With its 8-inch display, the Unitech TB85 Plus Rugged Tablet combines portability with a solid screen size that makes it easy to see what you’re doing. But many rugged tablets offer similar screen sizes, so you need to dig deeper to figure out if the TB85 Plus is the right choice for you or your employees. This review tackles the tech behind this Android 10-powered tablet.
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- Pros and Cons of the TB85 Plus
- Display, Camera, and Scanners
- Operating System and Programs
- How to Purchase
- Markets and Applications
- Unitech TB85 Review
- Power and Batteries
- Accessories and Addons
There’s a lot to love about the TB85 Plus, from its barcode scanning modules to the solid rear camera that makes capturing images a breeze. But it’s the customizability that makes it a great choice. You can tinker and tailor the tablet to your specific needs, making it one of the most versatile options available.
|8 Inches (Color)
|1280 x 800 Pixels
|13 Megapixels (with LED Flash)
|1D and 2D Scanners with Triggers
|9.52 x 5.98 x 0.70 Inches
|-4 to 140 Degrees Fahrenheit
|2.2Ghz Qualcomm MSM8953 PRO Octa-Core
If you opt for the base Unitech TB85 Pro unit, you’re likely to pay somewhere in the region of $1,200, depending on the retailer. However, that price isn’t a given, as the customizability of the device may lead to you adding more features, for which you pay extra. Still, you should be able to get your hands on it for a sub-$2,000 price.
Speaking to the experts is the best way to get a version of the TB85 Pro that meets your needs, plus it’s the only way to get an accurate price for the device. The Energy Electronics team can provide a more detailed quote explaining what you’ll pay for the base device, as well as additional charges for features you add to it.
Pros and Cons of the TB85 Plus
The TB85 Plus’s weight-to-ruggedness ratio is its biggest plus point. Coming in at just 1.4 pounds, it weighs less than the first edition of Apple’s iPad while packing in features like tough Gorilla Glass (used for the screen) and IP67-rated construction to provide a seal that guards against dust and water. That low weight, combined with its 8-inch screen size, also makes it extremely portable. The huge battery life is another major plus, with the tablet able to last for about two days of regular use before it needs a recharge.
As for cons, there aren’t many to name. It would be nice to see the device ship with the latest version of Android, as it defaults to Android 10 even though Android 13 has been available since August 2022. And despite its low weight helping with portability, it’s not a tablet that slides easily into your pocket. That shouldn’t be a major issue for most, but those who want a touch more convenience may be better served by a rugged smartphone.
Display, Camera, and Scanners
The TB85 Pro’s display is solid without ever veering into spectacular territory. At 8 inches, it gives you plenty of space to see whatever you’re doing on the tablet, and at 450 nits, it matches the brightness you’ll see in most standard HD TVs. But that nit count also hints at the fact that this isn’t a 4K tablet, as its resolution is 1280 x 800. That’s more than enough for most warehousing and retail needs, though, and you’re basically paying extra for something that most don’t need if you want a tablet that has a higher-resolution screen.
Both of the cameras (front and rear) are solid, too. At the front, you get a 5-megapixel camera that’s capable of taking shots with decent clarity. The rear camera outshines the front camera in every way, coming in at 13 megapixels aided by an LED flash that helps you to take clear photos in low-light conditions. That flash makes the tablet a good choice for nighttime warehousing or applications where light can be an issue, such as taking police photographs during late-night stops.
Finally, the tablet comes equipped with a barcode scanner that’s capable of reading 1D and 2D barcodes. The 1D feature is standard and should be expected in all rugged tablets, but it’s the 2D scanning that stands out. It captures information stored horizontally and vertically in barcodes – ideal for capturing large amounts of information about a product.
Operating System and Programs
You’ll find the TB85 Pro runs on Android 10 as its default operating system (OS). It’s a touch outdated (Google is up to Android 13 as of 2023), but the OS is tailored to keep the device running smoothly and ensure its range of apps and programs doesn’t run into any compatibility issues.
Speaking of programs, the TB85 Pro comes with several that help you tailor your usage. MoboLink helps you keep an eye on the device’s overall health, letting you know if you need to schedule maintenance to keep it running smoothly. It also features StageGO, which is a barcode-based staging utility that lets you create your own scripting commands for the built-in barcode scanner that are relevant to your needs. The UNote text viewer is also handy for quickly jotting down notes when you’re on the job. All of this falls under the remit of the MobiControl software, which helps you to configure and manage the apps on the tablet.
How to Purchase
Buying any rugged tablet comes down to one thing – making sure the device matches your needs. The TB85 Plus may be that device, but it’s crucial that you speak to an expert who understands what the tablet can do, especially in comparison to other devices in its class, so you make the best choice for your exact needs.
Markets and Applications
The versatility of the Unitech TB85 Plus is one of its best features, making this rugged tablet usable in the following industries:
- Warehousing – The combination of its strong camera and multi-faceted barcode scanner ensures the TB85 Plus keeps your inventory in check.
- Retail – Similarly to how the TB85 Plus helps with tracking warehouse inventory, it’s also ideal for staying on top of retail stock.
- Manufacturing and Production – Shock and drop protection are the main features that make the TB85 Pro a good choice here, and the barcode scanners help you to track outgoing products.
- Construction – Construction sites are dusty. Really dusty. The TB85 Pro is IP67-certified, meaning it has a seal that prevents dust from getting into its inner workings.
- Field Services – The more work your people do out in the field, the more they need a rugged tablet that can handle all conditions. Combine the dust and waterproofing of the TB85 Pro with its flash-assisted camera and you have the perfect device for field work.
- Police Work – Combine the TB85 Pro with Unitech’s vehicle mount and you have an excellent tablet for recording information about crimes and handling crime scene photography and notetaking.
Unitech TB85 Review
Even though it was released back in 2018, the TB85 Pro is still a versatile tablet that’s more than capable of handling most warehousing and fieldwork needs. Its combination of a slender and lightweight profile (aiding portability) and an extremely long battery life make it a top choice. Plus, as a rugged tablet, it’s capable of taking a beating that regular tablets can’t endure.
Lightweight and Easy to Carry
If you work in warehousing, you may spend your entire day carrying around a tablet so you can scan inventory and make sure the warehouse’s workflow is up to the appropriate standard. At just 1.4 pounds, the TB85 Pro makes that easy, giving you a tablet that’s manageable and won’t leave your arm feeling like it’s dead after a couple of hours of use.
Unitech also makes using the table easy for people who have dexterity issues and those who can’t carry even smaller weights for extended periods. Its accessories range includes both hand and shoulder straps, with each making it even easier to carry the TB85 Pro. Granted, they don’t come with the device; you must purchase them separately. But these accessories are useful added features that allow you to tailor the tablet’s usage based on the needs of your employees.
A Huge Battery Life
The 8,200 mAh you get with the TB85 is about twice as large as the batteries in rugged tablets that fall into its class, giving it a much longer life from a single charge than you may get with other devices. Some users say it can last up to three days of irregular usage, though you should expect something closer to two days if the tablet will be powered on for full shifts.
Still, two days without needing a charge are ideal for people who find that their tablets give up the ghost after a few hours of use. It also makes the TB85 Pro ideal for fieldwork, when charging stations aren’t in ready supply and you need a tablet that lasts for the entirety of a shift. Having said that, UniTech’s accessories feature various converters you can use to boost the battery in a car. Plus, it charges via a USB cable, which many modern vehicles can accommodate. Being able to swap dead batteries without the help of a professional is also a major plus.
Superb Scanning and Extensions
Versatility in scanning is a hallmark of the TB85 Pro thanks to its built-in 1D and 2D barcode scanners. The former is the sort of scanner you’d expect to see in most devices of this type, and it’s ideal for the barcodes you see in regular retail usage. But it’s the 2D scanner that stands out. With 2D barcodes, manufacturers can place more information into a barcode before sending their products. The TB85 Pro reads that information and instantly displays it on its screen so you know precisely what’s in the packaging of any product you scan.
Unfortunately, the tablet doesn’t come with RFID or magstripe scanning as standard. But Unitech accounts for that with a smart 14-pin pogo extension port, which fits standard magstripe scanners for retail usage. Combine that with other accessories, such as its Bluetooth-enabled RFID scanner, and you can turn the base tablet into a super-scanning machine.
Ideal for Almost Any Environment
The Unitech TB85 Pro combines IP67 certification with an extremely high operating temperature range.
Starting with the IP67 certificate tells you that the tablet has special sealing technology that prevents dust and water from encroaching. More specifically, the tablet easily stands the often-dusty conditions it’ll experience at construction sites (and during other fieldwork), and you won’t have to worry about dust in a warehouse, either. As for its waterproofing tech, you can submerge the TP85 Pro in water to a depth of 0.5m for about 30 minutes before it experiences any issues. That makes drops into puddles a non-issue.
As for temperature resistance, you can use the TB85 Pro in temperatures between -4- and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and store it in temperatures between -40- and 158 degrees Fahrenheit. The operating temperature makes it a good choice for use in refrigerated facilities, or in manufacturing plants where other devices might start to feel the heat.
There are other measures in place to ensure durability, too.
The use of Gorilla Glass means cracks on the screen are unlikely, with drop protection up to 1.2m as standard for the tablet. If you know your people will use the TP85 Pro in elevated positions, you can reinforce both the drop and screen protection with a Unitech screen protector. Finally, the TB85 Pro also meets the MIL-STD-810G standards for shock and vibration protection, so it has no issues dealing with the constant shaking that may come from use on construction sites.
Power and Batteries
You get an 8,200 mAh lithium-ion battery as standard with the TB85 Pro, which you can charge quickly using its USB port. That battery has an extremely long life, as it’s capable of handling up to three days of use before you need to recharge it. Charging is simple, and the tablet comes with a USB Type-C cable to enable faster charging.
Accessories and Addons
As mentioned, customizability is one of the best features of the TB85 Pro, as you can purchase a range of accessories that make the device more useful in certain situations:
- Bluetooth UHF and RFID Reader – Though UHF and RFID scanning don’t come as standard with the TB85 Pro, this RP902 Bluetooth device makes both possible.
- TB85 Glass Screen Protector – The TB85 Pro already uses Gorilla Glass and has drop protection up to 1.2m, making this protector a shield that supplements an already powerful suit of armor.
- Power Adaptors – Available in U.S., U.K., E.U., and A.U. configurations, these adaptors let you take the TB85 global.
- Shoulder Strap Case – Wrapping around the user’s shoulder, this handy case offers extra protection to the tablet and makes it easier to carry it around all day.
- Battery Pack – It never hurts to have a spare battery available if the provided battery runs out, which is where the TB85 battery pack comes in.
- Vehicle Cradle – The vehicle cradle is ideal for field work as it provides a mount that makes it easier to type up reports and access apps when you’re on the go.
Talk to an Expert
You don’t have to make the decision about whether to buy the Unitech TB85 Pro alone, which comes as a relief to anybody intending to buy in bulk for their company. Speaking to an expert from Energy Electronics helps you to determine if it’s the right rugged tablet for your needs. We respond within the hour and will guide you to the tablet that works best for you.