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Getac ZX10 review: This fully rugged but lightweight Android tablet can go anywhere

Getac's 10.1-inch ZX10 is a good all-rounder that should find a niche in a range of industry sectors.
Written by Sandra Vogel, Contributing Writer on
Pros
  • Fully rugged build
  • Multiple configuration options and accessories
  • Good screen
Cons
  • Audio lacks volume and quality
  • Disappointing longevity from standard battery
  • Moderate entry-level RAM and storage

Rugged tablets need to withstand shock, drop, water, dust, heat, cold, and the general rough-and-tumble of being thrown into the back of vehicles and treated in other unceremonious ways. Getac is a specialist in this area, offering a wide range of rugged laptops and tablets. Its Android 11-based ZX10 tablet, which starts at £1,025 (ex. VAT) in the UK, is highly configurable and can be augmented by copious accessories, making it suitable for multiple use cases. 

The Getac ZX10 carries MIL-STD-810H and IP66 certifications, and can withstand drops from 1.8m (6 feet). The 10.1-inch screen sits inside huge bezels, which provide lots of protection against physical shock. The chassis is deep, and its corners are rounded, making it more likely that when this tablet is dropped it will roll rather than simply crash down on the floor and stress the components inside the shell. With dimensions of 275mm wide by 192mm deep by 17.9mm thick and weighing 1.04kg, this tablet strikes a good balance between robustness and portability. 

Getac ZX10

Getac ZX10: A 10.1-inch Android 11 tablet based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 660 chipset with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. With MIL-STD-810H and IP66 certification, it's designed to operate in challenging environments.

Image: Getac

The screen is a 10.1-inch TFT panel with WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200) resolution and 800 nits brightness. Along with Getac's sunlight readability technology, this makes it suitable for viewing in a wide range of conditions. There's a three-button touch panel on the main screen allowing you to specify gloved hand, finger-touch or pen-based input, to help get maximum responsiveness from the touch screen. The screen's matte finish helps with outdoor readability, and viewing angles are good.

To the right of the screen (in landscape mode) there's a column of five buttons topped by a light sensor that reads the ambient light level and adjusts screen brightness accordingly. Two of the four buttons are labelled 'P1' and 'P2', and are programmable: by default these increase and decrease brightness. Two more are labelled '+' and '-', and by default are set to adjust volume, but are also programmable. The fifth button, coloured green and slightly raised, is the power button. 

There's an 8MP webcam with a sliding privacy cover above the screen. Because the Getac ZX10 is designed to be usable by people wearing gloves, the privacy cover has a significantly protruding lip for easy sliding. There's also a 16MP camera on the back with an LED flash, which lacks a security cover. Getac provides its own camera software that caters for digital zoom up to 7.7x on both cameras, allows you to change resolution, use the flash and so on. It's basic, but works well enough. Don't expect fantastic quality images, but for general documentation and video calling the Getac ZX10's cameras are fine. 

The bespoke camera app isn't the only on-board Getac app supplementing Android 11. Among a range of preinstalled apps is a device deployment tool and a bespoke settings app for the various hardware and software modules. 

There is a speaker grille in the bottom right corner of the screen bezel. Audio output is disappointing, lacking both bass and volume. You'll struggle to hear anyone on a video call unless you're close to the tablet with low ambient noise levels – unlikely in many of the environments for which this tablet is designed. Our advice: make sure you have a headset to hand. 

Below the screen are LEDs indicating power on, Wi-Fi activation and battery status (amber when charging, green when full, as well as various flashing status alerts). There are lugs for a vehicle mount system on the bottom long edge, while a sturdy carry-handle can be attached to the upper long edge. 

Getac ZX10: ports

Behind protective covers: a USB-A port and a 3.5mm audio in/out jack, and a MicroSD card slot and a USB-C port.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNET

Because it's designed to serve a range of sectors – including transportation and logistics, defence, first responders, utilities, and industrial manufacturing – customisation is a key feature of the Getac ZX10. Options include a smartcard reader, HF RFID/NFC reader, 4G LTE mobile broadband and GPS. My review unit had several optional elements. 

On the right short edge, under a hinged rubber cover, is the power connector. The top edge carries a barcode scanner. On the left short edge one hinged cover protects a USB-C port and a MicroSD card slot, while another protects a USB-A port and a 3.5mm headset jack. On the back of my review unit was an RFID sensor area. Also on the back are two separately removable, hot-swappable batteries. There's support for two 4G LTE SIMs, with a SIM slot under each battery. The back also has a housing for the bundled capacitive stylus, which is attached to a tether. 

Getac ZX10: rear

The Getac ZX10 accepts dual swappable standard (4990mAh) or high-capacity (9980mAh) batteries. Each battery compartment houses a SIM slot for optional 4G LTE broadband.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNET

The standard batteries deliver 4990mAh each for a total of 9980mAh. The batteries can be swapped individually, and the battery status indicator top right of the screen gives separate readings for each one. This means you can carry spares to keep the Getac ZX10 going for long periods, with swap-outs applied as needed. Getac also offers high-capacity 9980mAh batteries for those wanting even longer life from each charge.  

Battery life with the standard batteries was somewhat disappointing. A three-hour YouTube session depleted two fully charged batteries to 50% and 49%, while the PCMark for Android Work 3.0 battery life benchmark saw the tablet last for 8 hours and 14 minutes. Field workers may well need in-vehicle charging, spare standard batteries or high-capacity batteries. 

The chipset is Qualcomm's Snapdragon 660, which is distinctly long in the tooth, but adequate for the kind of workloads the Getac ZX10 is designed for. It delivered average Geekbench 5 CPU scores of 325 (single core) and 1476 (multi core). Leading Android scores at the time of writing are around 1000 (single core) and 3500 (multi core). 

My Getac ZX10 review unit had 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal eMMC storage, with 6GB and 128GB optionally available. There's a MicroSD card slot for easy manual data exchange or adding to the on-board storage. 

Conclusions 

Fully rugged tablets are designed for harsh circumstances indoors or out. To meet the demands the Getac ZX10 is a very tough device, designed to be used with finger, gloved hand and stylus input. There's an expansive range of features on offer so that the tablet can be configured for multiple use cases, and twin hot-swappable batteries should help to keep it going in the field.  

Getac's ZX10 is a good all-rounder that should find a niche in a range of industry sectors. And if Android isn't your preferred platform, check out the very similar but Windows-based UX10.


Getac ZX10 specifications

Operating systemAndroid 11
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (octa-core, 1.95GHz-2.2GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 512 GPU
Display 10.1-inch WUXGA (1920 x 1200)
- Screen typecapacitive multitouch TFT LCD
- Brightness800 nits LumiBond display with Getac sunlight readable technology
RAM4GB, 6GB (LPDDR4)
Storage64GB, 128GB (eMMC)
Wi-FiWi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
Bluetooth5.0
Mobile broadbandoptional 4G LTE
GPSyes
PortsUSB-C (3.2 Gen 1), USB 2.0, docking connector, 3.5mm audio in/out, power in jack, optional RF antenna pass-through for GPS, WLAN and WWAN
SlotsMicroSD
Cameras8MP webcam, 16MP rear camera
Buttonspower, 4x programmable buttons
SecurityKensington lock, optional HF RFID/NFC combo reader, optional smart card reader
Battery capacity2x 4990mAh • optional high capacity 2x 9980mAh
AC adapter65W
Dimensions275mm x 192mm x 17.9mm (10.8in. x 7.56in. x 0.7in.)
Weight1.04kg (2.29lbs)
CertificationsMIL-STD-810H • IP66 • vibration & drop resistant (1.8m/6ft) • optional: ANSI/UL 121201, CSA C22.2 NO. 213 (Class I, Division 2, Groups A, B, C, D)
Preinstalled softwareGetac Camera, Getac Input Method, Getac Driving Safety Utility (trial version), Getac deployXpress (trial version), Getac settings and Google applications (Search, Chrome, Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Play, Drive, YouTube music, Google TV, Duo and photos)
Accessories (optional)carry bag, standard battery (4990mAh), high-capacity battery (9980mAh), multi-bay chargers (dual-bay, eight-bay), AC adapter (65W), office dock AC adapter (65W), DC-DC vehicle adapter (120W), capacitive stylus with tether, protection film, hand strap, shoulder strap (2-point), shoulder harness (4-point; handsfree), vehicle dock, office dock, 100W Type-C adapter, hard handle
Pricefrom £1,025 (ex. VAT)

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