How Zebra technologies power work devices for specially tailored rugged applications

Alessia Forster

Feb 22, 2022

9 min read

Rugged devices are widely adopted in enterprises. One of the main reasons for this is their tough nature, making them suitable even in the harshest environmental conditions. Being purpose-built, they offer staff real-time access to data, great connectivity options, durability, improved efficiency, and more. All these are clearly pointing to the fact that the rugged devices are here to stay. According to the report,

The rugged devices market size is expected to grow by USD 1.67 billion and record a CAGR of 5.42% during 2020-2024.

The pandemic has brought many highs and lows in most sectors. It has forced industries to massively adopt innovative technological solutions to keep up with the changing trends. With the shift towards options favoring mobility and productivity, industries operating on frontlines like oil and gas, construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics are left with no choice but to go with innovative solutions like rugged devices.

Getting to know Zebra technologies – the leader in rugged device market

Zebra Technologies Corporation is one of the leading manufacturers of enterprise mobile devices. They offer a wide range of products from mobile computers, rugged tablets and handheld devices to data capture devices and printers. Zebra technologies provide everything that a business wants. Its Android enterprise mobile computers are trusted by industries worldwide.

Industries where they are adopted:
Empowering teams to deliver the best customer experience at the front lines of business.
Warehouse and distribution
Increasing visibility into assets, people and processes for profitable supply chain with the help of mobile computing, scanning and printing solutions.
Elevating overall healthcare quality by connecting your care team with patient data, clinicians and providers in real-time.
Ensuring safety and error reduction by connecting manufacturers to real-time informational intelligence.
Transportation and logistics
Providing specialized tools that accelerate productivity, profitability and operations irrespective of the mode of transportation.
Energy and utilities
Ensuring high performance by providing them with the right tools to capture, assess and share critical data in harsh conditions.
Delivering the experience guest expects quickly and accurately while ensuring stringent regulations.

Getting to know Zebra devices

Zebra rugged devices are widely used in enterprises
Zebra rugged devices are widely used in enterprises

Zebra technologies have become the trusted name for rugged devices across industries. It provides industries with everything they need, from mobile computers and tablets to others like printers and scanners. Let’s take a deeper look at these devices.

Enterprise mobile computers

Zebra’s enterprise mobile computers range from handhelds and tablets to wearable and vehicle-mounted computers. Its mobile computing hardware and software tools are designed to raise performance. With built-in software intelligence, workers can perform at their best irrespective of the device’s operating system. Another highlight of Zebra mobile computers is its powerful suite of intelligent apps and utilities – Mobility DNA, contributing significantly to boosting productivity, simplifying integration, accelerating app development and more.

Featured resource

Rugged devices in the Enterprise

Rugged devices are being adopted in a wide range of industries due to their ability to withstand a range of outdoor conditions. But being equipped with OS like any other endpoint, their challenges are no different from the others. Get to know about the benefits of rugged devices and learn how to secure them with Hexnode.


Its top-notch performance makes it the best fit for a variety of industries. It involves, delivering non-stop service in the transportation and logistics industry, increasing productivity in the manufacturing sector, strengthening patient safety from admission to discharge, providing the best customer experience in the retail and hospitality sector, all the way to improving services and safety with intelligent mobility in the government and public safety sector.

Some of its notable features seen in different mobile computers in use are as follows:

  • Water resistance, dustproof, drops to concrete, snow, rain, heat, freezing cold etc.
  • High-resolution touch screens
  • Powerful cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Advanced industrial barcode scanning
  • All-Touch Terminal Emulation to simplify android migration
  • Backlit keypad with multiple rugged keyboard options
  • A battery that lasts up to 3 consecutive shifts
  • Front and rear camera options
  • Dedicated emergency alert button
  • Healthcare-friendly devices with white illumination LEDs and green aimer
  • Programmable dual-action scan triggers and Push-to-Talk (PTT) button

Some of Zebra’s mobile computer models include:

  • MC2200/2700 Mobile computers
  • MC3300x Mobile Computer
  • MC9300 Mobile Computer
  • TC8300 Mobile Computer
  • TC21/TC26 Mobile Computers
  • TC21-HC/TC26-HC Mobile Computers
  • EC30 Enterprise Companion
  • TC52x-HC Mobile computer
  • TC52x/TC57x Series Mobile Computers
  • EC50/EC55 Enterprise mobile computers
  • TC72/TC77 Mobile computers
  • WT6300 Wearable Computer

Data capture devices

Zebra technologies offers barcode scanners that is built considering all probable challenges, making it easier for you to scan anything, anywhere, no matter what. Equipped with the best software-Zebra’s DataCapture DNA, these devices arrive; ready to deploy, easy to manage and made to scale. It also ensures that your scanners remain relevant, agile and high performing with a strong ROI over their entire lifecycle.

They find application in a variety of industries. Their advanced healthcare scanners simplify caregivers’ interactions with their patients and help prevent medical errors, improve patient safety and increase productivity. It also finds a variety of applications in warehouses, retail stores and manufacturing plants etc., elevating the performance of employees.

Some of its notable features seen in different data capture device models are as follows:

  • Corded and cordless models
  • Suitable for multiple workflows
  • Easier to multitask with its second programmable button that helps toggle between applications instantaneously
  • Full-shift power with battery gauge
  • Support for Digimarc for faster checkouts
  • Elevated electronics protect the device from casual spills
  • Hybrid design with handheld and hands-free flexibility
  • Can be standalone or integrated with self-service kiosks
  • Multiple data capture modes

Some of Zebra’s data capture device models include:

  • DS2200 Series Handheld 1D/2D Scanner
  • DS4600 Series Handheld 1D/2D Scanner
  • DS9300 Series Hands-Free 1D/2D Scanner
  • DS8100 Series Handheld 1D/2D Scanner
  • DS9900 Series Hybrid Handheld/ Hands-Free 1D/2D Scanner
  • CS60 Series Companion 1D/2D Scanner


Zebra technologies are well known for their printers, built for flawless performance. With minimum chances of printer failure, it ensures that there are no work interruptions. Its quality construction with simplified setup and performance-enhancing Print DNA software ensures that the printers are self-reliant, durable and always ready for work. Another major factor is its capability to go a step beyond hardware and deliver autonomy, intelligence and security, ensuring that your data remains safe so that you can focus on things that actually demand your attention.

These devices have a wide range of applications. From shipping labels to receipts and invoices to access cards, they contribute significantly to a variety of industries. They are a part of industries like transportation and logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, retail and hospitality, government, warehouses etc. Being designed for harsh and demanding environments with rugged durability and adaptability, you can rely on them 24/7.

Some of its notable features seen in different device models are as follows:

  • Tool-less replacement of printhead and platen roller
  • Variety of connectivity options to choose from
  • Healthcare models that are easier to disinfect
  • Ultra-compact printer for space-constrained applications
  • All metal construction supporting continuous performance without much delay
  • Easy media loading cartridge for fast-paced work environments
  • High capacity PowerPrecision+ battery with multiple charging modes
  • Fast print speed up to 5ips
  • Accessories include an exoskeleton that ensures extra ruggedness
  • Cloud connect with simultaneous WLAN/Bluetooth

Some of Zebra’s printer models include:

  • ZT200 Series
  • ZT400 Series
  • ZT510
  • ZT600 Series
  • ZE500

Rugged tablets

​Zebra offers tablets that go beyond the conventional ‘rugged’ description. It offers smart, rugged devices that raise the usual set standard and support your journey of achieving something remarkable. It is designed to be far more than tough; it’s far-reaching, high achieving, and uniquely defined for your use case. With its innovative tablet that’s highly secure, fully configurable, simple to deploy and works wherever you want, you always remain ahead in your game without taking extra efforts. They are a part of industries like transportation and logistics, manufacturing, public sector, retail, warehouse, yard, ports, field mobility etc., contributing to a variety of use cases.

Some of its notable features seen in different device models are as follows:

  • Lightest Zebra tablets with fully rugged design withstanding drops, bangs, bumps, dust and water
  • Swappable batteries
  • Advanced wireless communication with support for Wi-Fi 6E, 5G, CBRS and more.
  • Universal docking solution for in-vehicle and desktop
  • Choose between Windows or Android OS
  • Auto-sensing glove/wet-touch technology function in rain, snow and cold
  • Perfectly balanced, ergonomic design for easy portability
  • Serves as an alternative laptop replacement with an attachable keyboard
  • Enter long-form data with ease
  • IP65 with the port cover open and with a 6-foot operating drop rating
  • Optional in-handle barcode scanner for easier data entry

Some of Zebra’s printer models include:

  • ET51/ET56 Rugged Enterprise Tablets
  • ET80/ET85 Rugged 2-in-1 Windows Tablets
  • L10 XSLATE Rugged Tablet
  • L10 XPAD Rugged Tablet
  • L10 XBOOK Rugged Tablet

The final step – Rugged device management

Hexnode simplifies rugged device management
Hexnode simplifies rugged device management

A rugged device, like any other endpoint in the enterprise, has its own set of challenges. While ensuring that the devices implemented in the enterprises are exhibiting their best performance, we also need to ensure that these devices are not becoming the entry points of vulnerabilities. So, efforts should be made to ensure that all such problems are addressed on time. These issues may be due to security, which may be device-level, network-level or related to data security. Other issues include legacy OS rugged devices, challenges due to managing multiple platforms or due to a need for remotely configuring device settings and troubleshooting.

The how and why of rugged device management

Hexnode helps manage your rugged devices with its various features ranging from rapid deployment, device and data security to remote commands. Two of Hexnode’s key features for rugged device management are OEMConfig and Android Enterprise Recommended. OEM makes it easier for enterprises to develop their management strategies and implement them on top of the Android enterprise features. With this, you can manage additional device features that extend beyond the capabilities of device management solutions.

On the other hand, Android Enterprise Recommended is Google’s validation program that helps deploy quality devices for various enterprise use cases. It also ensures that the patches are deployed to devices in a timely manner and that they are also meeting the IP64 certification.

How to setup Zebra device management using Hexnode MDM

Alessia Forster

Product Evangelist @ Hexnode. Take life as it comes. One day at a time.

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