SageData is based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
There are many attractive new machines being released in this category, and it is easy to be tempted
the latest high tech wizardry, to be carried away by some specific neat feature, or to be influenced
a salesperson with their own agenda.
In reality, there are a number of features to be considered In most cases it is a trade off - as an example, between battery life and weight. We suggest that you use the following check list. First, weight each feature in terms of its importance to you in this specific application.
Then mark each hand held computer against each criteria. From there, you can make an informed decision...
Generally smaller is better for convenience, but the trade off is against ease of viewing the screen, ease of use for the keyboard, battery life, and perhaps connectivity.
Choose from grey scale, color, size, daylight viewing, touch entry capability. Trade off will be for price and battery life.
Choose from laser, CCD, one or two dimension, fuzzy logic, image capture.. Trade off
for reading, ability to read damaged bar codes, battery life, ability to capture signature or
Choose battery capacity for length of work shift. Consider ease of changing batteries.
Trade off is in weight and availability of the unit.
Review specification and construction. Consider dust and water penetration. Consider
the unit is to be used (office, warehouse, street, farmyard). Trade off is in size and
flexibility. Also consider the value of the data stored - if the machine fails and data is
what is the real cost of that lost data?
Now less of an issue, as larger memory became standard.
Consider benefit of removable memory. Consider whether images are used, and whether system is batch or RF linked.
Could be Bluetooth or Wi-Fi or Cellular
Issues to consider include range of operation. Consider quantity of data to be accessed, requirements for timely data transfer, use of images.
Always an issue. Deliberately left for last. Consider the life of the unit as five years, and calculate the daily cost. Calculate the loaded labour cost for the personnel using the system, and the cost of suspended operations if the unit goes down. Consider the total cost of developing, installing and maintaining the system, including training. Consider the consequences and cost of potential lost data. Make sure that the investment in the hardware is appropriate.
If you found this useful, you might also want to review:- an introduction to barcode technology