Skip to Content

University Biological Researchers Equipped with Rugged Surface Tablets

uni-bio-bannerAt the University of Minnesota (U of M) in the Twin Cities, research, education and outreach is changing the lives of not just students and alumni, but people around the world. Tomorrow’s visionaries are focusing today on important issues affecting individuals and communities. 

The 165-year old public University is home to an academic biological research group of professors and students who are constantly exploring the ins and outs of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics (also known as the Department of BMBB). More specifically, the Freeman Lab where they investigate interesting enzymes made by bacteria and fungi that play a role in making antibiotics. Ultimately, their research has broader implications in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. 

In the busy realm of science research, students and professors are regularly walking around, maneuvering objects, performing experiments and the like, so it’s vital to the safety of individuals and efficiency of the department that everyone is organized and data is readily available. 

Customer Challenge 

For the Freeman Lab, pens and paper were their main source for data recording. Note taking and experiment write-ups were all done by hand and any images they needed were printed from a PC and taped into their notebooks. An abundance of paper led to complications within the lab itself. 

Hand-written notes came with a laundry list of problems: 

  • Time consuming 
  • Not easily searchable 
  • Difficult to read 
  • Not consolidated or organized, entries out of order 
  • Challenging to share with multiple other lab members 
  • Untidy because of mistakes and corrections 
  • Hazardous workstations 

To improve the productivity of students and efficiency of research, the U of M Freeman Lab sought out for a tablet computing system to help eliminate as many of those problems as possible. 

MobileDemand Solution 

When the U of M began their tablet research, they knew they needed a rugged device that could take both handwritten and keyboard data entries as well as take pictures for additional experiment documentation. The Microsoft Surface with a MobileDemand rugged case was the perfect solution. 

The powerful Surface is touch/pen enabled and utilizes a QWERTY keyboard as well. An additional data capture feature is the rear-facing camera which captures high-resolution photos. 

The rugged Surface case from MobileDemand provides superior protection for the tablet should it be dropped or have anything spilled on it. The case comes standard with a back hand strap and a briefcase handle for easy handling of the device moving throughout the science facilities. 


Since implanting rugged Surface tablets, the Freeman Lab in the Department of BMBB has seen impressive results. 

Note taking is now: 

  • Efficient and quick 
  • Organized and consolidated using OneNote 
  • Legible 
  • Shareable with others 
  • Including photo documentation 
  • Easily searchable 

The lab environment is now: 

  • Safer 
  • Clutter-free 
  • More organized 

Additional benefits: 

  • Can connect tablets to central database for data saving, sharing, and backup 
  • Tablet is protected with premium, easy-to-carry, robust case 
  • Rugged xCase allows device to be hand-carried, mounted or propped up on a desk or lab table using the built-in easel