How to Choose the Best Rugged Tablet?

Introduction

Choosing the right rugged tablet is crucial for professionals who want a reliable, rugged tool that can withstand demanding environments. These devices must withstand shock and bad weather, while offering the performance and connectivity necessary for complex industrial tasks, particularly in the context of Industry 4.0 . This article will guide you through the essential criteria to consider to make the right choice.

Criteria for selecting a rugged tablet

A. Durability and resistance

Durability is a determining factor when choosing an industrial tablet. Opt for devices that comply with IP (Protection Index) standards which guarantee resistance against water and dust. For example, a tablet rated IP67 is fully protected against dust and can be submerged in water one meter deep for 30 minutes. Also consider drop resistance standards, often measured in meters (normally around 1.2 meters, per military standard MIL-STD-810G) which ensure the device can survive drops onto concrete.

B. Performance and technical specifications

For performance, choose modern processors like those from the Intel Core i5 or i7 family, or ARM alternatives for better energy efficiency. RAM of at least 4 GB is recommended, although 8 GB or more is ideal for more demanding applications. Regarding storage, options generally vary between 128 GB and 1 TB, providing ample space for industrial software. The presence of an SSD rather than an HDD is preferable for better resilience and performance.

C. Battery life

Battery life is crucial, especially in environments where access to charging sources may be limited. Look for tablets that offer a minimum of 8 hours of battery life, although 10 to 12 hours is best to cover a full workday. Some models offer hot-swappable batteries that allow them to be replaced without turning off the device, which is a significant advantage for continuous uses.

D. Connectivity

Connectivity is essential to maintaining effective communication in the field. Rugged tablets should at least support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, with recent standards like Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 for better range and reliability. LTE cellular connectivity options are also important for mobile teams. USB ports, Ethernet, and SIM or SD card slots may also be useful depending on specific needs.

E. Additional Features

Depending on specific requirements, certain features may be necessary. For example, glove-friendly touchscreens are a must for cold or dirty environments. Tablets with docking station options, integrated barcode scanners, or compatibility with various industrial peripherals can also enhance on-site productivity. Also consider security options such as biometric recognition or advanced encryption systems to protect sensitive data.

How to assess your needs?

To effectively choose an industrial tablet, it is crucial to understand your specific needs. Start by assessing the environment in which the tablet will be used: is it dusty, humid, or subject to extreme temperatures? The need for a tablet with high impact resistance and compliance with high standards of protection against natural elements then becomes a priority. Also think about the frequency of use and the types of tasks you want to accomplish with the tablet. Do you need advanced features like barcode scanners or expanded connectivity? Consider compatibility with other equipment and software already in use in your business. Determining your needs precisely will help you filter the available options and focus your choice on the most relevant models.

The best industrial tablet models on the market

After defining your needs, examine the models recognized for their reliability and performance in the industrial sector. Here are some examples of highly rated rugged tablets:

  • Yatoo CW10 : Manufactured in France by Coworker, this high-end rugged tablet has a 10" high-definition WUXGA screen, and is equipped with a high-performance processor, including models such as the Intel® Core- i5-7Y54 , 8G of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, running Windows 10 Pro. It is ideally designed for demanding industrial environments where performance and robustness are essential.
  • Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 : This model is famous for its robustness and compliance with military standards for shock and drop resistance. It also offers excellent visibility in direct sunlight thanks to its bright screen.
  • Getac V110 : Convertible into a laptop, the Getac V110 features a versatile design with a detachable keyboard. It's ideal for users requiring a hybrid machine with solid performance and good battery life.
  • Zebra XSLATE B10 : Well suited for extreme environments, this tablet has varied configuration options for scanners and communication modules, making it extremely flexible for different industrial applications.
  • Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet : Delivering high performance with its 8th generation Intel processor and a bright Full HD display, this tablet is designed for those who need power and durability.

When choosing from these or similar models, make sure the technical specifications meet your professional requirements. It's also wise to read current user reviews and test reports to assess the long-term reliability of each device.

FAQs

Are industrial tablets scalable in terms of software and hardware?

Yes, many models allow software updates and some allow hardware upgrades like adding additional memory or storage.

Can I use industrial tablets for precision tasks like CAD?

Although designed for ruggedness and not high graphics performance, some high-end industrial tablets are powerful enough to handle CAD applications at a basic level. However, for complex CAD tasks, it is best to use devices specifically dedicated to this.

What is the difference between an industrial tablet and a consumer tablet?

Industrial tablets are designed to withstand extreme conditions such as shock, dust, and extreme temperatures, unlike consumer tablets which are less robust and primarily intended for light everyday use.

How long can an industrial tablet run on battery power?

Most industrial tablets offer between 8 and 12 hours of battery life, with some high-end options allowing hot-swapping of the battery for continued, uninterrupted use.

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