Can Tablets Be Used in a Scan-Intensive Environment?

Most smartphones and tablets are consumer-grade devices, so they are not built to withstand all-day use in industrial and enterprise environments. Also, their built-in cameras are not designed specifically for barcode scanning, so they’re not a great fit for capturing high volumes of barcodes quickly and reliably.

If you’re running a small business and you’re only scanning in low volumes in an environment where your devices won’t be subject to drops, spills, or heavy use, a consumer-grade device might be a viable option. Your scanning performance won’t be as fast and accurate as it should be, but a lower volume of scanning may be an acceptable trade-off for the lower cost of a less durable device.

However, in true enterprise cases, where you’re scanning at high volumes and operating in warehouses or manufacturing facilities, you need a rugged device with a scanning engine designed specifically for high-volume barcode scanning performance and accuracy.

Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you have to switch to a handheld laser scanner or give up the computing capabilities and consumer styling of a smartphone or tablet. You can invest in an enterprise tablet, which combines the usability and style of a tablet computer with the high-powered scanning capabilities of a true barcode scanner.

Two great examples are the ET50 and ET55 Enterprise Tablets from our partners at Zebra Technologies. Both models feature an extremely rugged design that withstands heavy use and abuse, and you can add optional advanced imaging engines that ensure fast, seamless, and accurate capture of 1D and 2D barcodes.

The durability starts with your choice of an 8.3-inch or 10.1-inch display, which is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with Native Damage Resistance. Each device is also air tight and sealed to the IP65 standard, which keeps out dust and dirt while withstanding water hose-downs at full-force.

These tablets are designed to withstand virtually any type of punishment in a warehouse or industrial environment, even if you’re workers drop it, spill a drink on it, use it in a dusty area, or even use it in rain and snow.

These devices are also designed for true enterprise-class data capture. Advanced imaging engines can be added at any time to allow workers to capture any 1D or 2D barcode–farther away and faster than any consumer tablet. It will capture barcodes displayed on a label or paper, on the screen of another mobile device, or even when they’re damaged, scratched, or poorly printed.

You also get all the other capabilities you expect from a consumer tablet.

As an example, the ET50 and ET55 come equipped with an integrated 8MP rear camera, so you can capture images for proof of delivery or to document the condition of products, shipments, and components. There’s also a 2MP front camera for video calls.

In addition, each device comes with a standard configuration that includes Google Mobile Services and integrated Google apps such as Gmail and GoogleMaps. You can also control installed apps with Mobile Application Management, and you get access to additional enterprise features. Each device is completely configurable to meet your unique business needs.

The main difference between the two models is that the ET50 is a Wi-Fi device, while the ET55 has not only Wi-Fi capabilities but also 4G LTE support. You can also choose your preferred operating system, including Android 5.1 (Lollipop) and Windows 10.

To learn more about the ET50 and ET55 and request a free consultation, contact our team at Riedman Workflow Design.

Get in touch if you want to know more about how to utilize tablets in your warehouse or manufacturing environment. Call me at 585-394-6597 or email: Rich(at)

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