Motorola ET1 – the Industrial Tablet

ET1 Enterprise Tablet from MotorolaIt is a fact that for many applications, a tablet device with a nice big screen is better than the tiny cramped display of a traditional mobile computer. A lot of businesses have been introducing consumer tablet devices into their operations – particularly the old faithful iPad from Apple.

While this can be great from a function and usability point of view, iPads and other consumer devices are not really tough enough for the industrial world, nor do they have the sophisticated security and device management that IT managers insist on.

Enter the ET1 Enterprise Table from Motorola Solutions. Introduced at the end of last year, the ET1 is clearly intended to combine everything we love about consumer tablet devices with the robustness of more industrial devices.

The ET1 certainly looks to be a lot beefier than an iPad, although at 1.4 lbs, it actually doesn’t weigh a huge amount more.

Rear view of ET1 Motorola TabletI think that there is a great opportunity for Motorola or its competitors to fill this void in the market, between the industrial mobile computers and the consumer tablets. A lot of customers I’ve spoken to of late have been wishing more screen real estate and a more convenient form factor. For people using cloud-based apps, this kind of device will be perfect.

The ET1 looks to be a great start, but there is a ways to go. Being stuck with older version of Android (designed for phones rather than tablets) doesn’t help and having to use the built in camera to scan barcodes sounds painful – although I’m sure Motos Bluetooth barcode scanners will work with the ET1.

There really hasn’t been much exciting in the rugged mobile world for a while (just how many look-alike Windows Mobile devices do we need?) so it is cool to see something new.

What do you think? Is Moto onto something here? Are you wishing Apple would make a rugged iPad?

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