My nephew Kevin is becoming a very accomplished musician, currently at a University developing his talent in both classical and popular styles. When he was a boy, he announced “When I grow up, I want to be a musician!”. To which his Dad responded, “You have to pick one or the other.”
Sometimes, working in the rugged tablet industry, I can identify with the oft-referenced – but not always accurate – notion that you can’t always have something both ways. For example, there’s a wide misperception that a tablet PC is either going to be a thin, sexy consumer device, or a rugged tank – heavy and bulky, with an industrial look. But that’s simply not true. Just like a musician can be a talented grown-up, it is possible to create a rugged tablet that has the looks and style of consumer devices while having the impeccable strength and durability to survive in the harshest of environments and the heaviest of hands.
Consider the Xplore XSLATE R12. Even though it has the largest screen (12.5”) found in a rugged tablet form factor, it is housed in a slim and sleek enclosure that makes it one of the most aesthetically appealing tablets on the global market today. The product looks so good that, when people first see it, the instinct is to question its ruggedness bona fides. We often have to demonstrate that it indeed meets MIL-STD-810G specs – including 4’ drops – as well as IP54 dust and water resistance ratings. Not only is it rugged, but people are impressed to learn that it’s also certified to C1D2/ATEX standards, meaning it is the safest mobile computer workers can use in explosive-prone Hazardous Locations (HazLoc). Even more, it weighs under 3 pounds and comes standard with a long runtime battery, the brightest outdoor viewable screen in its class (800 nit) and a host of I/O connections that no consumer-grade tablet ever has offered, or ever will.
In fact, a number of independent publications have reviewed the XSLATE R12. Computerworld even went so far as to compare it to two other rugged tablets to see if it lives up to its spec sheet promises. You can see how it compares to other rugged devices in the full review here. But what I will emphasize is that, while all 3 rugged tablets technically passed Computerworld’s drop and ingress tests, the XSLATE R12 was the only one without a conditional “but” attached to its survival rating. It is the only rugged tablet that passed without any parts falling off the unit, and without any I/O ports getting plugged up from penetrating water or dust. Make sure that you view their video, it is short and to the point – and proves the point that looks can be deceiving.
PC Mag also named the XSLATE R12 their Editors' Choice tablet pick, which is rarely-awarded to rugged tablets. They found the R12 to be the fastest rugged tablet, with a PCMark 8 Work Conventional test result of 3,282 points. (That’s better than a score of 2735 for the > $2,000 Microsoft Surface Book, which is definitely not rugged.) And they said the R12 is the “ best Windows tablet you can buy”, which is pretty bold recommendation considering how many rugged and non-rugged tablets are available today. Again, it just proves that you don’t have to compromise – or sacrifice – what you want, no matter how many different things you want.
You should never feel limited to an “either-or” decision. Don’t think you have to choose between …
- An optimized slate-type tablet with no keyboard (or a kludgy one) or a heavier and restrictive clam-shell notebook. The XSLATE R12, for example, can be used as a true slate tablet, or it can be attached to its custom wireless keyboard (which is otherwise stored and charging on the back of the tablet) to transform your tablet into a notebook or desktop configuration. It’s as good as any notebook on a table, and a true slate for mobile use. And did I mention sleek and good looking?
- A big screen, fully functioning mobile computer or a limited capability small screen device. Big screens don’t equal a “large” or heavy device. In the Computerworld review, the XSLATE R12 has the largest screen, and is yet the thinnest tablet. If you’re concerned about size and (really) user handling, consider the volume of each mobile device. The XSLATE R12 is only 12% more volume than the competing tablet with a much smaller 10.1” display, and the R12 is 30% smaller than a tablet with only an 11.6” screen.
Plus, there are many other leadership attributes of the R12, from its vehicle and desk docking options to its hot-swappable battery, all of which facilitate greater productivity levels than other tablets – rugged or not. So there is proof that there exists the ideal rugged tablet. One that is light, sleek, durable and versatile. One that doesn’t require you to make an “either-or” decision and enables you to do what you want to do at work and in life.
Now I just need an example of a talented grown-up musician. Other than Kevin.
Blog Author: Bob Ashenbrenner
President of Durable Mobility Technologies, LLC.