InterComms :: International Communications Project
  Intercomms Issue 23

New Range of Affordable
Android Rugged Tablet PCs

Roger Marsden, Sales & Marketing Director UK, for TETRATAB, a trusted and recognised supplier of rugged workforce tablets to police, fire, ambulance and other rugged workforce markets worldwide – where value for money, reliability and flexibility are key

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Recently, there have been 2 major new developments at TETRATAB: the launch of our CASETAB range: brand new, affordable Android rugged tablet PCs for the widest range of customers and the launch of our CASEPAD range as a true in-vehicle MDT replacement.

The growing availability of cheaper 3G and 4G mobile broadband, together with a wide range of flexible Android ‘apps’ and solutions is creating a massive move towards mobile working for all types of industries and services.

However, management face more difficult choices when considering which hardware devices to buy.

Fitting Rugged Mobile Computing, ANPR and video recording to general beat patrol vehicles has never been an affordable option – until now.

High end rugged computers designed for extreme conditions are relatively expensive. For many service industries with front line workforces, these types of tablets are over engineered, too heavy and too expensive.

Nevertheless, many industries would prefer some degree of ruggedisation. But in the absence of affordable rugged options, they often choose to go to ‘consumer’ grade tablets, knowing that they will have more breakages, but willing to risk the increased costs in terms of repairs and support.

What this approach often fails to consider is the actual business disruption and worker ‘downtime’ caused by a broken tablet and these massively outweigh the actual costs of the broken hardware itself.

Another typical way of trying to save money is to buy smaller ‘smartphone’ devices and then fit them with rugged cases. A predictable result from this is for front line workers to complain about small screen sizes and the difficulty this causes in entering more complex ‘forms’ and data.

TETRATAB have addressed this dilemma by introducing their range of CASETAB highly portable rugged Android tablets at a price point comparable or even cheaper than standard ‘domestic/consumer’ tablets.

CASEPAD 8.3” tablet running ANPR
CASEPAD 8.3” tablet running ANPR

Powered by Intel® processors and with certified IP ratings – the CASETAB range enables managers to deploy larger screen portable ruggedised tablets at price points not previously available.

The CASETAB range is powered by Intel Atom® Z2520 processors and offers 2 screen sizes:

  • 7” – IP41 rating - LCD 1024 x 600 capacitive multi-touch; 1GB RAM; 8GB storage;
  • 10.1” – IP52 rating - LCD 1280 x 800 capacitive multi-touch; 1GB RAM; 16GB storage;
  • Both with micro SD up to 32GB; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth; NFC and 4G/LTE Options.

CASEPAD in-vehicle tablet solution can now replace traditional MDT installations – offering up to 75% savings on hardware and installation costs. Supporting 4 camera ANPR and video recording solutions

Until now, mobile ANPR and video recording in patrol vehicles has been seen as a highly effective but expensive tool. Sophisticated multiple camera systems running on ‘fixed’ in-vehicle computing have been deployed in ‘specialist ANPR vehicles’ worldwide with spectacular results.

However the very significant costs associated with fixed ‘in vehicle’ MDT’s (Mobile Data Terminals) have usually restricted deployment to a smaller number of high end specialist patrol vehicles.

Whilst the benefits of having ANPR and video recording in all ‘beat patrol’ vehicles are clear, the cost of installing such a large number of units has been totally prohibitive. Fitting MDT’s, ANPR and video recording to general beat patrol and response vehicles has never been an affordable option.

Traditional MDT installations require a ‘fixed’ mobile computer in a rugged steel case – (usually installed in the boot (trunk) of a vehicle) – plus a separate in-dash touch screen and physical keyboard.

This type of deployment presents significant drawbacks:

  • High cost of MDT hardware – usually estimated to circa UK£4,000 - £5,000.
  • Need for an additional separate touch screen in-dash.
  • Costly and complex in-vehicle fitting – requiring total interior strip-down taking 2 to 3 days.
  • Use of computer is restricted to inside police vehicle – no ability to demount the computer and use for wider operational functions away from the car.

However, with the launch of the new cost-effective CASEPAD rugged tablets coupled with the TETRATAB low cost ‘hex mount’ docking solutions, the ability to provide powerful Intel Quad Core® MDT facilities to all general patrol vehicles is now a practical and affordable reality.

The benefits of deploying rugged CASEPAD in vehicle are very strong:

  • Because the computer, high definition multi-touch screen, 4G/LTE communications and Windows 8.1 Pro operating system are all contained in a single compact IP65 rugged unit, there is only 1 component to fit. Radically reduces fitting time and cost and frees up valuable storage space in the boot (trunk) of the vehicle.
  • Similar savings are achieved at end of vehicle life – de-install and re-install to new vehicle is quick and cost effective.
  • Total computer hardware costs can be slashed by up to 75% per vehicle.
  • CASEPAD tablets allow safe and secure remote working ‘in vehicle’ – but can then be instantly ‘demounted’ and ‘re-mounted’ with ‘one click’ - to allow access to computer systems away from the vehicle – (e.g. e-witness statements, remote desktop access, crime recording, command and control dispatch and update logs, video and still image capture etc.)

Working with several established ANPR providers the CASEPAD solution has also been further developed to provide customers with deployable ANPR and video recording for general beat/ response vehicles at a fraction of the cost of more traditional ‘mobile ANPR’ solutions.

The benefits of deploying ANPR and video recording on the CASEPAD are very strong:

  • The CASEPAD is equipped with the latest Intel Bay Trail Quad Core® processor and is currently running operational ‘live’ ‘4 camera’ ANPR, video recording and speed enforcement solutions successfully in several UK police trials – generating a great deal of strong positive interest and feedback.
  • The powerful 8MP integrated camera on the CASEPAD – enables effective ANPR working whilst ‘hand held’ away from the vehicle.
  • The computer can work independently of ANPR providing ‘standard’ mobile computing and access to force information systems.
  • The CASEPAD tablet can be deployed as a ‘standard’ mobile data system from day 1 – but then ANPR and video recording can be ‘layered’ onto the computer as an ‘add-on’ – at a later date – thereby phasing capital expenditures.

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