Over the next four years, the global rugged devices market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.91%, driven by surging demand for thinner, lighter models, according to a new report by Technavio (Global Rugged Device Market 2016-2020).
Here, we present a selection of new rugged and semi-rugged devices suitable for a broad range of applications.
In the field
Designed for mobile field professionals, the Getac ZX70 fully rugged 7-inch Android tablet has a 580 nit ultra-bright screen for enhanced readability in the toughest work environments. Other features include a Full HD webcam for video conferencing, training and field diagnostics and an 8MP rear camera with autofocus and flash for capturing data and documenting conditions in the field. The ZX70 is MIL-STD 810G certified for drops of up to six feet and IP67-certified for liquid submersion to one metre for 30 minutes and exposure to extreme temperatures, from -21°C to 60°C (for operation) and -40°C to 71°C (for storage).
Sturdy and secure
The recently enhanced DT311 rugged tablet from DT Research has a number of new security features that help protect against data loss. These include an encrypted SD card slot, enabling users to remove sensitive data in an encrypted format; a mechanical privacy shutter on the rear camera; and software privacy control for both front and rear cameras that enables the IT department to shut off the camera in sensitive areas. DT Research has also increased brightness to 800 nits and introduced a fanless design for increased durability. In addition to an IP65 rating, the DT311 conforms to MIL-STD 810G and MIL-STD 461F durability and security standards.
The Buckingham iPad TPU flip case brings military-grade D3O protection to the iPad. Used in US military combat uniforms and protective sports gear, D3O is soft and flexible until impact, at which point the material’s normally free-flowing molecules lock together to absorb and dissipate the impact energy. The case has a standing option for working at a table, four slits for cards and two openings for documents.
Come rain or shine
Panasonic is renowned for its Toughbook range, which it continues to expand with rugged and semi-rugged versions of new form factors, including 2-in-1 detachable laptops. It offers a range of detachables for a variety of applications, from the fully rugged Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 for outdoor use to its latest model, the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 (illustrated), which is aimed at white collar workers who need computing power on the move.
Robust and affordable
The CT5 Rugged Smartphone from Juniper Systems’ Cedar product line claims an ‘impressive level of ruggedness at a low price point’. The device is fully rugged with IP68 rating; can withstand drops of up to 3ft onto concrete; can operate at temperatures from -15 °C to 55 °C; and has a 4.7in high-visibility HD IPS display. The CT5 runs on Android and is powered by a 4500 mAh battery.
The XSLATE R12 rugged tablet PC from Xplore Technologies is now available in two Intel 7th generation Kaby Lake CPU configurations, Celeron and Core i7 vPro. The XSLATE R12 tablet has a magnetically-attached Companion Keyboard which can stow and recharge while docked or while on the go, as well as touch and pen data input tools. Featuring a magnesium-alloy internal frame and rubberised enclosure, it has MIL-STD 810G and IP54 ratings. The 800 Nit View Anywhere screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass for readability and durability.
The Acer Chromebook 11 N7 is designed with enhanced durability features for use in classrooms. These include a spill-resistant keyboard with a gutter system that drains water away from internal components; a fanless design; compliance with MIL-STD 810G; and an anti-slip pattern on the rear case that reduces the risk of the Chromebook slipping from students’ hands. It can withstand up to 60kg of downward pressure on the top cover and drops from heights up to 4ft.
The Algiz 8X ultra-rugged tablet computer from Handheld Group is built for modern field workers who require a powerful, portable computer. The 8in projective capacitive touchscreen is ultra-bright for outdoor use and features chemically strengthened glass tested by dropping a 64-gram steel ball onto the screen 10 times from a height of 4ft. Glove mode and rain mode ensure seamless operation in all weather condition. The Algiz 8X is IP65-rated for dust and water ingression and meets MIL-STD 810G military standards.
Supply chain support
Honeywell recently launched a number of products to improve the efficiency of supply chain operations, including the CK75 and CN75 handheld computers with integrated scanner. The CK75 is an ultra-rugged, lightweight device for warehouse, distribution and manufacturing environments, with an optional heater enabling use in cold storage and freezers. The CN75 handheld computer is designed for delivery workers and features a 1.5 GHz dual-core, multi-engine processor with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB Flash. Both devices offer a choice of Windows or Android operating system, can withstand 2.4 metre drops to concrete and have an IP67 seal rating against water and dust.
This year, Tablet Technologies launched two new 6in rugged phablets, the CONKER SX6 Rugged Android Phablet and the CONKER NS6 Rugged Windows Phablet. Phablets are ideal for users who want a larger screen size yet still require a device that’s pocketable and easy to hold in one hand. Both are IP67 certified, have been drop tested to 4ft and feature a 5-point capacitive multi-touch screen with Corning Gorilla glass for durability and two waterproof speakers.
The ASUS Chromebook Flip C213 is claimed to be the world’s first ruggedised Chrome OS-powered laptop to feature a 360 degree flippable display. Its step-less, any-position hinge provides multiple usage modes, all the way from laptop to tablet. The ruggedised construction features a wraparound reinforced rubber ‘bumper’ to protect the chassis and I/O ports from minor knocks and scrapes and strong zinc alloy caps on the all-metal 360° hinges. Scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 4 covers the 11-inch touchscreen display. To minimise downtime, the Chromebook has a modular design that enables IT staff to replace key components, such as the keyboard and battery, in minutes.
Zebra’s TC5 Series touch computers meet the durability, power and security needs of businesses in the retail, manufacturing, healthcare and transportation industries, while offering a familiar, smartphone-like interface. The TC51 and TC56 feature a 5in, sunlight readable display with capacitive touch panel that works even when wet and through gloves. The device can withstand drops onto concrete from up to 5ft.
Shield your tablet
The HP Pro x2 612 G2 Rugged Case, compatible with the HP Pro x2 612 G2 tablet and Pro x” keyboard, is ideal for people working in extreme environments. It is designed to pass MIL-STD 810G testing and shields the tablet from bumps without adding extra bulk. The case features a 360-degree rotating hand strap, padded shoulder strap, stylus holder and optional port plugs.
Surface Pro protection
Urban Armor Gear (UAG) has launched two cases for Microsoft’s new Surface Pro that are also compatible with the Surface Pro 4. The Plasma Series case is designed for professionals who depend on their tablet in the field and in the office. It features a 360 degree rotational hand strap; built-in kickstand to transform the tablet into a laptop; and Surface Pen storage. For professionals on the go, the Metropolis Series case adds a tactile soft grip and an aluminium stand with five angular viewing positions. Both cases meet military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6) when used with the Microsoft Type Cover keyboard.