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This Bobcat Windows 8.1 tablet is stupidly tough

Xplore Technologies has announced, and is now selling, the Bobcat, a Windows 8.1 rugged tablet that it claims can take a lot of abuse inside a case that's thin for this kind of product.

The 2.4 pound 10.1 inch Bobcat is .86 inches thick. While Xplore is promoting the tablet mostly as a Windows 8.1 device, the company can install Windows 7 Pro instead if a customer wants it. The Bobcat has a MIL-STD-810G certification, which means it can handle a number of 5 foot drops to concrete and still work. It can operate in extreme temperature conditions, from -4 to 140 degrees F. It also has an IP65 rating that ensures the Bobcat can work in up to four hours of rain or in dusty conditions.

Inside the Bobcat, there's an Intel Bay Trail processor with a clock speed of 1.9GHz, along with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage, with an option to upgrade to 240GB. The display resolution is 1366x768 and the battery can last up to eight hours, with support for an extra external battery that extends that time to 14 hours.

There are quite a few ports on the Bobcat, including two USB 3.0 ports, a microHDMI port, an Ethernet port and a microSD card reader. There's also a micro-SIM card slot that can be used for optional 4G mobile data support. There's also a 5 MP rear camera and a 720p front facing webcam.

If your business really needs a tablet that can withstand a lot of different and extreme settings for work, the Bobcat might be to your liking. Be prepare to spend a lot for the product; its starting price is $2,199.

Do you think these kinds of rugged Windows 8.1 tablets like the Bobcat and the older Panasonic Fz-M1 will find a big enough market to be successful?

Source: Xplore Technologies

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Reader comments

This Bobcat Windows 8.1 tablet is stupidly tough

59 Comments

Cause not every business needs fastest possible processor. This isn't for average consumers so price is not an issue either.

You can buy a tablet with similar hardware for ~$400 (Dell Venue Pro 8).  However, it's not drop proof, water resistent, cellular connected, etc.  This is a specilized device for specific workflows.  For example, UPS driver, warehouse inventory dude, factory floor, or any other job where people are constantly on their feet and on the move.  A laptop would be very awkward in those workflows and a normal laptop or tablet probably wouldn't survive a month.  Just one rainy day could take out half the devices in an area for a "delivery guy" scenario.  In the medical field, electronic devices are not allowed in certain areas unless they can be decontaminated (by spraying them with disenfectant solutions).  A normal consumer device can't survive too many days in that situation.  The specialized sealed devices that are built for that purpose are more expensive than this is.

 

This device is actually quite cheap and powerful compared to the existing technology (custom devices with embedded OS/software) it would replace. 

Exactly. A delivery guy or factory worker doesn't need the latest, top-notch specs. They just need a device that can endure their work flow and help them get their job done.

Add construction engineer to that list. I would love one of these. $2000 will probably translate to £3000 by the time it hits UK soil though. Check out the lenovo thinkpad8 prices!

Because plumbers don't wanna carry a laptop, a tablet that is tough and good enough to get the job done is perfect. And $2000 is 1 day of work.

Keep them coming we are not in a position to wonder about what can be successful or not..i think we need diversity and Varity..the more the good...as evolution goes only the fit will survive out of those varieties...

In general, for use in my "harsh" conditions - auto repair shops, I find it cheaper it and more expedient to buy regular notebooks and tablets and replace them as needed.  The price differential is usually such that 3 or 4 normal devices can be acquired for the price of a single ruggedized device.  Unless you're in a situation where replacement/spares can't be readily available, I just say no to ruggedized devices.

 

This type of service worked be used in oil fields, offshore rigs, ships and refineries. So money is no issue.

This is the route we are wanting to take as well.  We are hoping to replace our entire fleet of ToughBooks with standard Windows tablets.  We currently have Toughbooks installed in all of our squad cars...  For the difference in price we should be able to (fairly easily) provide each and every police officer with their own tablet so that they don't need to share devices.  This will be a huge benefit in access and availability and will also provide individual ownership of the devices on a per officer basis...   the hope is, that if it's their own device they will be more careful with it.  (fingers crossed there)  But even still, they are much easier to replace and I have always hated dealing with Panasonic.

We are already actively replaceing all the ToughBooks that we had deployed in our Fire and EMS departments with Surface, Dell and Lenovo tablets.  It's been a great move so far.

The reason its highly priced is because they know very well they are not going to sell many of these. They need to make up the production cost with the few units they might be able to sell. Same logic applies to the Panasonic as well.

I doubt the sales will sustain this tablet. Pricing on windows 8 tablets needs to come down a little, even though promoting them as an alternative to the laptop. If you're going to call it a tablet, price it as a tablet.

Maybe you should change your forum name to that since your guys cannot understand that this is a specialty item like toughbooks and semi-rugged laptops which are more expensive than this in many cases.

Maybe you should change your name to moron since you can't understand when someone's being funny. I don't give a dam about this tablet nor its price whatsoever so don't get so butthurt.

Businesses that need devices like the are very aware that they could buy several regular failure devices for the same price. However, sometimes it's not about the device. It's about workflow efficiency and data.

It costs time and money to recover data from a broken device. It costs time and money to even go through the process of issuing a new device to an employee to replace a broken one.

You are posing a question about a industrial grade product in a consumer oriented blog post/forum?  Maybe there are some readers here who work in harsh environments but generally you can expect the reaction to be .. "its too expensive".  Just because the market is limited for these devices doesn't mean there isn't a need.  Glad someone is filling the need.

I need this tablet for apocalypse. Lol

Anyways, devices like this is needed in industry that deals with harsh conditions. You don't want a device that gets broken after a feet tall while working, losing anything with it when needed most.

As a an RF technician that works in the field, this would be great! Now I just need to convince the boss...

This kind of specs and ports could make this the primary computer for most people. Just without the ruggedness. I have always thought a bay trail CPU with 4gb of ram and at least 128gb would be a killer setup.