mobile computers are small enough to fit in your pocket.  Pictured at left is the Symbol MC35 hand-held mobile computer, this design combines a computer, phone, camera, barcode scanner and a touch screen with optional keyboard all in a pocket-sized device.

Vehicle Mounted Mobile Computers:

Vehicle mounted mobile computers offer many of the same benefits that the other categories of mobile computers do, but they can be mounted to a variety of vehicle types, and are ideal for warehouse vehicles, on the street or the loading dock floor.  These rugged computers will perform in the harshest environments and provide real-time data collection for mobile workers that require data during the point of activity.  These mobile computers can come in compact versions with integrated keyboards, as well as full screen models depending on the amount of vehicle mounting space in a particular vehicle.  Smaller compact versions are perfect for warehouse operations and can be mounted in forklifts or motorized pallet jacks.  The following short video by LXE provides a closer look at the features and benefits of one type of vehicle mounted mobile computer; the LXE VX3X.

If you need any additional information about any of the products featured in this post please contact me.  I will be focusing tacmeds more on mobile computers throughout the week and plan on providing information about suitable mobile computer applications and what to consider before purchasing a mobile computer.