Rugged iOS, Android or Windows Tablets - What Operating System Do You Need?


Construction worker inputs data while working on site with a rugged tablet.

Not sure which rugged tablet you want? It often helps to decide on the operating system you need to help narrow the choice. Choose the operating system that will suit your organisation’s needs best - Android, Windows or iOS - before then deciding on the make and model of your rugged tablet.

Why a Rugged Tablet? 

If you’re working out in the field or harsh environment, a consumer tablet isn’t going to withstand the temperatures, the weather (including bright sunlight and rain), drops and shocks. A tablet is light enough to be carried and held for long periods without its weight becoming a problem, yet large enough to allow you to get the same work done as if you were using a laptop. 

The two most popular operating systems are Android and Windows, but iOS is gaining in popularity out in the field.

Using Android OS with Your Rugged Tablet

Android is often considered to be one of the world’s best operating systems for a range of devices around the world, though it now faces some competition in the rugged tablet market. With a long and established track record, as well as being easy to operate and having the ability to tailor software, Android is still one of the leading operating systems for use in the field.

Things to Consider Before Choosing Android

If you need a high-performance device that can integrate with other systems and devices throughout an organisation, Android devices may not have the capabilities that you require. Unable to boast the same power as devices using Windows OS, Android devices can struggle to run some of the more powerful software organisations use or run multiple applications/software at once in some circumstances.

Rugged Android Tablets

If you’ve decided to go ahead and use an Android OS with your rugged tablet in the field, there are a few options available to you.

Getac ZX10

The Getac ZX10 Android 10-inch tablet is used in a wide range of industries including police, utilities, defence, industrial manufacturing, automotive, and mining.

Panasonic Toughbook A3

Panasonic’s Toughbook FZ-A3 tablet has been dubbed the most powerful Android rugged tablet to date. A welcome addition to workers in the warehousing, logistics and transportation, and retail industries, the FZ-A3 is a lightweight solution that is able to be carried around comfortably throughout a work day.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3 is an 8-inch tablet well-suited for field-based workers who are on the go and want a tablet with performance and productivity features.

Using Windows OS with Your Rugged Tablet

Some of the world’s leading brands are now producing rugged Windows tablets. With easy integration into your organisation’s system, high-performing data integrity and security features, as well as compatibility with mobile device management (MDM), rugged tablets with Windows OS is another leading operating system that organisations around Australia are opting for.

Things to Consider Before Choosing Windows

Tablets powered by Windows OS require more battery life than that of an Android device due to its componentry. If you’re working in the office, battery life is not a concern, though it’s worth considering if you’ll be out in the field for long periods with no source of electricity to recharge the batteries. Devices using Windows OS are generally more expensive than Android-operated devices. While this is not the case for every model, the cheaper Windows devices generally don’t have the same functionality as the more expensive ones.

Rugged Windows Tablets

If a rugged tablet with a Windows OS is the right fit for your organisation, there are a few options available to you.

Getac T800

The Getac T800 is an 8.1-inch Windows 10 tablet that is lightweight and able to be held with one hand. Getac makes an intrinsically safe version of the T800 tablet too.

Getac F110

Getac’s F110 fully rugged Windows tablet combines toughness, power and an easy-to-carry profile to help encourage productivity amongst workers out in the field. With a strong suite of security features, including anti-tampering and self-encryption technology, you can trust in this high performing tablet that is covered by Getac’s bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Panasonic Toughbook FZ-G2

The Panasonic Toughbook FZ-G2 10.1-inch fully rugged tablet is one of Panasonic’s toughest and most secure tablets, being used by companies in some of the most security-conscious industries such as defence and law enforcement. With the use of a range of accessories, this Windows 10 Pro tablet is fully customisable.

Using Apple’s iOS in the Field

Those who have used iPads for a long period of time and are familiar with all of the functions haven’t been able to take their own out into the field, which usually means needing to learn how to use a tablet that is operated by either a Windows or Android operating system. iPads work seamlessly with Macs and iPhones, which is handy if the organisation uses Apple devices. These devices are also simple to update, backup and restore when needed.

Things to Consider Before Choosing iOS

Rugged iPads are not available to buy off the shelf or online. You can only buy consumer iPads, but these can be made suitable for harsh environments and tough treatment through the installation of an XCIEL case. These must be fitted by a licensed support centre such as Roaming Technologies.

iOS Solutions for the Field

There are a number of cases that are available to suit the different devices and zones, which will allow you to take your iPad into certain environments that were off limits previously.

XCIEL Zone 1 Intrinsically Safe iPad Mini 5

If you already own an iPad Mini 5 or you intend to buy one for a hazardous site, this XCIEL case can convert it into an intrinsically safe device for use in Zone 1.

XCIEL Zone 2 Intrinsically Safe iPad Cases

For sites classified as such, there are Zone 2 XCIEL cases that have been built to fit iPad Air 10.9”, iPad 10.2”, iPad Pro 11 and iPad Mini 5. Roaming Technologies is the only XCIEL authorised reseller and support centre in Australia.    

For further advice on operating systems and which one may best suit your business needs, chat to one of our experts at Roaming Technologies by calling 1300 131 933 or contact us online

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