Product Review: The RangerX rugged tablet
The RangerX tablet uses a rugged display glass and a plastic encased magnesium frame with corner bumpers
I recently tested the Xplore Technologies RangerX, a rugged, dual-core ARM 9 Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) tablet — it is one of the coolest products I’ve tested.
The RangerX tablet uses a rugged display glass and a plastic encased magnesium frame with corner bumpers. It has more connectivity than any other tablet device I have tested and excelled in things like antenna range and intuitive use. I generally don’t use Android devices, so this is a plus for this device.
The RangerX is dockable and has port covers with rubber seals. It speaks USB and HDMI, both full sized and mini. It is fluent in micro SD. I had the model with optional (gulp!) LAN RJ-45. Why? If this unit was used in a stealth or highly secured environment, the RangerX would be right at home.
Withstood the Bertomen Treatment
The Rangerx has a 10.1 TFT WVGA color LCD display that is slightly recessed in the case. The brightness is 500 nits, enough to make it daylight readable without breaking the battery bank. It is capacitive touch, which makes it typing friendly. For those who like to play with these things in extreme environments, capacitive touch means that one can’t type underwater.
Yes, I submerged this product and tested its durability underwater. My test was similar to the 512.5 Immersion standard, which is generally higher than the water ingress tests.
The RangerX fulfills one of the basic tenets of agency purchases: If the agency is buying a rugged laptop, it should be scalable and upgradeable. If they are purchasing a tablet, it’s best to get all the bells and whistles up front, as they are seldom upgradeable.
The RangerX one has the bells and whistles.
A Pretty Fast Tablet
I short-charged the unit, ran it dry, and did some graphics intensive tasks. Then I watched a good Steven Seagal classic on YouTube. The battery and processor just yawned, maintaining a stable temperature.
Every time someone said “That’s a cool tablet…” I threw the RangerX at them. I did the usual lab drop tests, but I like to watch people dive for short passes. I wouldn’t exactly give the glass a direct hit, but it is sufficiently tempered for the hard landings it sustained. Yes, I simulated the “I-left-it-on-my-patrol-car-and-I’ve-already-had-two-memos-this-month” scenario.
If I could be critical of anything, the glass is highly reflective. The display is quite readable, but it’s like a mirror in sunlight.
Multiple LE Applications
As an investigative tool, it could be used anywhere. Its 5.5 MP camera can do crime scene “walk-throughs.”
It has a great advantage over many devices that would have to be tethered to WiFi.
I have some friends who could have used the RangerX investigating remote grow operations. I found the GPS and internal compass extremely sensitive. Indoor satellite acquisition was superior to two other devices that I use for navigation.
Finally, the RangerX can be used for routine patrol operations: Report writing, booking and intake, and those administrators meetings where no one looks up from their screen except to locate their coffee.
I’ve tested plenty of mobile computing devices, but the RangerX has set the standard here.
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