Phones and tablets have become an irreplaceable part of our workday, allowing us to remotely edit spreadsheets, monitor inventory, communicate with each other, or manage fleets. But most phones and tablets aren't made to withstand tough environments like a construction site, emergency responders, weather, or frequent drops.
There are, however, a subset of ruggedized tablets that are built to withstand most abuse (because let's face it, nothing is indestructible). They're more often than not, a pricey investment, but thanks to their tough exteriors, will prevent you from spending far too much money to get devices repaired or replaced.
We found several rugged tablets, running either Windows 10 to Android, and built to power through whatever kind of abuse you can throw at it.
A more compact version of the Tab Active Pro, the Tab Active 2 has an 8-inch display, MIL-STD 810G certification, IP68 rating for dust and water, and a battery that Samsung claims will last up to 11 hours.
Internally, it has 3GB of memory, 16GB of storage, a 4,450mAh battery, and supports microSD cards up to 256GB.
It runs Android 7.1, so not the most recent OS, but it should still work with the apps and programs you need to get the job done.$419 at Samsung
The Toughbook A3 launched earlier this year and is the most powerful Android tablet Panasonic has released yet, according to the company.
It has a 10.1-inch display, 4GB of memory, 64GB of storage, with microSD card support, and dedicated modes when it senses rain or the user is wearing gloves (a common feature for most ruggedized tablets).
It's IP65 certified for water and dust resistance and has a battery life of 9 hours. You can hot-swap the battery packs, however, meaning you don't have to wait for the tablet to power down and then back up when you need to change batteries.
Pricing starts at $2,699, and you'll need to go through Panasonic's sales partners to pick one up.$2,600 at Panasonic
Another Windows 10 Pro-powered tablet, the Latitude 7212 exudes a rugged look. It has a display that measures 11.6-inches, 16GB of memory, 128GB of storage, and uses Intel's Core i7-8650U processor.
There are plenty of ports to connect accessories and other peripherals to the tablet, and the internals of the tablet are configurable. You can add an optional keyboard, and pick between AT&T and Verizon for mobile connectivity, for example.
In addition to the touchscreen, you can use a series if physical buttons along the bottom of the housing to navigate Windows 10.$2,649 at Dell
If you don't need something that can withstand the elements and abuse of a construction site, then the Lenovo 10e Chromebook may just fit the bill.
It's a ChromeOS tablet that has Dragontrail Pro glass that should help cutdown on cracks and broken screens from accidental drops.
It has a 10.1-inch display, 4GB of memory, 32GB of storage, and an estimated battery life of up to 16.5 hours.$269 at Walmart
Samsung's ruggedized 10.1-inch Android tablet comes with 64GB of storage, 4GB of memory, and a 7,600mAh battery. There's a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. You can add up to 512GB of storage via a microSD card.
Included with the Android tablet is Samsung's S Pen stylus, both of which are IP68 rated. The tablet met MIL-STD-810G specifications and boasts removable batteries so you can swap out packs and keep working.$599 at Samsung
The Getac F110 is a rugged Windows tablet that can take a severe beating. It's MIL-STD-810G, MIL-STD-461G, and IP65 certified, so it'll withstand virtually whatever you throw at it. You can get it with Windows 10 Pro, powered by 8th generation Intel processors, 8GB of memory, and SSD storage ranging from 256GB, 512GB up to 1TB.
There's a 1080p 11.6-inch touchscreen display, Windows Hello camera system for face authentication, and a myriad of ports and connection options for accessories and scanners.
There's also an older model available on Amazon for $749. The listing says it runs Windows 7 Professional and is powered by an Intel Core i5, with 4GB of memory. If you're on a tight budget and need something that's just powerful enough to get the job done, it just might do the trick.$2,146 at Portable One