Consumer or Rugged – What’s the Difference?

Consumer or Rugged – What’s the Difference?

It’s the latest dilemma – do you need a rugged device, or would a consumer equivalent be the right choice? There are plenty of assumptions feeding into this decision. People think rugged is heavier and more expensive but are consumer devices tough enough for working on the move? Which has the more advanced technology? It’s time to cut through the supposition and get to the facts.


Price isn’t the same as cost of ownership

Consumer devices are generally cheaper than their rugged equivalents – nobody’s denying that. But if you buy on price alone, you probably won’t be getting value for money. Rugged devices are built to last longer and these days, they’re adaptable for updating as the technology changes. Consumer devices may provide the same functionality for less money, but if you’re intending to use them in a hostile environment, you’ll find yourself facing maintenance issues, breakage, downtime for your operative and less effective production. In other words, the total cost of ownership is more favourable for rugged devices as they’re far more reliable in the field.


Who’s buying what

Earlier this year, technology expert Xplore Technologies put out a survey to discover what companies were buying for field use and why. Here are just some of their findings:

  • Companies are still going for the cheaper option, as nearly 60% were providing their field workers with consumer rather than rugged devices.
  • Laptops are the most popular device for working in the field, followed by smart phones, then tablets. Two thirds of laptops were consumer grade, bought simply because they offered a cheaper cost per unit.
  • Tablets were split equally between rugged and consumer, as it appears that tablets are more popular for use in harsher environments.
  • Smartphones are more likely to be consumer devices, but are often used in the field in conjunction with other devices.


Overall, 60% of the devices provided by companies for their field employees were consumer devices, showing that a large number of businesses are taking the short-sighted option of simply buying the cheapest. However, once you take a closer look and understand that rugged devices in fact offer a lower cost of ownership, you can gain competitive advantage by converting to rugged technology. Not only will you reap the benefits of greater durability and reliability in the long term, you’ll also be saving money which will directly impact your bottom line.


UK-based RUGGED is your one-stop, go-to supplier with a wealth of experience in providing cutting-edge and cost-effective computing solutions specifically designed and innovatively engineered to operate reliably in demanding environments and conditions.  Add to that an unparalleled range of customer-focused value-added services, you will find all your RUGGED computing needs covered.

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