Durabook Rugged R11 Enterprise Tablet Gets Hardware Boost

Enterprise buyers can now equip their Durabook R11 tablets with Intel 8th-generation processors for more computing power.

Durabook R11

Durabook Americas has unveiled its updated R11 rugged tablet with, for the first time, a range of  8th-generation Intel processors, giving enterprise users more computing power for their work whether they are in an office, on a factory floor or in a remote workplace in a tough environment.

The upgraded Durabook R11, which starts at $1,849 and will be available starting in April, now offers a choice of Intel Core i7-8550U, Core i7-8650U, Core i5-8250U or Core i5-8350U processor. Previous R11 tablets offered earlier Core i7-5500U or Core i5-5200U processors.

The latest R11 tablets, which are built around an 11.6-inch Full HD display (1,920 x 1,080), also include more powerful Intel UHD 620 graphics processors and a standard 8GB of DDR4-2,400GHz memory, which can be expanded to up to 16GB. Standard storage on the devices is a 128GB SSD drive, while optional 256GB and 512GB SSDs are also available. Other options include OPAL 2.0 SSD or FIPS 140-2-2 security requirements.

Earlier R11 versions included 4GB of DDR3L memory standard, as well as a less powerful Intel HD Graphics 5500 chip. Standard drive storage on earlier R11s began at 64GB, with larger 128GB, 256GB and 512GB drives as options.  The earlier 11.6-inch display was a lower-performance HD display (1,366 x 768).

Joe Guest, the president of Durabook Americas, said in a statement that the upgrades follow customer requests for expanded uses of the mobile tablets.

"Our customers are demanding more and more from their rugged devices," said Guest. "They need reliability and computing power, but also a device that is highly portable. The R11 has been a customer-driven device since its inception, and these upgrades will ensure it continues to meet their demands."

Also included in the R11 is a 5-megapixel rear camera with auto-focus, a 2MP front webcam, two USB 3.0 ports, an audio in/out jack, an SDXC card slot, a 41-pin docking connector and a SIM card slot. Slots are also built-in for an optional 1D/2D barcode reader and for an optional RJ-45 or Smart Card/CAC or RFID reader. A 3.950mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery is standard, with up to eight hours of battery life, while an optional 7,800mAh battery is also available, with about 16 hours of battery life.

The ruggedized machines include IP65 ratings and MIL-STD-810G certifications for resistance to drops, shocks, vibration, dust, sand, explosive atmospheres, high/low temperatures and other environmental threats, plus ANSI 12.12.01 C1D2 certification.

The tablet is 11.4 inches wide, 7.48 inches deep and 0.78 inches thick and weighs 2.7 pounds with a standard 3,950mAh battery.

The R11 is available with 4G LTE-Advanced multi-carrier mobile broadband or dedicated GPS and includes Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 9260 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 capabilities.

Other options for the latest R11 include a Dynavue sunlight readable display with a capacitive multitouch screen. The devices all run on the Microsoft Windows 10 Pro operating system.

Rugged Tablet With Full Windows 10 Functionality

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told eWEEK that the upgraded R11 tablets should be of interest to organizations looking for a rugged tablet device with full Windows 10 functionality.

"The upgrades mainly link to the new Intel silicon and its performance and power capabilities," said King. "There are solid benefits but not what you'd call a game changer for many or most existing customers. They could, however, attract new clients to the Durabook platform."

Durabook's prime competitors in the rugged device market are Dell and Panasonic, but the big question is how many enterprise buyers will choose lower cost over those segment leaders, he asked.

"Durabook mainly seems focused on markets in China and Asia, which is a pretty deep well to drink from," said King. "Whether they can compete head-to-head against Dell or other established players in other regions remains to be seen."