Many surveyors out in the field are wondering whether or not the new Trimble TSC7 controller is going to live up to the hype. With it's 7" screen and newly optimized Trimble Access 2018, the TSC7 fixes some of the complaints about the TSC3 controller and adds some great new features as well. The design was influenced heavily by surveying professional's feedback. In an industry where time is valuable and productivity is key - the TSC7 gets a lot of things right. Making the jump to new surveying equipment can be tough, so we put together a quick rundown of all the new features that the TSC7 brings to the table. Capitalizing on more than 20 years of legacy, the TSC7 is truly a game-changer.
Starting out with the biggest change from the TSC3: the 7" touch display. While the TSC3 sported a 4.2" display , the TSC7 has more than doubled the screen real estate. A larger screen was the number one request from users - and Trimble delivered. They found the sweet-spot between ergonomics and usability for all of the software that the TSC7 can handle.
The screen is also flush, so users don't have to worry about dirt, water or snow accumulating. The larger size doesn't just work better with maps and 3D scans. It also allows users to seamlessly run traditional Windows apps like Outlook and an internet browser for increased productivity in the field. The TSC7 screen is also readable in direct sunlight (yes, even with polarized sunglasses on) and it's glove-friendly as well! Multi-touch for zooming and rotating works well on the 7" display and it also sports Gorilla Glass for added durability.
The keypad on the TSC7 takes a lot from its predecessors in form and functionality. It's available in ABCD and QWERTY configurations and is backlit for easy viewing in any weather conditions you might run into out in the field. The keypad also provides vibration feedback for input and very tactile buttons - characteristics taken from the TSC2, but not available on the TSC3. Another innovative feature that Trimble added are the 6 function keys. Each key can be programmed with two separate functions, for a total of 12. The added hardware allows for quick access to most often used functions and helps speed up processes in the field.
Picture by Trimble, Inc.The design of the TSC7 has been arguably the most polarizing aspect of the new hardware. While some users can see the benefits of the larger screen and more capable software, others are concerned that it will be cumbersome in the field. Fortunately, Trimble was cautious in their design and really nailed the ergonomics on the TSC7. Compared to the TSC3, the 7 is well balanced and the weight is evenly distributed making the difference between the two almost negligible.
It can be worn around the neck, or carried with the hand-strap. Unlike previous models, the strap is not just a 'fingertip-warmer' according to Trimble. It's designed to support the weight of the unit comfortably while in use. While designing the grip portion of the TSC7, Trimble also modified the batteries so they contributed to the ergonomics instead of taking away from them. They're contoured for easy grip: left-handed or right.
The pole mount for the TSC7 is also well designed and doesn't add any weight or bulk to the controller. It's designed to snap into place when needed and detach leaving nothing on the unit, so the grip zone is completely unaffected by the pole mount.
Operating System & Software
The TSC7 ships with Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, an operating system that users will be comfortable and familiar with. It's the most-used operating system in the industry, so there's no training necessary and support is easy to find. Windows 10 Pro will run all kinds of applications on the TSC7, which means you can access Office, Outlook, Skype an internet browser and even Trimble Business Center – yes full TBC software in your hands out in the field!
The power of Windows 10 Pro means increased productivity and future support from Microsoft as new applications and updates become available. The TSC3 is still using Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 OS, which is no longer in development by Microsoft.
In addition to shipping with Windows 10 Pro, Trimble Access 2018 has received a large update. It's the same software that previous users know and love, but more intuitive and workflows are cleaner. The user-interface has also been streamlined and optimized to take advantage of the TSC7's larger screen.
At first glance, the battery life might seem a bit less than desirable. When you're out on the job, you need equipment that's will get the job done with as little down-time as possible. In order to make room for all of the power behind the TSC7, Trimble had to make some changes to the batteries in order to make it all work together. You can't put a bigger engine in a car without it consuming more gas, right?
In doing so, they've also made swapping and charging the batteries as convenient as possible.
The TSC7 includes two batteries, which should give you about 5-6 hours total, depending on your workload. Many jobs require a lot of time out in the field, so the batteries can charge with an external charger or the optional 12V vehicle adapter. Spare batteries are also available, so you never run out of juice. They're hot-swappable, so no lengthy power-downs necessary or waiting for the controller to reboot and even better: no connection interruptions! The batteries and the cavity are also IP rated, so you're able to swap the batteries in any weather condition.
The TSC7 may seem like a drastic change from previous models, but it builds off of everything the TSC2 and TSC3 did right. Once we got the TSC7 in-stock and opened it up - we were thrilled with the build quality and comfort. It's easy to carry and packs a ton of functionality into a tool that is designed to see a lot of heavy use.
- 7" touch display, readable in direct sunlight
- tactile keypad with 6 customizable function buttons (12 functions total)
- balanced ergonomics for comfortable grip during use
- Windows 10 Pro operating system and Trimble Access 2018
- hot-swappable batteries with IP rating to stand up to any weather conditions
What is your favorite feature of the new TSC7? If you've got one already, what do you like most about it? Let us know in the comments below!
We know you'll love having the TSC7 with you in the field and all of the functionality it will bring to the job-site. They're in-stock and ready to ship. Contact us now to get one for yourself!