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 33, a Lightweight Detachable Notebook — Designed for Tough Work in the Field!

The Toughbook 33 laptop provides six flexible usage modes and offers two keyboards to choose from to accommodate the unique needs of different mobile professionals.

The Panasonic Toughbook 33, the fully-rugged 2-in-1 detachable laptop featuring a brilliant display, ideal for workers in the field. Inspired by workers in tough environments, the Toughbook 33 2-in-1 detachable laptop delivers rugged mobility with an abundance of customizable options for police, fire, ambulance, field service, and enterprise.  The Toughbook 33 is a lightweight detachable notebook with an extensive variety of integrated options, as well as a choice of two keyboards. The Panasonic Toughbook 33 can be tailored to meet the unique requirements of a diverse customer base. The CF-33 includes a USB 3.0, microSD, HDMI, Ethernet, audio and nano-SIM ports, the tablet also has an optional serial socket, allowing operators to connect older devices like stop lights to run diagnostics or configuration programs.

The fully-rugged Toughbook 33 features a 7th Generation Intel Core i5 vPro processor, 256GB solid state drive, 8GB RAM and a choice of Windows 10 Pro or Windows® 10 Pro with Windows 7 Professional 64-bit downgrade. The Toughbook 33 is purpose-built to meet MIL-STD-461F for electromagnetic interference and MIL-STD-810G for drop, shock, vibration, explosive atmosphere, temperature, humidity, and rain and sand. The Toughbook 33 has an IP-sealing rating of IP65 to protect against dust and liquids.

The Toughbook 33 2-in-1 laptop is built for maximum mobility with two twin hot-swappable batteries that provide 10 hours of life. In addition, the optional Long-Life Battery configuration doubles battery life to 20 hours for the most demanding mobile professionals. The Toughbook 33 laptop provides six flexible usage modes and offers two keyboards to choose from to accommodate the unique needs of different mobile professionals.

As for vehicle installations, the Toughbook 33 two-in-one device is available with two different vehicle docks for new deployments. The first is a tablet vehicle dock. The second is a 2-in-1 vehicle dock which utilizes the Premium Keyboard and can be mounted either in laptop (clamshell) or convertible mode.

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

 

Group Mobile Features Four New Industrial Rugged Tablets from DT Research

DT Research designs rapid time-to-market solutions at affordable prices which make them well received among budget-conscious tablet consumers.

Four new industrial tablets from DT Research have been added to the vast product portfolio at Group Mobile. DT Research is a leading designer and manufacturer of purpose-built computing solutions for numerous vertical markets including military, law enforcement, education, healthcare, retail and logistics, utilities and telecommunications, construction, manufacturing and enterprise. DT Research leverages two decades of rugged computer design and manufacturing experience, their rapid time-to-market solutions and affordable prices are well received among budget-conscious tablet consumers.

Group Mobile’s mobile technology advisers have first-hand knowledge of specific vertical market applications where they work one-on-one with clients to enable these specific custom solutions to meet exact requirements for improved productivity, lowered TCO and return on investment.

The four new DT Research rugged tablets now offered at Group Mobile include:

  • DT Research DT313 features the integration of a vibrant 13.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display, weighing in at under two pounds for a slim, durable, and highly-portable design. The DT313 rugged tablet offers seamless information capture for instant transmission on the sales room floor, classroom, and in the field — with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection, as well as options for RFID reader, and front and back camera modules. For healthcare professionals, the DT313-MD model is available to configure — used as effective tools to monitor, record, and retrieve patient information. The DT313-MD is highly durable and made from easily sanitized, anti-microbial materials.
  • DT Research DT395CR features an 8.9-inch Full-HD screen with capacitive touch, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connection, as well as options for camera, barcode scanner, RFID reader, NFC module, and I/O ports. The DT Research DT395CR is available with the Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Enterprise operating system, and includes an Intel Atom Quad Core 1.44GHz processor, 4GB RAM, and a 64GB SSD with an option to upgrade to a 128GB SSD for extra storage. The DT395CR is rated IP65 and MIL-STD-810G to provide reliable operation in harsh, mission-critical environments. For those in search of a rugged tablet without a huge price point, the DT395 rugged tablet will offer custom features and complete protection from inevitable drops and spills at an excellent price.
  • DT Research DT311 is a rugged two-in-one device purpose-built to protect utility, and energy companies, government and military agencies, first responders, and other field service organizations with removable encrypted data and camera security to guard against data loss or theft and unwanted image transmission. DT311 rugged tablet line includes a 6thgeneration Skylake CPU for high performance, increased screen brightness to 800 NITS for superior sunlight viewability, and a fanless design for increased durability. The DT311 includes an encrypted SD card slot that leverages software encryption from Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, and TPM 2.0 to secure data. Users can remove sensitive data in an encrypted format to avoid theft and loss of data if the tablet is misplaced or stolen. The DT311 hardware security options also include instant blackout, as well as automatic Bluetooth, RFID, and Wi-Fi disable functions that can be pre-configured to turn off all radio capabilities under certain conditions.
  • DT Research DT301 is a two-in-one hybrid 10.1-inch tablet sporting a modern, sleek, and attractive design. The DT301S is built on the high performance, energy efficient Intel Core Celeron processor with optional upgrades to an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. The DT301 is a true mobile solution with the ability to be used as a tablet or interchanged to a laptop for easy keyboard data input. Weighing under three pounds, the DT301 includes a full-slot Smart Card reader, hot swappable battery, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. The DT301 has a truly practical keyboard for easy data entry in the field, and all pertaining accessories are interchangeable with DT Research’s line of two-in-one devices.To learn more on DT Research tablets and how Group Mobile can assist you in implementing an affordable mobile solution, contact one of our mobile technology experts.https://youtu.be/KxzaGKG1GXc

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.

Brand New! — Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2 Semi-Rugged, Two-in-One Tablet!

The new Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2 combines advanced performance with a flexible form
factor, making it a powerful mobile computing solution for enterprise deployments.

Have you heard the buzz word two-in-one device? Two-in-one devices are set to increase their market share for a number of reasons both for vendors and for customers. Also known as hybrid laptops, these two-in-one laptops are easy to travel with, offering the flexibility as the new norm – where workers might spend some days in the office and some in the field. A hybrid is a laptop where the screen can be completely detached from the keyboard base and serve as a standalone touchscreen tablet. The base is a proper keyboard, complete with USB ports and its own battery source. Two-in-one laptops combine the features of both laptops and tablets, but really give you the best of fz-q2_frontboth worlds!

The new Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2 combines advanced performance with a flexible form
factor, making it a powerful mobile computing solution for enterprise deployments. The FZ-Q2 two-in-one tablet comes standard with a full sized backlit keyboard to ease heavy data entry tasks and can be easily detached to provide users with a lightweight, portable tablet. The FZ-Q2 two-in-one tablet can be safely sanitized with a disinfectant solution for home health, food service or inspection applications. Additionally, the FZ-Q2 is equipped with a unique HDMI-in feature for the cable industry and on-site diagnostics. To meet the diverse market needs, the FZ-Q2 two-in-one is equipped with the Intel Core m5 vPro processor, 8GB of onboard RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of solid state drive storage.

A full range of accessories are available with the Toughpad FZ-Q2, notably a full desktop cradle for seamless transition from the office into the field, and a rotating hand strap to achieve maximum productivity. Learn more about the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2…