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March 07, 2003
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The Challenges of Mobile Computing - A Hardware Perspective

As the Personal Computer revolution has advanced, the capabilities of Mobile Data Terminals became limited in their ability to meet the functionality requirements of a robust mobile data environment. Departments began looking for the options and the PC was a natural choice. It offered broader mobile data functionality, while still providing basic MDT functions. However laptops and notebook computers have the following limitations which departments must consider in implementing any mobile solution:

  • The problems associated with laptop devices in vehicles were the following:
  • Screen not legible in all lighting conditions and often have no touch options
  • Unit too large to install in vehicle
  • Units not bright enough
  • Units get stolen
  • Agencies often find that they use the mobility feature less than originally thought
  • Breaks often and has a short life span
  • Plastic case subject to deformation in summer heat
  • Unit insufficiently rugged for patrol environment
  • No detached keyboard, resulting in difficult case entry
Make sure that your department considers these issues when assessing any mobile data solution.

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