Review: DT Research's WebDT 310 Tablet

That's worth keeping in mind, too, as an increasing number of service and commercial businesses have been trying to use tablets to boost productivity and work flow, with a large portion of this growth in the Industrial Mobile Tablet market.

As the first in this segment with an integrated bar code scanner, a 2 Megapixel camera, and a Magnetic Stripe Reader (MSR), all-in-one; San Jose, California based DT Research's recently released WebDT 310 and 360 models aim to address the requirements of many vertical markets.

The WebDT 310 that the Test Center recently evaluated has a 10.4 inch touch screen and weighs two pounds (versus the 360's 8.4 inch touch screen at 1.8 pounds). The highly customizable units are fan-less, with solid state memory and a solid state drive. Options include hot-swappable/wearable battery packs, and the customer's choice of Windows Embedded XP, CE, or Tablet PC operating systems. This allows companies with existing commercial applications to continue running them without re-engineering.

While many tablets are available with the choice of scanner, camera, or MSR, DT Research claims that this is the first device available with all three (each as an added option). At the bottom of the screen are three customizable buttons to the left, and four on the right. There is also a fingerprint reader in the center. Our evaluation unit was fitted with protective bumpers on the sides and an elasticized hand strap in the back. The horizontal placement of the hand strap makes long-term use of the tablet in landscape position very tiring. Portrait orientation was much more comfortable. In addition, although the fan-less design makes the WebDT virtually silent, this causes the back panel to get very hot.

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The POS demo we used consisted of scanning a bar code, typing in some information on the virtual keyboard, and snapping a photo of the object. Other possible uses can include inventory management in retail and manufacturing, real-time customer loyalty look-ups in hotels and casinos, and at table payments in restaurants.

With integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, customers can minimize security risks with central usage control and remote management.

DT Research executives say vertical markets including retail, hospitality, health care, manufacturing and insurance are increasinlgy looking to mobile devices to provide on-the-spot service to customers. With this in mind, one of the places where DT Research stands out is by working with the customer or VAR to customize the operating system to their specific needs.

During our testing, we found the WebDT's screen to be bright with vibrant colors. Additionally, the touch-screen was very accurate and simple to calibrate when necessary. Aside from the excessive heat, the device is a well-designed tablet that is easily customizable to suit almost any need. The WebDT 310 has a starting MSRP of $1,699.

With 100K mobile tablets already deployed, DT Research continues to evolve their product to serve the requirements of a growing market. Additionally, a suite of customized accessories are available to create numerous deployment possibilities.