RugGear is a company which specialises in the design and production of tough and robust products like tablets and mobile phones, which you can take into harsh environments.
When you pick up the RugGear RG900 you instantly realize the difference between this and regular tablets, as it is considerably bigger and heavier. In fact it has a weight of 650g. So what can you expect when you first open the box and look at your shiny new RugGear RG900. You will notice this tablet has a convenient hand strap on the back of it. This you will find is an essential aspect of using this tablet as holding it without using the hand strap is awkward and cumbersome, but with it you have the flexibility to move and interact with ease. There are buttons and access points to features around the edge of the tablet, with the power, camera and volume buttons being located on the right-hand side. On the top is access to the SD card and SIM card slots, and on the bottom you have the headphone socket and microUSB connection. These are all protected by robust protective covers, so there is no chance water, or dirt will get into the ports. Finally the Android buttons Home, Back Menu are just below the screen. The difference with these is that they are not on-screen buttons as it typically the case, they are physical ones you can touch. Having a design which is for the outdoors is all very well, but what features does the RG900 have? It has been put through rigorous testing procedures which gives it an ingress protection rating of IP67. This means that it is entirely dustproof and is able to deal with being submerged within water to a depth of up to 1 metre for 30 minutes. Besides adhering to the ingress protection, this tablet also has been built to conform to the military standard 810G. The result is that this tablet is able to withstand drops of up to 2 metres on to concrete. It can also deal with air pressure changes, constant vibration, and humidity and can work in temperatures from -20 degrees centigrade, all the way up to 60 degrees centigrade. When you turn on the RG900 you will meet a vanilla version of Android 4.1.2, this means it is easy to navigate and you can take advantage of all the features it offers without any clutter. With the RG900 it is likely to be mainly used in work environments, this means it can be setup in the manner which is most beneficial to the company, and you can maximise the on-board storage for your own requirements. Which is quite substantial at 16GB, with nearly 13GB being available, so you should have plenty of space for all the apps you download from the Play store. If you do start to run out of storage space there is the ability to use up to a 32GB microSD card with the tablet. The response when you are interacting with the tablet is ok, due to the inclusion of the vanilla version of Android and also the Quad-Core 1.2GHz processor. You can quickly navigate through menus and use various apps, as necessary, and due to the 1GB of RAM you will find you can have many open at the same time. This improves your efficiency while you are working in the field. The muti-capacitive 7″ IPS touchscreen included with this tablet benefits from wide viewing angles, and also an 800 x 1280 resolution. When using it to browse the Internet we didn’t come across any difficulties accessing sites, however on the odd occasion there was some brief hesitation in the response time. Sound quality is good and loud due to the amplified 1 watt speaker. With this you can easily hear incoming calls and watch any content required, even in noisy environments. Picture quality is important with any camera, and while the 8MP one included in the RG900 is unable to compete with some of the consumer tablets available, it is a great unit for a tough and rugged product like this. There are options to manually change the contrast, saturation, sharpness and picture, but we found using the automatic mode, gave us good photos which we were happy with. It is also possible to record high-definition 720p videos, for playback later on the tablet or on another device. The choice is up to you. When working in the field you often want to be able to get in communication with the office, or need to obtain data. To ensure this is possible the RG900 has a standard SIM card slot which is compatible with 3G/HSPA networks. It also has built-in Wi-Fi. A useful addition to the specification is NFC. Battery life is important when you are using your tablet away from a power source for an extended amount time RugGear understands this need and have given this tablet a high-capacity 7000 mAh battery. This they state gives you up to 450 hours standby time, and about 420 minutes talk time The RugGear 900 is a tablet which is ideal to take into demanding conditions, it doesn’t have the capabilites consumer products, but it is tough. It has the performance you need to run apps in the field and enables you to take advantage of any data connections available to you, due to Wi-Fi, NFC and 3G being built-in. The battery life is excellent, so you shouldn’t ever be worrying about where to find the next power supply. All of this make the RG900 a great tablet for business applications, particularly if you work in difficult environments.