Before you go shopping for hardware, gather as much information as you can about the software you need to run. Remember that you can find out about the system requirements you need for new software before you buy it; combine this with what you already know about the existing software you intend to install on your new laptop. Processor speed, system memory (i.e. RAM), hard drive space, and operating system requirements are all especially important. Most modern software operates on Windows, and this is why we preinstall it on all the computers we sell. We can pre-load Linux onto a laptop if you need it; just let us know prior to buying. Buying a computer that doesn’t work with your software is an incredibly frustrating experience; doing a little research can help you dodge this hassle.
Spare a moment’s thought for your future software and peripheral purchases while you’re picking out your laptop. Are you going to want to install an automated system for capturing and cataloging license plates next year? Are you going to set up a laser light show if you have room in your budget? Check with vendors about the specifications required for running the gear and programs you’re going to purchase in the future and spec out your computer appropriately.
Always review the intended purpose of your laptop before you pick out your Toughbook(s). Do you want to permanently mount the computers in vehicles? Are you going to be capturing signatures? Do you foresee a lot of typing? Will your laptop need to interface with vehicle systems, e.g. to control lights and sirens? You need to consider these questions before you select a Toughbook. Here is how your answers might influence your hardware selections:
* Toughboooks that are going to be mounted in vehicles should be the most rugged models available according to rugged laptop seller Chassis-plans.com.
* Signature capture calls for a convertible tablet computer, e.g. the CF-19.
* For typing-heavy duty, you’ll want to avoid tablets due to their compact keyboards which might prove to be uncomfortable during extended use. Rubberized keyboards have similar concerns as well.
* For light and siren control, you need a laptop with a touchscreen. This is the more convenient and safe way to operate vehicle systems on the go.
One useful way to get hints on the appropriate hardware for you job is to take a look at what’s being used by your professional peers. The CF-19, for example, sees heavy use in the medical industry both inside hospitals and out in ambulances. The CF-30 and CF-31 end up in countless squad cars. The CF-52 is a strong all-around laptop that has plenty of fans in the fields of data collection, logistics, and general field work.
Durability is a major concern with field computers. Toughbooks have a celebrated ability to stand up to physical damage, but that’s not the only issue you need to think about. Does your organization have the budget and infrastructure for frequent computer updates, or are you buying units that need to last for ten years with minimal attention? It may be a good idea to pay more for the very latest models if you need them to stay compatible and useful for many years in the future.
Don’t be afraid to pay more for a rugged laptop that you can rely on. Remember that cheap computers rarely end up being bargains if they feature a high failure rate and need lots of maintenance and repairs.
If you need to economize, consider saving some money by relying on refurbished Toughbooks where appropriate. Most refurbished hardware is in like-new condition, and when it’s backed by a strong warranty like ours, you won’t have any trouble. We can stretch your purchasing dollar up to three times by providing you with the finest in refurbished computers.