The Best Android Rugged Tablets in 2021


A field worker using a rugged android tablet on a oil & gas plant

If you’re looking for a good quality rugged tablet, you’re spoilt for choice. With so many on the market, there’s a perfect tablet for everyone. All organisations and their workers have different requirements, so the tablet that’s perfect for one worker might not be right for the next.

We’ve compiled a list of the best rugged Android tablets in 2021 that have excellent qualities. They’re all designed to last in the harshest conditions, powerful enough to handle the most demanding user requirements and run on the Android OS, but there are other features and benefits that set them apart from each other. 

Take a look at our list of six of the best rugged Android tablets below, and see if you can narrow down your search for the tablet that will best suit you and your organisation. If you need advice, we can help point you in the right direction once we’ve understood your requirements.  

#1 Samsung Tab Active3 - 8”  Tablet 

The Samsung Tab Active3 is running on the Exynos 9810 processor, which is powerful enough to run demanding software and manage large files. With 4GB RAM, up to 128GB of internal storage and super-fast Wi-Fi 6 with MIMO; this rugged tablet can keep up with the demands of digital businesses today. The 1TB of external storage helps boost speed and performance.  

If you’re a worker who uses the tablet in a high heat setting such as a vehicle, you can change it to No Battery Mode to protect the device from a swollen battery. Plug it into a power source and keep working.  

The device works with Google ARCore and is designed to track motion and sense surroundings, so it’s ideal for the team to utilise AR for more interactive hands-on training and inspections. Samsung’s industry-leading Knox platform means security is infused into the hardware and software of the device.

#2 Samsung Active Pro - 10.1” Tablet 

If a big display is essential for your line of work, the Samsung Active Pro might be the tablet for you. The 10.1 inch display screen accommodates the largest job but is still small and light enough to comfortably carry around with you. When you’re in the office, connect an HDMI cable to a compatible monitor, Mac or PC, and continue work using a bigger screen and easier collaboration with colleagues.

For those who need a mobile point of sale (mPOS), the device has Enhanced Near Field Communication (NFC) with EMV Level 1 certification. Scanning ID cards and barcodes are also quick and easy. High resolution photos, face recognition and video calls are possible with the colour 8.0 MP front facing camera and 13.0 MP rear facing cameras.   

#3 Panasonic FZ-A3 - 10.1” Tablet 

Panasonic has named the Toughbook FZ-A3 its most powerful Android™ rugged tablet to date. It uses the latest Android 9.0 Pie compared to many other rugged tablets that ship with older, more outdated Android versions.

Panasonic is making it easier for businesses to move away from Windows Embedded Handheld mobile operating systems with support for migrating to Android™. The case has a removable barcode reader called the Panasonic Gadget. 

The 10.1-inch full HD display is one of the main selling points of the Panasonic FZ-A3. Unlike other rugged tablets, its screen is glossy, allowing for a much crisper display of images and text, just like a consumer iPad or tablet. The corners are rubberised to protect the tablet from drops up to 1.5m onto concrete. With an IP rating of IP65, it’s protected against water projected by a nozzle from any direction and is dust-tight. 

#4 Getac ZX70 - 7” Tablet 

The Getac ZX70 is designed to be a thin, light unit with a 7 inch screen, ideal for workers who need to carry it around all day and don’t need a large display. But don’t be fooled by its small size, the device packs a punch in terms of power and multi-task efficiency. The superior octa-core creates a smooth and seamless user experience with greater productivity and lower latency. 

Getac’s sophisticated technology combined with the Android Enterprise Recommended verification makes it even easier to scale and support your mobile fleet. It has class-leading runtime performance for critical field operations. The device is also certified for hazardous locations with optional ATEX and IECEx Zone 2/22 certification.  

#5 Zebra L10 XPad - 10.1” Tablet 

The Zebra L10 XPAD is designed to work for almost every situation with three models to choose from depending on the type of industry you’re in. The slate tablet is the XSLATE L10, the rigid handle for easy carrying and barcode reader option is the XPAD10 and for those who need a 2-in-1 laptop/tablet with full featured keyboard, the XBOOK L10 is for them.

The longer range WiFi and speed is available with the 2x2 Multiple-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) technology making it suitable for site use. The battery power can be extended to an incredible 24 hours with the extension option which shifts processing from the mobile device to the access point.   

The Zebra L10 can replace the need to carry walkie talkies with its Push to Talk Express button. There’s no shortage of power and performance with a Qualcomm® Snapdragon 660 octa-core 2.2 GHz CPU. The operating system is the Android™ 8.1 Oreo with Zebra’s Restricted Mode for control over GMS and other services.

#6 Ecom TabEx 02 – Intrinsically Safe Tablet 

For those workers who want a slimline device, the Ecom Tab-Ex 02-Intrinsically Safe Rugged Tablet is the slimmest tablet in the world. It’s robust yet lightweight, so very portable to carry around the site all day. It’s suitable for Zone 2 and Division 2 hazardous work environments. The Android 9 tablet uses a 1.6 GHz Octa-Core CPU and 3 GB of RAM, so it’s powerful enough to run complex Augmented Reality programs.

The Tab-Ex 02 offers up to 11 hours of battery life, enough to get through a shift. The device also has NFC and Wireless 4G LTE capabilities, Samsung KNOX security protection and more!

What to Consider When Buying a Rugged Tablet 

With so many tablet models available choosing the right one can be a daunting job. Here are some of the main points to consider during the decision making process.


Some tablets are semi rugged and others are fully rugged. If you’re working out in the harsh conditions where the tablet may be exposed to dust, extreme temperatures, vibrations, water or drops, a device with MIL-STD-810G certification will help protect it.


If it’s likely that you’ll carry the tablet with you all day, check out the dimensions and weight. You may not want to use a tablet all day that’s too bulky or heavy.

Battery Life 

If you work out in the field and have limited opportunities to plug in your device during a long shift, battery life is a consideration for you. The apps you run will also impact on the battery’s life so you may need to consider a tablet that allows you to hot swap batteries or conserve power.  

Software Requirements 

Know what you want your tablet to do including the apps and programs you’ll run to ensure the tablet is compatible with them. If you have a requirement for high-grade security, multitasking capabilities or customisable platform, look at which tablet will suit you best.


The higher the processing speed and number of cores, the better the performance. A RAM of 6 to 8 GB will allow you to run multiple applications. There’s a wide range of different storage available from 64 GB to 1 TB of space depending on how much you’ll need.        


The price tag of rugged tablets vary considerably depending on their capabilities. If you don’t want to buy a top of the range device, consider how rugged the unit needs to be and how much power you require.

Need Some Help?

If you need help with information or choosing your ideal rugged tablet, don’t hesitate to contact one of the hardware experts at Roaming Technologies by calling 1300 131 933 or contact us online.

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