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RuggON PA-301

Versatile rugged 7-inch tablet computer brings Androws to field deployments
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Taiwan-based RuggON Corporation was established in 2014 as a provider of ruggedized computing products. RuggON's stated mission is to raise the productivity of rugged computing solutions through creative, pioneering technology. Their lineup consists of RuggTAB tablets and RuggVMC vehicle mounts. On this page we're describing the Android-based PA-301 7-inch rugged tablet.

Industry observers may recognize the RuggON PA-3011 as an Android version of the Ubiqconn uTablet T70C, and that's exactly what it is. RuggOn has taken over the Ubiqconn product line when Ubiqconn decided to concentrate on ODM business only, and the RuggON PM-301 is an updated version of the uTablet T70C. That means it has a 7-inch 16:10 wide-format display with high 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. Unlike the Windows-based T70C/PM-311 that use resistive touch, however, the PA-301 has a capacitive multi-touch screen, which is pretty much mandatory for Android anyway. The tablet can be ordered either with a rather bright 350-nits standard display, or a 700-nits sunlight-readable screen that benefits from anti-reflective coatings and circular polarizers.

In terms of size and weight, the PA-301—designed primarily for data acquisition duties—measures a compact 8.9 x 6.6 inches and is just over an inch thick. Weight is just over two pounds. Looking at the unit, size and weight specs presumably are without the prominent protective rubber bumpers.

As its intended purpose suggests, the PA-301 is a well-connected, well-equipped device. Wired onboard connectivity includes bot a full-size USB 2.0 port and a Micro USB port, RJ45 LAN, and even a legacy serial RS232 port, as well as a standard audio jack. There's a micro-SD card slot to augment the internal 32GB eMMC storage module (with 64GB available). There are two cameras, a 2mp front-facing conferencing cam, and a rear-facing 5mp documentation camera. There's embedded GPS, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth v4.0, as well as optional 3.5G or 4G LTE mobile broadband. Optionally available is a 2-in-1 snap-on 1D/2D barcode scanner and magnetic stripe card reader.

On the processor side, RuggON equips its rugged 7-inch Android tablet with a Texas Instruments dual-core 1.5GHz OMAP4470, a competent processor that also powers Android devices such as Xplore's RangerX tablet and Unitech's PA700 rugged hndheld. Using a dual-battery arrangement with an internal and an external battery allows hot-swapping and should allow combined battery life well beyond a full shift. A service door in the back of the tablet provides easy access for upgrades or service.

The PA-301 is a pure tablet without integrated keyboard, but it does have five programmable function keys for easy one-click access to often used apps and utilities.

On the ruggedness side, the PA-3101 claims IP65 sealing, which means it's totally dustproof, and can also handle low-pressure water jets from all directions (albeit with limited ingress permitted). It has a wide operating temperature range of -4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, can be dropped from five feet to concrete, and has been tested according to MIL-SDT-810G procedures for mechanical shock and several other criteria. Ubiqconn also stresses the advantages of its uHeater intelligent heater solution that—via controllers, sensors and heaters—determines which parts of the tablet need to be heated under different scenarios and conditions.

Overall, the RuggON PA-301, while looking just like its Windows-based PM-311 stable mate, is really a very different machine. That's because Android — dominant in smartphones and far outpacing Windows tablets in consumer tablets — is still considered experimental in vertical and industrial market applications. The PA-301 certainly presents a sturdy and very versatile platform to gather experience in Android-based rugged and enterprise deployments.

Taiwan-based RuggON was launched in 2014 when First International Computer spin-off Ubiqconn decided to focus on ODM business only. RuggON took over Ubiqconn's tablet and vehicle mount computers, which are now sold under the RuggON brand.
Specifications RuggON PA-301
Added 08/2014
Type Rugged Android Tablet PC
Processor Texas Instruments dual-core Cortex A9 OMAP4470
CPU Speed 1.5GHz
Burst Speed NA
CPU Thermal Design Power Unknown
OS Android 4.0
Graphics Integrated
Disk/drive 32GB eMMC (up to 64GB)
Expansion bay No
Card slots 1 x micro SD, 1 x Micro SIM
Display type TFT with 350 nits LED backlight, optional 700 nits sunlight-readable display
Display size/res 7-inch/WXGA (1280 x 800 pixel)
Digitizer/pens Capacitive multi-touch
Keyboard/scale Optional external
Housing Unknown
Operating Temp -4° to 122°F (-20° to 50°C)
Sealing IP65
Drop MIL-STD-810G, 514.6, 26 x 5 feet drop
Shock Est: MIL-STD-810G, Method 516.6, Procedure I , 40g, 11ms operation
Humidity 5-95% w/o condensation
Thermal shock Est: MIL-STD-810G, Method 503.5, Procedure I
Vibration Est: MIL-STD-810G, Method 514.6, Procedures I & II
Altitude Est: MIL-STD-810G, Method 500.5, Procedures I & II
Certifications CE, FCC, CB, CCC
Size (WxHxD) 8.85 x 6.6 x 1.05 inches (225 x 168 x 27 mm)
Weight 2.1 lbs (0.95kg)
Power 2,900mAH, 7.4V, 21.5whr smart Li-Polymer, optional external 7.4V 4,200mAH 31.1whr
Interface 1 x RS232, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x micro USB, audio, dock connector, 1 X RJ45 LAN, 1 x RJ45; optional snap-on MSR/barcode scanner
Camera Rear: 5-megapixel AF with LED flash, front: 2-megapixel webcam
Sensors G-sensor, ambient light
Wireless Bluetooth V4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n, GPS, optional 3.5G WWAN
List price inquire
Web page RuggON PA-301 product page
Brochure RuggON PA-301 brochure (PDF)
RuggON PA-301 Docks/Accessories

RuggON Corporation
3F., No.129, Minquan Rd., Xindian Dist.
New Taipei City 23141, Taiwan
Telephone: 886-2-8797-1778
Fax: 886-2-8797-1881
Web: www.ruggon.com