The battle for the toughest tablet continues with Xplore's new XC6 series of iX104 slates, which appears to have features that go beyond recent models from Panasonic and Motion Computing and are more in line with Dell's new "Extreme" ruggedized Latitude laptops. The new iX104 tablets also have price tags that will require some shock-resistance from potential buyers.
Like those other new rugged tablets, the XC6 family handles MIL-STD-810G standards for durability against drops, extreme temperatures, moisture and dust, etc. as well as offering the latest Intel Haswell processors. But Xplore goes beyond the usual standards, protecting the XC6 tablets from drops of up to 7 feet and upgrading the 10.4-inch display options to improve readability in sunlight by 30 percent (via a brightness of 1,300 NITs) and allow use of the Windows 8.1 Pro touch interface while users are wearing gloves or the device is soaked. (The tablets can also be configured with Windows 7 Pro.) Data security comes in the form of a fingerprint reader, Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2, and optional Computrace software.
The XC6 family consists of four slates. The DM and DML models are the lowest-priced, coming with either Intel Celeron CPUs (the DML) or Core i5 processors (DM), but lacking the enhanced readability screen. That's available with the DMSR, which also offers built-in 4G LTE support and Core i5 processor options. (Core i7 processors are available for custom orders of any model.) For the military, Xplore has the DMSR M2 that integrates a FIPS 201-1 compliant card reader. Each XC6 tablet can handle up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of solid-state storage and is built with tool-free removable drives for easier repairs in the field.
One thing that's not easier about the XC6 is the price tag. Even the lowest priced version, at $5,299, costs more than 10 iPads. Then again, a typical tablet couldn't last very long in the conditions that Xplore has in mind for its new models.