TDC Frequently Asked Questions: Purchasing
- Software display is optimized for collecting assessment data.
- Includes integrated touch number keypad.
- Takes pictures directly into ARM trial.
- Renames pictures as "trial ID_treatment number_assessment date_plot number".
- Records GPS coordinates of trial.
- Accepts all trial site details, even summary and conclusions.
- Offers immediate data quality checks, graphs, full statistical analysis.
- Conveniently sized hardware that is readable in direct sunlight.
- Quick-saves trial changes automatically to backup SD card after the last assessment for each plot.
- Trial is saved into a temporary folder on the SD card, so trial can be recovered if the tablet should ever be damaged or fail after entering assessments.
- Saves backup of trial and all pictures to SD card after clicking Save in ARM.
- Includes a "smart" USB to USB transfer cable with built-in transfer software to copy ARM trials and images between your main PC and the tablet. The transfer software is an easy to use transfer method that runs without requiring administrator permissions, and is supported by GDM. (We currently use "Cables to Go 39941 USB 2.0 Windows Driverless Transfer Cable".)
- See Synchronize Trials using C2G/StarTech Cable (pdf) for a detailed description of using this cable.
- Includes WiFi to connect tablet with a wireless internet connection, which is required to keep TDC, ARM, and customizations up-to-date.
- Includes Bluetooth and a standard USB connection, thus providing you with other self-supported methods you may use to connect the tablet with other devices or your network of choice.
- Good battery life of 8 hours use before recharging, and can expand to 12 hours with optional Extended Battery with Hot Swap capability.
- Good outdoor screen readability.
- Smaller 7-inch screen size and included hand strap reduces fatigue when using for an extended period of time.
- Camera exceeds minimum effective resolution requirement of 5 megapixels.
- Screen resolution is sufficient to support "Aero Snap" of camera so it displays on the same screen as ARM
(tablets with less than 1366 pixel horizontal resolution cannot).
- Does not have vents or a CPU cooling fan so is no issue with dust or pollen getting pulled inside the tablet while in the field. It also works to put TDC in a "zipper" type plastic food storage bag to protect from rain, dust, or pollen during data collection.
- The manufacturer is a global company with an excellent track record.
- Good value for the price.
- Durability is second-to-none (military-spec certified even when ports are in use; also similar to the original Psion LZ and Workabout).
|Feature||TDC*||ARM w/o TDC||WAP w/ERS**|
|Collect and modify all supported trial information at trial site||Yes||Yes||No|
|Take pictures with built-in camera||Yes||Depends on the tablet||No|
|Automatically link picture to the associated plot, and rename
attached picture to associate with trial, treatment, plot, and assessment date
|Ensure typed assessment values are in a valid range, such as 0-100%||Yes, from
Rating Unit or
ARM Action Code
|Single key press to enter 1 digit assessment scale values (0-9)||Yes||No||No|
|Embedded touch number keypad for data entry||Yes||No||No|
|One-touch shortcut keys to enter 100, 0, mark missing data, or
copy down the same value as above
|Optimized assessment data entry with:
- zoom for improved visibility in bright sunlight
- simplified assessment header and plot description
|Defaults to "blind" assessment by hiding treatment number during data entry||Yes||No||No|
|Wizard to set cursor order across columns, so pressing Enter
key advances cursor to next logical assessment data entry cell
|Perform data quality checks immediately after data entry||
AOV Means Table
|Directly record GPS coordinates of trial corners||Yes||No||No|
|Offer full ARM dictionaries so valid data entry codes are used||Yes||Yes||No|
|Uses same interface as ARM||Yes||Yes||No|
|Automatically saves assessment data at end of each plot||Yes||No||No|
|Automatically copies trial to SD backup card at trial close||Yes||If configured by user||No, must
|Includes stylus (pen)||Yes||Depends on the tablet||Yes|
|Includes built-in WiFi, integrated GPS, USB port||Yes||Depends on the tablet||No|
|Rated usage time on a full battery charge||8 hours||Depends on the tablet||8-14 hours|
|Water resistant and dust-proof||
|Depends on the tablet||Yes|
|Operating temperature range||
-20° to 50°C
(-4° to 122°F)
|Depends on the tablet||
-10° to 50°C
(14°F to 122°F)
|Ruggedized unit or case||Yes||Depends on the tablet||Yes|
|Requires ARM license||Yes||Depends on the tablet||Yes|
- One ARM license may be installed on one computer. Tablet Data Collector hardware does not count towards this limit, allowing for an additional installation of your ARM license without an additional license purchase.
- Image auto-capture to automatically link pictures to plots is only on Tablet Data Collector.
- Automatic capture of GPS is only available on Tablet Data Collector.
- Automatic trial save after entering the last value for each plot is only available on Tablet Data Collector.
- The tablet may not include integrated GPS (many tablets do not).
- With Tablet Data Collector there is a GDM-supported and easy to use method to copy ARM trials and images between your main PC and the tablet, through a "smart" USB to USB transfer cable that has built-in transfer software which can be run without administrator permissions.
- The tablet may have the RT version of Windows, not the Windows 8+ Professional required to run Windows desktop programs such as ARM.
- If your tablet has Windows 7, ARM runs noticeably slower than on a Windows 8+ tablet. Windows 8+ support touch at the operating system level, so touch works more smoothly and consistently across all programs. Attempting to upgrade a Windows 7 tablet to Windows 8+ may not be supported by the tablet manufacturer, or even prevented by the hardware.
- Tablets with less than 1366 pixel horizontal screen resolution cannot dock the Windows camera app beside ARM, which is a very convenient and efficient way to take plot pictures.
- GDM cannot provide support for hardware or data transfers to and from a user-configured tablet, that is available on Tablet Data Collector.
- Windows version 10/8.1/8.0.
- Is a touch screen computer.
- Supports ARM backup configured on a 32 GB or larger SD card, or comparable always-connected external storage such as a low-profile USB.
- Rear facing camera at least 5 MP resolution: if computer does not have a camera, then TDC will not support Tablet Image Capture.
- Built-in GPS: if computer does not have GPS, then TDC will not support Tablet GPS.
Tablet Data Collector (TDC) software is based on ARM, which is developed using programming tools that are only supported on Windows computers. Thus, only computers that run Windows operating system can run Tablet Data Collector software.
Porting TDC and ARM to Apple or Android operating system would take many person-years of development. With the number of clients who have currently expressed interest, an Apple or Android version of TDC would cost at least 10 times more than a Windows version.
- If a smartphone that offers "Hotspot" capability is available, it works to use the smartphone as a hotspot instead of buying Mobile Broadband for the TDC. The tablet can be connected to the smartphone via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or a USB cable to provide this functionality.