Tablet specialist Motion Computing is looking to “redefine rugged” with the launch of its new R12 line, a 12.5-inch Windows tablet that the company says incorporates a decade worth of learning in selling tablets into field environments.
The R12 is the new top of the line from the company, and introduces a 12.5 inch touch display for the first time in widescreen in Motion’s lineup. Scott Ball, country manager for Canada at Motion Computing, said widescreen will make all the difference in certain key industries.
“Large manufacturing companies all want to go paprelss, but they need widescreen for their jobs. Their shop floor applications all require a large screen,” he said.
Ball describes the product as a “no compromise” industrial design, which gets a 12.5-inch screen behind Gorilla glass into a 2.9-pound device that is thinner and lighter than the J3600 12.1-inch tablet it replaces at the top Motion’s lineup, but gets about double the battery life of the older tablet.
While it is sleek and light by rugged device standards, the R12 is perhaps a bit bulky by comparison to many consumer-grade tablets. Ball said that’s intentional.
“When we started, customers through they could use a consumer-like device that’s lighter and less expensive in the field, so we built those. But they weren’t using devices in the field,” he said. “They were using them in big cases, or in vehicles, but they weren’t standing and walking around, doing their work while truly mobile.”
Ball said the company has sought out “the sweet spot for durability,” and now chooses to err on the side of ruggedness when in doubt. “Even in fields like healthcare, they’re hard on these devices,” he said.
The R12 line also introduces a couple of new accessory and connectivity options to the company’s lineup. First, the company is introducing a pair of “SlateMate” connections that expand the input/output capabilities of the tablet, adding either a three-in-one RFID reader, serial port, and barcode scanner, or a two-in-one RFID reader and serial port to the device.
“Before, we were limited in ability to integrate accessories,” Ball said. “Now, customers no longer have to decide on form factor because of feature set.”
While Bluetooth accessories are common among tablet users, Motion has introduced its own wrinkle on the technology with what it calls EasyPair technology for pairing accessories with the R12 tablets. For example, the EasyPair keyboard for the R12 can be docked with the R12 for storage, and when docked, it “learns” all it needs to know to pair with the tablet, making it easier for users in the field to get up and running.
“We’ve used Bluetooth keyboards before, but the challenge is always one of support,” Ball said. “With EasyPair, you slide it in and it pairs without user intervention.”