Price Versus Cost
The price is what one pays up-front for a computer. The cost is what the computer costs over the life expectancy of the computer. Studies have shown that, when used in a field or vehicle environment, rugged computers cost less than commercial computers. This is primarily a function of lower repair costs and less downtime experienced when using the right tool for the intended job. We have seen studies that show commercial, plastic computers have a one year failure rate of 24% whereas rugged computers have a one year failure rate of less than 5%. If you are like most people, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is the most important factor when choosing a computer to buy. We have heard of organizations that have experienced 10-20% MONTHLY failure rates when attempting to use commercial, plastic computers in vehicles or in the field.
The 3 year warranty included with most rugged computers also is a determinant in the price versus cost calculation. Even if the rugged computer fails in the first three year period, the repair cost is free. And finally, the liquidation or re-sale value of a rugged computer is considerably more than it is for a commercial computer. Since rugged computers last longer, the secondary market values used or refurbished units much higher.