5 Reasons You Need a Rugged Mobile Printer

If you frequently find yourself needing to transfer documentation from your mobile device to paper, however, there’s one more piece of equipment you need: a rugged mobile printer.

If you take your business on the go with you, you may already have experienced many of the benefits of rugged mobile devices. A rugged computer that’s tough enough to handle being bounced around in your truck all day, a rugged tablet that you can safely use in the rain, or a rugged handheld that doesn’t quit just because it bounced out of your hand and landed face-down on the sidewalk are incredibly useful. If you frequently find yourself needing to transfer documentation from your mobile device to paper, however, there’s one more piece of equipment you need: a rugged mobile printer.

Rugged Printers Make Creating Paperwork Easy

There are rugged mobile printers that are designed to handle all of your needs, whatever they may be. Whether you’re printing out a work order for a client to sign before you leave a work site or you need a printer that can print a receipt or tickets, there’s a rugged printer designed with your needs in mind. Many things have gone digital, but there’s still paperwork involved in your business. Rugged printers make creating that paperwork easy!

Speed and Quality are Increasing

Just a few years ago, a printer rugged enough to be used in the field meant a slow, clunky printer that offered poor quality at best. Today’s rugged printers, however, are rapidly increasing in quality. Now, you can expect to create everything from neat documents that print at a perfectly reasonable speed to full-color printouts that allow everyone to see every detail of the page.

Small Size Allows for More Equipment

You don’t need yet another clunky piece of equipment taking up vitally necessary space in your vehicle. Thankfully, today’s mobile printers are designed to be compact. They’ll fit neatly in the center console of your vehicle or tuck in with the rest of your equipment, allowing you to carry your rugged printer without having to sacrifice other necessary equipment.

Set Up and Use Your Printer Fast

The convenience of a printer that can go wherever you can is quickly outweighed if it takes an hour to get it set up. Thankfully, as more rugged printers hit the market, it’s becoming easier than ever to set up and use your printer. Within a matter of minutes, you can have your printer connected to your rugged mobile device and ready to use. It’s a simple process that will have you handing over important paper documentation to your clients, your coworkers, and anyone else who needs that critical information in a quick, timely manner.

Enjoy the Confidence that Your Printer Will Last

Portable printers shouldn’t be a regular line item in your budget. Instead, choose a portable printer that’s designed to be rugged–that is, a printer that is as tough as the rest of your devices and able to withstand all the conditions you face every day. From weather protection that will keep your printer functioning in spite of the fact that you’re using it outside to drop protection and more, rugged printers are designed to be used as hard as the rest of your equipment, making them a critical addition to your kit. Don’t settle for a printer that has to be replaced constantly because it’s not tough enough to handle it. Instead, choose a rugged printer that’s up to handling all your needs.

Your job demands rugged equipment, and we’re here to make sure that you have exactly the printers, scanners, and mobile devices you need in order to get your job done every day. Contact us today to learn more about the devices we carry and how they can transform your work day, your efficiency, and your budget.

 

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.

The Importance of Vehicle Mounting Solutions for Laptops and Tablets

Every year over 130,000 people are hurt by flying objects inside vehicles, not just during an accident but during sudden stops, turns and unexpected maneuvers.

Why would you want to use a vehicle mount for your computer? The answer is simple – you cannot afford not to! A vehicle mount is a must have if you are driving with your computer in the vehicle, and the selection of vehicle mounting systems Group Mobile carries makes it easy to choose the correct mounting solution for your specific needs.

Safety is one of the top reasons to use a computer vehicle mount. Every year over 130,000 people are hurt by flying objects inside vehicles, not just during an accident but during sudden stops, turns and unexpected maneuvers. Your computer, or your employee’s computer, becomes a very dangerous object at unexpected times. The computer itself can be damaged, causing down time and potentially costly repairs.

Group Mobile offers a wide selection of mounting options to choose from. We carry the top brands, including Gamber JohnsonRAM, and Havis. There are also computer specific cradles and docking stations available for many computer brands and models. These cradles and docking stations offer custom fit for your computer as well as port replication with some offering antenna pass-through to increase wireless reception. Whether mounting your computer in your car, truck, van or boat, we have the mounting system you need.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of vehicle mounts for every possible make, model, and mobile computing device. Finding a durable and reliable vehicle mount is essential for the longevity and efficiency of your mobile office, so take your time finding the perfect mount for your needs. If you have any questions about the mounts discussed here or any other type of vehicle mount, or would like assistance in selecting the proper vehicle mount for your purposes, please feel free to contact one of our mobile installation experts at Group Mobile. We pride ourselves on providing trusted technology advice for all mobile workers.

What to Shop for When Selecting a New Mobile Technology Solution

When you invest in technology to improve your business, you must be confident the investment will pay off in the end.

The public safety sector is on the forefront of real-time data use. The value of real-time data is almost immeasurable as having access to true, real-time data can save lives. Given this, the

The ideal best practice for every organization is to pilot a technology before procurement, but this is not always feasible and many budgets don’t allow for trial and error testing.

Talk to other agencies

How do you know what to shop for when selecting a new mobile technology solution? Group Mobile suggests choosing a mobile device that has the right feature set for your needs or will be able to fulfill all of your agency’s operational requirements in a single device. There is no reason to procure a device that falls short of your agency’s needs. Also, finding a solutions integrator who fully understands all elements of your organization from pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment professional services. 

When it comes to mobile technology deployments, Group Mobile knows the road. Many mid-size cities, towns and counties have similar workflows and, therefore, similar mobile device requirements.

Before buying, do your research and talk with other agencies that mirror yours. Set up a call with them or meet with them in person to understand the lessons they’ve learned in their mobile journey. You’ll find that agencies are always willing to help another agency and give you an honest assessment.

What to look for

This portfolio list of options will help you focus your requirements and conduct a full analysis of your own current technology portfolio to make early decisions regarding:

  • Operating system preference: The applications you choose will drive your OS decision. Most public safety agencies choose to run Windows for compatibility and security. Though there are new applications arriving on the Android platform today that may benefit some organizations. Fortunately, fully rugged Android tablets are now available.
  • Mobile data and mobile device security: This may include VPN access, multi-factor authentication, fingerprint readers, Common Access Card (CAC) readers, TPM, Kensington physical locks and other internal and external measures.
  • Data entry tools: Do you need the flexibility of keyboard and touch for data entry? Do you need a digitizer pen (which is much more accurate than a stylus)?
  • Size and weight: Do you prefer a larger 10-12” screen for easy, full-page viewing of documents and apps? Or can you make do with a 5” screen? Can your techs juggle a 5+ pound notebook and patient care in the field? Or do they need a more lightweight 2-4-pound solution?
  • Wired and wireless connectivity: How many I/O ports do you need? Which I/O ports do you need? Will your teams have access to Wi-Fi hotspots all the time, or do they need multiple wireless network and ancillary device connectivity options such as 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IP, Gobi 3000
  • Rugged requirements: Which MIl-STD-810G and Ingress Protection (IP) rating levels are enough – and how much is too much? It depends on how often your mobile device will be exposed to water, dust, humidity, or corrosive elements, for example, and how prevalent shock or vibration will be in the vehicle. Will the device be used in potentially explosive environments? Make sure it’s also ATEX or C1D2/C1Z2 compliant for Hazardous Locations.

Impediments to true public safety mobility – inappropriate form-factors, fragile devices, heavy notebooks, weak data radios, limited mobile workflow software – are a thing of the past. The decision to go mobile today is just that – a decision to go mobile. Real-time information, streamlined reporting and constant communication make your service to the community faster, better and safer.

Make smart, near-term buys to lay a foundation for a full mobility solution with long-term return on investment. That may be just a handful of rugged tablets to power a new dispatch system. But it gives you time to fine tune your solution, define next best steps, and measure ROI.

One of the most challenging elements of implementing or upgrading a technology solution is achieving the return on investment. When you invest in technology to improve your business, you must be confident the investment will pay off in the end. It is critical you reach the maximum benefits in the time frame desired for your new technology solution. Group Mobile will identify the benefits available to your company based on a return on investment mobility model, and deliver technology solutions and services to ensure a successful outcome.

Group Mobile’s team of industry experts can assist you in selecting, designing and implementing a multi-network environment for mission-critical fleets, request a free personalized quote.