The newest enterprise tablet rumored to hit the scene later this year can withstand a 4-foot drop, temperatures ranging from freezing to steamy, wind, rain, dust storms – you name it. As consumer gadgets continue to infiltrate the enterprise, Motorola’s Android-powered, enterprise-grade tablet will add another option to the ever-growing pool.

Weighing in at 1.25 pounds and running on Android 2.3, Motorola’s yet-to-be-named device falls short of the iPad 2 when it comes to battery life, however. With only about 5.5 hours of battery life when running streaming video over WiFi, it could be stretched to last an entire business day, but might end up leaving field service professionals at a loss. But what it lacks in battery life compared to the iPad 2’s impressive 10 hours, it supposedly makes up for in ruggedness. Although iPad 2 can be fortified with various covers and cases, users have expressed doubts about whether the tablet – even if reinforced – can withstand the harsh elements of the field. Meanwhile, Motorola’s enterprise tablet has a built-in resistance to 4-foot drops, a definite selling point for field service pros.

“From the looks of things, this tablet’s going to be more at home in the workshop than the boardroom,” writes Engadget editor Christopher Trout.

A few other notable features that suit it for the rigors of the field:

  • 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and 8-megapixel rear-facing camera will enable barcode scanning, high-resolution picture taking
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Signature capture with accessory stylus
  • 7-inch display
  • Hand-strap/shoulder-strap

The tablet is reportedly entering beta-testing later this year with an unspecified launch date in 2012. Though many details still remain a mystery, Motorola’s tablet could give the iPad 2 a run for its money and we always welcome a little healthy competition.

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ABOUT Sara Suddes

San Francisco-based contributor Sara Suddes writes frequently about small business, the economy and technology.