Choosing the right PDA

Mobile computing has become a fundamental and key tool in most businesses and in various positions within those businesses, as they allow the completion of various tasks quickly and accurately, optimizing time and reducing errors. From warehouse management to field technician support, mobile terminals can power any business by increasing efficiency and productivity. In other words, with the right handheld pda, you will dramatically increase speed, accuracy, and the number of tasks you can complete in one workday.

The real challenge is really finding the right terminal. With the wide range available, it can be confusing to understand what the differences are between one and the other. Selecting the best PDA terminal for your business needs is critical to helping you reap the full benefits of technology.

What are you going to use the terminal for? Inventory asset tracking, field operations?

Where will the terminal be used? Is it an aggressive environment?

Have you selected the software to be used? What requirements are needed?

What kind of barcodes will you read?

 Will you need real-time connectivity?

Knowing how the handheld pda will be used will help you decide on the computer format, operating system, and other configuration options you may need. Understanding each of these factors will help you find the most suitable mobile device.

PDA Formats

One of the most important steps in finding the right equipment is deciding what type it will be within the wide range available to manufacturers. This point will be determined on many occasions by the functional capacities that we will need. We are going to group the range into 6 main types and each one has its advantages depending on its application and planned use.

Basic or data collector

These are the simplest equipment. They are teams with limited benefits; most do not even have communications. They usually work in batch mode, that is, storing the information read on the device and then being able to download it to the PC in text or excel format. They are computers with simple processors and limited memory, minimally robust, and that are not designed for rough handling. They are the ideal equipment for occasional uses and sporadic jobs throughout the day.

Full-Screen terminal or phone format


They are physically similar to today’s phones, all-screen computers with Android operating system, which provide the user with full access to all the information they need in a compact device. With these devices, you will have options for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth or also WWAN and GPS communications. There are several versions of this type of device depending on their performance and robustness. There are equipment with simple and minimally robust processors, up to equipment with high technical performance with a high degree of robustness or even the most demanding options. Because of their size, these terminals are perfect in the hands of field technicians, delivery drivers, shipping managers, or any other application that comes out of the 4 walls of your business. Furthermore it can be used successfully also within the warehouse,


This type of equipment is of a similar size to the previous one and with similar options. They have a slightly smaller screen and a small numeric or alphabetic keyboard. They are equipment intended for the same uses and with similar options to Full-Screen equipment, but this type of format was more popular when the operating systems were Windows, although models with Android also exist and are being incorporated into the range. These devices offer all the wireless connectivity options (W-FI, Bluetooth or also WWAN). There are terminals with different performances and levels of robustness, indicated mainly for field applications but the more advanced models are useful within a warehouse or distribution center.


Warehouse terminals are equipped with large displays and keyboards for ease of use by operators, in many cases they are presented with a handle for greater productivity. Technologically they are high-performance equipment, they work within a Wi-Fi network or in batch mode, they rarely have the option of working with WAN. These terminals offer a wide range of scanners, including long-range readers to scan up to more than 12 meters away (to use on forklifts and prevent the operator from getting out of the vehicle for example) or DPM (read codes engraved on parts in production) . Beyond the warehouse, these devices are also used in retail stores that will put the units to heavy use giving them the option of more durable equipment or in manufacturing environments.



They provide the same power as a handheld pda and wireless connectivity while freeing your hands for other tasks. The terminal mounts on the wrist while the scanner is attached to the finger or attached to a glove. This allows you to scan and collect data while still using both hands to pick up parts or products, this provides increased productivity. You will often find specific devices or Full-Screen PDAs adapted with Bluetooth connected wrist rests and ring readers. These devices also support voice-based or pick-to-voice applications where equipment helps increase worker efficiency and productivity.


Embedded Terminals for Fixed Mount or Vehicles


Fixed-mount / vehicle mobile terminals put robust computing power in a rugged form factor designed to be powered and handle vibration from forklifts and other vehicles. Unlike other types of mobile terminals, these devices do not have built-in scanners but rather an industrial reader is connected either with cable or wireless with the appropriate reading characteristics, in this type of solution, it is common to use long-distance readers. Vehicle-mount kits typically run a Windows Mobile or Professional Windows operating system with the same features as a PC, but some models offer Android options. The applications of picking, location, freezer,


Industrial Tablet Format

The terminals in Tablet format have also arrived in a ruggedized format, in small formats 7 or 8 inches or larger than 10 inches. They can have Android or Windows 10 operating systems like that of any PC, which gives them an easy integration since it puts in the hands of the worker a device in which you can put the application of any PC without having to make adaptations to other systems operational. They are computers that have the possibility of WWAN communications, they can have code scanners and with different processors, memory, and disk options. They can be used in the most aggressive places as certain models can meet military standards, mines, workshops, military missions, warehouses and can even be used as a forklift terminal with the appropriate accessories.

Operating system

Each terminal has an operating system (OS); it is not different from a laptop or a desktop PC. The operating system is the software framework that connects the hardware of the mobile computer with the applications that run on the device. The functionality and applications available for your mobile terminal will depend entirely on what operating system is installed on it.

If you continue to have difficulties or have additional questions, please call Urovo PDA experts. We are happy to help.