Off-the-Shelf Tablet-Based Digital Signage

By: Adam Swimmer

3 Min Read

24 Nov, 2021

We previously looked at restaurant kitchen and contact tracing applications for the M8 nP2UE – a custom enclosure for the Lenovo Tab M8 HD (ZA5G0060US or TB-8505F) with a built-in LAVA SimulCharge adapter. This article will look at how they can effectively be used as digital signage.

The M8 nP2UE enclosure is a custom LAVA enclosure for the Lenovo Tab M8 HD (sold separately) that features an integrated nLTS-P2UE adapter that provides simultaneous tablet charging and access to data (SimulCharge). The built-in adapter provides the tablet with Power over Ethernet (PoE), Ethernet and two USB-A ports for attaching peripherals. The Tab M8 HD is a low-cost tablet that features an eight-inch display, which provides a decent resolution (1,280×800) for everyday use, 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage.

The M8 nP2UE is a good option for digital signage in hospitals, malls and other locations. While not a huge screen, the Lenovo tablet’s eight-inch display is a good size for transmitting information and the resolution is high enough for good-quality text. VESA mounting holes allow it to easily be attached to the wall or a door.

SimulCharge ensures the battery continues to charge while it is in use, which is important as a digital sign may be left on 24/7 and the screen is one of the biggest power drains on a tablet. The Ethernet port allows the enclosure to connect directly into the network for a reliable wired connection.

Thanks to this, the tablet’s screen can update with the information in real-time. A digital door sign on a hospital patient room can be configured to update with information for doctors about the patients’ condition taken directly from the hospital database. In an office setting, it could be used to book a boardroom. Or if the digital sign is for more public consumption and connected to the internet, it could update with news and weather reports.

The nP2UE also features PoE, providing more options on where to install the enclosure. It charges over the Ethernet cable so you don’t need to have an electrical outlet nearby. You can also place it up to 328 ft (100 m) away from the network junction. Most importantly, with PoE there are no major, if any, additional capital expenditures required. Simply plug the enclosure into your existing PoE-capable Ethernet network/infrastructure and you’re good to go. However, if the location doesn’t have PoE capabilities, a PoE injector can be easily integrated into an existing network or a standard 5V power supply can be used to provide power.

The M8 nP2UE and Lenovo Tab M8 HD tablet combine for a good-quality digital sign. The built-in SimulCharge keeps the tablet’s battery charged even when the screen is constantly on high brightness. The wired Ethernet connection allows the signage to update with information in real-time and PoE and VESA mounting offer many options for where to install it.