Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Break me if you can: 4 rugged tablets put to the test

Brian Nadel | March 4, 2015
The gold standard for ruggedness is the Military Standard 810G rating (also known as MIL-STD-810G), a set of protocols that the U.S. Department of Defense uses to assess mobile computers.

In addition to an on/off button, a Windows button and one for locking the screen, there are keys for adjusting the volume and a programmable button for opening a specified app.

There's a forward-facing HD camera and a 5-megapixel back-facing camera. I tried the latter, and found that its images were sharp and clear; they can be GPS tagged for location, which can be helpful for a variety of employees, such as insurance adjusters or an oil rig repair crew.

There are a number of optional features that can be added to the Getac, including a micro-SD card slot, USB 2.0 or RS-232 serial ports, a barcode scanner and 3G/4G capability.

The tablet's Core i7 4600U processor runs between 2.1GHz and 3.3GHz and includes Intel's vPro security protocols; there's a Core i5 option that's about $200 less expensive. The review unit came outfitted with 4GB RAM but can hold up to 8GB; it comes with 128GB of internal SSD storage and is available with 256GB.

The Getac's two 2160mAh batteries kept it powered for 7 hours and 40 minutes of continuously playing HD videos from a USB key. That should be more than enough for a full workday of normal usage — and you can change the batteries one at a time, something that few notebooks can do.

The system includes Windows 8.1 Pro and the company's own G-Manager software, which consolidates configuration settings and has a handy status screen that shows everything from CPU usage to the battery level.

The Getac F110 comes with a three-year warranty that includes accidental damage. (Assuming you need it; the Getac passed our torture test without a hitch.)

Bottom line

If your work requires a big-screen rugged tablet, then the Getac F110 is strong enough to provide years of reliable operations.

MobileDemand xTablet Flex 10

While it could hardly be considered slim and light, Mobile Demand's xTablet Flex 10 comes close to mimicking a consumer tablet while remaining rugged.

Made of smooth polycarbonate plastic, the Flex 10's case feels solid. Inside, its major components are bolted together to form the equivalent of an internal frame. The system has a sealed docking connector and silicone tabs to keep dirt, water and dust out of its ports. There are soft silicone bumpers to protect it from drop damage, but they fit loosely at the corners and extend 0.2 in. above the screen, making it a bit awkward to work with the screen.

At 1.0 x 10.8 x 7.4 in. and 2.0 lb., this is the smallest and lightest of the Windows rugged tablets and the easiest to carry around. I really liked the Flex 10's included hand strap, which attaches to the back of the unit and made it easier to hold and use the screen while standing. There's also a fabric handle that clips to small holes in the case.


Previous Page  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  Next Page 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.