You have barcodes to scan and you need to capture plenty of data in your work, which leads you to a simple conclusion – a smartphone isn’t going to cut it. As useful as smartphones can be, especially when loaded with apps, they’re not tailor-made for industrial or retail use. Mobile computers are, however. And with its PA768 Rugged Mobile Computer, Unitech has come up with a device that offers everything you need from a smartphone combined with rugged features made for the workplace.
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- Pros and Cons
- Display, Camera, and Scanners
- Operating System and Programs
- How to Purchase
- Markets and Applications
- Power and Batteries
- Accessories and Add-ons
With its extensive barcode reading tech that makes it capable of scanning up to 10 barcodes at a range of 10m, the PA768 is perfect for most inventory-based and retail uses. Combine that with excellent drop protection (up to 1.5m) and 5G-powered communication features and few mobile computers on the market beat it.
Rating – 9.5/10
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 6490 64-Bit Processor with Octa Cores up to 2.7Ghz|
|Memory||6GB of RAM and 64GB UFS Flash|
|Screen Size||6.3 Inches|
|Screen Resolution||2160 x 1080|
|Front Camera||5 Megapixels|
|Rear Camera||16 Megapixels with LED Flash and Auto-Focus|
|Scanning||1D, 2D, DOT, DOT, and OCR Scanning|
|Battery||5,100mAh Rechargeable or 7,840mAH Extended|
Pricing for the PA768 Rugged Mobile Computer varies depending on where you buy it and which accessories you add to the package. In general, expect to pay somewhere between $950 and $1,100 for the base device. But adding extra features bumps that price up considerably, depending on what you buy. For instance, the “gun holder” available from Unitech may add $100 or so to the price, with other accessories increasing what you pay closer to $2,000.
To ensure you get the PA768 that you need, always speak to an expert first. They can tell you what features the device has, what you may need to add for your specific application, and how much you should expect to pay.
Pros and Cons
The PA768 Rugged Mobile Computer packs a lot of punch into a small package thanks to its powerful processor and high memory. That added power is essential for the device’s many barcode-scanning features. This way, you can scan up to 10 barcodes simultaneously without worrying about apps shutting down or the device going on the go-slow. That barcode scanning versatility is a major plus, too, as the computer can handle 1D, 2D, and several other types of barcodes, all at a range of 10 meters.
On the downside, the PA768 doesn’t come with UHF RFID scanning as standard, though you can implement it with the Unitech gun grip. It’s also running a slightly outdated version of the Android operating system (Android 12 compared to Android 13), though that OS is tailored to the built-in apps, meaning it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. It would also be nice to get the charging cradle with the package. As it stands, you have to lay the phone down and charge via a cord, which could leave it vulnerable.
Display, Camera, and Scanners
On the display side, the PA768 occupies a middle ground between standard HD and 4K resolution. It offers more clarity than a normal HD display (1080 x 2340 vs. 1080 x 1920), though not so much that it offers the crispness of a 4K display. However, you’re likely not using this mobile computer to watch movies or play games. Its resolution is more than capable of handling most warehousing and retail uses.
The computer comes with a solid 6.1-inch screen, which rivals most modern iPhones, and that screen is made using shatter-resistant Gorilla Glass. You don’t have to worry about a lack of touch sensitivity, either. The glass is usable with gloved hands or with a stylus, which you can buy separately.
Both cameras are solid picks, starting with the 5-megapixel front camera. It’s not the greatest camera in the world, but it’s more than capable of providing decent photographs. The 16-megapixel rear camera offers far more detail, though, and it’s the camera you’re more likely to use if you’re tinkering with the computer while taking photos. That camera is also boosted by an LED flash, making it a good choice for low-light conditions, and a handy auto-focus feature that combats the screen blur issue.
But it’s the range of scanners that makes the Unitech PA768 stand out. You get the standard 1D scanner, complemented by a 2D scanner that’s useful for more modern inventory features. Combine that with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and you get a scanner that’s capable of reading text from standard images, making it easier to fill out information about products without wasting time on typing.
Operating System and Programs
The PA768 runs the Android 12 operating system (OS), which is only one OS older than the more current Android 13. But don’t rush to upgrade the OS. Unitech gets the most out of Android 12 by ensuring all of the apps and programs that come pre-installed on this rugged computer work perfectly with what it already features. It’s also GMS-certified, meaning Google gives the PA768 its stamp of approval to show it runs Android 12 perfectly.
As for those apps and programs, the PA768 combines tools for development, staging, management, and productivity into one package. Examples of the programs available include:
- MoboLink – Helps you to track device health, as well as manage the rest of the apps and their configurations.
- KeyRemap – Reassign the PA768’s physical buttons, allowing them to instantly launch apps rather than completing their default functions.
- UniTech SDK – Get access to Unitech’s software development kit so you can create your own programs based on your workplace’s needs.
- StageGo – A barcode-based device staging tool that you can use to create special script commands relevant to your inventory.
- Logger – Pull logs quickly and easily from the PS768 without going through complex code or filing systems.
How to Purchase
The base PA768 is useful for most warehouse and inventory-based functions, but it’s not a completely comprehensive device. It lacks UHF RFID scanning without an additional accessory (though it has HF RFID scanning), for instance, meaning buying the device as-seen may not be the best option if you need that capability.
This is where the experts at Energy Electronics come in. Our team understands the ins and outs of the PA768, including how it compares to other mobile computers, and can help you find the configuration you need to ensure you’re buying the best version of the PA768 for your needs.
Markets and Applications
There are a ton of applications for the Unitech PA768:
- Warehousing – Besides the expansive barcode scanning facilities built into the PA768, its rugged design and ability to withstand falls up to 1.5 meters make it a great choice for warehousers working on hard floors.
- Emergency Services – A failing smartphone can be a burden to emergency services personnel who rely on their devices to stay stable and usable. Combine the strength of the PA768 with its many programs and you get a device that’s perfect for police, fire, and ambulance services.
- Transportation – Any transportation system that uses 1D or 2D barcodes is perfect for the PA768. For example, you can equip ticket checkers with a computer so they can quickly scan tickets with no fuss.
- Retail – A cluttered stockroom isn’t a problem with the PA768 thanks to its ability to scan up to 10 barcodes simultaneously.
- Military Applications – “Rugged” is the operative word for any device used in military situations. Thanks to its dustproofing, resistance to water, and drop protection, the PA768 is a good choice for tough environments.
- Industrial Sites – Volume is often a problem when working on industrial sites, which is where the PA768’s SmartPA system comes into play. When a standard speaker isn’t good enough, SmartPA ups the volume so you can hear over the noise.
Unitech PA768 Rugged Mobile Computer Review
You’ve read about the Unitech PA768’s many features, leaving you with one question – is it the right choice for you? This review digs deeper into what this rugged mobile computer offers to give you a better sense of whether it’s the best choice for your workplace.
Scanning Like It’s Going Out of Style
It would take an entire review to list the full range of scanning features included with the PA768. But keeping it brief, it has scanners and programs that are suitable for most types of 1D and 2D barcodes, as well as HF RFID. Supplement the computer with the Unitech gun grip and you get access to UHF RFID scanning. As a little bonus, it can scan postal codes from Australia, Korea, Japan, Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands, as well as U.S. postal codes and Postnet codes.
That’s a lot of scanning to pack into a single device, and it’s only reinforced by both the scanning distance and the multi-scan function. Being able to scan up to 10 codes from a distance of 10 meters saves time for workers because they don’t have to get up close and personal with a barcode to pull product information.
Augment Your Reality
Let’s say you’re scanning a complex section and you need to visualize its inner workings as you scan. Most mobile computers can’t do that, with the built-in cameras only able to show you what’s on the outside. The PA768 isn’t an x-ray device, so you can’t see exactly what’s inside a part, but it comes equipped with ARCore technology.
In other words, it can augment reality.
Using its 16-megapixel rear camera and the device’s powerful CPU, the PA768 displays extra information about a part based on what’s stored in your databanks. For instance, you can use it to display the circuitry inside electronic parts so you understand more about your stock and how it works.
Strength and Mobility
Nobody wants to drop their mobile computer, but you’ll at least know you have decent protection with the PA768. It’s certified to withstand drops up to 1.5 meters (or 1.8 meters with the additional bumper), making it a great choice for users who have to work on hard floors or deal with tough terrain.
It’s also made to tackle tough conditions. The PA768 earns both IP65 and IP67 certification, basically telling you that it’s immune to dust and highly resistant to water. The latter certification means you can submerge the computer into half a meter of water for half an hour without seeing any issues. So, puddles won’t be a problem. And with IP67 certification, you know the computer has a strong seal that makes it as usable on construction sites as it is in sterile medical environments.
Amplify the Speaker
Don’t forget one of the primary functions that mobile computers transfer over from smartphones – using the device as a phone.
Like your smartphone, the PA768 has a small speaker built into the device. However, that speaker alone isn’t enough to help you hear whatever the device is playing back to you when you’re working in a noisy environment.
Unitech recognizes that problem, which is why they’ve fitted every PA768 with SmartPA technology. Think of this tech as an amplifier for the small speaker built into the computer, as it boosts the volume and improves the clarity of any audio you play. It’s clever, too. SmartPA tracks device temperature and circuitry usage so it only works when it knows that it’s safe for your PA768 to amplify sound.
Power and Batteries
You get two battery options with the Unitech PA768 – the standard 5,100mAh battery that comes with the computer or an extended 7,840mAh battery. Both are rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, needing only a connection to power via a USB-C cable to charge (though a recharging dock is available separately). Expect to get at least 24 hours of solid use out of the standard battery, with the 7,600mAh battery pushing that closer to 48 hours before it needs a charge.
Both batteries are “hot swappable,” allowing you to switch them out without hassle.
Accessories and Add-ons
Though the PA768’s base unit offers plenty, Unitech expands its usability with a range of accessories and add-ons so you get a customizable and more versatile experience.
- PA768 Standard Gun Grip – Point, aim, and click are all you need to do with this gun grip, which comes with a handy trigger to activate the PA768’s barcode scanning features. The gun grip also gives you access to UHF RFID scanning.
- PA768 Charging Cradle – If you don’t want to leave your mobile computer lying down when charging, Unitech offers two charging cables, one of which is USB-powered, so you can keep it upright. You can also get these cradles in one-, four–, and five-slot variants.
- 9H Glass Screen Protector – Gorilla Glass is strong, but it’s not invulnerable. Anybody working above the PA768’s 1.5-meter drop limit can use Unitech’s screen protector for extra shielding against cracks and scrapes.
- Stylus Pen (5.5mm) – A perfect complement to Unitech’s gun grip, the stylus pen lets you tinker with programs without touching the computer’s screen. Ideal for workers in grubby environments.
- Spare Batteries – Unitech offers standard replacement batteries (5,100mAh) or extended 7,840mAh batteries, both of which slot easily into the back of the device and come with handy covers.
Talk to an Expert
There’s one thing left to do after reading this review – ensure you get the version of the Unitech PA768 that’s right for you.
In other words, the base unit may not be enough to handle everything that you need to do in your business, meaning you need help to create the right configuration. That’s where speaking to an Energy Electronics expert comes in. They’ll help you to figure out whether the PA768 fulfills your needs, as well as point you in the direction of any accessories that make it more useful for you and your people. Best of all, an Energy Electronics expert will respond to your message within one business hour.