Intermec CS40 Review

04-December-2012 19:06
in Reviews
by Admin

The following is our review of the CS40 from Intermec which will look to address the key areas when considering a mobile device and hopefully explain the target market and applications for this device.


Rugged Design

The CS40 is one of the smallest rugged devices currently available. The device is capable of withstanding multiple drops of 4 ft./1.22 m and is rated IP54 so provides decent protection against dust, moisture and rain.



For an enterprise, rugged field service device this is actually quite a small and handy device, measuring just 63 x 133 x 24 mm and weighing under 200g. The device can be operated with a single hand unlike other rugged devices and its footprint is more comparable to a iPhone or blackberry than a typical rugged grade device although its significantly heavier.


The 2.8-inch "trans-reflective" touch display is a bit small and its 240 x 320 QVGA resolution doesn’t compare to the latest consumer phones displays. However, the rugged display reduces the chances of the device being damaged and is optimized for outdoor use. The devices smaller size does reduce the effectiveness of the physical keyboard and display for users with larger fingers or wearing gloves.


Usability and Performance

Intermec have improved the out of the box Windows interface which means you can easily complete almost every action on the device using your finger.


The CS40 is powered by two ARM processors designed to handle communications and general system tasks separately, the result being one of the best performing rugged devices on the market.


The CS40 physical keyboard that can come in different options either QWERTY (Alphanumeric) or Numeric and even the modest 3.7 Volt/1,430 mAH Li-Ion rechargeable battery will last through a full shift.


Operating Systems

In a world of Android, iPhone and Blackberry Windows Mobile is definitely starting to look a bit out of date.  However, the CS40 supports the latest release from Microsoft (Windows Mobile 6.5.3) which is similar to the other consumer operating systems.



The CS40 comes with enhanced phone software which helps the phone perform better on this device than other Windows Mobile devices. However, the call quality is not great but is good enough to make and receive calls within an enterprise application.


In addition to Class II Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) and Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g but not n), the device has an integral GPS receiver and supports HSDPA (3.75G) data communications. The communications on the CS40  are reliable, comprehensive and easy preconfigure for mass deployments.


Data Capture

The CS40 provides a 3.2 MP with a fixed focus digital camera with LED flash which is easy to use and optimize. As with all enterprise devices the LED flash isn’t amazing in low light but overall a very intuitive and quality camera. For scanning, the CS40 has a dedicated 2D imager that supports virtually all 1D and 2D barcodes and symbologies.



The Intermec CS40 has a three-year life cycle and is supported by Intermec’s Medallion Service which covers normal wear and tear as well as internal and external components damaged through accidental damage. This means unlike commercial smartphones and tablets these devices can be deployed over a period of months and years without having to worry about another, upgraded model coming to market and complicating the roll-out with more handsets to manage.



Overall, with the CS40, Intermec aims at customers who seek to bridge the gap between commercial and rugged devices. By producing a device that is small, tough, smartphone style interface, a scanner, a camera and also a reliable mobile computer. The CS40 is one of the smallest devices in this category that will still fit into exiting corporate structures and systems.


The main rival to this device is the ES400 from Motorola. The CS40 has significantly better ruggedness specs and it has a separate industry grade scanner and a more advanced radio but it's also thicker and heavier and has a smaller screen with less resolution.


The CS40 is targeted to tackle the type of users who requires a device that is both—a phone and also a handheld computer and in our opinion the device does it very well. However, like all the rugged devices in this category the specific requirements of your application will depict which device is best suited as no one devices suits all.


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