• Hardware

Tim’s Hardware Review: Honeywell Barcode Scanners and Tablets Offer Effortless Migration to Android

Written by Tim Ingles
October 3, 2020
A warehouse worker uses honeywell mobile devices to scan barcodes for inventory management.
Honeywell’s latest handheld devices deliver leading hardware solutions for warehouse mobility.

Honeywell Handheld Devices

Honeywell has been bringing their A-game when it comes to new cutting-edge mobile hardware. How do Honeywell’s latest devices fit into your warehouse operations? Let’s find out.

In this review, I’m going to be talking about the Honeywell Dolphin CK65 and Dolphin CN80 mobile computers, and the vehicle-mounted Thor VM1A.

Both the Dolphin CK65 and CN80 are ideal for all your regular workflows, like receiving, picking, put-away, cycle counting, and more. Meanwhile, Honeywell’s Thor VM1A is a heavy-duty vehicle-mounted tablet ideal for use in warehouses, manufacturing, ports, and intermodal environments.

Before diving into the nuts and bolts, let’s take a moment to talk about why you should be considering a hardware refresh with these Honeywell devices.

With Windows Mobile in Sunset, Honeywell Offers a Path Forward

Microsoft has been phasing out many legacy mobile operating systems. Embedded CE 5.0, Embedded 8.1 Handheld, and Embedded Handheld 6.5 have already passed into obsolescence. Other versions are on their way out as well.

If you are still running Windows on your handheld scanners, it’s time to migrate to the latest Android OS to ensure the future viability and security of your mobile hardware. This also applies to devices running Android versions 4-6.

You can read more about why you should upgrade your hardware in Migrate Before It’s Too Late, Say Goodbye to Windows Mobile, and 5 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Hardware.

To make this transition as easy as possible, Honeywell devices come with Mobility Edge™. This platform future-proofs your Honeywell hardware with seamless support through the latest Android release. This game-changing program enables you to replace existing Honeywell handheld scanners without having to re-buying accessories with every refresh. More about that later.

Dolphin CK65 Mobile Computer: All-Purpose Powerhouse

Honeywell's multi-purpose powerhouse Dolphin CK65 mobile handheld computer running RFgen software.

A workhorse in mobile barcoding, the Honeywell CK65 scan gun is an all-around upgrade for the popular CK3X/R. The CK65 comes equipped with a faster processor, more RAM, a larger screen (4” up from 3.5”), a better Wi-Fi card to connect with wireless infrastructure, near/far scanning functionality, extended battery life (18 hours), and a longer drop spec (8 feet, up from 5 feet with CK3X/R).

This mid-range mobile device is still rugged and provides any of the core features you would need from an ultra-rugged device.

Form Factor: Rugged
OS: Latest Android release*
Replaces: Honeywell Dolphin CK3X/R
Features: Long- and short-range scanning, 8-foot drop to concrete, IP64 ratings for dust/water spray
Variants: Cold storage model

*Includes Honeywell’s Mobility Edge™.


Reasons to Love the Dolphin CK65

  • Multi-functional for scanning, keying, 13MP photos, and 4” touchscreen
  • Optimal TCO through durability, multi-use, and 18-hour battery life
  • Easy to use with fingers, gloves, stylus on vivid 4” screen or when scanning barcodes near and far
  • Does it all: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, High-res photos, support for VOIP, VPN and Push to Talk (PTT), and universally-compatible accessories
  • Accessories: CK65 accessories are universal and backward-compatible from the CK3x series, including batteries, pistol grips, charging stations, vehicle holsters, and more
  • Future-proofs your Android OS for years to come with Mobility Edge™, ensuring you don’t have to worry about your hardware going obsolete

Get the full spec sheet here »


Dolphin CN80 Mobile Computer: Cutting-Edge Tech

Honeywell's high-tech Dolphin CN80 mobile handheld computer running RFgen software.

Honeywell’s CN80 mobile computing device is every techie’s dream. With a huge touch screen, the CN80 takes advantage of top-level mobile tech to deliver a sleek product. The CN80 is also better built to handle more rugged environments than the CK65. But that doesn’t mean the CN80 sacrifices computing power for ruggedization. Instead, the ultra-rugged Dolphin CN80 delivers a double payload of performance and durability to create the ultimate handheld barcode scanner.

Form Factor: Ultra-rugged
OS: Latest Android release*
Replaces: N/A
Features: Long-range scanning, 8-foot drop to concrete, IP64/IP67 ratings for dust/water spray
Variants: Cold storage and non-incendive models available

*Includes Honeywell’s Mobility Edge™.


Reasons to Love the Dolphin CN80

  • Lightning fast with a durable 4.2” multi-touch screen AND 23- or 40-key physical keyboard
  • Use it anywhere: ideal for warehouse, cold storage, field mobility, and challenging environments
  • Durable for days: ultra-rugged form factor resists drops, tumbles, dust, water, and more
  • Flexible construction allows easy switchover between handheld and pistol grip
  • Future-proofs your Android OS for years to come, ensuring you don’t have to worry about your hardware going obsolete

LEARN MORE: Take a look at the Honeywell spec sheet »


Thor VM1A Vehicle-Mount Computer: Smart Vehicle Mobility

Honeywell's Thor VM1A vehicle-mount device running RFgen software.

The Thor VM1A rugged vehicle-mounted computer brings the advantages of Android OS and Mobility Edge™ to your vehicle and forklifts. Thor VM1A is Ideal for use in any environment that moves pallets of inventory with fork trucks, especially warehouse and distribution. When used with the SmartDock, the VM1A can be mounted and dismounted in seconds, making it very flexible and easy to use.

Form Factor: Rugged
OS: Android O, upgradable to Android R*
Replaces: Thor VM1 / CV41
Features: Multi-use, SmartDock, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, field-replaceable front panel
Variants: N/A

*Includes Honeywell’s Mobility Edge™.


Reasons to Love the Thor VM1A

  • Safety-oriented: connected to the forklift battery, enabling the screen to go blank or shut down to prevent distracted driving
  • Add a scanner like the ultra-rugged Granite 1980i and 1981i, which acts as an imager/barcode scanning component for the VM1A
  • Low TCO built-in using field-replaceable front panels to save maintenance time and increase lifespan
  • Integrates with advanced warehousing, such as RFgen Warehouse Director that can intelligently route trucks along optimized paths and prevent aisle collisions
  • Easy mount and dismount using the SmartDock, meaning no cables are needed when workers take the device on foot or remount it on the vehicle

Download the spec sheet »


Mobility Edge™: The #1 Reason to Buy Honeywell

Honeywell’s Mobility Edge™ platform is a major advantage for companies needing mobile hardware. Mobility Edge™ future-proofs your device to ensure your hardware works now and in the future. Essentially, it simplifies mobile device management by unlocking the ability to easily upgrade to the latest Android version without replacing all your handheld mobile computers. Transitioning from Windows OS to Android becomes friction-free.

If you’re wondering about device repair and replacement, both are baked-in to Mobility Edge™ as well.

Whether you’re shopping for new RF scan guns for warehouse inventory or looking for the latest and greatest in barcode scanner hardware, RFgen and Honeywell have you covered.

Ready to talk hardware solutions? Chat with a supply chain mobility expert today.