Second generation of Getac's compact, rugged 8.1-inch Windows tablet now more powerful, more efficient, and sporting a terrific new IPS display
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
On June 28, 2016, Getac introduced the second generation of its compact T800 rugged Windows tablet designed to be an optimal fit for use in extreme working environments including those found in the utilities, military, field service, field-based professionals, public safety and transportation sectors.
A great new IPS display
The Microsoft Windows 10-based T800's 8.1-inch display has 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, uses capacitive multi-touch, and has a bright 600 nits backlight. A huge improvement here is the switch from an older TN display to an IPS LCD which brings near perfect viewing angles from all directions as well as complete elimination of color and contrast shifts.
The new screen also benefits from Getac's sunlight-readable LumiBond 2 display technology that employs direct bonding of touch panel, glass and the LCD, and also allows wet and glove touch modes as well as a stylus with a hard, narrow (3.5mm) tip. An active digitizer is optional.
The second-generation Getac T800 still has the same footprint of 8.9 x 5.9 inches (just a little larger than an iPad mini), is about 0.9 inches thick, and weighs 2.1 pounds. The picture below shows how the T800 compares with Getac's larger 11.6-inch F110 tablet (see F110 review).
Note how the 8-inch display form factor results in a small and handy device that's easy to stow and carry around, while at the same time offering a full third more display real estate than 7-inch class tablets. Getac, in fact, is one of the very few who offers a rugged tablet in the 8-inch size class.
The processor is now a quad-core Intel "Cherry Trail" X7-Z8700 running at 1.6GHz (see Intel X7-8700 page). The chip — which is based on super-efficient 14nm process technology and can reach burst frequencies of up to 2.4GHz — has integrated Intel Gen 8 HD graphics, essentially scaled-down Broadwell-generation Intel HD graphics. Standard configurations include 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM (expandable to 8GB) and 64GB or 128GB of eMMC solid state storage.
The T800's primary 31 watt-hour Li-Ion battery is said to provide up to eight hours of operation between charges, easily surpassing run time of the first-generation unit. A second battery of the same capacity can be added as a SnapBack module, doubling runtime.
As far as communications capabilities go, there's speedy 802.11ac WiFi and Class 1 Bluetooth v4.0, now via an Intel Dual band Wireless-AC 7265 module. Optionally available are 4G LTE WWAN (Verizon XLTE-ready, which means it adds the 1700/2100 MHz spectrum) and GlobalSat dedicated GPS, as well as either an integrated 1D/2D barcode reader or an RJ45 LAN port or a legacy RS232 serial port or or a Micro SD card slot via a fully integrated expansion slot.
Note that the T800's industrial-grade scanner provides low-light sensitivity, omni-directional rotation, and much better speed and reading distance than software-based solutions. And the discrete GPS option can work in conjunction with the unit's e-compass and 3-axis accelerometer for extra location precision.
SnapBack add-ons can provide a Smart Card reader plus either 13.56MHz RFID/NFC or a magstripe reader. The picture below illustrates the Getac T800's "SnapBack" approach of adding functionality and features.
The Getac T800 tablet has dual cameras, the front one a webcam with full 1080p HD resolution for video calls, the rear one an autofocus unit with 8mp. There is a USB 3.0 port, Micro HDMI, and, for vehicle deployments, triple pass-through antenna ports to simultaneously connect high-gain GPS, WWAN and WLAN roof-mounted antennas. The Havis Docking Station for the Getac T800 comes in no fewer than eight specialized versions to meet any conceivable vehicle and mounting need (see Havis dock page).
Security is becoming ever more important, and Getac addressed this in the second generation of the T800 with a standard TPM 2.0 module (the first gen had an optional TPM 1.2 module), strong multifactor authentication, and full support for Windows 10 security features to help protect against known and emerging threats.
This includes BitLocker hard drive encryption that protects data at rest, in use and in transit. Microsoft Passport and Credential Guard provide additional protection, using virtualization-based security to isolate certain data so that only privileged system software can access them. In the event that the system is ever stolen, optional Absolute DDS allows it to be disabled remotely. There's also a slot for the simple but effective Kensington lock, and customers can specify either a fingerprint reader or Smart Card reader.
Toughest tablet in Getac's lineup
On the ruggedness side, the T800 remains Getac's toughest tablet. It can handle 6-foot transit drops, has a wide operating temperature range of -6° to +122° degrees Fahrenheit (-21°C to +50° Celsius), and carries IP65 sealing, where the "6" stands for complete protection against dust, and the "5" for protection against low pressure water jets from all directions, with limited ingress permitted. Getac likely performed MIL-STD-810G testing for all pertinent ruggedness categories.
In the press release announcing the T800, Scott Shainman, president of Getac, said, "We are always listening to customers and trying to find ways to improve our products. With full-shift battery life, no-compromise rugged features and a one-handed, ergonomic design, we feel the T800 has become the ideal solution for field service professionals."
A big step forward
With this second generation of its very compact and very rugged T800, Getac offers a fine-tuned implementation of this handy tablet with updated technology, higher performance, longer battery life, and enhanced security. Perhaps best of all, the combination of a new IPS-based display and a much better hard-tipped stylus should make for drastically better real-life outdoor usability.