Rugged VS Consumer tablets – Where is the difference?

For most people tablet is just a tablet. When we hear “Rugged”, we think big, heavy piece of equipment that is also very, very expensive. Why should I choose Rugged then? My tablet will do all the same, play music, read my emails, do research, go to the internet and do all these things computers do… Why Rugged?

Here are the differences between Rugged and Consumer tablets


Primarily, rugged tablets are designed to be used in harsh environments. Many industries (like the Military, Police, Navy, Construction, Emergencies, Oil and Gas, Mining and Land surveys) work in unfriendly environments such as extreme temperatures, wet or skewed surfaces, rainy or dusty areas. In such environments, normal consumer tablets will hardly survive long enough or they may require constant repairs in order to remain operational.

As for Rugged tablets, they are manufactured to be used in such environments as long as necessary. They have been tested with standards like the MIL-STD 810G for the military to ensure that they can endure such harsh conditions. They have been successfully tested under water, in extremely cold or hot areas, they can withstand shocks and vibrations that the consumer tablets cannot deal with. They are also dust proof and the screens are made to recognize your touch gestures while wearing gloves (unlike the consumer brands). Based on the above, they are really ideal to be used in the field.


Apart from durability, there is another reason to choose Rugged: its long battery life if compared with consumer tablets. Think of the good old Nokia 1110 that could stay just about a month without being charged. Honestly, besides the battery and the snake game, what else made that phone a trailblazer at its time? There’s no denying the fact, that the longer the battery life, the better the device is. Today, the problem of short battery life for the most consumer gadgets has created the need to use power banks to make batteries stay longer or ease recharging once depleted.

Correctly optimized Rugged tablets, on the other hand, have very long battery lives and in most cases can make battery lives of consumer tablets 3,4,5 and even more times longer. Recent Rugged tablets have the ability to charge other devices like cellphones.

Life Cycle and costs

Rugged equipment is designed to meet the requirements of high-tech industries, that is why we use components of a higher quality than those of consumer equipment. It makes it possible to escape repairs and in the long run to save thousands of dollars.


In comparison with consumer tablets, rugged devices are heavier. This is the price we pay to have a durable and reliable product, which will work where consumer devices are doomed to fail.



  • Cost: even though rugged tablets have a higher purchase cost than consumer ones, they appear to be much cheaper in the long run. They hardly ever break down, they have a longer warranty, are easier to maintain and repair. For businesses, rugged equipment save on down-time costs.
  • Battery: a much longer battery life for properly calibrated rugged tablets
  • Durability: a research made by VDC shows that only 8.5% of rugged gadgets fail due to environmental stress as opposed to 16.7% in consumer tablets. This is an indisputable proof that rugged devices are made to last.
  • Reliability: according to consistent results of a number of sound and trustworthy tests, rugged devices are far more reliable than consumer tablets and highly tolerant to faults and malfunction.


  • Weight: they are heavier. But if you opt for a longer battery life, durability and survivability, you will choose Rugged devices.
  • Not pretty: this is not always true! Some of the rugged tablets look really cool. Examples below:


Rugged tablets are not new to the market. They are generally way better than the consumer tablets. This is because they undergo tests that make them viable for use in various harsh environments. They are thus very commendable devices for both personal and industrial use because they are reliable and very efficient. Consumer tablets on the other hand are great devices for personal use. However, when one needs to consider a long-lasting device, then there is no doubt that one might love to choose the rugged option.

Yaroslav M.