Rugged Laptop or Rugged Tablet — How to Decide on the Right Mobile Computer for Law Enforcement

Whether you decide to implement a tablet or laptop solution into your department is completely dependent on the necessary requirements to create a real-time situational awareness crime center for every officer.

We all know how unpredictable and fast-moving law enforcement can be. We can all recall the days when officers carried handhelds the size of a brick, cell phones were an expensive status symbol, no inter-connectivity to personnel was available, and long trips back to the station to input the day’s data entry was a tedious and dreaded task. Who could have predicted the law enforcement workflow of the future — reliable and continual communication, instant access to critical records, GPS guidance, e-citations, fingerprint authentication readers, smartcard and magnetic card readers, body-worn cameras, in-vehicle printing, on-scene incident reporting, barcode and RFID readers, automatic license plate readers, and law enforcement oriented apps and software — these advancements have made it possible for officers to have a real-time crime center. Whether you decide to implement a tablet or laptop solution into your department is completely dependent on the necessary requirements to create a real-time situational awareness crime center for every officer.

Within the past five years’ tablets have become an evolving form factor, some pledging the case for tablets becoming the mobile computing tool of the future for law enforcement, gaining momentum into the market so strongly laptops are being thrown into the abyss of the past. However, opinions differ on whether a tablet can outperform the old tried and trusted mobile workstations via a laptop or notebook, as both have their individual advantages. Keep reading on to discover the advantages of both mobile solutions — tablets and laptops for law enforcement.

The Pros of Rugged Tablet Solutions

Why should you choose a rugged tablet solution for your department? The choice between equipping your workforce with laptops or tablets is dependent upon whether officers are in a patrol car, at a desk, on foot, or in the office. Do officers want to take the device outside of the vehicle? Tablets are a highly effective tool for police motorcycles which can be mounted on handle bars or in the saddle bag, as well as patrol cars, SWAT teams and investigators. Detectives can use rugged tablets to take on-scene film footage and images without requiring expensive digital cameras to capture evidence.

Tablets are light weight and small enough for handheld use and take up minimal space inside police vehicles. Specialized uses for tablets include signature captures, barcode scanning for ID verification and VIN number scanning, field interview creation, evidence photography, plus the ability to exit a vehicle while filming real-time video of emergency situations to properly assess the requested resources for dispatch. Officers can take a tablet from the vehicle to the street and back to the office to be docked and used as a desktop PC — this seamless transition is the definition of true mobile computing. In the past, display real estate has been an issue with officers using tablets for their main computing solution but today tablet screen size has become comparable to the laptop or notebook and even offer digitized screens for glove-touch and sunlight viewability. What about data entry? Many rugged tablets have backlit companion keyboards that seamlessly snap-on or bolt-on for quick typing ability. Rugged tablets are a practical solution offering complete mobility allowing for routine work to be more streamlined in the field, an imperative element in creating intelligent, real-time crime centers.

 The Pros of Rugged Laptop Solutions

Not every rugged laptop is created equal and this is especially true when deciding which laptop solution to implement into your department. Many rugged laptops are purpose built for public safety and offer touchscreens for tapping and zooming, stylus pens for signatures and on-screen entry, a thin and light design, and ergonomic features such as swivel screens to be viewed by individuals both on the driver and passenger sides of the car.

What about removing the device from the vehicle? Many officers never remove their device from the police vehicle and when given the choice, would rather not. When a mobile device is removed from the vehicle such as a rugged tablet the chance of the device being broken, driven over, stolen or misplaced is highly likely. When this happens, the device must be replaced which can be very costly over time. An important aspect of a law enforcement laptop or notebook is the proper vehicle mounting solution. The last thing an officer needs is a large bulky computer impeding the process and increasing risk. Vehicle docking stations and consoles keep rugged laptops charged and ready to go while providing shock absorption and stability. Rugged laptops will continue to evolve aiming to make jobs more efficient and productive — we see this today in the adoption of the two-in-one hybrid notebook which can be used as a laptop or tablet. For those who need the stability of a laptop, yet the light weight flexible form factor of a tablet, a two-in-one device may be the right solution for your department.

When the time comes to implement new and advanced technology whether it be a tablet, laptop or a two-in-one device, police computers must be durable, high performing, easy to use with custom features and options, along with a realistic price point — an equation for value and return on investment.

The mobile solutions experts at Group Mobile work with police departments nationwide and can assist you in determining the best equipment for your application and budget.

Can’t decide between a laptop and a tablet? Get both with a 2-in-1 Hybrid Laptop!

Two-in-one devices are a hybrid of a laptop and a tablet, for those who need the computing power of a laptop, yet the light weight and flexibility of a tablet.

Can’t decide between a rugged laptop or a rugged tablet? Get both with a 2-in-1! By now we all know that a two-in-one isn’t new. They have been around for a while, around 2013, and many companies are adopting them as their new standard and for good reason. Simply put, a 2-in-1 is a touch-optimized convertible-hybrid laptop or detachable-hybrid tablet with both a touch screen and a physical rugged keyboard, preferably rugged.

Whether it’s flipping around into presentation mode to turn a quick discussion into a quick showcase or going from laptop to tablet mode for quick video viewing, 2-in-1s are at their best in situations that you didn’t foresee, especially when out in the field.

Choosing between the regular laptops and the modern 2-in-1 types are very subjective and it completely depends on what industry you work in whether it be public safety, utilities, field service, warehousing or other. Two-in-one devices are a hybrid of a laptop and a tablet, for those who need the computing power of a laptop, yet the light weight and flexibility of a tablet. Here are a few of the main benefits of these versatile devices:

Lightweight

Often weighing in at only a few pounds, these devices allow you to complete the job without carrying around a heavy computer all day. For those with mobile jobs that require substantial travel by foot, or call for access to computing when away from a vehicle or computer stand, the ability to hold a device in one hand without straining your muscles is a huge energy-saver.

Rugged

Rugged two-in-one devices are purpose-built with flexibility and a long lifespan in mind. Manufacturers understand the need for hardy devices that can withstand substantial abuse throughout its working life, so there are many options for two-in-one devices that meet rugged certifications such as IP65, and MIl-STD-810G. All the devices mentioned here and many others we offer are fully rugged – meaning they are tested to military and industrial standards for ruggedness. This means you don’t have to worry about travel, the elements, or just tough working conditions taking the life out of your device. For mobile workers in rugged environments who need electronic access on a daily basis, this kind of reliability in harsh conditions is not optional, but necessary.

Mobile

For those workers traveling long distances in rugged environments, or spend most of their day inside of a vehicle, the ability to easily pack and transport electronic devices is extremely important. Many two-in-one devices retain all the mobility of a tablet, coming in astonishingly compact sizes. One example is the Getac V110, with a thickness of barely 1.3 inches. Devices like these are easily slipped into a pack or briefcase, while retaining all the computing power of a traditional laptop. And don’t worry about tossing it around – the Getac V110 and many other thin two-in-one devices are still fully rugged.

 Flexible

The beauty of two-in-ones is that they can function as both a laptop and a tablet — many have unique features that highlight this benefit. This notebook is lightweight and very versatile, allowing you to attach and detach the keyboard with only one hand. Detachable notebooks are an excellent choice for mobile computing, allowing workers to access a lightweight touch screen while on the go, all the while, still having access to a full keyboard when needed.

It’s easy to see why two-in-one devices are a popular choice for mobile workers in rugged environments, as these devices have all the benefits of a traditional computer or tablet but with the added bonus of a flexible form factor, rugged, fully mobile, and lightweight. To learn more about two-in-one devices, or for assistance in picking the best device for your needs, feel free to contact us. See our full list of featured rugged convertible two-in-one devices.

Panasonic Toughbook 20 — Two-in-One Computer You Can Use Six Different Ways!

Depending on how you look at it, the Toughbook 20 is a rugged tablet that snaps onto an exceptionally well integrated keyboard, or a laptop where the display comes off and can be used as a tablet.

Are you looking for a computer with the best of both worlds? Something extremely tough but still sleek and sophisticated with the ability to use in many different ways. Depending on how you look at it, the Toughbook 20 is a rugged tablet that snaps onto an exceptionally well integrated keyboard, or a laptop where the display comes off and can be used as a tablet. The versatility the Panasonic CF-20 provides is something many other rugged computer manufacturers are beginning to design because of the trending market demand for a hybrid tablet and laptop in one.

The Panasonic Toughbook 20 is a 2-in-1 device specifically designed for field use by police, military, field service, logistics, oil and gas, and transportation. At only 3.9 pounds, this 2-in-1 laptop is lightweight and extremely versatile. The clever built in handle can even be used as a kickstand, providing on-the-job flexibility. Offering the best of all worlds for mobile workers, the Toughbook 20 can be used in six different usage modes including: normal laptop, isolated tablet, inscription flipped 180 degrees for presentations, automobile mode with keyboard attached, built-in lift mode or unresolved on a wall, and car mode while the device is on the move.

The Toughbook CF-20 convertible rugged laptop comes standard with a sixth-generation Intel Core m5-6Y57 vPro™ processor with 128GB solid state drive, 8GB RAM, HD Graphics 51 GPU, and Windows 10 Professional. The device has a 10.1″ WUXGA 1920 x 1200 sunlight viewable tough screen, and can optionally come with a digitizer for stylus input.

This extremely versatile device meets military standards of MIL-STD-810G for electromagnetic interference, plus working through drops and extreme conditions such as shocks, rain,vibration, dust, sand, and extreme temperatures. The Panasonic Toughbook 20, 2-in-1 device also offers additional options such as GPS and 4G LTE mobile broadband, in addition to SmartCard technology, serial port, magstripe and 1D/2D barcode reader, plus a fingerprint scanner can be added for extended security.

The rugged Toughbook 20 has a broad selection of optional accessories including a desktop dock, vehicle docks, rotating hand strap, 4-bay battery charger, carrying cases and more, all available at Group Mobile.

Contact one of Group Mobile’s trusted technology advisors to get a personalized quote today.

Is a Two-in-One Device the Right Mobile Computing Tool For You?

It’s easy to see why two-in-one devices are a popular choice for mobile workers in rugged environments, as these devices have all the benefits of a traditional computer or tablet but with the added bonus of a flexible form factor, rugged, fully mobile, and lightweight.

With such a plethora of mobile computing options these days, you might wonder why a “two-in-one” device is even needed. With the option of a laptop or a tablet, why not just pick one or the other? Well, for those who work in rugged or hostile environments day in and day out, there are special workplace needs that might not be completely met solely by a laptop or solely by a tablet. With the two-in-one mobile computing model, you don’t have to pick one, you can have both! This unique environment is where two-in-one devices fit in. Two-in-one devices are a hybrid of a laptop and a tablet, for those who need the computing power of a laptop yet the light weight and flexibility of a tablet. Here are a few of the main benefits of these versatile devices:

Lightweight

Often weighing in at only a few pounds, these devices allow you to complete the job without carrying around a heavy computer all day. For those with mobile jobs that require substantial travel by foot, or call for access to computing when away from a vehicle or computer stand, the ability to hold a device in one hand without straining your muscles is a huge energy-saver. Two-in-one devices like the new Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2 tip the scales at only a few pounds, so you don’t have to hit the gym to carry it around.

Rugged

Rugged two-in-one devices are purpose-built with flexibility and a long lifespan in mind. Manufacturers understand the need for hardy devices that can withstand substantial abuse throughout its working life, so there are many options for two-in-one devices that meet rugged certifications such as IP65, and MIl-STD-810G. All the devices mentioned here and many others we offer are fully rugged – meaning they are tested to military and industrial standards for ruggedness. This means you don’t have to worry about travel, the elements, or just tough working conditions taking the life out of your device. For mobile workers in rugged environments who need electronic access on a daily basis, this kind of reliability in harsh conditions is not optional, but necessary.

Mobile

For those workers traveling long distances in rugged environments, or spend most of their day inside of a vehicle, the ability to easily pack and transport electronic devices is extremely important. Many two-in-one devices retain all the mobility of a tablet, coming in astonishingly compact sizes. One example is the Getac V110, with a thickness of barely 1.3 inches. Devices like these are easily slipped into a pack or briefcase, while retaining all the computing power of a traditional laptop. And don’t worry about tossing it around – the Getac V110 and many other thin two-in-one devices are still fully rugged.

Flexible

The beauty of two-in-ones is that they can function as both a laptop and a tablet — many have unique features that highlight this benefit. Detachable screens and keyboards are one of those features, found in the Panasonic Toughbook 20. This notebook is lightweight and very versatile, allowing you to attach and detach the keyboard with only one hand. With a 10-point multi-touch display, there is no loss in interactivity by removing the keyboard and using only the touch display. Detachable notebooks are an excellent choice for mobile computing, allowing workers to access a lightweight touch screen while on the go, all the while, still having access to a full keyboard when needed.

It’s easy to see why two-in-one devices are a popular choice for mobile workers in rugged environments, as these devices have all the benefits of a traditional computer or tablet but with the added bonus of a flexible form factor, rugged, fully mobile, and lightweight. To learn more about two-in-one devices, or for assistance in picking the best device for your needs, feel free to contact us. See our full list of featured rugged convertible two-in-one devices.