by Perry Solomon
A new family is moving into the Aleratec neighborhood, and they’re settling into a new product category called Portable Device Management (PDM). These new products facilitate tablet deployment so that schools and businesses using iPads, Android tablets and similar portable devices can charge, sync, store and redeploy those devices quickly and efficiently. The same solution-focused approach that drives the design of our award-winning duplicator products drives this new category of devices; and while they may seem different than other products for which Aleratec is known, Portable Device Management is more similar than you think.
Why Tablet Deployment?
Aleratec has been developing technologies to help customers manage their digital media assets for years, making tablet deployment a natural extension of our current product line. Tablet use is growing fast, particularly in education where Apple, Google, and Microsoft are partnering with school districts to make tablets more accessible to students. According to a recent Pearson Education survey, as many as 17% of public K-12 schools regularly deploy tablets to their student body. More businesses are discovering ways tablets can increase worker productivity as well, and tablets are moving their way into restaurants, sales floors, boardrooms, even warehouses. That’s a lot of valuable devices to keep track of, charge, synchronize and safely store.
When Aleratec product engineers first approached this opportunity, we focused on the fundamental needs of managing multiple tablets—charging, syncing and storing. We also determined that a “one size fits all” approach would not work. A restaurant manager deploying tablets to wait staff may have very different needs than a school district IT director or educator distributing iPads to students. Some environments are more suited for stationary tablet charge and sync devices, while portability may be important in others. Aleratec PDM products come in different sizes and shapes but our first offerings share features and technologies that we consider critical to fast and efficient tablet deployment:
- Charge-Sync USB: All are capable of charging USB devices simultaneously and also connect to a PC or Mac for quick synchronization.
- Smart Charge technology (iOS or Active): Active Smart Charge Technology detects the type of device that is connected and adjusts charging specifications automatically for rapid charging times. iOS Smart Charge will work with almost all USB-charged devices but is tailored specifically for the rapid charging of iPads, iPhones and other iOS devices.
- Rugged: Sturdy metal enclosures are designed to handle frequent use and abuse.
- Powerful: Power supplies are 300W or 150W (depending on the model) and supply up to 2.4 or 2.1 amps per port depending on the model.
Meet the First Members of the Family
Charge and Guard Secure Charge/Sync Cabinet 16: This heavy-duty tablet deployment cabinet includes a 300W power supply and utilizes Active Smart Charging to provide up to a full 2.4 amps to each built-in USB port. It’s a rugged beast and designed for environments where theft of iPads and tablets could be an issue. The Charge and Guard Secure Charge/Sync Cabinet 16 quickly charges, syncs and stores up to 16 iPads, iPad Minis, Android tablets and other USB-charged devices such as smartphones. Portable devices are locked inside an all-metal cabinet with padlock loops and a welded anchor loop to chain the cabinet to a secure structure. The cabinet also includes cable management and an integrated cooling system.
Charge and Sync Station 16: A great choice if durability and portability are important, this unit also includes a 300W power supply and supplies up to a full 2.4 amps to each built-in USB port with Active Smart Charging. It’s similar to the Charge and Guard Cabinet and can charge and sync up to 16 iPads or other tablets but charging and syncing does not take place inside a lockable cabinet, rather included tablet racks hold the devices while they charge and sync. This allows you to easily move the Charge and Sync Station 16 from area to area as needed.
Charge and Sync Station Mini 10: Designed with a small form factor for quick charging and syncing on the go, the Charge and Sync Station Mini 10 charges and syncs up to 10 iOS, Android and most other platforms. Small enough to fit inside a laptop bag on brief case, the Charge and Sync Station Mini 10 includes a 150W power adapter and supplies up to 2.1 amps per port for fast charging and syncing.
The Charge and Guard Secure 16 Charge/Sync Cabinet and Charge and Sync Station 16 are available for order and the Charge and Sync Station Mini 10 will be available in May 2014. We’re very proud of our new PDM family of products. Our goal is to make tablet deployment easier and more efficient for schools and business, and we’ll continue to lead the way in Portable Device Management with practical, innovative products for any environment.
If you have questions about Portable Device Management and the type of products that are available, be sure to read our PDM Buyer’s Guide.