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Unitech TB120

Rugged 7-inch Android data collection tablet with integrated scanner and physical keypad
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

On November 10, 2015, global data collection technology provider Unitech announced the Android-based 7-inch Unitech TB120 tablet computer. Designed specifically for heavy-duty data entry, Unitech considers the new TB120 as a "game-changing inventory and asset-tracking tablet."

Unitech's idea with the TB120 is to provide a device that has a significantly larger display than their handheld computers, one that uses Android as its OS, and one that has an integrated physical keypad for rapid-fire data entry. It is also available with an (optional) industrial-grade integrated laser scanner or 2D imager, or a magstripe card reader. We're talking a very specialized tablet for data collection here.

As the picture above shows, the Unitech TB120 is remarkably slender for a rugged, industrial tool for the job, just 0.7 inches, and that's probably measured at the scanner module bulge. Which means that the body of the tablet is considerably thinner yet. The 10.4 x 5.7 inch footprint is relatively large, due to a fairly wide margin around the actual display, and, of course, due to the spacious physical keypad on the right side of the tablet. The whole thing weighs about 1.65 pounds, a bit more than the original iPad.

The signature feature of the Unitech TB120 undoubtedly is its physical keypad. It's about the size of a small TV remote and has 37 physical buttons (really 33 buttons and a 4-way directional disc). The keypad includes the standard Android back, home, and apps keys; a standard alpha/numeric keypad; nine programmable function keys; shifted F1 to F10 keys; as well as power, scan, esc, and enter buttons. This does not only provide an exceptionally complete and quick way to enter data, but it can also be done with gloves on. There are also a couple of dedicated scanner trigger button on the backside of the tablet.

Data can, of course, also be entered on the display itself. It measures 7 inches diagonally and offers 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. That means 216 pixels per inch — very sharp, and the same as the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. There's capacitive multi-touch, which means the TB120 can be operated with fingers as effortlessly and elegantly as any Android smartphone.

The TB120 is powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4477 processor. This is a tried-and-true chip used in a significant number of industrial and consumer handheld and tablet products. There's 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard eMMC Flash. Storage can be expanded via SD cards up to 32GB.

On the communications side of things, the TB120 comes with dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and also mobile broadband. Onboard GPS supports mobile station-based and assisted, as well as autonomous operation. Like most modern tablets, the TB120 has an eCompass, light and proximity sensors, and a G-sensor. Wired onboard connectivity is limited to a micro USB port and a headphone jack. The tablet also includes both front and rear cameras (2mp and 5mp, respectively). The 19.8 watt-hour Li-Polymer battery is swappable and there's a backup battery good for about an hour.

Designed for full-shift use in demanding environments, the Unitech TB120 carries IP65 sealing where the "6" means the computer is totally protected from dust, and the "5" that it is protected against low pressure jet of water from all directions. It can handle a fairly wide operating temperature range from 14 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, 4-foot drops, and has also been tested according to MIL-STD-810G procedures for shock and vibration. Also of note is the Gorilla Glass 3 protection of the display.

The TB120 complements Unitech's existing TB100 Android enterprise tablet that was first introduced in 2012. Which means Unitech has considerable experience with Android by now. The new TB120, which starts at US$1,330, is for those who with heavier data collection requirements that benefit from an onboard physical keypad and industrial-grade scanning.

Contact Unitech America:

Web: www.ute.com
Phone (US): 1 (800) 861-8648
Specifications Unitech TB120
Added Added 11/2015
Type Android tablet for business
OS Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
Processor Dual-core TI OMAP 4470
CPU Speed 1.50GHz
Standard/Max RAM 1GB LPDDR
Disk/drive 8GB eMMC Flash
Card slots 1 x micro SDHC (up to 32GB), 1 x SIM card
Display type Transmissive LCD, Gorilla Glass 3
Display size/res 7.0" WSVGA (1,280 x 800 pixel)
Digitizer/pens Capacitive multi-touch
Keyboard/scale 37-key numeric and function kbd
Housing Unknown
Operating Temp 14° to 122° degrees Fahrenheit (-10° to 50° Celsius)
Sealing IP65, MIL-STD-810G, IEC/EN 60529
Shock 26 4-feet drops to concrete per MIL-STD-810G Method 516.6, Procedure IV
Vibration MIL-STD-810G, Method 514.6 Procedures I and II, Category 5
Altitude NA
Size (WxHxD) 10.4 x 5.7 x 0.7 inches (264 x 145 x 18 mm)
Weight 1.63 pounds (740 grams)
Power Swappable 3.8V 5,200mAh 19.8 watt-hour Li-Polymer battery, 1-hour backup battery
Cameras Front: 2-megapixel; rear: 5-megapixel AF + LED flash
Sensors Ambient light, proximity, G-sensor, eCompass
Scanning Optional 1D laser or 2D imager, optional MSR reader
Interface 1 x USB 2.0 OTG, earphone jack, power
Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS, GSM, GPRS, EDGE 850/900/1800/1900, UMTS 850/900/1700/1900/2100, HSPA+, RFID
Regulatory CE, NCC, FCC, BSMI, VCCI, CCC, RoHS
List price Starting at US$1,330
Brochure Unitech TB120 product brochure (PDF)
Web Unitech TB120 product page