What Makes a Tablet Rugged?

Rugged tablets’ popularity is rising rapidly, as many industries are realizing their need for going rugged and upgrading their technology to handle the additional workloads. These durable computers are employed across a variety of industries, and they may even alter the standard norm for work. 

In this blog, we provide comprehensive information about exactly what a rugged tablet is. We often hear from our clients that they aren’t sure what defines rugged in a tablet, and how to know if their job site requires a rugged tablet. In the sections that follow, we will define what a rugged tablet is, what its typical features are, how professionals use these kinds of mobile computing, and why they’re a worthwhile purchase and a good investment for companies.


What is a Rugged Tablet?

A rugged tablet is an industrial computer in a tablet form that meets certain requirements, especially in terms of protection against extreme and rough environments. To have rugged tablet features, it needs to be a tablet that showcases a rugged shell and can withstand extreme temperatures, drops, jolts, vibration, spills, and more. 

Putting the Rugged in “Rugged Tablet”:

These portable computers often hold a military-grade protection certificate. They typically run on Windows or Android operating systems and have advanced security features to protect the information held within the network of the tablet.

Manufactured and built to withstand harsh conditions, and still maintain a high level of function, without shutting down.

Rugged tablets may differ significantly in terms of functionality, but they do share some physical features, such as:


Ingress Protection

The IP rating, or IP code, classifies the degree of protection provided by an enclosure, for electrical equipment with a rated voltage not exceeding 72.5 kV. This standard establishes different levels of sealing performance against “ingress,” or entry of foreign objects like tools, dirt, and liquid water. 

Usually, these ratings come with two digits. The first one is effective particle protection, and “0” indicates that there is no protection from object intrusion. Ratings for tough tablets should begin at 6. The second digit stands for protection against liquid ingress. Therefore, a score of 0 implies that there is no protection against water, but a score of 9 indicates that the device can tolerate high water pressure and immersion in even corrosive chemical substances.


MIL-STD certification

MIL-STD certifications for rugged tablets mean it has passed rigorous testing focused on environmental conditions. Extreme temperature, moisture, dust, and shock are a few of the nearly 30 testing situations. Devices earning MIL-STD certification are verified to perform in extreme conditions and qualify as heat-resistant, water- and dust-resistant, and shock-resistant.

As opposed to the IP rating, where higher digits represent higher protection, MIL-STD certification doesn’t have such a straightforward indication system. Digits represent which type of testing has been conducted, as certain devices and machinery require different conditions. MIL-STD 167 tests shipboard equipment, while MIL-STD 901E is high-impact shock testing for machinery used mainly on submarines. The standard applied to rugged handheld devices is MIL-STD 810.


Hardware and add-ons

A fully rugged tablet includes glass protection, durable materials, improved thermal dissipation, and more. Almost everything needed for work in the industry is built into the tablet rather than as an external part, this enhances longevity and eliminates external parts breaking during use which results in less maintenance over the lifetime of the product.

For improved use, touchscreens can often be read in bright sunlight and can detect gloves and damp fingertips. Many rugged tablets come equipped with scanners and sensors that are absent from standard tablets. Rugged tablets are typically used in industrial manufacturing, warehousing, building projects, and field service, making these functions vital. In comparison to consumer tablets, rugged tablets’ batteries are stronger and have long battery life, an ideal choice for any professional because they are designed to last the entire workday.

Our rugged tablets are purpose-built with the customer in mind. As we design and manufacture each tablet we take into consideration the end user and the purpose of what the tablet will be used. Often, we gather feedback from our customers to enhance the next version of the tablet with functionality or improvements they need built-in to the tablet.

For rugged industries, rugged tablets are the technology of choice, saving time and costs over the lifetime of the product ensuring it continues working with the team when needed rather than needing repairs often or worse needing to be replaced. 

Rugged tablets enable rugged industries to improve their job-related efficiencies with little downtime, and they work as hard as the team does to support the functions necessary to get the job done. 

Written by our Technology Partner DT Research

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