Industry Insights, Rugged
Why Rugged PC Devices Are the Optimal Choice for Frontline Workers

Why Rugged PC Devices Are the Optimal Choice for Frontline Workers

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The COVID-19 pandemic has hastened the need for dependable mobile devices for frontline personnel in industries including hospitality, healthcare, oil & gas, service, manufacturing, and supply chain. These crucial workers perform vital tasks in demanding work conditions, requiring secure and unhindered access to pertinent information and data. This is where rugged tablets prove their worth. 

These devices, such as rugged laptops, industrial PCs, rugged embedded computers, and rugged devices, are purposely built to deliver top-notch performance in challenging work environments. With attributes like USB ports, Intel Core processors, and computing hardware that is fully rugged, rugged devices can work in extreme temperatures and endure shock, vibration, and water exposure.

By using rugged devices, frontline workers can access significant information and data with precision, efficiency, and productivity. Rugged devices featuring the Windows OS guarantee compatibility with standard business software, while their high performance and wide operating temperature ranges make them ideal for use in harsh conditions. Equipping frontline workers with a rugged device provides them with the necessary tools to carry out their work with ease and reliability.

Rugged devices are employed in a variety of frontline industries, including retail, logistics, fleet management, manufacturing, and more.

Benefits of Rugged Devices for Frontline Workers

Frontline workers, which include public safety officials and first responders, require a mobile computing solution that can meet the demands of their job. Purpose-built rugged devices, including rugged laptops, industrial PCs, rugged embedded computers, and other rugged devices, are designed precisely for this purpose.


The primary feature of rugged devices is their ability to endure harsh conditions and extremes. They can tolerate drops, heavy vibration, extreme temperatures, and other challenging environments, which makes them suitable for use in the field or a vehicle.


Rugged computers are constructed with powerful CPUs, such as Intel Core processors, to offer high performance even in hostile environments. This enables frontline workers to swiftly and efficiently access and process data. Conker Rugged devices are equipped with some of the most potent processors available in the market. Discover more about them here.

Compact size

Rugged devices are offered in different sizes and form factors, which makes them convenient to carry and transport. Whether it’s a tablet or a fully rugged laptop, frontline workers can have the flexibility they require to complete their tasks. 

A great illustration of a dependable yet compact rugged handheld that is currently used in various production lines is the Conker NS6. This tiny yet potent rugged computer can provide essential support for critical industrial applications in different industries. Discover more about it here.

USB ports

Rugged devices generally have multiple USB ports that enable connectivity with other devices and peripherals, which are crucial for many frontline workers.

Windows OS

Rugged tablets run on the Windows operating system, which is familiar to most users and compatible with standard business software.


Rugged devices are designed specifically for use in extreme environments. Not only do they have the computing power to support teams, but they are also purpose-built to withstand the rigours of the job and provide high performance in challenging conditions.

Common mobility issues for frontline workers

Listed below are some of the most frequent challenges that frontline workers encounter. It is crucial for businesses operating in industrial environments to be familiar with these problems, enabling them to find easier solutions and make smarter decisions.

Wear and Tear

Many businesses tend to focus solely on the software and functionality of their devices, neglecting the importance of hardware durability. However, this is not a recommended practice, as industries operating in harsh environments will experience significant wear and tear on their devices. Often, companies only become aware of these hardware issues when it is too late.

To address this issue, companies anticipating using their devices in demanding environments should opt for rugged devices. While rugged devices may still show signs of wear and tear eventually, this problem will occur 4-5 times later than with a regular consumer device.

The Conker NS6 is a rugged handheld device that comes with an IP65 rating. It is designed to be the smallest full Windows 10 device, allowing workers to have a full computer right in the palm of their hand. With an IP65 rugged rating, this device is highly protected, making it resilient against dust and water. Another outstanding feature is its high and low operating temperature, meaning it can withstand even the most demanding work environments.

In addition, rugged devices typically have a wide operating temperature range, making them suitable for use in manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and other similar industries.

App and Patch Management

Ensuring consistent app management is crucial for frontline workers to maintain productivity and safety. Outdated apps can cause disruptions to workflow and leave devices vulnerable to security breaches. App and patch management ensures that all rugged devices have the same apps, versions, and firmware updates installed.

The Conker NS6 is a small yet powerful handheld device running on a full Windows 10 operating system. It offers reliability and flexibility, making it the ideal device for businesses that require consistent app management. With the NS6, companies no longer need to worry about outdated Microsoft operating systems.

Issues with Legacy Operating Systems

In an earlier blog, we discussed how legacy operating systems can cause problems for your operations. Currently, there is a long list of rugged devices that still use legacy operating systems like Windows CE. Rugged devices for frontline workers should only use the latest operating systems to avoid issues.

If the legacy operating system is causing problems in your business, be sure to read our blog about your upgrade options. We have provided a comprehensive explanation of how you can prepare your team for an upgrade when Windows CE is no longer supported. In a previous blog, we shared how legacy operating systems can become problematic for your operations. Presently, there is a long list of rugged devices that still use legacy operating systems like Windows CE. Rugged devices for frontline workers should use only the latest operating systems to avoid issues.

Consideration With Workers

According to a recent study published by Incisive, 82% of employees under the age of 34 say technology is an important factor when applying for a job. In addition, almost 80% of frontline workers in the retail industry are from Generations X, Y, and Z. As a result, these workers have high expectations when it comes to the kind of devices they use for day-to-day operations.

Benefits of rugged devices for frontline workers

Frontline workers often face repetitive and dull tasks in their daily work. Despite this, their roles are critical to the success of most business operations. Any issues with completing their tasks can directly affect customer experience and business profitability. As many frontline workers operate in harsh environmental conditions and extreme temperatures, it is ideal to equip them with rugged devices for their daily operations. Rugged devices for frontline workers enable them to perform effectively even under tough work circumstances. Additionally, they allow workers to stay connected with their team for easy exchange of company information and data.

Rugged Devices for Frontline Workers Allows Tailored Access

In various industries, rugged devices have proven to be highly beneficial in increasing work efficiency. These powerful devices come equipped with either a Windows or Android operating system that can be easily programmed to enable remote monitoring or updates, depending on the needs of the business. This feature allows for seamless communication and real-time data sharing between frontline workers and the rest of the team, ultimately leading to a more productive and efficient workplace.

Security of Confidential Information

Frontline workers who handle confidential information, such as customer data, should be able to easily secure their rugged devices. Compromised sensitive information can cause significant problems for the company. Therefore, regardless of whether the device is lost or misplaced, rugged devices can easily secure your company’s data. Rugged devices come with a range of connectivity options, fast integration, and more.

Easy Troubleshooting of Rugged Devices for Frontline Workers

Rugged devices that are equipped with either Windows or Android operating systems guarantee that employees won’t have any trouble using them. Android and Windows are the two most popular operating systems worldwide. Familiarity with the operating system also facilitates easy troubleshooting in case any problems arise.

How Rugged Devices Improve Productivity For Frontline Workers

Rugged PCs are purpose-built to provide excellent performance in demanding environments and offer several advantages that can help frontline workers be more efficient and productive in their jobs.

Improved Workflow – Rugged devices can be configured to meet the specific needs of frontline workers, allowing them to access critical information quickly and efficiently. By having access to the data they need, workers can complete tasks more efficiently, resulting in faster workflows and improved productivity.

Reduced Downtime – Rugged industrial PCs are built to withstand harsh conditions such as shock, vibration, and extreme temperatures. This means they are less likely to fail, helping to reduce downtime and improve productivity.

Increased Power – A rugged industrial PC device is equipped with industrial-grade CPUs that can deliver high performance even in challenging environments. This means that workers can process data quickly and efficiently, which can help streamline workflows and improve productivity. Conker’s rugged handhelds and tablets also come with the latest Intel processors, making them an excellent choice.

Mobility – Rugged industrial PCs can be used in a variety of settings, including in a vehicle or on the go. This means that frontline workers can access the data they need, regardless of their location, which can help improve productivity.

Wide Temperature Range – Rugged PC devices are designed to operate in extreme temperatures, meaning they can be used in a variety of environments. This can help reduce downtime and improve productivity, as workers can continue to work in hot or cold conditions without interruption.

Rugged industrial PC devices have been successfully implemented in various industries to improve workflows and reduce downtime. Here are some examples:

  • First responders using rugged tablets to quickly access critical information in the field, allowing them to respond to emergencies more efficiently.
  • Industrial workers using rugged industrial PC devices to access data on the factory floor, helping them to streamline workflows and improve productivity.
  • Mobile workers using rugged industrial PC devices to collect and transmit data, which can reduce errors and improve overall efficiency.

To sum up, rugged devices and laptops with fanless operation are the ideal tools for frontline workers. Although consumer mobile devices may seem like a more affordable option, they are not suitable for the challenging work environments that frontline workers encounter. Rugged laptops, computers, and embedded systems are designed to withstand vibrations, shocks, extreme temperatures, and other hazards. They also come with expansion options, high-performance CPUs, and USB ports to provide the necessary computing power for various applications. With MIL-STD and IP ratings, these devices can withstand harsh environments and improve the workflow of frontline workers, reducing downtime and increasing productivity.

Conker is a leading manufacturer of rugged devices and solutions, including rugged tablets, handhelds, and computers. Based in the UK, Conker has over a decade of experience in designing and manufacturing durable devices that are built to withstand harsh environments and provide reliable performance in challenging conditions.

One of the unique features of Conker’s rugged devices is their fanless operation, which ensures that they are silent and free of dust or debris. This makes them ideal for use in settings where noise or airborne particles could be a problem, such as in healthcare, hospitality, or food processing industries.

Conker’s rugged devices are also designed to be highly configurable, allowing customers to choose the specific features and specifications that best fit their needs. We offer a range of options for processors, RAM, storage, and connectivity, as well as the ability to add barcode scanners, RFID readers, and other peripherals.

Overall, Conker is dedicated to providing innovative and reliable solutions for frontline workers across a range of industries. Their rugged devices and solutions are designed to improve workflow, reduce downtime, and increase productivity, helping businesses to succeed in even the most challenging environments.

Find your fit-for-purpose device. Get in touch today!

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Conal McGuirk

Conal McGuirk

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