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AMREL Rocky DS11

Rugged, powerful but remarkably slim and light 10.1-inch tablet for military and industrial deployments
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Based in El Monte, California, AMREL (AMerican RELiance) has a long history of offering value-added applications in vertical markets. The Rocky line of ruggedized computers was introduced in 1995 and has been updated, enhanced, and fine-tuned every since. This page covers the company's ultra-thin but very rugged 10.1-inch DS11 tablet computer.

The DS11 is a rugged tablet primarily intended for military and public safety markets. It measures 11.0 x 7.3 inches, a footprint not even as large as a standard 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, and is only 0.8 inches thick. It weighs just over three pounds, remarkably little for for a hardened and heavily protected tablet. The tough aluminum housing sports a purposeful, contemporary industrial design. Easily replaceable rubber corner bumpers provide extra protection.

The very slender profile of the DS11 hardly affects the expansion flexibility AMREL offers in all of their hardware. Even the standard configuration includes a couple of USB 3.0 ports and a Mini DisplayPort port. One of the USB ports can be traded for a gigabit RJ45 LAN jack. Optionally available are specially sealed Fischer connectors (see Fischer connector site). Customers can opt for up to four total from the following: USB 2.0, VGA, RS232 or RS422 serial, gigabit LAN, audio, headphone/mic. There is a Micro SD Card slot, but no reference to internal expansion.

Super-bright, high-res capacitive touch display

Out there in the field, tablet computers are often only as good as their display. Here the DS11 shines. Its 10.1-inch capacitive multi-touch display features full 1920 x 1200 pixel WXUGA resolution with AMREL's sunlight readable technology and a very bright 1,000 nits of luminance. Customers can also opt for an invisible mode that turns off all light sources OR a night vision feature. No info, though, on whether the display can be operated with gloves on or when it gets wet.

A powerful platform

For propulsion, the DS11 uses an Intel Core i7-3537U dual-core processor. This is an ultra-low power chip that's part of Intel's "Ivy Bridge" 3rd generation of Core processors. It runs at a base frequency of 2.0GHz and can reach turbo speeds up to 3.1GHz. The thermal design power is a low 17 watts. With Intel already having released 6th generation Core processors, the chip, which was introduced in early 2013, is technically three generations old. However, it certainly gets the job done, and also includes reasonably quick integrated Intel GD Graphics 4000. Maximum RAM is 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3.

The tablet's slender profile limits onboard battery power to 46.6 watt-hours. That's not a tremendous lot given the DS11's superbright backlight and powerful Intel Core processor. No word on a possible extended or secondary snap-on battery or some such.

On the operating system side, AMREL offers either Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or the new Windows 10. For mass storage, the default is a 128GB mSATA II solid state disk. Optionally available are 256GB and 512GB mSATA III SSDs. No old-style rotating hard disk are available. On the wireless side, there is 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. There is no mention of mobile broadband. On the ever more important sensor side, the DS11 can be ordered with an accelerometer, a magnetometer, and a gyroscope, and that's on top of the standard ambient light sensor.

Slim but very tough

As most AMREL devices, the DS11 comes either in a black/gray industrial version or a specially configured "NATO green" military version. The military package adds MIL-STD 461F certification, which deals with electromagnetic emissions and susceptibility.

The tablet is sealed to IP65 specifications, which means it's impervious to dust, and can also handle low pressure water jets from all directions. The unit is built both to MIL-STD 810G and MIL-STD 461E specifications for resistance to rain, shock, humidity, vibration, salt fog, altitude and extreme temperatures as low as -20C/-4F.

The overall idea of the Rocky DS11 is to offer military customers, or anyone else who needs it, a significantly thinner, lighter version of the traditionally rather heavy rugged Windows tablet gear. In essence, it's for those who want a modern consumer tablet that can be customized and is tough enough to survive in the field.

Specifications AMREL Rocky DS11
Status Added 10/2015
Form-factor Rugged military-spec tablet
Processor Intel Core i7-3537U with 4MB Cache
Graphics Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000
CPU Speed 2.00GHz (3.10GHz turbo)
Standard/Max RAM 4GB or 8GB DDR3 1600MHz
OS Windows 7/8.1/10 Professional
Disk/drive 128GB mSATA II SSD; optional 256GB or 512GB SATA III SSD
Card slots 1 x Micro SD Card
Display type Sunlight readable TFT LCD, 1,000 nits luminance, 16:10 aspect ratio, optional invisible mode, optional night vision
Display size/res 10.1-inch/1920 x 1200 pixel WXUGA
Digitizer/pens Capacitive multi-touch,
Keyboard/scale External USB 89-key backlit option
Housing Black or NATO-green aluminum case
Operating Temp -4° to 131°F (-20° to 55°C)
Shock MIL-STD 810G 516.6 Category 1
Vibration MIL-STD 810G 514.6, Cat. 20
Sealing IEC 60529, IP65
Humidity test MIL-STD 810G 507.5 Procedure II
Salt Fog test MIL-STD 810G 509.5
Altitude MIL-STD 810G 500.5, Procedure I, II (Operating 15,000 feet)
Explosive Atmosphere NA
Solar Radiation NA
EMI/EMC MIL-STD 461F certified (military package only)
Size (WxHxD) 11.0 x 7.32 x 0.8 inches (280 x 186 x 20 mm) w/o bumpers
Weight 3.06 lbs. (1.4kg) with battery
Power Removable 11.1V/4,200 mAH Li-Ion, DC-in 12~32V with BVA (Fischer 3-pin)
Sensors Ambient light; optional accelerometer, magnetometer, or gyroscope
Interface 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Mini DisplayPort; optional GLAN instead of 2nd USB 3.0, optional Fischer I/O (up to 4 of USB 2.0, VGA, COM (2 x RS232 or RS232 + RS422), GLAN, audio, headphone/mic)
Wireless Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0, uBlox NEO-M8N GPS
List price Inquire
Product page AMREL Rocky DS11
Brochure AMREL Rocky DS11 spec sheet
Contact computers.amrel.com