You'll need the best rugged tablet money can buy if you're working outdoors or in a noisy environment, as the equipment can be the perfect tool for a wide variety of functions. These are powerful portable devices that can withstand hard impacts and long drops, but also provide you with a decent user experience at the same time.
The best rugged tablets have been built to withstand the elements, with the latest shock-absorbing technology built in. They have also gone through rigorous testing to make sure they will endure all sorts of punishments.
This means they come with a slightly higher upfront cost compared to standard tablets, but it's worth remembering that they can save you money in the long run since you don't need to repair or replace damaged rugged tablets as often - if at all.
Until you get a rugged tablet that's as thin and light as the iPad Air 2, that doesn't mean you have to lug around a thick and bulky tablet either. If you think a regular pill is like what might be best for your job, check out our list of the best pills instead.
So to help you find the best rugged pills, we've put together this list that will bring together the top shock and drop-proof pills on the market today.
- Looking for a laptop that can withstand the elements? Check out our list The best laptops
- And therein, our list of the best smartphones under adverse conditions.
If you work outdoors, then the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 is easily one of the best rugged tablets on the market today. This is not only due to its rigid construction that it is impact resistant to drops up to a ton of 180cm, but also because the display has been designed to be used outdoors in bright sunlight - so you will be able to use the Panasonic FZ-M1 Toughpad no matter how bright your surroundings are. The screen supports 10-finger multi-touch, it runs on Windows 10 Pro, it's water and dust resistant and comes with a port configuration for various add-ons (serial, LAN, 2D barcode reader, NFC).
The Pansaonic Toughpad FZ-M1 has seen a successor since it was launched, but we're not big fans like we are, so if you're looking for the best ruggedized tablet for you, this still ranks as our top pick.
If you're looking for a rugged Windows tablet that can handle an impressive amount of punishment, then Getac's F110 is a great choice. Its rugged chassis can withstand moisture, extreme temperatures and drops without being bulky or heavy. It is certified to MIL-810G for STD resistance, 1P65 and MIL-C to STD-461F standards. The most recent version of this tablet comes with 6th generation Intel processors, so there's plenty of power here, and the dual battery system means you can easily swap them out without pause.
There are a few other Getac devices out there, but this is one of the few that's rugged enough to make our list of the best places (the company makes laptops, too).
Dell is another well-known brand that makes durable tablets. The Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme Tablet is one such device, and Dell has recently upgraded the model to more modern components, including 7th generation Intel processors (although we'd like to see 8th generation bundled only). For your money, you get an excellent-built tablet that has IP65, Mil-C STD-810G and IP-810G for sustainability certification (rather than just meeting standards in lab testing). Dell's usual high build quality is evident here, and while it's not the most glamorous tablet, it gets the job done withstanding harsh environments and occasional drops. These are fairly expensive tablets, but with an improved component base, and a range of specifications that you can customize to better suit your needs, the Dell Latitude 7212 rugged extreme tablet is worth the price.
The HP ElitePad Server 1000 is a fantastic business laptop, and it can be configured to come in a rugged design that meets IP65 rating and MIL-C STD 810G for durability testing. It withstands a 6 foot drop onto linoleum covered in concrete. It is equipped with an Intel Atom processor, which is not the most powerful processor, but it is still capable of handling most business applications. Biometric security keeps your important data safe, and HP also offers a range of accessories such as docking stations and extra batteries.
Panasonic's Toughbook MB-33 is a 2-in-1 rugged device, which means it has an attachable keyboard, allowing it to work like a laptop or tablet. When in tablet mode, the Toughbook MB-33 is an excellent rugged machine, with Mil-C STD-461F, Mil-C STD-810G and IP65 certification, which means it can withstand shock, liquid drops and dust. Battery life is a bit on the short side compared to other rugged tablets on this list, but you can quickly swap out the battery when you need some extra time. You can also buy an extended battery that doubles the runtime from 10 hours to 20. However, this is an additional charge.
Unlike the other ruggedized tablets on this list, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 is not designed for industrial grade protection. However, what it gives is an IP67 certification for dust and moisture, and a battery that lasts between eight and 10 hours. Plus, it supports replaceable batteries so you can keep working even when you're away from a power source, and it's drop-tested at 1,2 meters. Decent camera and NFC technology, and that rounds off Samsung's usual pick is build quality. The new tablets section 2 improves many features of the first tab is active, with more RAM, a better processor and more.
This 10.1-inch Android tablet can withstand drops from up to five meters, as well as water and dust. While it's bulkier and heavier than non-durable tablets, it's still portable enough to be easy to carry around jobs. Its screen isn't the highest resolution, but with 500 nits of backlighting, it's great for use in direct sunlight. It's not the most powerful tablet on this list, but it's a more affordable alternative for people who want to use their Android device outdoors and on the road.
Getac's z710 is a handy rugged tablet that does just about everything you want from an Android tablet, all in a rugged chassis. The design of the Sony z710 is one of the nicest rugged tablets we've seen, and it comes with a number of business-oriented features that make it a great choice for corporate use. The 7-inch screen is bright and responsive to touch, but it has a habit of showing off glare from direct light. It has been tested for drops from up to six feet, and is mil-STD-810G certified, while Corning gorilla glass protects the screen from shards.