Rugged Handheld Computers & Smartphones

As the name implies, rugged handheld computers are meant to be carried in one hand. Some people think of PDA's (Personal Data Assistants) as handheld computers, but in the rugged, mobile and field-use world, handhelds are slightly larger than a PDA. They have a 1/4 display screen...about 25% the size of a full screen computer. Often, rugged handhelds do not have a full alpha keyboard but normally do have a number keypad. Again, in the rugged world, these rugged handhelds are built tough, are sealed against the elements, protected from vibration and drops, and have daylight-viewable screens. Rugged smartphones are handheld computers with mobile broadband capabilities that can also be used as cellular phones.

Another key differentiator of a rugged handheld computer is the lack of a hard disk drive. Rugged handhelds use on-board memory or Flash drive memory (solid-state). Also, these small rugged handheld devices do not run full-blown Windows operating systems, but rather use a scaled down operating system such as Windows Mobile.

Group Mobile Comment: Since most application software was developed for full-blown operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, often the organizations that buy handheld rugged computers will develop their own custom applications. Group Mobile has begun to see more standard, off-the-shelf applications of late for handheld computers, as Microsoft in particular has been encouraging developers to write for Windows Mobile.

Click here to purchase or browse our selection of Rugged Handheld Computers.