Electronic gadgets are expensive. Making matters worse, not only are new products getting pricier, but repair costs have also gone up considerably. So, if you’re a clumsy person, the best way to hold onto your savings is by protecting your gadgets. While you can use a case, a rugged device is a more effective solution. And, if you’re in the market for a tablet, you must consider getting a rugged tablet.
Rugged tablets remain in good condition for years to come. It’s also a good investment if you work outdoors or in accident-prone areas, or want to buy a sturdy device for your kids.
In this post, we’ve considered all of these use cases and have come up with a list of some of the best rugged tablets that you can buy. Before we get to the ruggedized tablets though, consider reading these articles that may interest you –
- Looking to give your children a tablet for school? Here are some of the best learning tablets for toddlers and kids.
- Want something more sophisticated than a Kindle for reading? Take a look at some of the best tablets for reading and taking notes.
Let’s get to some tough tablets now.
1. Oukitel RT3 Rugged Android Tablet
Display: 8-inches | Water resistance: IP69K | Operating System: Android 12
The Oukitel RT3 is decidedly a rugged tablet. The back is made of hard plastic and the unit ships with reinforced corners that protect the screen. This is what gives the tablet its MIL-STD-810H certification. You get a fairly large 8-inch display but with a low resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels. There’s Android 12 on the OS front which is good to see.
One drawback of the Oukitel RT3 is that it is backed by an old MediaTek Helio P22 SoC. As a result, the performance is average and that’s exactly what some users have highlighted in their reviews. You cannot play high-end games on the tablet or edit videos. That said, if you strictly want a tablet to consume media and browse the internet, you shouldn’t face any issues.
2. Acer Enduro T1
Display: 8-inches | Water resistance: IP54 | Operating System: Android 9
While you get the same protection against drops as the Oukitel RT3, the Acer Enduro T1 misses out on the former’s impressive IP69K water resistance. Instead, you get a modest IP54 rating to protect the device against splashes. Another letdown is in the form of the now-outdated Android 9 OS.
The MT8385 chipset is a mid-range processor so the performance should be acceptable. However, don’t expect to run high-end titles like PUBG Mobile or Genshin Impact on the Acer Enduro T1. Moving on, the device’s screen boasts the same resolution as the Oukitel RT3. One area where the Acer Enduro T1 does well though is in the battery department. Users say that the tablet lasts up to two days on a single charge, which is great.
3. Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3
Display: 8-inches | Water resistance: IP68 | Operating System: Android 10
Mind you, the Galaxy Tab Active 3 is quite a bit expensive compared to its other counterparts on this list. However, you get superior specifications along with Samsung’s brand value, which should come in clutch for when you want to sell it down the line. Let’s get the rugged aspects out of the way first. The outer casing is made of hard plastic with thick corners. The navigation buttons are physical making them easier to press. On the top is a groove for the included S Pen.
Yes, you get an S Pen with the Galaxy Tab Active 3 making it a good option for those who want a tablet for their kids to write or sketch. There’s also an enhanced touch mode that allows you to use the screen without taking your gloves off. It’s useful if your work involves having gloves on all the time. Samsung’s UI is quite polished but the Exynos 9810 is pretty old at this point so don’t expect great performance.
If you want better performance, we would suggest increasing your budget and picking up the fourth iteration of the tablet which we’ll talk about later in this article.
4. Munbyn Windows 10 Rugged Tablet
Display: 8-inches | Water resistance: IP67 | Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
Munbyn markets the display on the tablet as one of the USPs of the product. While the resolution is low at 800 x 1280 pixels, the panel can hit a peak brightness of 700nits which should lend buyers ample visibility when using the device outdoors. If you work under the sun for the most part, you will appreciate the extra brightness.
As for the internals, there’s an Intel Cherry Trail chipset that runs Windows 10 on the tablet. While the choice of OS is totally up to you, a Windows machine allows you to run executable files which could be important for some users. You also get a stylus in the box. And, the reviews for the tablet speak volumes about the unit’s capabilities, with some buyers even recommending the machine for outdoor field inspections.
5. Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 4 Pro
Display: 10.1-inches | Water resistance: IP68 | Operating System: Android 12
For starters, the display measures 10.1 inches and is a godsend for all binge-watchers and gamers. The resolution is also quite good at 1920 x 1200 pixels. Just like the Tab Active 3, you get an S Pen for the tablet along with physical keys for navigation so that you can use the tablet with gloves.
Another cool feature of the Galaxy Tab Active 4 Pro is the company’s Dex mode. To that end, with a keyboard attached to the tablet, the device’s interface becomes similar to that of a computer. Consequently, you can use multi-window to perform several tasks at once. Most user reviews claim that this is the best rugged Android tablet out there and we are of the same opinion too. If you’re not too bothered by the price tag, consider picking up the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 4 Pro.
6. Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Tablet
Display: 11.6-inches | Water resistance: IP65 | Operating System: Windows 11 Pro
Think of the Dell Latitude 7220 as a laptop that’s shrunk into the chassis of a tablet. The tablet is powered by Intel’s Core i5-8365U CPU which works in tandem with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. At 11.6 inches, the tablet is huge, especially when you factor in the additional bulk from the rugged exterior.
If you’re going to be using the tablet outdoors, the peak brightness is 1000nits which is surely beneficial. You also get a handful of ports that you won’t find on any other tablet on this list. Notably, the tablet gets a DC-in, Mini Serial RS-232, USB 3.0 Type-C, USB 3.1 Type-A, Micro SD-card slot, combo mic/headphone Jack, fan exhaust, and a Kensington lock slot.
Windows comes with a truckload of utilities and might be more familiar than Android for some users. If you fall under that umbrella, then the Dell Latitude 7220 is one heck of a rugged tablet that is best suited for your needs. It’s priced exorbitantly high but you’re paying for the brand value here.
Don’t Break Your Tablet
Components like the screen and the motherboard are quite expensive so if you end up breaking your tablet, you’re in for an unexpected expenditure. Instead, pick up a rugged tablet for your kids or for outdoor use where you know the tablet might experience some level of abuse. That way, you can be assured that the tablet remains safe at all times.
If you already have a tablet, you can alternatively consider getting rugged cases like the ones from Otterbox or Supcase. If you want to make your tablet kid-safe, check out the best iPad cases for kids that can take a beating.
Last updated on 23 March, 2023
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