Motorola ET1 Tablet

October 13, 2011

Motorola ET1 TabletMotorola Solutions (not to be confused with Google property Motorola Mobility) has just announced an enterprise-class tablet, the ET1. I hope the codename for the project was Elliot. Anyway, the announcement is hitting major channels, including Twitter, so why not give it a rundown.

Unlike the rest of the Moto mobile computer line, the ET1 is powered by Android OS, so you can get your Angry Birds on while also providing line busting services. With 1 GB RAM and a dual-core 1GHz processor, the ET1 is actually more powerful than the PowerMac G4 I used in college. Progress is amazing.

For file/app storage, the ET1 comes with 4 GB of Flash, plus an SD-slot for additional storage. The SD slot supports 32 GB cards, or about 9 full-length, 720p HD movies. I guess the storage would be better served for inventory databases, delivery routes, or product catalogs, but sometimes you just gotta watch Anchorman. Motorola designed the ET1 to encrypt data both on the onboard flash and on expansion cards, ensuring sensitive data such as credit card numbers, birthday plans, and patient data can’t get into the wrong hands.

The 7″ LCD screen features a 1024 x 600 native resolution and capacitive touchscreen interface, a bit of a departure from the traditional resistive touchscreens seen on mobile computers. They used Gorilla Glass for the screen, so it should be pretty sturdy compared to plastic screens.

For data capture, you have a couple different methods. An 8-megapixel camera comes built-in on all models, and can double as a barcode scanner if needed. It might not be the most effective way to scan a lot of barcodes, but it should be good for line busting or quick product scans. The top of the unit also features a removable bay, exposing an expansion module area which allows you to plug on a barcode scanner, MSR, or even USB module. This is a good way to keep costs down at your business; retailers can opt for a scanner if needed, restaurants could choose the MSR, and either way they’re only paying for the functionality they need.

Initially, the ET1 will come with 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, and GPS for wireless connectivity, definitely angling it at within-the-four-walls applications. A cell radio would be a fantastic addition, but if the product’s staying on-site, there’s no real need for it.

Motorola built the ET1 like any good enterprise device, making it a lot tougher than the consumer-grade products. An IP54 seal keeps out dust and water splashes,  I’d like to see it used as a serving tray at a restaurant. Maybe not all the time, but at least once. It’s also built to withstand drops of about 4-feet, which is standard for a durable but not super rugged device.

Motorola even made a video demo of the product, give it a look!

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