Ever since Apple’s iPad reinvented tablet computers, retail IT execs have been clamoring for an enterprise version that’s user-friendly and durable. Motorola Solutions, Inc. announces today the ET1 tablet, the first in an emerging category of enterprise-class tablet computers designed for use in a variety of vertical markets. The ET1 is aimed at retail environments and runs a hardened version of the Android operating system.
Hospitality Technology had a chance to preview the hardware as a possible tool for restaurant and hotel environments. The 7-inch color display provides ample space for a variety of possible applications, from tableside or even poolside POS, to hostess/wait-list management, to curb-side check-in at hotels. Despite its sleek design, however, don’t expect the ET1 to feel quite as sleek as an iPad – it is, after all, a rugged tool that’s built to withstand bumps, drops, and spills.
Although the ET1 weighs 1.4 pounds, it comes with a hand strap that allows users to holster the device. One key selling point will likely be the device’s hot-swappable rechargeable battery pack, with memory back-up battery that retains RAM data for up to 15 minutes when the main battery is removed. Multi-slot battery charging stations are available.
The Wi-Fi enabled ET1 includes both front- and rear-facing cameras. An optional barcode scanner, magnetic stripe reader, mobile-payment readers, and mobile printers are also available.
The ET1 can be used as both a manager's and an associate's tool: access is password-protected so it can be shared and provisioned for each employee according to his or her level of responsibility and access rights. Based on log-in information, managers can automatically control and monitor use of approved applications to help ensure on-the-job productivity is not compromised.
The device, which will be available in the Q42011, will be supported by Motorola’s portfolio of enterprise-grade software modules including RhoElements
, a new HTML5 application enablement framework. Using the new framework, businesses will be able to develop enterprise applications once and deploy them on both traditional Windows Embedded Handheld and Android-based Motorola devices, allowing for consistent user experiences.
The device’s price point is expected to be on par with Motorola’s enterprise hardware. However, the company puts forth that its cost, when compared to a consumer-based device, is very competitive when you factor in the number of times a consumer-class device could need replacing due to damage.
The ET1 tablet will be available with Motorola’s Service from the Start with Comprehensive Coverage program, providing coverage for normal wear and tear as well as accidental damage to internal and external components.