Samwell's compact and handy RUGGEDBOOK SR820 rugged tablet used on snow mobiles in the great white Russian north
When Apple announced the iPad 2 media tablet, one of its most eye-catching features was that it's even slimmer than the original, just over a third of an inch. That's a great accomplishment, but it also shows the fundamental difference between a consumer-oriented media tablet such as the iPad and rugged tablets that are designed to take a beating and stand up to real world abuse on the job.
The heavy-duty tablets we've been following here at RuggedPCReview.com for years are an entirely different breed, one where value and usefulness are measured in terms of sealing, drop spec, vibration resistance and adherence to a battery of military standard testing procedures, and not by how glossy and slender they are.
At times, manufacturers share with us how their products are being used in the real world, and it's always good to see them in action. A recent example came from our friends at Samwell and it shows their RUGGEDBOOK SR820 tablet computer doing duty strapped onto snow mobiles!
Russia Snow Mobile Project
The picturesque setting shown below is on the Kola Peninsula in Russia, way up north between the Barentsz and the White Sea. This is, Samwell modestly informed us, where their tablet was being used in a Snow Mobile Project. The picture below shows the SR820 (Intel Atom Z530-powered, 8.9-inch touch display, under three pounds) mounted on an E-TEC powered Ski-Doo Summit.
The two pictures below show the SR820 securely mounted via an adjustable RAM-Mount system. This way, the unit can quickly be adjusted for best possible viewing, and the rubber ball mounting technology helps in absorbing shocks.
What qualified the Samwell SR820 for this sort of extreme duty? For one thing, its fanless magnesium alloy chassis/housing is both tough and very compact, with a netbook-like footprint. It's sealed to IP65 specs, which means it's totally dust-proof (not that snow mobiles encounter a lot of dust other than exhaust) and is even protected against low pressure water jets from all directions, so it can easily handle snow. It's been tested for vibration resistance, and apparently it's resistant enough to withstand the constant pounding on a snow mobile. The lower operating temperature cut-off for the SR820, though, is 32 degrees Fahrenheit (with a solid state disk, which these units probably had), so that might be a bit of a limitation in icy climates. Still, apparently it all worked. A tough job for sure.