While GammaTech is primarily known for its lineup of rugged tablet computers, the company has also been branching out into other rugged form factors. The DURABOOK P24 24-inch all-in-one (see our review) was one example. And on June 30, 2016, GammaTech introduced the DURABOOK V10BB, an ultra-rugged and highly customizable all-in-one panel computer for military vehicles and numerous Homeland Defense applications.
Why would GammaTech suddenly introduce an ultra-rugged panel computer? Aren't there any number of companies that specialize in panel PCs? There are, but it's rare to find an all-in-one military-oriented panel computer that combines as many features and qualities as GammaTech's new V10BB. The company clearly drew both upon its IPC/embedded systems experience as well as its substantial expertise in rugged tablet design when creating this new product.
Examples of the former are the all-metal fanless design with vastly configurable I/O, military-type connectors, presence of legacy connectivity, and compliance with various battle management and CCCI (Command, Control, Communication And Intelligence) requirements. Examples of the latter are the state-of-the-art processing, storage, and display technologies of the unit, as well as extensive documented ruggedness testing, and tablet-style HMI functionality.
As far as the hardware goes, GammaTech doesn't specify the processor(s) beyond "Broadwell U-Series with Intel HD Graphics 5000, which points towards roughly half a dozen of 5th generation dual-core i3, i5 and i7 processors, all with low 15 watt thermal design powers. These are chips used in high-end rugged tablets and provide processing power and features far above that of most panel PCs.
The display of the V10BB, likewise, is remarkable. While retaining the legacy 1024 x 768 4:3 aspect ratio for compatibility with the large library of special-purpose software written for the format, the display is very bright (600 nits), offers a near-perfect viewing angle, uses optical bonding with EMI mesh for excellent reflection control and maximum shielding, and comes with either single touch or multi-touch, both of the resistive variety that still works best in most of the intended deployments.
What sets the DURABOOK V10BB visually apart — its impressive array of no fewer than 28 function buttons — also provides exceptional functionality via hardware and software overlays. This makes battefield and similar operation quick, easy and reliable, much more so than using onscreen controls.
I/O is extensive. Dual LAN jacks, four USB ports (though all of the 2.0 standard), six RS232/422/485 serial ports, eight digital I/O pins, DVI-I for secondary video, and then also two more triple RS232/422/485 or CANBus ports.
For storage, standard is a 500GB SATA SSD with quick release that also supports quick data erase in case that's ever needed. Power is via wide-range 18V~36V DC-IN, with a 28 VDC military vehicle power option with selectable timer setting.
Ruggedness is where it gets really interesting. The V10BB is IP67-sealed, which means it's totally dustproof and can even be submerged in water. That's almost unprecedented in a panel PC. Equally impressive is the operating temperature range of -51 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (-46° to 71°C). That's a far wider range than any standard rugged tablet. And the V10BB also meets or exceeds requirements of almost a dozen MIL-STD-810G tests, MIL-STD-461F (electromagnetic interference), and MIL-STD-1250 (corrosion prevention and deterioration control in electronic components and assemblies). And that's only the half of it (the other half is extensive quality and reliability controls).
In summary, the DURABOOK V10BB looks like a very interesting solution for military and similar deployments where available hardware is often quite obsolete. The V10BB isn't, drawing on state-of-the-art technologies, while still providing legacy connectivity and adherence to legacy and special-purpose military standards.
See GammaTech DURABOOK V10BB page.