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What is a Mobile Computer?

Customers often have questions about mobile computing such as, “What is a mobile computer? Is it a wireless barcode scanner, tablet, or smart phone? Or is it any mobile device used for scanning?”

The answers may surprise you.

Like wireless scanners, mobile computers scan barcodes and capture data. They both support multiple interface options and come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles. But that’s where the similarities end.

Compare wireless barcode scanners and mobile computers.

Benefits of mobile computers

Intermec CN70

The Intermec CN70e mobile computers are optimized for field mobility environments.

A mobile computer (which is also known as a portable data collector or portable data terminal) combines PC and scanning functions into a single device that can be outfitted with off-the-shelf or custom software applications that perform everyday tasks, such as monitoring deliveries, tracking assets, and managing inventory.

And because mobile computers run on familiar operating systems such as Windows, Android, and Linux, they offer the same functionality as a desktop computer or laptop. This enables your mobile workforce to improve productivity from any location.

These powerful processors are equipped with a barcode scan engine and act as their own host, which means you can instantly update and edit information as you capture it. You can also:

  • Securely access programs or databases stored in the cloud or your office using the latest Wi-Fi technologies such as 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Take advantage of high-speed WLAN or WWAN networks, such as the 4G HSPA+ worldwide network or the 3.5G EVDO/CDMA network
  • Add additional memory using expandable card slots
  • Accurately pinpoint the locations of employees, assets, and businesses with optional GPS capabilities
  • Easily sync with modems, printers, and headsets using Bluetooth wireless connectivity
  • Always stay connected via phone using integrated cellular service

Mobile computer types

Mobile computers are categorized in the following types:

  • HandheldSmall, yet durable, devices that extend organizational knowledge into the field by combining scanning and processing functions into a single device
  • Wearable – Wearable devices that come equipped with the latest voice technology for streamlined picking, packing, and shipping
  • Tablets – Handheld computers that securely transmit data over high-speed networks using the familiar design and functionality of consumer tablets while enjoying the durability of enterprise scanning devices
  • Smartphones – Small devices outfitted with processing, scanning, and cellular functionality for true all-in-one mobility
  • Hazardous environment – Certified handheld computers specifically designed for environments where the potential for explosions is present; includes both intrinsically safe and non-incendive devices

Learn more about mobile computer types.

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Jay Schofield

Product Business Development Manager at System ID Barcode Solutions
Jay Schofield’s passion is numbers. For more than 10 years, he has been turning facts and figures into actionable business intelligence for System ID. When he’s not researching, analyzing, and planning for the “next big thing,” Jay can be spotted on the lake with family and friends.

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