Ruggedised computing technology provider Getac is launching a new tablet designed specifically to boost productivity for mobile workers in the shape of the 8.1-inch Windows 8 Getac T800 tablet.
The thin and light Windows OS device has been designed based on demands from mobile workers from utilities, field services and public safety sectors. Getac has responded to those demands by developing a device that offers all the power, performance and usability of a high-quality consumer device, without compromising on the tablet’s full ruggedisation.
With its 8.1" screen, the optimal screen size for Windows 8, a thickness of 24mm and weighing just 0.88kg, the T800 is small enough to fit in a pocket or your hand, but still offers all the power and performance a remote worker needs.
Peter Molyneux, Getac UK president, (pictured) said: “The T800 gives the best performance of any fully rugged Windows 8 tablet in the market today. Our customers have given us tremendous feedback on the T800’s thin and light design, while offering high levels of integration and field performance.
“We always target to give our customers the latest in fully rugged computer technology with no compromise on performance, and again we feel confident we have achieved this in the T800.”
Speaking to Wireless on the day of its launch (16 April 2014), Molyneux explained that it is important to integrate the latest technology into ruggedised devices as they have a longer life span than their consumer equivalents.
Ruggedised notebooks have a four- to five-year lifespan, while tablets are kept for approximately three years. What you don’t want to do, he said, is to supply a device that cannot keep pace with the market and is no longer fit for purpose in its second or third year of use.
“The T800 is a completely new device, which we’ve redesigned from scratch. Customers want rugged devices with the same feel, touch and interface as their consumer devices. That means our devices have to be thinner and lighter, while still providing a high performance,” said Molyneux.
“We looked at the whole process of design and manufacture,” he continued. “We used to use a magnesium alloy, which is very heavy, but now we use a plastic compound, so we get the resilience and performance still, but we can reduce the weight. The T800 is just 24mm thick – a few years ago it would have been 40mm. It weighs just 800g, while our last 8.1-inch tablet was 1.5kg and we thought we were doing well with that.”
Reducing the size of the processor is key to reducing the depth of the product, explained Molyneux. Getac has opted for Intel’s four core Bay Trail family of chips and is using the Intel Pentium N3530 2.16 GHz processor. “We are developing a road map of providing lower power devices with more performance, but the challenge then is controlling the thermal management.”
Getac has also included the latest 3G and 4G modems and SiRFstarIV GPS. Molyneux pointed out that some competitors are using a combined 3G/4G modems, which has the benefit of reducing size, but impacts on performance.
“If you keep the modems separate you get the best of each standard. For example, if you had 3G connectivity and the GPS was dependant on it, you might get 3G performance, but it might not be enough to handle GPS data.”
Getac’s unique SnapBack expansion system allows users to add expansions to the T800 such as an extra battery, increasing the operation use to greater than 16 hours.
An additional SnapBack expansion is a 2-in-1 RFID and smart card reader. Mobile workers will also benefit from the fully rugged design which has MIL-STD-810G and IP65 ratings, meaning the device can handle shock, drops and vibration to military grades while also being sealed against dust and water.
The 8.1-inch screen is built with LumibondTM, Getac’s proprietary screen technology that offers excellent touch control and sunlight readability, without compromising battery performance.
Molyneux said the size of screen had been determined by customer need. “Users told us that 7-inch screens were too small to display Windows properly, so we went for an 8.1-inch screen, which we believe is the optimum for this size of tablet.”
Powered by the latest quad-core Intel N3530 2.16 GHz processor, the T800 also provides unparalleled connectivity and can be configured with 4G LTE cellular data with an auto tunable 8-band antenna capable of quickly switching between bands.
It also includes the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi for data transfer speeds up to three times faster than 802.11n products. The T800’s optional SiRFstarIV GPS offers double search capacity, faster location positioning and improved accuracy.
Molyneux said he believed ruggedized tablets were mostly eating into the handheld PDA and bar scanner market, rather than the larger format notebook market.
“Tablets provide users with a greater functionality, a broader work profile and more speed and storage capacity than traditional PDAs. They are going into transport and logistics and they are also doing well in major utilities.
“The ruggedised PDA market won’t go away, but you can do a lot more on an 8.1-inch screen than you can on a 3.5-inch one. In the same way, people will always want larger screens and keyboards for major data input, so the notebook market won’t go away either and Getac remains committed to that sector,” said Molyneux.
He reported that Getac’s first Android tablet, the Z710, 7-inch launched a year and a half ago, is doing very well, but interestingly it tends to sell in new markets, rather than the company’s traditional ones.
T800 - Key features
- Intel Pentium N3530 2.16 GHz processor
- Windows 7, Windows 8.1 OS
- Tablet size: 227 x 151 x 24mm; 8.1-inch screen
- Weight: 880g
- Multi-touch display
- 64 GB / 128 GB SSD
- SiRFstarIV GPS
- Fully Rugged, MIL-STD 810G, IP65
- Ultrafast Wi-Fi Connection: 802.11ac
- Strong connectivity, in-house patented 3D antenna design
- SnapBack expandability: 2-in-1 smart card reader and RFID, or second battery
- Battery life: 8 hours or 16 hours with second SnapBack bBattery
- Tri RF pass-through (WWAN & WLAN & GPS).