Ruggedized computers (also known as “rugged computers”) are traditionally bought by military and industrial customers, warehouse workers, logistic workers, scientists, surveyors, but sometimes also by individual folks, for their personal use. The popularity of this type of computers increases every year.
So, what exactly is a ruggedized computer?
This type of computer is created to properly operate in harsh environments and difficult work conditions, whether we are talking about dust, moisture, vibrations, extreme temperature, or other factors that would make regular computers inoperable. These computers are equipped with safeguards against liquids and solid particles and they meet the standards for electromagnetic interference and the military standards for harsh environmental conditions. The certification of meeting these standards is the only proof of true ruggedness.
There are also semi-rugged computers, which are more resilient than your regular PC, but don’t have all the features of a ruggedized one.
Fully-ruggedized computers are built with durable, reinforced materials and protective casings. They are typically more expensive than regular computers, but they are more economical in the long run – this being the reason why their popularity increases even among users who do not work in rough conditions. A rugged computer can help you save money in time due to the fact that it is more durable, it beaks less often therefore there is less downtime, less lost data and productivity costs. These computers do not require to be reconfigured as often as regular computers and their long life cycle also means less need for training.
Choosing a ruggedized computer
A certain ruggedized computer can be a better or a worse choice, depending on your working conditions and habits.
Remember that owning such a computer should bring you flexibility and mobility when you work in a wide variety of weather conditions and environments, so it ultimately depends on you to determine your needs in order to choose the right fully-ruggedized or semi-ruggedized computer. The differences may be subtle, but they should not be neglected if you want the best value for your money.
Here are the standard features you should look for:
- Resistance to particles
Most models are designed to operate without the use of fans; this way, dust and particles are significantly less likely to be collected.
- Resistance to vibration and shock
Rugged computers are designed to endure drops and constant vibrations that would destroy keyboards and internal components of regular computers.
- Resistance to water and moisture
Rugged computers are designed in such way that water and moisture are not hazardous to their electrical components.
- Resistance to extreme temperatures
Most models can resist in desert conditions and arctic conditions
Extra-features drive up extra costs and they may include special heat pipe systems, trans-reflective screens, cable shielding and more.
Always consider a reliable brand that does more than encasing a regular product inside a heavy-duty enclosure. Also, remember that having a rugged computer doesn’t mean that you can neglect its proper transportation. Purchase a durable case or a bag for it; do not go for the stylish options, as they are often the most fragile.