Armor X10 Rugged Tablet Review

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  1. #1
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    Default Armor X10 Rugged Tablet Review

    The Armor X10 isn't your ordinary slate tablet. It's a rugged machine that can be very useful in certain markets and it meets military specifications. I don't think your average consumer would want this rugged tablet, but it is very fun to test and beat up. Don't forget it still performs all of your basic tasks like surfing the Web, emailing and it does it pretty fast with its 1.2GHz Core Duo processor. All my friends wanted to test out this heavy duty tablet, they couldn't believe it was a computer.

    The Armor X10 Rugged Tablet specs:

    • 1.2 GHz Intel Core Duo Processor U2500
    • 512MB SDRAM DDR2 standard, expandable to 2GB
    • 80GB removable hard disk drive, 8GB or 16GB SSD optional
    • 10.4-inch sunlight readable, transmissive LCD (XGA: 1024 x 768), CCFL or LED backlight, scratch resistant, chemically strengthened glass
    • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition OS
    • 1 x USB 2.0
    • LAN (RJ-45 10/100 Ethernet)
    • Integrated IEEE 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
    • MIL-STD-810F and IP 66 design
    • Weight: 5.2 lbs. with battery
    • Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.5 x 1.8 inches

     


    (view large image)

    Design and Build

    The Armor X10 tablet is a rugged slate tablet. It doesn't have a keyboard, so all input is done with the pen or your finger. The chassis is solid and shows no signs of flex. The X10 can take anything you throw at it. The bumps and bruises of my daily grind were no match for it and it meets military specifications.


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    The X10 weighs in a little over 5lbs. so it gets heavy after carrying for a while, but the case it comes in has a nice handle for easier carrying. There isn't anything fancy about the X10, just your basic heavy duty black casing with rubber covers to protect the ports. It does hide dirt well and the screen is viewable outside.


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    Display

    The X10 has a 10.4-inch sunlight readable display. The display has scratch resistant, chemically strengthened glass which is great for those harsh work environments. Sometimes this makes your finger hard to use on the screen, but if you calibrate the screen there really isn't a problem with the input. The pen works great and is accurate and responsive, I still recommend calibrating the screen though.


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    The screen doesn't get very bright like displays on your standard notebook, but the extra layer to protect the screen causes this. This tablet isn't going to be used to watch movies though, so no big deal. It is viewable outside, which is a bonus for field workers. The X10 doesn't give off much of a glare and it is easy to read. I forgot the screen was only 10.4-inches.

    Performance and Benchmarks

    This tiny slate is a brick powerhouse. I was quite impressed with the 1.2GHz Core Duo processor. I had no problem surfing the Web, checking email or editing documents. I tried to run PCMark and had problems with the application, I couldn't get a complete result. Sometimes those applications don't run correctly. However, not a problem for the typical user the X10 is targeted toward. Most vertical markets that need this tablet, like distribution companies, warehouses, construction, etc... are worried about the build and standard performance.

    The X10 can get dirty, wet, dropped and still has no problems. It runs fine and can perform all your basic tasks. Companies that may use the X10 shouldn't have any problems running their own software applications either. The X10 boots up quickly and browsing the Web was fast depending on your Internet connection.

    wPrime Results:


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    HDTune Results:


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    Heat and Noise

    Since Armor has such a solid design I understand the heat gets trapped in the X10. In fact it ran pretty hot. The power-pad and underneath the tablet were so warm that it got uncomfortable to hold there. The fan does disperse a lot of the heat, but thankfully it comes with the carrying case because this makes it easier to carry around and helps with the heat too.


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    As for noise though, the X10 was quiet. I was shocked, you wouldn't think a tablet this rugged would be quiet. Well it was. I barely noticed when the fan was on and it wasn't loud when I was running multiple applications and some benchmarks either.

    Tablet Features

    The X10 has some basic tablet features. The pen is accurate, but is passive and works by proximity sensing on the high resolution electromagnetic digitizer. It has a touchscreen option as well, but I prefer to use the pen for input and taking notes. The only problem with the pen is it is attached to the case, so if you take off the case, you lose the pen. Trust me the X10 is very basic with a on/off power button, a battery level indicator and a few ports.

    Ports

    As I mentioned before the X10 doesn't come with much. It has a USB port and RJ-45, but remember it can be connected to a dock for more features and options like a PCMCIA slot or GPS.


    Right side of the X10. (view large image)


    Left side of the X10. (view large image)


    Top view of the X10. (view large image)


    Underneath the X10. (view large image)

    Battery

    The X10 has hot-swappable batteries on the back, which is a convenient feature for users on the go. I was getting close to four hours of life during balanced usage. By that I mean just checking email and browsing the Web. When I picked up the pace and was running multiple applications it was less though. I am sure just checking work documents or running company software wouldn't damper the battery life much. It only took about an hour to fully charge as well, so not much down time.

    Wireless

    I didn't have any problems connecting to the Internet at my house or my office. The X10 has integrated IEEE 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. I didn't get a chance to test the wireless in a remote area, but I did take it out in the woods by my house and it still got a signal, a weak signal, but it worked. The Bluetooth comes in handy for connecting a wireless mouse or any other accessory.

    Conclusion

    The Armor X10 is a rugged tablet that can withstand drops and meets IP-66 level of protection from dust, dirt, water and other damaging elements. It is amazing to have such a tiny slate run Windows XP and surf the Web, all while I can carry it in the rain or drop it off my desk. Don't get me wrong your average consumer doesn't need or want this tablet. It is heavy and rugged. It is made for this though and vertical markets that need a ruggedized tablet for work in the field or on-the-go. The pen works fine and the display looks great outdoors. The display is a little dim inside, but nothing major. I was impressed with its performance and happy it came with the protective case. The Armor X10 protects your data on the job site and makes for a more productive work day, not an in the office day though, I mean what fun would that be.

    Pros

    • Solid chassis and rugged design
    • Can get wet and dirty
    • Sunlight viewable display
    • Carrying case with handle
    • Hot-swappable battery

    Cons

    • Can run hot
    • Pen is attached to case and not tablet
    • Not many ports

    Pricing and Availability

    For more information on the Armor X10 rugged tablet check out DRS Technologies website.

     


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Armor X10 Rugged Tablet Review

    It sounds like an active digitizer, but since this doesn't say it's a Wacom digitizer, would I be correct in assuming it's an N-trig digitizer?
    Eugene Leafty
    Tablet #1: Fujitsu T4210, XGA, T2450, 4GB G.Skill 4-4-4-12 memory, Hitachi 7k200, 2 modular bay batteries, Vista Biz, Office Ultimate, PDF Annotator, PDF Revu, Autodesk SketchBook Pro, Logitech Nano, infoCase Fieldmate case, Wacom Cross-1 penabled stylus, Belkin F8E550 cable lock.
    Tablet #2: Fujitsu U820.
    Tablet #3: Dell Venue 8 Pro, 32GB, active stylus, IVSO case, Xtremeguard screen protector
    Book scanner: Plustek Opticbook 3600

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Armor X10 Rugged Tablet Review

    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    It sounds like an active digitizer, but since this doesn't say it's a Wacom digitizer, would I be correct in assuming it's an N-trig digitizer?
    No, it is infact a WACOM digitizer that is being used. The article also fails to tell you that Windows Vista is also offered. They state that the fan is extra quiet....I would bet that it is since there is no fan installed into the machine, also you don't need a dock for the PCMCIA or for GPS as PCMCIA ports are installed into the machine standard, and GPS is an optional add-on that can be installed directly into the X10.

 

 

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