Zebra Improves Ergonomics With New TC8000 Handheld Computer

The latest Zebra Technologies handheld enterprise rugged computer gets a redesign to make it more comfortable for workers to use.

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Zebra Technologies' latest TC8000 handheld rugged enterprise computer has been redesigned to reposition its display parallel to its pistol grip to improve worker productivity and reduce repetitive motion injuries.

The TC8000, which was announced Jan. 7, now lets users read its display with fewer wrist motions than required by earlier devices, which featured top-mounted displays, according to the company. The changes can help workers save time and increase their productivity by as much as 14 percent because they need not tilt their wrists as much compared with designs of previous versions when using them to scan products, pallets and packages in warehouses, stores and other locations.

The TC8000, which starts at about $2,500, was also re-engineered to be about 33 percent lighter than traditional mobile computers to make it easier and faster to use.

The latest Zebra handheld features a dual-core 1.7 GHz processor and 1GB of memory and runs on Android 4.4.3 KitKat, which includes Android enterprise-class mobility extensions. The standard model features 4GB of flash memory, while the premium version includes 8GB of flash memory. Also included is an SDXC microSD card slot for expanded storage, voice capabilities, dual audio speakers and support for Bluetooth wireless headsets.

The device includes a front-mounted, 4-inch-diagonal multitouch LCD display that can be operated using bare fingers or gloved hands. The redesigned location of the display, which is covered with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, means that users can view the screen and its virtual keyboard more directly.

The TC8000 automatically updates legacy Terminal Emulation "green screens” into graphics-based All-touch Terminal Emulation screens without the involvement of a company's IT department. The device's SimulScan capabilities simplify the capturing of labels and forms on boxes and pallets that contain many bar codes.

Also included is a hands-free proximity scanner that allows users to scan items without having to actually hold the device. Instead, the TC8000 can be attached to a hip holster, presentation holster or cart mount for accurate scanning. The device also includes 802.11r, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB 2.0 connectivity.

The Zebra TC8000 includes a Lithium-ion 6,700mAh battery that can be hot-swapped and is suitable to power the device for up to three work shifts without being recharged. The handheld is 9.17 inches long, 2.99 inches wide and 2.52 inches deep. The standard device weighs 17.2 ounces, while the premium model weighs 17.6 ounces.

The TC8000 offers a choice of multiple scanning engines for different uses in warehouses, manufacturing facilities and other enterprise operations. Other device options include an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera and near-field communications (NFC) capabilities.

The latest Zebra handheld is built tough to MIL-STD 810G standards, including being able to survive multiple 8-foot drops on concrete, sustained tumbling and a wide range of temperature, humidity and vibration extremes. It is built with a sealed body to resist water, dust and other harsh workplace hazards.

"The TC8000 mobile computer represents the greatest advancement in warehouse technology in more than two decades with its revolutionary design contributing to an extra hour of productivity per worker per shift without disrupting existing IT systems," Bill Burns, senior vice president of enterprise visibility and mobility at Zebra, said in a statement. "Warehouses are evolving from simplified operations to tightly integrated profit centers as companies increasingly rely on analytics to drive business decisions. The TC8000 will help warehouse workers be more efficient and deliver more accurate information, ultimately helping businesses operate more profitably."