All About the Enterprise-Friendly Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-07-22
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    All About the Enterprise-Friendly Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet
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    All About the Enterprise-Friendly Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet

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    What Makes It Rugged
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    What Makes It Rugged

    According to Dell, the Latitude 12 is capable of withstanding drops from more than four feet and can hold up in extreme temperatures. It will also resist damage from sand and dust, but has a surprisingly low water-protection rating of 5 out of a possible 8. Still, the device rates as one of the more rugged tablets on the market.
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    The Device Can Double as a Notebook
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    The Device Can Double as a Notebook

    While the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet is not a full 2-in-1 hybrid, the device is convertible into a notebook thanks to a dock connector at the tablet's base. This will allow users to plug a keyboard into the dock to get what amounts to a 12-inch notebook. It's a feature that may not mean much to consumers, but in the enterprise world where physical keyboards still reign supreme, it's important.
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    The Latitude 12 Includes a High-Definition Screen
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    The Latitude 12 Includes a High-Definition Screen

    The device has an 11.6-inch screen that offers high-definition visuals. The screen won't deliver as accurate a color representation as the recently announced Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, but the high-definition screen should be able to perform about as well as one would expect from a device that was primarily designed with ruggedness in mind.
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    The Rugged Tablet Has Serious Battery Life
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    The Rugged Tablet Has Serious Battery Life

    Although it's likely that Dell added the "12" to the tablet's name because of its screen size, there's another "12" as part of the device. The Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet offers up to 12 hours of battery life with help from two removable two-cell batteries. Considering many other products can barely last 8 hours with nonremovable batteries, that's a solid showing from Dell's latest slate.
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    There's More Than Enough Storage
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    There's More Than Enough Storage

    There shouldn't be any trouble getting apps and important documents onto the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet. In fact, Dell says that the device is customizable up to 512GB of onboard storage. Best of all, that's all built-in and solid-state, so users won't need to carry around a microSD card or a mechanical hard drive.
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    Intel Core M Processors Are Inside
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    Intel Core M Processors Are Inside

    Although it took some time for Intel to catch up in mobile, it's starting to chip away at the lead ARM and others have. The company's fifth-generation Intel Core M processors will power the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet, providing ample power for the vast majority of business applications. The processor will be cooled with help from a QuadCool thermal management system that can ensure it doesn't overheat in extreme temperatures.
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    The Tablet Runs Windows
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    The Tablet Runs Windows

    Although companies are increasingly turning their attention to Android and iOS for their tablet needs, the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet runs Windows. Customers can choose from Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, though when it launches, Windows 10 will likely be the default configuration. Either way, don't look for Android to be running on the Dell tablet.
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    Readability, Glove Support Important for Outdoor Use
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    Readability, Glove Support Important for Outdoor Use

    This may sound odd to consumers, but Dell's decision to make the tablet useful outdoors and while wearing gloves is a huge plus as it tries to attract enterprise customers. The Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet's screen has outdoor readability, meaning it can be viewed in direct sunlight, unlike most other screens that reflect a glare. The device's touch screen is also capable of responding to glove inputs, which will come in handy for folks who need to keep their hands warm and protected.
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    This Is an Enterprise-Only Device
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    This Is an Enterprise-Only Device

    All of these details, including the device's starting price, should give customers a clear indication that the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet is a decidedly enterprise-only product. While Dell tries to put a consumer-friendly spin on it by saying that it can be useful for "adventurers," the truth is, no one looking to buy an iPad will opt for the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet. At the same time, however, it's highly unlikely that anyone seeking a truly rugged slate would opt for Apple's tablet over the Dell option. In sum, Dell has carved out a nice position in what has proved to be a relatively disappointing tablet market in 2015.
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    It'll Be Available Soon at a Surprising Price
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    It'll Be Available Soon at a Surprising Price

    Dell says that the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet will go on sale at the end of July for a starting price of $1,600. While at first glance that may sound expensive, consider that the device's top competitor, the Panasonic ToughPad series, starts at over $1,000 more than that. The Latitude 12 is actually a lower cost option for companies looking for reliability in harsh environments.
 

Rugged laptops and handheld computers have long been popular in the enterprise, but now Dell has announced a tablet that the company says can offer the same kind of protection against the elements and rough treatment on the job. Dubbed the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet, the slate is designed to hold up in the "harshest conditions," according to Dell. The tablet is designed with corporate customers in mind, and Dell says that it can be used in a wide range of industries and environments, including the military, emergency response and industrial field work. But perhaps more than anything, the device helps Dell differentiate itself in a market that's teeming with competitors and currently in the midst of a prolonged sales slowdown. By offering the Latitude 12, Dell has found a way to offer a different take on what appears to be a tired device category and appeal to a critical market for the company—the enterprise. The Latitude 12 appears to have the features to do just that. This slide show covers what the Latitude 12 has to offer enterprise buyers.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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