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Zebra TC8000 vs. Motorola MC9200

rsz_gettyimages-200544475-001 (1) The Zebra TC8000 is the most talked about device to hit the rugged mobile computer market in the last 20 years. It is everything the MC9200 is (a rugged, purpose-built workhorse) with a “new school” twist. So here we go again, old school vs. new school.  Kind of like your grandparents telling you how they used to walk to school, uphill both ways, in the rain and snow when you are complaining about riding your bike, taking the bus or driving an old, beat up car.   Or you telling your kids how you didn’t need a cell phone until you were in high school or college, while your 10 year old is begging for the latest iPhone.  Generational gaps and advancing technologies are usually to blame for these types of debates and the TC8000 is no different. First, let’s check out the specification comparison.  Then we will get to some of the more impressive attributes and features of the new Zebra TC8000 mobile computer.

Specifications at a glance:

The Zebra TC8000 handheld computer comes with a front-mounted 4” LCD multi-touch Gorilla Glass display.  We get it!  It looks a little different but the form factor is where much of the increased productivity comes from.  Hang tight and we will get to this a little later. It also has a dual-core 1.7 GHz processor, 1GB of memory and runs on Android 4.4.3 KitKat, which includes Android enterprise-class mobility extensions. And with an IP rating of 65 and multiple 8’ drops to concrete this new wireless scanner is actually more durable than the industry standard Motorola MC9200.  If that isn’t crazy enough, the TC8000 is also 38% lighter than it’s less rugged big brother. So based on what we have seen above there really is no comparison.  The TC8000 is faster, more durable, lighter and oh by the way the hot-swappable battery last 3 full shifts.  But it still looks a little funny, right? Well that is where the TC8000 starts to distance itself from its big brother.  Getting excited now?  Well, imagine warehouse workers being able to hot-swap their batteries on the fly without powering down the device or losing connectivity to their wireless network and application.  Wow!  You can’t do that with a Motorola MC9200!
Zebra TC8000 Review of Specs

Where the TC8000 pulls away:

As mentioned above, who wouldn’t be interested in gaining one hour per worker/per day in productivity?  This is where the genius engineering of this device is realized.  Consider the typical actions taken by a warehouse worker every scan.  The TC8000 was engineered with a large screen designed to face the user while scanning.  This eliminates the need to scan, tilt and verify after every scan.  Zebra put some numbers to it below in what they call “The Tilt Productivity Drain." look-action-scans impact-on-one-workerWow, we just found every worker an extra hour per day.  Most companies would jump at that in a heartbeat, but that isn’t all Zebra packed into this revolutionary device.

All touch terminal emulation:

For years warehouses and warehouse workers have relied on wireless barcode scanners to receive, put away, pick, pack and ship products.  Traditional Terminal Emulation was used to bring the “green screen” to the mobile device for real-time data and information transfer.  Through a series of keystrokes, functions and screens the worker was able to perform tasks like cycle counting, picking, receiving and more. But with an aging warehouse workforce and Pew Research Center data showing “Millennials have surpassed Gen Xers as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force”, warehouses, manufacturers and distribution centers need to be prepared to attract and retain Millennials.  The same generation that grew up with smart phones, apps and instant access to everything. This is where all touch terminal emulation hits the mark.  With no changes to the existing back-end system, All Touch TE converts the traditional “green screen” into an all touch user interface that not only cuts down on errors but also saves time. The time it takes to create or complete each transaction and just as important the time to train new, younger workers that expect an “iOS/Android experience”.  This is a game changer for companies using terminal emulation. before-after

Hands free mode:

Another powerful tool the TC8000 offers, that the MC9200 does not, is proximity scanning (or hands-free mode).  The TC8000 automatically enables proximity scanning when the device is placed in the hip holster, shoulder strap, cart mount or desktop mount.  This allows the worker to use both hands to pick up and scan larger items or can be used at a packing station when validating and packing multiple picked items for shipment.  As soon as the device is taken out of the holster, strap or mount it automatically reverts back to manual, trigger-based scanning.

Scans barcodes, text, check-boxes, signatures and more:

The TC8000 is also equipped with Simulscan Software which allows it to scan, read and capture barcodes, text fields, checkboxes and signatures simultaneously.  Imagine the power to capture an entire completed form in one scan.  Not to mention the error reduction and time savings! scanning-graphic

Customizable virtual keyboards:

And the features keep coming.  In place of a bulky physical keyboard the TC8000 utilizes virtual keyboards that can be customized for multiple applications on the same device.  Using the virtual keyboard on the large 4 inch, glove-friendly screen reduces typing errors by up to 60%.  This type of touch capability is easily adopted by workers in the two largest generations in the U.S. workforce (Millennials and Gen Xers).  As a matter of fact Marketing Charts reports that greater than 83% of 18-49 year-olds own smartphones so an enterprise touch device would allow workers to use the same interface they are already using on a daily basis, making training a snap. virtual-keyboard

Bottom Line:

So the TC8000 is packed with features meant to maximize productivity in your business now and deliver a quick return on investment. As a matter of fact, Zebra boasts that a 14% increase in productivity is possible using the TC8000.  But, it’s also built with additional features that can be enabled as your business scales, like voice recognition and push-to-talk. So no debate here when comparing the TC8000 vs. the MC9200.  System ID has tested the TC8000 and we fully believe the hype is real.  We have recently completed certification to help our customers customize virtual keyboards, develop UI screens for All Touch TE, provision, deploy, manage and support the TC8000’s. If you are interested in learning more about the TC8000 or getting a demo unit for testing contact System ID at 888-648-4452.