With a design that makes it look like it can withstand a grenade blast, DRS Technologies’ ARMOR rugged tablet is aptly named. Newly equipped with Sprint 3G connectivity, ARMOR now matches durability with an array of network options, including Bluetooth and WWAN capability, WiFi and integrated GPS.

It’s surprising, according to Ubergizmo writer George Wong, that DRS decided to go with Sprint instead of an Android platform. The pairing will give users immediate access to Sprint’s network once the tablet goes on sale later this year. Also rare is the integrated WWAN capability on a rugged tablet.

“That’s pretty much unheard of,” writes Hot Hardware’s Ray Willington.

The X10gx model stepped up to the challenge of meeting Sprint’s rigorous certification requirements. Antenna performance, network selection and impact, regulatory confirmation and data connection management were all put to the test. Given a passing grade, ARMOR’s tablet gives mobile workers relying on constant connectivity in the field another option.

A few other features that make the X10gx ideal for field service:

  • Integrated Gobi 2000 WWAN mobile broadband radio
  • Certified to withstand extremes in temperature, vibration, shock and drops, dust and immersion in water up to depths of one meter
  • 10.4″ sunlight readable, energy efficient touch-screen LCD display
  • Intel Core2 Duo Processer with up to 4GB RAM
  • 64GB hard drive with options up to 160GB
  • Runs on Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate, Business

With so many other rugged tablets to choose from, it remains to be seen how this one will stand out from the pack. The X10gx’s price has yet to be announced but at 4.7 pounds, it’s already three times as heavy as the iPad 2, which has penetrated the enterprise market with surprising swiftness. However, the pairing with Sprint, along with the device’s military-grade toughness, could be just what the ARMOR X10gx needs to set itself apart from the pack (or Pad).

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ABOUT Sara Suddes

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