Zebra TC55 Touch Computer – BUSINESS WITH A PERSONAL TOUCH
Zebra Technologies simply calls the TC55 a “touch computer,” something as sleek and easy to use as workers’ own personal smartphones, but also something with business-class durability and security.
Your workers need rugged, reliable, remote access to real-time data to get the job done. While personal smartphones, tablets and laptops may be attractive and easy to use, they don’t have the durability or functionality necessary for everyday business use.
The pocket-sized, all-touch TC55 Touch Computer has it all. The TC55 capitalizes on the latest technological advancements, aesthetic appeal and usability of popular personal devices. But unlike its consumer-grade counterparts, it has integrated data capture capabilities.
The TC55 is built to withstand the wear and tear of industrial environments, so it’s less likely to fail in the field. Fewer failures mean less downtime, and most importantly, higher productivity and profitability.
On the technology side, there’s a non-specified 1.5GHz dual-core processor, likely something from Qualcomm’s lineup. There’s 8GB of Flash, complemented by up to 32GB via externally accessible micro-SD card. The screen measures a 4.3 inches diagonally. The TC55 specs claim a 700 nits display luminance indoors, and Zebra says the display uses just half the power of a conventional design.
The TC55 is an Android device and uses Android version 4.1.2, part of the “Jelly Bean” generation of the OS, and also the one that currently is in widest use of all Android versions. And the one used in the TC55 is fortified with Zebra own Mx security, device management and performance features that they added to the standard Android OS. The device also retains backward compatibility with existing warehouse management systems and telnet apps via Motorola’s platform-independent RhoMobile Suite if the apps have been written using those developer tools.
Android is totally geared towards touch, and so the TC55 uses capacitive multi-touch with some extras baked in. First, this multi-touch can be used with even thick gloves. Second, Zebra calls it “dual mode” as it can also be used with a conductive stylus for signature capture and such.
On the connectivity and communications side, there’s dual band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 4G LTE mobile broadband as well as HSPA+, and EDGE/GPRS/GSM support. There are dual speakers, dual noise-canceling microphones, a standard 3.5-inch headphone jack, and also NFC (Near Field Communication). The device supports USB host and client, and charging is via an included rugged charging cable with high-impact contacts rather that provide a robust alternative to the more fragile micro USB connector.
Though the device quite handy (2.7 x 5.4 x 0.63 inches and under eight ounces), it’s remarkably rugged too. There’s IP67 sealing, which means it can survive a dunk in a puddle. It can also handle 4-foot drops, and Motorola subjected it to all sorts of MIL-STD-810G torture tests, including tumble, vibration, thermal shock, humidity, etc. The operating temperature range is -10°C to 50°C, good enough for use almost anywhere. And the screen is protected by Corning’s incomparable Gorilla Glass 2. For a bit of extra grip and protection, there’s also the (recommended) protective boot.
This being an enterprise device, it can read barcodes via an integrated 1D linear scanner that’s much quicker and much more precise than the barcode reading of consumer phones via their cameras. The TC55 can do that, too, of course, via its own 8mp autofocus camera that is optimized for 1D/2D scanning.