The CK71 is part of Intermec’s brand new 70 Series of mobile computers. Over the last few years Intermec (and other manufacturers of this kind of equipment) seem to have been focused on making their devices smaller, lighter and more like cellphones. As a result there has been a lack of innovation in the more rugged part of the market.
There are 4 basic models in the 70 Series, 2 CN models designed for outside the enterprise mobility and 2 CK models designed for tough applications within the enterprise. Of these, the one we are most likely to sell is the CK71 which replaces the rather elderly CK31 and the brick-like CK62 and will be sold alongside the less rugged CK3. I’ve always liked the CK3 model, but is has always suffered from tiny keys and is less robust than competing models from Moto/Symbol and others. The CK71 therefore looks to be a very nice addition to the line up.
The fantastic EX25 barcode scanner is carried over from the CK3 and remains one of the best scanners on the market – especially for warehouse applications
where both short and long range scanning might be needed from the same device.
In addition, there is a new scanner option, the EA30. This will be perfect when the scanning of high resolution linear and 2D barcodes is needed – Intermec claims barcodes as small as 5 mil can be handled – as well as UPC and other barcodes.
As one would expect, the 70 Series has all the wireless and security options that one could wish for and Intermec has been good enough to design a range of common accessories (chargers etc) that will work across the range. This is a very nice thought and will be helpful for clients that need to use more than one design of mobile device.
All the 70 Series devices use the latest flavor of Windows Embedded Handheld (sorry, no Android – so far we are stuck in the increasingly confusing Windows world!) and have pretty beefy batteries that should give decent life. There is a good selection of keyboard layouts as well – I particularly like that some configurations have plenty of function keys – it can be a real pain on some designs having to press 2 or 3 keys just to send an F2.
All in all, this looks to be a very nicely though out product line and will do a lot to enhance Intermec’s position in this competitive market. Now, if we could see some of this kind of innovation in the printer line up, that would be a huge step forward.
By the way, in these days of corporations wanting to show green credentials, it is nice to see that Intermec is recycling product names. Here is an Intermec Model 70 device from about 10 years ago As much as I tend to complain about the lack of innovation with Windows Mobile, it does look as though at least some progress has been made! What do you think?
Do you agree that the 70 Series is a nice introduction and will help Intermec’s position in the market? Are there any other competing product lines you think are better?
Want to learn more? You can download the full specifications on the Intermec CK71 and the other 70 Series devices here. Also feel free to give me a call at 603-598-1553 x237