There are many new consumer grade tablet computers coming on the market. Devices such as the Apple® iPad®, the Motorola® Xoom™ and the Blackberry® Playbook™ are gaining rapid acceptance. These units are well engineered, elegant products. At first sight, they appear to be the perfect alternative to a conventional Kiosk. However, appearances can be deceptive. Taking a consumer device and placing it in a commercial environment creates many challenges, and can be an expensive proposition.
Consumer devices are not designed to survive rough treatment. They are designed to be handled carefully by the owner, who has every incentive to look after the device due to the high initial cost. In contrast, commercial kiosks are designed to be left out in the open where they are handled by retail store customers, who have no obligation to exercise care. As a result, commercial kiosks have a ruggedized case and are designed to survive rough treatment, spills, and dirt.