At InformaTrac, we spend a lot of time working with all the latest barcode and RFID technology. So when we heard about the new Ranger 7 by Trimble, we knew we had to test it out.
We reached out to Trimble to talk about their new game-changer of a device and this is what they had to say. “The Ranger 7 is an outstanding mobile computer any field professional must take a look at if they want to increase the productivity of their business.” said Ben John, business area director for the Trimble Mobile Computing Solutions Division. “With its large screen, full keyboard and Windows 10 Pro operating system the Ranger 7 runs your professional software seamlessly. Leveraging the Trimble EMPOWER modular concept, it is also a game-changer for companies that have a need for a rugged mobile device tailored specifically to their workflow. We are excited to see InformaTrac endorse the Ranger 7 and make its potential available to their user community.”
Once we got our hands on one we could tell that this was indeed a game-changer. The Ranger 7 is a ruggedized, handheld field computer with a 7-inch display and a full alphanumeric QWERTY keyboard, along with 12 programmable buttons. But unlike many of the handheld devices of the past, the Ranger 7 puts the full power of Windows 10 Professional right into the palm of your hand. It doesn’t fall short on the options either. The Ranger 7 includes 8GB of RAM, a 64 GB SSD, both front and rear facing cameras and the latest in Bluetooth and 802.11 Wi-Fi technology. There’s also an option to add a SIM card for a 3G and 4G/LTE wireless data connection.
But the Ranger 7 isn’t just another computer. Trimble designed the Ranger 7 around their EMPOWER technology that allows you to add all the hardware capabilities you need. If you need GPS, they’ve got a module for that. If you need barcode capabilities, EMPOWER’s got a module for that. But at InformaTrac, the one that takes the cake is the combined UHF RFID Reader and 1D/2D Barcode Imager.
At InformaTrac we work with companies in all sorts of industrial capacities. And one of the biggest things we’ve learned over the past 25 years is that every company is a little different. There is no “one device” that will work in every situation. This is why the Ranger 7 is such an exciting piece of technology. By running the full version of Windows 10 Pro, it can run any locally installed applications including some of our favorites, Microsoft SQL Server or Google Chrome.
As part of our review, we at InformaTrac decided to test out how the Ranger 7 worked on some of our own software. To no surprise to us, the Pentium, Quad Core processor and 8GB of RAM easily handled any applications we could throw at it. But the real test would be how it handled the Barcode and RFID collection.
One of the biggest challenges in providing web based enterprise software is the fact that we’re often limited by the capabilities of the internet browser. Because of the necessary security measures provided by applications like Google Chrome we often have to come up with creative ways to collect data from hardware that may be connected to a machine. The best part is that the people at Trimble thought of that when designing the RFID and Barcode EMPOWER module for the Ranger 7. With a simple setup, both the barcode reader and the RFID reader can be configured to type out the information they read directly to the cursor on the screen. This means that with the Ranger 7 the user can read barcodes and RFID tags directly into a web application without any other software needing to be installed on the machine. This is a long awaited capability that makes life simple for the user and much easier for the IT staff.
The bottom line is, we love the Ranger 7 by Trimble. This device provides all the flexibility we need to solve a variety of the unique requirements we come across every day. We thank Trimble for giving us the opportunity to test out the Ranger 7 and look forward to quickly implementing many of these devices with our customers.