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If you’re anything like me, you have an appreciation for all things heavy-duty. Perhaps, you’re in the market for a tablet, but are concerned about its ability to endure the rigors of your particular work environment. Let’s face it; a tablet that cuts it in the office may not survive long on the factory floor. Perhaps you’re a police officer, part of the military, or you work in an industrial environment, either way, some professions require equipment that can be… well… bashed around a bit. Well, fear not, we have just the solution to your heavy-duty problems (complete with heavy-duty price tags; prices not included).

Behold! 4.5 Heavy-Duty Tablets to Tackle the Roughest of Jobs.

Enter the line up of RoadWater Rugged Tablet PC’s. RoadWater Rugged Tablets PC’s are available in a number of configurations and sizes. For the purpose of brevity, I will confine this article to only two models in the RoadWater line up. These would be the RoadWater 10.4″ Rugged Tablet PC and the smaller 8.4″ Rugged Tablet PC X3.

RoadWater 10.4″ Rugged Tablet PC

The first and larger version (Model: RWTC100) features a bright, full sized, 10.4′ LCD touch screen and it’s optically enhanced for excellent viewing clarity and contrast, even in direct sunlight. Housed in a robust aluminum-manganese chassis, it is ideal for industrial applications and allows for easy vehicle mounting thanks to its integrated mounting holes. These holes comply with the 75 mm × 75 mm VESA Mounting Interface Standard (MIS), thereby offering the user greater choice when choosing vehicle mounting hardware. This flexibility enables the unit to be mounted into any number of vehicles, from civilian to military, from forklifts to scissor lifts. Of course, extreme conditions frequently include extreme temperatures. This unit remains operational in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 60°C. (I’m not sure your staff will remain operational in these same temperatures).

The RoadWater 10.4″ Rugged Tablet PC features Bluetooth, wireless networking and comes with Windows 7 installed, but what’s really impressive are the available upgrade options. You can kit this bad boy out to 3G. (This permutation includes a SIM card slot). Not enough? How about GPS, a solid-state flash drive to 512G, and/or a hot swap battery?

There’s more, but it may be easier to point to the complete list of specifications on the official website. In the meantime, you can also check out the YouTube video review below.

RoadWater 8.4″ Rugged Tablet PC

The second, smaller version is the RoadWater 8.4″ Rugged Tablet PC X3. Like the previous model, this robust mobile tablet is designed to endure harsh environments. Its rugged magnesium alloy chassis allows for rough treatment and the occasional spill/drop it may receive during its service life. The PC X3 has received IP54 certification for dust and water resistance, and has been drop shock tested to 4′.

Imagine the following scenario. You open the door of your emergency vehicle and out tumbles your tablet. Instantly, you’re met by the sound of money hitting pavement. It’s moments like this that you (and unknowingly, your supervisor) are thankful that extra money was spent on a well-built tablet. You look over the unit, briefly test it, and are satisfied that it‘s none the worse for wear. You toss the tablet back into your vehicle and get about your business. (Maybe it’s time you get a vehicle mount. Just sayin’).

Like its bigger brother, the RoadWater Rugged Tablet PC X3 is an ideal choice for emergency service workers, the military, or clumsy oafs like myself. The system can be easily mounted into most types of vehicles, yet it is hearty enough to be employed in marine applications, the transportation industry, factory environments, and medical/hospital settings. Its usefulness is limited only by your imagination.

It features a bright, optically enhanced LCD touch screen that is readable in direct sunlight. Therefore, it is ideal for mounting into emergency vehicles such as fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances. An integrated lithium Ion battery powers the unit, so going unplugged is not an issue. You get 3.5 hours of operating time thanks to the 6-cell 5200mAh lithium ion battery. The RoadWater PC X3 also comes with a DC 19V power connector, so it can be charged (in your vehicle) while on the go.

The RoadWater Rugged Tablet PC X3 is governed by a 1.33ghz Intel Atom Low Power processor and comes with 1gb of RAM. Loaded with Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional, it also comes loaded with features, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a built in 1.3-megapixel camera, finger print reader, and optional GPS. Is there anything Big Brother can’t do?

You can check out the PC X3s specifications at the following URL:

xTablet C1200 Rugged Convertible Tablet PC

Is it a tablet? Is it a laptop? NO! It’s the xTablet C1200 Rugged Convertible Tablet PC

The xTablet C1200 Rugged Convertible Tablet PC is a bit difficult to pigeonhole, but perhaps therein lays its strength. One of only a handful of slider tablets, it differs from its competition in terms of its construction. It is ideal for those who require something beyond what they can find in a consumer-grade device.

[image_left image_path=”” width=”200″ height=”267″]Like the previous models reviewed, it is built to withstand the daily abuse dished out by professionals and gorillas alike. It meets MIL-STD 810G requirements, and can withstand a four-foot drop. Perhaps even more impressive is its ability to handle a liquid lunch, thanks to its spill resistant design. This innovative configuration resists the intrusion of liquids into several key areas including the keyboard, touchpad, speakers, as well as wireless and power switches. In the event of a significant spill, the design allows liquids to dissipate through the bottom of the computer, thereby reducing the risk of shorts and other forms of damage. All ports on the unit are dust resistant thereby making the C1200 even more impervious to the elements. 

The xTablet C1200 convertible tablet targets the ever-mobile professional, who values communication and connectivity above all else. It enables the user to immediately receive, record and send vital information, anytime, from just about anywhere. Need access to your business applications? No problem. The C1200 comes loaded with Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional. Need to record an image and immediately send it to your superiors? It’s a snap, thanks to the onboard 1.3 mega-pixel camera. As MobileDemand President Matthew Miller states:

We have added the xTablet C1200 to fulfill the requirement of some of our customers for a rugged mobile tablet with a full-sized keyboard to enter large amounts of free form data.

The rugged C1200 Convertible Tablet can be quickly and easily reconfigured from a laptop to an easily transportable tablet PC. Of course, the same holds true when recoupling the tablet to its keyboard. The easy-grip handle integrated into the “keyboard module” makes transporting the C1200 quick and easy. It is ideal for field service technicians, public sector workers, and/or military types. Of course, this list is hardly exhaustive. The xTablet c1200 is ideal for anyone requiring robust, mobile connectivity.

The 12.1-inch TFT backlit touch screen is easily viewable indoors, yet comes equipped with a sunlight readable display option for in-vehicle viewing or when out in the field. The full-sized keyboard facilitates data entry, but is not a requirement for inputting data. Of course, information can always be entered via the tablet PC.

The C1200 boasts a high performance Intel® Core™ i5 520UM processor, with turbo boost up to 1.86 GHz and an Intel® HM55 chipset. It comes standard with 2GB of RAM, but can be bumped to eight. It is WLAN and WWAN compatible and comes with a host of security features, including a fingerprint scanner. The xTablet C1200 employs TPM 1.2 technology and can be BIOS administrator password/boot password protected. It comes with a myriad of other features including signature capture, precise handwriting recognition and a full suite of optional accessories. You can kit this puppy out with an office dock, a vehicle dock, and/or increase its uptime with a car adapter.

With the xTablet C1200, you need never experience down time. It can run 4 hours on one hot swappable 6-cell Li-Ion battery. Of course, you can always get in a full days work by purchasing a second polymer battery (optional).

Here’s a list of other goodies available to the xTablet C1200:

  • Optional Bluetooth
  • Optional Gobi 2000 radio for 3G communication
  • Optional GPS

The xTablet C1200 Rugged Convertible Tablet PC is an impressive piece of technology and can be a powerful tool in the hands any professional. Check out all the specs at the following URL:

UPDATE: See more at The Rougher Side of Tablets Part 2.

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