While tablets remain the rage in industries like construction, the buzz isn’t simply limited to iPads and Android-based devices. Given the excitement surrounding the Windows 8 release last week, tablets built for the Microsoft environment are certainly in use in construction, with a few new options doing their best to turn heads in an age where more consumer-based tablets are making a play for the corporate culture.
For example, Trimble, www.trimble.com, Sunnyvale, Calif., announced details for the Yuma 2 this week, which it says will be available in the fourth quarter this year. Built as a rugged tablet, Trimble says this device provides full office capabilities in the field for a range of different industries, including construction.
Featuring a 7-inch capacitive multi-touchscreen in a form factor that measures 6.3 inches x 9.6 inches, the Yuma 2 weighs less than three pounds. A revamped display on the device features technology that the company believes will provide clear readability in direct sunlight, which is ideal for mobile workers in bright outdoor conditions. The fact that the device features 3.75G dual-mode cellular data capability means connectivity is possible in both GSM and CDMA cellular-network environments.
However, despite the buzz related to the launch of Windows 8, which is suited well for the mobile environment, according to many, the Yuma 2 instead features the Microsoft Windows 7 Professional operating system. The Yuma 2 will include a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom dual-core processor.
Other technical details about the device include 4GB of DDR3 DRAM, a 64GB SSD (solid state drive) and a dual battery with eight hours of typical run-time. Trimble also gives users such optional features like a 128GB SSD, 3.75G cellular data connectivity, and an extended battery set that provides up to 16 hours of operation.
Other construction-specific tablets are making an impact on this market as well. Earlier this year Motion Computing, www.motioncomputing.com, Austin, Texas, announced details around its line of F5t and C5t tablets. Much like the Trimble tablet, this line from Motion is powered by Intel processors, featuring the third generation Intel Core processors.
These tablets offer up to six hours of battery life and feature Motion’s hot-swap battery feature which means users are able to extend productivity in the field without having to worry about constantly charging up their devices. Leveraging the trend where construction professionals are looking for more realtime data-capturing capabilities with their devices, the tablets from Motion feature a front-facing Web camera and rear-facing documentation camera, along with an optional smart card reader for strong security authentication, as well as integrated RFID and an optional barcode scanner.
The F5t and C5t Tablet PCs come standard with Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, but all F5t and C5t Tablet PC customers are eligible for a Windows 8 upgrade.
Devices like the iPad may grab all the headlines, but other tablets are still making a profound impact in the market. For construction, companies with deep roots in this market continually revamp their devices to ensure the products keep pace with the age of data connectivity.