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VT Miltope RTCS-2 Rugged Tablet Computer System

Intel Core i7-based rugged tablet for military use
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Based in Hope Hull, AL, VT Miltope VT Miltope is part of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc., a multi-national engineering group engaged in aerospace, electronics, land systems and the marine sector. The VT Miltope arm makes rugged computers and computer peripherals, designed and manufactured in the US, for military, industrial and commercial tactical and aviation applications. In October of 2010, VT Miltope announced a new HARD WEAR family of ruggedized computer products that, the company says, "represent the next generation of mission critical rugged computers." The new RTSC-2 rugged tablet is part of this lineup, and it has impressive specs indeed.

What we have here is a military version of a rugged tablet computer platform. The basic form factor—i.e. roughly the size of an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and weighing about five pounds—has been around since the dawn of tablet computers in the early 1990s as it simply makes sense. A tablet this size can equally easily be carried around as it can quickly be inserted and removed from a vehicle mount.

Where the VT Miltope RTCS-2 impresses is in its thoroughly up-to-date technology. Vertical market hardware, which cannot benefit from economies of scale like consumer market products, often lags behind in offering the latest electronics, but not this Miltope tablet. It's based on the 1.06GHz Intel Core i7 620UE processor, a modern chip that is part of Intel's ultra-low voltage members of the Core i3/i5/i7 family. With a thermal design power of just 18 watts, ability to use speedy DDR3 memory, integrated graphics, and inclusion of numerous advanced Intel technologies, using this chip makes this new Miltope tablet obsolescene-proof for several years (at least on the hardware side). And don't worry about the modest 1.06GHz lock speed; this chip can operate at clock speeds up to twice as fast in "Turbo Boost" mode. And with a large 68 watt-hour powerpack, battery life should be very good.

But leading edge technology doesn't stop with the CPU here; you also get up to 160GB of solid state storage and one of the brightest LED-backlit sunlight-readable displays capable of up to 1,000 nits. No info on what kind of digitizer is used, but we assume some sort of dual-input that allows both touch/stylus and active pen.

This being a unit geared towards military operation, the RTSC-2 sports formidable environmental specs. Operating temperature is -26 to 140 degree Fahrenheit, and the machine passed stringent MIL-STD-810G testing for shock, vibration, altitude, humidity, driving rain, sand, dust, and salt fog, as well as MIL-STD-461F and other testing for EMI/ESD and HAEMP.

Finally, VT Miltope views the RTCS-2 as really consisting of two major components, the RTCU-2 tablet itself and its active mounting dock that provides port replication, additional ports, 10-33 Volt vehicle power, and also a number of expansion options, including a telematic module (CanBUS interface, 802.11b/g WiFi, GPS) and a serial interface module (up to five RS232/422/423/485 clocked serial ports).

Specifications VT Miltope RTCS-2
Status Added 12/2010, updated 05/2013
Product type Rugged tablet computer
Processor Intel Core i7 620UE with 4MB smart cache, 1,066 MHz FSB
CPU Speed 1.06 GHz
Standard/Max RAM Standard 2GB DDR3, expandable to 8GB
OS Microsoft Windows Professional 7 or Linux
Disk/drive 30 to 160GB solid state drives (80GB standard) or 160GB HD (non-rugged)
Card slots 1 external MicroSD, 1 internal mini PCI-e
Display type Sunlight-viewable TFT
Display size/res 10.4"/1024 x 768 XGA, sunlight readable, LED backlight (1,000 nits before touch)
Digitizer/pens digitizer
Keyboard/scale Optional external
Housing Magnesium composite
Operating Temp -32C to +60C (-25.6F to +140F)
Sealing: Sand and Dust MIL-STD-810G, Method 510.5, Procedure I and II
Sealing: Water MIL-STD-810G, Method 506.5, Procedure I
Shock (Transit Drop) MIL-STD-810G, Method 516.6, Procedure I; 4-foot drop (3 drops each face from four feet onto concrete)
Vibration MIL-STD-810G, Method 514.6, Procedure I, category 4 (Truck)
Humidity MIL-STD-810G, Method 507.5; 5% to 95% non-condensing
EMI/ESD/HAEMP MIL-STD-461F RE102, RS103, RS105, CS101, CS114, CS115, CS116, CE102; MIL-STD-2169B, MIL-STD-1275D, MIL-STD- 1686CTable IV
Size (WxHxD) 11.25 x 8.25 x 1.6 inches
Weight 5.4 pounds (with 10-cell battery)
Power Removable, rechargeable 68 watt-hour Li-Ion
Interface 1 gigabit RJ45 LAN, 2 USB 2.0 ports, VGA, audio in/out (3.5 mm), 2 expansion ports RS 232/422/485 (1 standard, 1 XPL2), 3-megapixel auto-focus camera
Wireless Two internal PCIe card slots available for embedded wireless hardware
List price inquire
Contact www.miltope.com
Web page RTCS-2 web page
Brochure RTCS-2
Web RuggedPC Review
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