Xplore Technologies, makers of enterprise rugged tablets aimed at extreme end users in the field, including the military, law enforcement, firefighters and manfacturing employees, has released its most rugged family of tablets yet — a device the company calls “iPad on steroids.”

Xplore’s new Windows-based line of tablets, the iX104C5, may not have as catchy a name as the iPad, but despite the familiar “i” nomenclature, the company insists its family of rugged tablets are meant for the extreme field environments where the iPad just barely cuts it.

The new product line includes five models, each directed at different industries, from military users to first responders to “clean room” situations that allow the tablets to be used in labs and pharmacies. Tablet PC Review’s Mark Calley writes, “Each of the five members of the iX104C5 line is specialized for some type of specific service or role, and this affects the outer design and ruggedness of the tablets.” For technicians in the field, the DMSR is likely the best choice of the five tablets. The DMSR model is the most rugged of Xplore’s new line of tablets and a display that can outdoors in direct sunlight.

More tech specs from the DMSR:

  • Build on Windows 7 operating system
  • Lithium battery with 6.5 hours operating time and ability to warm swap to backup battery
  • 10.4” LED display that’s readable in most lighting conditions
  • Weight: 5.25 lbs
  • Built to withstand 4′ drops to concrete and a temperature range of -4F to 140F
  • According to the company’s extensive list of ‘rugged specs,’ the DMSR is even capable of withstanding 28 days of exposure to fungi
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • $4,599 MSRP

While we at The SmartVan are impressed by some of the features of this machine, we question how many field service companies are going to be interested in supplying a device costing almost $5,000 to every field service worker. Only companies who’ve had to replace several broken computing devices would probably consider Xplore’s products a money-saving proposition. As tablets become more common in the field, the question remains: do field service techs need military-strength devices, or gadgets that are just a little tougher than the norm?

Read more about rugged tablets on The SmartVan

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