Rugged computer manufacturer Xplore Technologies announced the launch of the XSLATE B10 rugged tablet, featuring a set of eight ports, four sealed from behind, and an IP65 durability rating.
In addition, the B10 comes standard with the Intel Core i5 central processing unit (CPU) or is upgradeable to an Intel i7 vPro CPU.
The tablet features a 10.1-inch in-plane switching (IPS) LCD backlit display; 4G LTE broadband; 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and two cameras, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera.
"The XSLATE B10 is capable in all verticals that use rugged products, but the device is targeted towards workers in telecom and utilities, manufacturing, and transportation and distribution. The rugged tablet market is definitely growing," Tom Kost, director of product marketing with Xplore, told eWEEK.
Kost noted they are seeing big growth in their sales, pointing to a VDC study that projects rugged tablet sales will post a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.1 percent between 2013 and 2018.
"The B10 has many advantages over the competition. The tablet provides many more standard features like extra ports, finger print reader, and higher rugged drop spec, all for a similar price. At Xplore, we look carefully at the verticals and determine what workflows predominate," Kost said. "We create a complete solution for these workflows that includes tablet, peripherals, software, and services that make our offerings more unique and targeted. We believe there are many customers seeking an alternative to the Panasonic product."
Kost noted that in fact, the company delayed the launch of the B10 because the initial supply of the product was consumed by existing Xplore customers.
"As supply ramps up, we will continue to introduce this product via existing relationships with some of the largest enterprises in the world," he said. "The product will be offered through our worldwide distribution channels, including a number of co-marketing activities. A well-funded multi-media campaign, including press reviews, will generate end-user awareness and demand generation."
Other features include a Wacom pen digitizer and active pen, the xCapture Pro camera application and an optional integrated barcode scanner.
The B10 also has optional accessories including removable companion keyboard, office or vehicle docking stations, kickstand, a second hot swappable battery to extend system runtime to 20 hours and 2-bay or 6-bay simultaneous battery charging options.
"We expect the market to continue growing," Kost said. "In particular, the shift from rugged notebook towards rugged tablet will accelerate. The application of 2-in-1 keyboard technology to rugged tablets supports the shift away from pure notebooks."