1. Tough...inside and out.
Look for products that are designed from the very beginning for warehouse and industrial use. That means shock mounting critical components, positive dust and moisture seals, and the ability to survive in the real world. Some so-called "industrial" products have a rugged-looking case wrapped around a less-than-robust office or home device.
2. The strength of simplicity.
Bells and whistles are great -- if you're in a marching band. But for your mobile computing applications, you want a mobile computer that's designed to integrate, rather than tack on, the components you need, whether it's a bar code reader or RFID reader. Integration makes things simple and simple is good.
3. What you see is...what you see.
If you can't see what's on the display, you're just carrying a fancy brick. Look for rugged displays suitable for your application whether it's bright sunlight, a dark warehouse, or both.
4. Text me...
Key entry is still a fact of life in most applications. Having the right keyboard size and layout is critical for accurate entry. And for gloved-hand operations, having large keys is a real asset.
5. Follow the leader...
To be the leader in rugged, handheld mobile computing, you have to follow the leading industry standards. LXE is committed to complying with -- and helping develop -- these standards to provide customers with stable, reliable products that have a clear upgrade path.
6. Top of the heap...
To stay on the top of the heap you have to stay on top of emerging trends in both technology and applications. That's where flexibility and agility comes in. Look for a vendor who can accommodate the changes you face as they affect you.
7. Not dead yet...
How long does the battery last? Does the battery need to be changed at every break or can it work a full shift?
8. Do you read me...?
With RFID, antenna design is critical. In the real world, read range of RFID transponders is often a fraction of what's claimed.
Equipment that's not easy to use can become an unguided missile faster than you can say [expletive deleted].
10. Who's your daddy...?
Look behind the shiny nameplate on the product. Who stands behind it? What's their background? How have they built their reputation? LXE's engineering heritage comes from EMS Technologies, a company that builds equipment used on the International Space Station where failure is not an option and service calls are out of the question.