Xplore XC6 ultra rugged tablet review
I know that we just took a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 LTE yesterday, and here we are with yet another tablet that might just interest you – assuming your work environment is a whole lot harsher compared to the regular office drone. Of course, while the average tablet is not exactly waterproof, and neither are they able to stand up to all kinds of abuses, here is the Xplore XC6 ultra rugged tablet that will be able to take plenty of punishment – and then some, shrugging it off like nothing happened.
Performance and Claims
Of course, the Xplore XC6 is not new to the ultra rugged tablet game, where you can tell by its model name alone. In fact, it is said to enjoy major enhancements in terms of its performance, gaining more than double the performance compared to its predecessor, the C5. While I do not have the previous model to make a comparison with, I will take their word for it, as one can trust what they have done with the toughness of the device in my own tests.
Apart from that, the Xplore XC6 is said to offer up to 8.5 hours of battery life which is 30% longer than before. Personally, I ran down the battery in 6.5 hours, but perhaps that was because I pushed it further than expected, having a fair number of programs running in the background (torrents downloading), alongside up to 20 different tabs opened in Google Chrome, with YouTube videos running in a loop. Hence, I strongly believe if the Xplore XC6 were to be left alone, with maybe a few tabs in a browser window open, then it would definitely be able to hit 8.5 hours without any issue.
As for its touchscreen display, well, it offers a multi-touch resistive screen that might not be as sensitive as you would like, although it has been compared to deliver capacitive-like sensitivity. So far, the review kit came with a pair of gloves that when worn, works wonderfully on the Xplore XC6 without the tablet missing a beat. This is useful during winter, when your hands are freezing outside in the cold, so you have decided to put on a pair of gloves. That ought not to interfere with the use of the Xplore XC6 at all, that’s for sure. The display supports up to 10 fingers simultaneously, giving it another thumbs up in our books. Of course, if you do not like using your fingers to touch type, there is always the built-in stylus, as well as the option to hook it up to a USB keyboard.
Since those of us living in the northern hemisphere happen to be enjoying summer now, you might want to bring your tablet with you out in the open, and that would translate to using it under bright sunlight, where most screens fail. I would not say that the Xplore XC6 is impeccable in this department under the direct afternoon sun, but if you were to force your eyes to work a little bit harder than normal, you can still get by. I would not advise doing work under the scorching sun on this though, although using it to access some files or documents would still be achievable, thanks to its 1,300 NITs rating.
As mentioned earlier, I have taken the Xplore XC6 out for some punishing routines, including dropping it on a concrete floor from 4 feet high while it is operating, and so far, the design of it (rubbered edges and sides) have done a decent job in protecting the screen from cracking, and while it is a bit soiled not, the Xplore XC6 still hums on perfectly without batting an eyelid. This is not surprising, as the Xplore XC6 has been MIL-STD-810G tested for vibration, multiple drop and shock tests, and altitude.
It also boasts of IP67 Ingress rating, which means it is completely protected against dust ingress, in addition to being able to operate despite being submerged in up to 1 meter of fresh water – I have not tried it in salt water, although dumping it in a bucket of tap water has not yielded any crackling or sizzling out, enabling me to trumpet the seemingly superhuman claims of the Xplore XC6. Of course, this does not mean you ought to purposely bring the Xplore XC6 and use it underwater with a snorkeling mask for over 30 minutes, think of this more as a preventative step rather than a “cure”.
As for the Xplore XC6’s ability to function in extreme enironments, rest assured you would expire first before it does. After all, it can handle extreme temperatures of -34F to 140F (-37C to 60C), and in non-operating mode, it will be able to settle down comfortably within a range of -60F to 160F (-51C to 71C).
In a nutshell, the contoured bumper protection system delivers shock protection via energy dispersion and absorption, while custom gaskets and seals will protect all access doors to seal it against foreign particles. As for the magnesium alloy chassis, it will do its job in resisting torsion, shear and impact damage.
The model that I used ran on Windows 8.1 64-bit, which worked like a charm to keep up with the times, although you will also have the choice of rocking to Windows 7 Pro 64-bit and 32-bit, depending on your preference.
Other hardware specifications of the Xplore XC6 include an Intel Core i5-4300U processor (with an option for a Core i7 processor if you feel you need the additional processing muscle), 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM (expandable to 8GB), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, optional LTE and GPS, Gigabit Ethernet, with a biometric fingerprint reader for an added layer of security which I might add, worked like a charm.
In conclusion, the Xplore XC6 will target an extremely niche market – and if you’re on the go all the time, working in less than ideal conditions which a normal laptop or tablet will be unable to live up to, then you might want to strongly consider getting the Xplore XC6. It is not going to come cheap, that is for sure, and one major drawback with all that protection would be its weight – not a device you would want to bring around on the showfloor, but where data security and reliability is concerned, the Xplore XC6 is second to none so far in my experience. Two thumbs up for it if you’re in the market for a rugged tablet, otherwise, getting a normal tablet would do.