03 July, 2011

Armor X10gx

Meet the toughest tablet on the block, the Armor X10gx from DRS Tactical Systems. While the iPad and its Android rivals attempt to wow users with flashy UIs and cute applications like Angry Birds, the X10gx is content to sit tight and take any abuse the user or environment can dish out.

The X10gx is IP 67 & MIL-STD-810G certified, meaning it can withstand four-foot drops on concrete and temperatures ranging from -4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in addition to humidity and altitude pressures that would render the iPad an expensive brick.

In short, the X10gx is a tank of a tablet, a tank I had the pleasure of test-driving in this TabletPCReview rugged tablet PC evaluation.

DRS Technologies Armor X10gx specifications:
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
  • IntelCore2 Duo 1.2GHz Processor SU9300
  • 10.4" / 26.2 cm XGA 1024 x 768 Transmissive sunlight-readable LCD
  • 2GB DDR3 800MHz SDRAM, expandable to 4GB
  • 64GB solid-state drive
  • 2.0 MP Webcam with barcode reading capability
  • 802.11 a/g/n MIMO 2x3 Wireless LAN connectivity (WLAN), Bluetooth v2.0 + EDR (Class 2) Bluetooth
  • Twin hot-swappable lithium ion battery packs (11.1V, 2400 mAHr each)
  • 11.4 x 8.6 x 1.8 inches
  • 4.7 lbs with handle and one battery
  • MSRP: $3,760
Rugged specifications:
  • Drop/Shock: Certified to 4 ft / 1.2 m, MIL-STD-810G, Method 516.5
  • Sealing: IP67 IEC 60529 egress
  • Compatibility with Cat II Chemical Solvents, Cat III Cleaners and
  • Cat IV Industrial Chemicals
  • Temperature: -4 to +140 F / -20 to +60 C Operating
  • -40 to +158 F / -40 to +70 C Storage
  • 68 F / 20 C min temperature shock operating
  • Humidity: +40 to 140 F / +5 to 60 C, 95% RH
  • Altitude: 20,000 ft / 6,096 m
  • Vibration: 30g, 11ms, half-sine operational shock
  • Hazardous Location: ISAFE: UL 1604 Class I, Division 2, Groups A, B, C and D; CSA C22.2
  • No. 213-M1987; EN60079-0, EN60079-15:2005 (ATEX), ESD 22 kV
The X10gx will not win any beauty pageants, but that doesn't matter. This is a tough slab of tablet.

The overall chassis consists of extremely tough and lightly textured plastic. It's solid and shows absolutely no signs of flex. Each corner of the device sports an equally tough rubber stopper for added drop protection, which can actually be removed with some forceful (and I do mean forceful!) prying.

There is no physical keyboard -- this is a tablet in the true sense. The display side features three programmable buttons, fingerprint scanner, a function button that works in conjunction with the programmable buttons for three additional programmable options, a lock key, and power button. There are also six indicator lights displaying WiFi, GPS, WWAN, hard drive, battery and power status. Next to them is an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the display brightness in accordance with the lighting conditions.

Unfortunately, the fingerprint scanner does not work out of the box, and according to Armor, it requires "specialized software that is not provided with the X10gx.

Opposite the display side, on the back of the tablet are the two battery compartments with separate gauge displays; the Armor Flexspace Compartment where users can input an SSD, SIM card or custom card (for example, an RFID or contactless card reader); external GPS and WiFi/WWan antenna slots; memory module compartment; and a docking connector. There is also a 2-megapixel webcam and barcode scanning software.

At close to five pounds, the X10gx is far from light. Fortunately, it sports a sturdy handle that is well secured under the rubber stops. The handle doubles as a convenient hiding spot for the active pen, which is also tethered to the handle strap. According to the X10gx documentation, the rugged tablet also ships with a shoulder strap. However, it was not included with my review unit.

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