There is no question rugged tablets have a niche. Whether it’s in the military, the factory floor or other challenging environments, off-the-shelf tablets can’t take the impacts and temperature extremes they’re likely to encounter.
While a number of companies offer ruggedized tablets, Xplore’s premium priced Windows tablets have been considered among the most rugged, designed to handle repeated impacts and temperature extremes.
Currently, almost half of Xplore’s business comes from a handful of big customers in the military, telco and other vertical industries. But with RangerX, available starting today, it’s adding its first Android-based tablet and by far the lowest cost member of its lineup.
“We currently serve the ultra-rugged space where there are few competitors,” Jim Plas, Xplore’s VP of marketing, told TabTimes. “And when we started looking at opportunities to expand, going downstream and more mass market was the obvious choice.”
Plas says Xplore is keeping its primary focus on such areas as “guys on the forklift in the warehouse doing data collection” and heavy construction as well as hazardous and extreme environments. But with RangerX Xplore wants to expand what it can offer those customers and also branch more into new areas like healthcare.
“RangerX is still military grade, rugged and light at 2 pounds, but priced less than semi-rugged products out there,” says Plas.
While there are some security concerns about Android, Plas says RangerX integrates with any smart card security software to limit unauthorized use. Also, Plas says every customer involved in a six month trial of RangerX uses their own Android distribution method and removed access to Google Play and consumer apps in general.
“The issue with BYOD is that IT loses control, but in this case IT manages the device,” says Plas.
Rangerx is priced at $1,349 and includes a three-year warranty. The tablet has a battery life up to 10 hours and Xplore says its 10.1-inch IPS 1366 x 768 resolution multi-touch screen offers clear viewing both indoors and outdoors.
Other features include what Xplore says is an industry first – an optional HDMI-In and RJ-45 input that lets telecommunications and cable workers consolidate all equipment into a single device.
Integrated RFID and NFC capabilities come standard, which Xplore says should appeal to distribution centers, warehousing, logistics and transportation industries.
Also, Xplore offers a common access card (CAC) reader option and FIPS 140-2 compliancy that it says provides the most secure rugged experience for government and military operations.