The General Dynamics Itronix semi-rugged GD3015 tablet PC is lighter than fully ruggedized notebooks and offers flexibility for harsh environments that the consumer Apple iPad lacks.
General Dynamics Itronix has unveiled its GD3015 tablet PC, a
semi-rugged computer that hits the middle point between consumer
tablets and heavier
fully ruggedized notebooks.
Itronix is the rugged mobile technology division of General
Dynamics, a manufacturer of aircraft, ships, military armament and IT
for the government and military.
The GD3015 tablet is geared toward first responders in ambulances,
maintenance workers in hospitals and other facilities, utility
workers that read meters and police officers that scan drivers'
RFID wireless connectivity. Itronix introduced the model on June 30,
and it is available as of July 2011.
Semi-rugged models like the GD3015 may have a larger market than fully rugged models like the recently released GD8200
, Doug Petteway, vice president of marketing for rugged computing
solutions at General Dynamics Itronix, told eWEEK.
"We see growth in the semi-rugged market a little faster than the fully rugged in the tablet community," he said, noting the
lighter weight of the semi-rugged unit and a price that's cheaper than a fully rugged system.
At the same time, evaluation projects that Itronix is conducting
with an Apple iPad will be transitioned into semi-rugged and rugged
to the iPad's lack of durability for industrial environments.
"We do have a lot of commercial trials around the iPad," he said.
"Consumer grade [tablets] are not meeting the needs of business
Unlike the consumer-grade iPad, the GD3015 runs a full version of
Windows, features a removable hard drive and offers data protection,
The GD3015's size also falls in between an ordinary smartphone and a
full-size rugged notebook, Petteway said. The 2.6-pound GD3015
features a 10.4-inch touch-screen that's viewable in sunlight. It runs
Windows 7 Professional and comes with either 64GB or 160GB solid state
Unlike the iPad, the GD3015's sunlight readability feature is
something that outdoor industrial workers, emergency first responders,
transportation and utility workers would require, he said. Furthermore,
you can install applications easier without iTunes, he noted.
"Part of the concern is the durability of the iPad,"
Petteway said. "Launching applications requires you to go to the iTunes
environment to load. You can't load your individual applications on to
"The GD3015 pairs ruggedness with a Windows-based operating system so
budget-constrained IT managers have a computing solution that is easy to
deploy, minimizes training costs for users and leverages existing software and
operating system configurations," Mark Johnston,
director of strategic computing solutions for General Dynamics Itronix, said in
The GD3015 incorporates GPS to map terrain and various locations and locate products. It also supports data collection.
AT&T provides 3G wireless connectivity to GD3015 users.
The 3G and wireless LAN connectivity allow EMT technicians to enter and
send vital health readings such as temperature and blood pressure ahead
to a doctor
or hospital for evaluation, Petteway said.
RFID in the $2,400 GD3015 allows workers to scan information about
products in warehouses and at loading docks along with a magnetic
reader to scan IDs or payment cards.
The unit can survive shock, vibration, rain, sand, water and dust
but lacks the fully rugged features of the GD8200 notebook. That model
withstand gunfire shock, loud jet noise and harsher environments,
Still, the GD3015 comes with removable bumpers on its sides for
additional shock protection. It can survive drops of 3 feet, like from
back of a pickup truck, he said.