Some TOUGHBOOK handheld models have Windows operating systems while others run on Android. So what’s the difference between the two types, and is one better than the other?
Essentially it is just the operating system that differs because both Android and Windows TOUGHBOOK handhelds are built for the toughest users who operate in extraordinarily difficult circumstances and conditions.
While sizes and key features vary, depending on the model, both Android and Windows TOUGHBOOK handhelds are fully-rugged and ideal for mission-critical work in the field. In some cases, there is a choice between an Android or Windows TOUGHBOOK or Toughpad with the same or similar features. However, Android Toughbooks are gaining in popularity and capturing the market from Windows-based handhelds.
Differences Between Android and Windows Operating Systems
The Windows operating system (OS), Windows 1, was developed by Microsoft and introduced in 1985 to run personal computers with mouse control and a 16-bit graphical user interface (GUI) that ran on top of MS-DOS for use with IBM-compatible PCs.
Since then there have been another nine versions of Windows with Windows 10 remaining “the best Windows ever,” according to Microsoft.
Over the years there have been many changes, with Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 2000 – the last of Windows 9 – being the last Windows OS based on MS-DOS.
Windows XP, which combined an enterprise and consumer line of operating systems, was released in late 2001 and continued until 2014, becoming the longest running Microsoft OS – even though it was replaced by Windows Vista in 2007.
While Vista offered home (basic or premium), ultimate, business, and other options, Windows 10, launched in 2010, was intended to unify Windows smartphones, tablets, and desktop PCs with one interface and one way of operating, as well as with one account.
While close to 90 percent of the world’s PCs were running on a Microsoft OS by 1993, it faced increasing competition from Apple and the well-established Linux operating system.
The Android mobile operating system was based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and was originally designed specifically for digital cameras. Due to a lack of demand, the same platform and OS was shifted to mobile, handheld devices including phones and tablets.
Founded in 2003, the Android company was acquired by Google in 2005. A beta version of the mobile OS was released in 2007 – the same year Apple launched its first iPhone.
The decision by Google to continue to use Linux allowed the company to make Android an open source OS that could be offered free to third-party cellphone manufacturers, making it immensely popular. It wasn’t long before Android became the most popular mobile OS in the world, with only Apple presenting serious competition.
Although it doesn’t affect the way TOUGHBOOK handhelds perform and deliver, Android operating systems have sweeter names than Windows’, with all names coming from sweets, desserts, and other treats including the first Android OS 1.5 Cupcake (2009,) 1.6 Donut, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 5.0 Lollipop, 6.0 Marshmallow, and the most recent, 9.0 Pie, launched in August 2018.
By mid-2018 Android reportedly held more than 80 percent of the smartphone market, and there are more TOUGHBOOK handhelds on the market that operate with Android rather than Windows.
TOUGHBOOK Handhelds at Mooring Tech
The available range of TOUGHBOOK handhelds currently include 4.7- and 5-inch devices:
- Toughpad E1, the FZ-E1 fully-rugged tablet that runs on Windows 10. It has a 5-inch screen, military-grade toughness, and enterprise-class mobile computing power. It features an integrated barcode reader and an optional magstripe reader and certified ANSI 12.12.01 that is suitable for hazardous locations.
- Toughpad F1, the FZ-FI which is a slightly smaller 4.7-inch fully-rugged handheld device that meets MIL-STD-810G 6-foot drop as well as all-weather, dust, and water-resistance standards. Regarded as an Internet of Things (IoT) mobile enterprise model, it also runs on Windows 10. It features an angled barcode scanner.
- Toughbook TI, the FZ-TI Android that runs on 8.1 Oreo and features a 5-inch glove and rain touch-enabled screen. A rugged Toughbook, it meets 5-foot drop, and all-weather, dust, and water resistance military standards. It has a straight-shooting barcode reader and offers optional 4G LTE data with cellular voice capability.
- Toughbook N1, the FZ-N1, a 4.7-inch fully-rugged handheld device that also runs on the Android Oreo OS and features an angled 1D/2D barcode reader. An all-in-one tool, it features dual SIM multi-carrier data support with cellular voice capability.
- Toughbook X1, the FZ-X1 fully-rugged Android 5-inch handheld tablet that runs on 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It boasts military-grade toughness, and enterprise-class mobile computing power like the FZ-E1 that runs on Windows. Like the E1, it features an integrated barcode reader and an optional magstripe read and certified ANSI 12.12.01 that is suitable for hazardous locations. Additionally, it has been tested to withstand a 10-foot drop and weather conditions to -4 °F, a high-pressure jet spray and it is submersible up to 5 feet for 30 minutes.
If you are in the market for a tough handheld device, a Panasonic Toughbook or Toughpad can do the job without compromising your mobility.
Call the experts at Mooring Tech to discuss your needs and options.