Rugged Tablets

Rugged Tablets

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Rugged Tablets are tougher than consumer tablets as the name implies but they go far beyond rugged looks and are much more than simply a case around a principally non-rugged tablet.

What is a rugged tablet?

A rugged tablet is a sturdy and durable tablet PC designed to meet and often tested to meet specific criteria including protection from dust, liquids, shock (e.g. dropping), vibration, wide temperature ranges, humidity, and extended duty cycling (operating for long periods). Adding a protective case to a tablet PC may help with some of these aspects depending on the nature of the case but it is clear that proper defense in all areas requires a fundamental shift in the design.

Total cost of ownership (TCO)

This design shift results in a lower TCO. Understanding TCO helps to understand the real cost of non-rugged equipment. In fact industry data shows that rugged tablets are cheaper over 3 years than non-rugged tablets even if the non-rugged tablet was FREE, such as the extent of the long-term cost of mobile devices when you factor in business use over 3 years. Of course, many businesses want to operate devices for longer still, and there lies the critical consideration with devices supplied by Tablet Technologies; we have a strong focus on device continuity, modular device designs that assist repairs over replacements, and long term support & warranty program even for customers outside their warranty period.

Rugged tablet specification

Normally when procuring computer technology the main numbers that people are looking for might be computers performance-related such as the speed of the CPU or the amount of memory. Rugged tablets will also include other key figures in the specification which indicate the level of protection in certain areas.

IP rating

The first is the IP rating system which stands for Ingress Protection. This refers to the protection from dust and liquids in a simple 2-digit format. All of our tablets meet a minimum standard of IP65 which means they are completely protected from dust (“6”) and protected from low-pressure jets of water (“5”). Some devices can handle high-pressure jets of water and complete submersion indicated by a higher second digit up to a maximum of IP68. It’s rare that people require an IP rating higher than IP65 but fundamentally you can be sure that all of our devices are sealed and fanless devices that can handle inclement weather and a good hose down.

Drop rating

The second rating is a drop rating. All of our tablet devices have a drop rating which indicates the height to which they have been drop tested. That is a repeated test onto concrete from all angles. This is a critical point in the specification of rugged equipment as it is the most common form of damage to mobile devices. This is essentially why there is a market for rugged tablets, because unless desktop computers people use them while moving around and this inevitably results in accidents.


A third rating that is less common is MIL810 which is a military rating covering multiple test areas including shock, vibration, temperature, humidity, and even altitude. Devices without a MIL810 rating will still have a tolerance for these adversities but the MIL810 mark means testing has been more thorough and for some market sectors this level of testing will be required.

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Anthony Nicholson

Anthony Nicholson

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