Rugged Devices Guide: Why Industries Are Choosing To Go Rugged

Rugged Devices Guide: Why Industries Are Choosing To Go Rugged

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

In today’s fast-paced business environment, the importance of having the right mobile device for your business needs cannot be overstated. According to research by software giant Citrix, businesses believe that business mobility is a top priority, with 63% of leaders interviewed stating that it’s the biggest factor in helping them enjoy a competitive advantage. 

Whether you are a frontline worker, warehouse staff, or a logistics personnel, having a mobile device that can withstand harsh conditions and rugged environments is crucial.

However, many misconceptions exist about rugged mobile devices, making it challenging to select the appropriate device for your business needs. These myths include the belief that rugged devices are bulky, heavy, expensive, and difficult to use.

In reality, rugged mobile devices come in various forms, such as rugged tablets, rugged handhelds, and rugged wearables. These devices are intended to withstand harsh conditions such as extreme temperatures, water, and dust, making them ideal for use in challenging environments Rugged devices also come with a range of features that are designed to make them easy to use and enhance productivity, including barcode scanning, cellular connectivity and easy docking whether at a desk or in a vehicle mount. These features make it easy for factory workers, transport personnel, and retail staff to communicate and collaborate while on the go.

In this article, we will explore the different types of rugged mobile devices available, including tablets for factory workers, handhelds for transport, and wearables for retail. We will also discuss the difference between rugged devices and a protective casing, the features that make rugged devices the better choice, and the industries that benefit from rugged technology.

By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the importance of choosing the right device to ensure mobility for your business needs, and the many benefits that rugged mobile devices can provide for factory workers, transport and retail personnel.

The  Importance of Business Mobility & Digital Transformation

The ability to work on-the-go, access real-time information, and communicate with colleagues and customers from anywhere is critical for businesses to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced environment. To achieve this mobility and digital transformation, it’s essential to prioritise the use of rugged devices to ensure maximum durability and longevity. 

According to a study by Gartner, 56% of CEOs believe that digital improvements have increased revenue. Mobility and digital transformation are crucial because they enable companies to reduce errors, improve efficiency, and ensure employee safety.

One of the primary advantages of rugged devices is their portability. With a rugged tablet in hand, workers can easily move from one location to another while remaining connected to their digital infrastructure and the rest of the team. 

This is especially important for employees who need to access information and communicate with colleagues while on the go. For instance, rugged tablets with GPS and cameras can help field workers capture important data and location information and make it accessible instantly across the enterprise.

By integrating rugged devices into your business, you can ensure that your employees stay connected and productive, regardless of their work location.

Rugged Devices vs. Rugged Phone Cases

When it comes to working in demanding environments such as mining, construction, warehousing or logistics, having a mobile device that can withstand harsh conditions is essential. While consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets can be fitted with protective cases, they often do not provide the same level of durability and functionality as rugged mobile devices.

Rugged devices are designed to withstand extreme conditions, such as drops, vibrations, temperature changes, and exposure to water and dust. They are constructed to military-grade standards and are ideal for frontline workers, service technicians, and military personnel who work in demanding environments.

Consumer devices with protective cases may be marketed as “rugged”, but they cannot provide the same level of durability as purpose-built rugged devices. While a protective case can offer some protection against drops and scratches, it cannot protect the device against water, dust, and extreme temperatures. Furthermore, protective cases can add bulk and weight to the device, making it less portable and convenient to use. A protective case can do nothing for temperature tolerance and in most instances will make the device hotter meaning its performance will be degraded. 

Choosing a rugged mobile device over a consumer device with a protective case provides several advantages. Rugged devices are designed to withstand the toughest environments and are built to last, reducing the risk of device failure and downtime. They also come with business features such a better selection of ports, integrations such as barcode scanners and industrial accessories for charging and mounting.

It is essential for any business to choose the right device. To learn more about the difference between rugged devices and rugged phone cases, have a look at our comprehensive blog for further details.

Features That Make a Rugged Device “Rugged”

When selecting a rugged phone or tablet, it’s important to consider the specific features that make it “rugged.” Here are some of the key factors to keep in mind:

Ingress Protection 

Rugged devices are engineered to endure harsh environments and shield against dust, dirt, and water. The ingress protection (IP) rating measures the degree of protection a device provides against these elements. The higher the IP rating, the more resilient the device.

Shock and Vibration Resistance

Rugged devices can withstand drops, shocks, and vibrations that are typical in outdoor and industrial settings. They possess reinforced casing, shock-absorbing materials, and advanced engineering to safeguard internal components.

Temperature Tolerance

Rugged devices are designed to operate in extreme temperatures, whether it’s scorching or frigid. They can function dependably in challenging environments where ordinary consumer devices would malfunction.

Serviceability and Durability

Rugged devices are crafted for easy maintenance and repair. They incorporate modular components that can be swiftly and easily replaced, reducing downtime and repair expenses.


In some industries, such as healthcare and food service, it’s vital that devices can be sanitised and disinfected frequently. Rugged devices are fashioned with materials that are easy to clean and can withstand tough disinfectants.

Rugged devices are designed to offer durability and reliability in challenging environments. By understanding the characteristics that define a rugged device, you can make a well-informed decision when selecting the best device for your business needs.

Benefits of Rugged Devices for Businesses

Rugged devices have become indispensable tools for organisations looking to enhance productivity, reduce expenses, and improve reliability. Here are some of the key advantages of using rugged devices in your business:

Improved productivity and uptime

Rugged devices are specially designed to withstand harsh environments, making them ideal for industries such as manufacturing, construction, and logistics. They can handle drops, vibrations, and extreme temperatures, ensuring that they remain functional even in the toughest conditions. This means that workers can continue to work without interruptions, resulting in increased productivity and less downtime.

Low Total Cost of Ownership

Although rugged devices may have a higher upfront cost compared to consumer-grade devices, they can actually save your business money in the long run. Their durability and longer lifespan mean that they require fewer repairs and replacements, resulting in lower maintenance costs over time. This makes rugged devices a cost-effective investment for businesses looking to improve their bottom line.

Suitable for Various Industries and Environments

Rugged devices are versatile and can be used in a variety of industries and environments. Whether it’s a tablet for fieldwork with GPS capabilities, a handheld device for inventory management, or a portable hard drive for data storage, rugged devices can meet the needs of various businesses and their unique demands.

Reliable Performance

With rugged devices, you can be confident that your technology is dependable and will not fail you when you need it the most. The high standards of rugged tech mean that it is tested for extreme conditions, ensuring that it will operate efficiently in all situations. This reliability gives businesses peace of mind that their operations will continue to run smoothly and effectively.

Comprehensive Warranty – Conker Relax

Conker’s Relax warranty is an excellent example of a comprehensive warranty that covers all accidental damage, no matter how it happens. This means that if your device gets dropped or damaged during the course of regular use, it will be repaired or replaced at no additional cost to you. The Relax warranty also includes a dedicated technical support team to answer any questions you may have.

Having a warranty like Conker’s Relax can be incredibly valuable for businesses that rely on their mobile devices to keep operations running smoothly. With a warranty like this, you can have confidence that your devices will be repaired or replaced quickly if anything goes wrong, which can save your company both time and money in the long run.

Barcode Scanning Capabilities

Rugged devices also offer various features that are crucial for businesses. One such feature is barcode scanning capability, which is highly beneficial for industries such as retail, warehouse, and logistics.

With the use of rugged devices equipped with barcode scanners, businesses can improve their inventory management processes by accurately and quickly tracking and identifying products. Barcode scanning eliminates the need for manual data entry, which reduces the likelihood of errors and saves time. This allows businesses to efficiently manage their inventory levels, reduce waste, and ultimately increase profits.

Moreover, rugged devices with barcode scanning capabilities can be utilised in various other ways such as tracking equipment, managing assets, and validating forms. It is essential for businesses to consider such features when selecting a mobile device that meets their specific operational requirements.

Industries That Can Benefit From Rugged Devices

Rugged devices have become increasingly popular in many industries due to their durability, reliability, and performance. Here are some of the industries that can benefit from using rugged devices in their operations:

Warehouse and logistics

With the fast-paced and demanding nature of warehouse and logistics operations, rugged devices provide a reliable and efficient solution. In warehousing and logistics, a rugged device is an absolute tool to help reduce errors. According to ITSupplyChain, in a typical warehouse, order picking accounts for 55% of total labour costs. Picking errors due to manual picking can cost £25.

Rugged devices help businesses reduce this cost by helping employees manage picking better and more efficiently. From inventory management to order fulfilment, rugged devices can withstand the harsh conditions of the warehouse environment and increase productivity.

Retail and wholesale

Rugged devices are perfect for retail and wholesale operations where employees require mobility and flexibility. Rugged tablets and handhelds can provide real-time access to inventory and pricing information while also being able to handle drops, spills, and other hazards that come with the retail environment.

Manufacturing and engineering

In manufacturing and engineering industries, rugged devices are essential for their resistance to dust, dirt, and other contaminants. Rugged tablets and handhelds can be used in the production process, quality control, and even in remote locations.


Rugged devices are the go-to choice for the mining industry where devices need to withstand extreme temperatures, dust, and vibrations. Rugged tablets and handhelds are used for data collection, equipment maintenance, and safety inspections.


In healthcare, rugged devices are essential for point-of-care applications. With features such as antimicrobial casing and cleanability, rugged tablets can be used in clinical settings and to improve patient care.


When it comes to choosing the right mobile device for your business needs, it’s important to consider a variety of factors. This includes the industry you operate in, the tasks you need to perform, the environment you work in, and the level of durability and protection your device requires.

At Conker, we understand that different industries have unique needs and requirements when it comes to mobile devices. That’s why we offer a range of rugged tablets, handhelds and wearables that are tailored to the needs of various industries. Whether you need a rugged tablet for data collection or a rugged handheld for remote access to critical information, we have a device that can meet your needs.

Our rugged devices are designed to be durable and withstand harsh environments, ensuring that they can keep up with your operations. From dust and water resistance to drop and shock resistance, our devices are built to last. In addition, our devices are designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, making them easy to use and integrate into your existing workflows.

We also offer customisation options to help tailor our devices to your specific needs. This includes bespoke hardware solutions. We work closely with our clients to ensure that their unique requirements are met, and our devices are designed to be scalable and adaptable to future needs.

At Conker, we are committed to providing our clients with the best possible service and support. We offer a range of services, including technical support, repair and maintenance, and training. Our team of experts is always on hand to help with any questions or issues that may arise, ensuring that your devices are always up and running.

In short, our rugged devices are designed to meet the demands of various industries, providing superior performance, protection, and peace of mind. We offer customisation options, excellent service and support, and a range of devices to meet your needs. So whether you’re in the warehouse, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, engineering, mining, healthcare, logistics, or any other industry, we have a rugged device that can streamline your operations and solve pain points.

We have outlined just a  few of Conkers rugged devices:

  • Conker NS6 – Our flagship 6 inch rugged Windows 10 handheld is the best option if you are migrating from Windows CE. 
  • Conker SX5L – Long range rugged Android handheld that allows your workers to scan without difficulty even from a distance 
  • Conker SX82 – 8-inch rugged tablet that comes with a powerful 9800 mAh battery so you can continue scanning all day without the need to constantly charge. 

If you are looking for the best rugged device to suit your business needs, book a 15 minute discovery call with one of our experienced consultants today.

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter
Anthony Nicholson

Anthony Nicholson

Top 3 Long-Range Barcode Scanners
Continue Reading
Top 5 Rugged Android Handhelds with Barcode Scanners
Continue Reading
Top Rugged Wearable Computers
Continue Reading