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MobileDemand xTablet T1500

Economically priced rugged Intel "Bay Trail" powered 10.1-inch Windows 10 tablet for heavy-duty mobile workforce applications, indoors or outdoors
by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer

On December 1, 2015, MobileDemand officially announced the 10.1-inch T1500 and its smaller 8-inch T8500 sibling, adding two more members to its already comprehensive family of thin and light rugged tablets. The two new xTablets fit between the company's low-cost xTablet Flex models and the fully rugged high-end xTablet T1200, T1400 and T1600 tablets. In this article we're reviewing the larger xTablet T1500 in detail.

Where does the new xTablet T1500 fit in? Those familiar with MobileDemand know that after building a business based on fully rugged high end tablets, a couple of years ago the company introduced the economically priced "Flex" line — standard consumer/business Windows tablets prepackaged in a competent protective case with bumpers and a carry handle, and a scratch-proof screen protector. Well, the xTablet T1500 again is a value price offering, but one that's more rugged, carries much higher environmental sealing, and can be ordered with an optional industrial-grade barcode scanner.

The lineup below provides a quick idea of how the new tablet visually compares to some of the other MobileDemand products. The xTablet T1500 is about the same size as the higher-end T1400. The T8500 and the T1500 are very similar in performance and features, but the 10.1-inch T1500 is significantly larger than the 8-inch T8500. On the right is the older fully rugged T7200 with a wide-format 7-inch screen and keypad.

Side-by-side, the size and design differences become obvious. And each product fills a specific purpose and need.

How's the xTablet T1500 different from the Flex 10?

When MobileDemand introduced the price-conscious Flex 8 (starting at US$595) and Flex 10 (starting at US$695) tablets in 2014, the company clearly entered new and untested territory. Apparently that worked quite well, so why two additional low-cost tablets in the same size categories? To answer that requires another look at the market.

Rugged mobile computers have traditionally carried high price tags due to a combination of low sales volume and the complexity of designing and manufacturing those hardened products. After the run-away success of the Apple iPad, rugged tablet vendors hoped to participate in the global tablet bonanza. They found, however, that the universally low cost of consumer tablets further eroded many enterprise customers' willingness to accept the price premium of rugged designs, even when shown that the total cost of ownership of rugged products could actually be lower.

With their Flex line, MobileDemand sourced generic tablets that met the company's features and performance goals while the custom-designed protective rubber boot with its thick bumpers and sturdy polycarbonate backplate provided a remarkable degree of ruggedness. However, the Flex tablets are not sealed, they are not inherently rugged, and they can't accommodate an industrial-grade scanner. That rules them out for many customers.

MobileDemand Model xTablet T1500 xTablet Flex 10
Introduced 12/2015 08/2014
Display (inches/resolution) 10.1/1280 x 800 10.1/1920 x 1200
Size (inches) 10.6 x 7.4 x 0.83 10.4 x 7.1 x 0.7
Weight 2.6 lbs 2.4 lbs
Processor Type Intel Atom Z3735F Intel Atom Z3770
Processor Codename "Bay Trail" "Bay Trail"
CPU Speed (base/burst) 1.33/1.83GHz 1.46/2.39GHz
Cores/threads 4/4 4/4
RAM 2GB DDR3L-RS 1333 4GB LPDDR3 1066
Storage 64GB 64GB eMMC
Sealing IP65 not sealed
Operating temp. -4 to 140F 32 to 120F
Scanner Yes (opt.) No
GPS Yes No
Battery 37 whr ("6-8 hours") 28.9 whr ("6 hours")
The new xTablet T8500 and T1500, while still very affordable by rugged tablet standards — starting at US$845 and US$995, respectively — take a very different design approach. We'll get into that in detail farther down when we take a look inside the xTablet T1500.

The table to the right shows some of the relevant specs of MobileDemand's two economy-priced 10.1-inch tablets. As can be seen, they have the exact same screen size, weigh roughly the same, and have roughly the same dimensions.

Both use low-end quad-core chips from Intel's "Bay Trail" lineup. The chip used in the xTablet T1500 is a bit slower and there's only half as much RAM. So in terms processor and RAM, the xTablet T1500 is a bit behind the Flex 10. And the Flex 10 also has a higher resolution display.

In terms of ruggedness spec, however, the xTablet T1500 has it all over the Flex 10. IP65 sealing versus no sealing at all, and a much wider operating temperature range. And the xTablet T1500 has a true scanner and not just a camera that can run scanner apps. There's GPS. And there's a replaceable battery that makes full shift operation possible. The latter alone can tilt the scale in favor of the xTablet T1500, as today's customers generally expect full-shift operation and the ability to quickly replace a depleted battery with a fully charged spare.

Handy, tough and light

Right out of the box, the xTablet T1500 makes a convincing impression. This is essentially an iPad-sized tablet with some extra heft due to its protection, features and ruggedness. The display's 16:10 aspect ratio is very pleasant, between the iPad's rather squarish 4:3 and the narrow (or wide, depending on whether you use them in landscape or portrait mode) 16:9 aspect ratio favored by many non-Apple tablets. The xTablet T1500 looks spacious, grown-up and comfortable to use.

Another impression you immediately get with the xTablet T1500 is that this is truly a full and true-blue rugged tablet. There are the impressive-looking protective bumpers. There's a large number of visible screws, making for an industrial look. There are flush-fitting protective door plugs. And there aren't any vents or openings of any kind.

Unlike the Flex 10 which is a consumer tablet enclosed in a custom-designed pre-installed case, the xTablet T1500 is a rugged design from the ground up. It merges a contemporary tablet look with all the standard rugged tablet components. What looks like tough rubberized overmolding (but is actually part of the front part of the housing) goes all around the perimeter and is raised just a bit above the plastic bezel and a bit more above the front glass for additional protection. Protective corner bumpers are nicely integrated into the design, and they have ribbing for a bit of extra grip. Branding is always a bit of a problem with modern tablets with their all-glass front. The T1500 design doesn't have that issue and the MobileDemand name nicely and professionally fits onto the front bezel.

Below is a look at the xTablet T1500 from the front and from all four sides with all of its protective doors closed. The pictures show the tablet's simple, functional design with its slightly raised rear bumpers. That may be for extra protection as well as to facilitate cooling air flow when the tablet lays flat on a surface. Along the right side of the display are five small physical pushbuttons (power, scan, home, volume up, volume down). Above the display are the lens for the frontal camera and the ambient light sensor.

On the bottom is the unit's surface mount docking connector, flanked by two holes used for secure mounting on one of the docking options. I/O is concentrated on the left side of the tablet, with each I/O block having its own separate protective rubber/plastic door. The doors provide a good, tight seal, but, unlike those of the T8500, aren't easy to pry open.

The close-up above shows the left side of the tablet with the (replaceable) protective doors removed for better viewing of the xTablet T1500's ports and other I/O. From left to right you can see:

  • A lock slot
  • Block 1: audio
  • Block 1: micro-HDMI
  • Block 2: micro-USB
  • Block 2: USB 2.0
  • Power jack

    Unlike on the smaller xTablet T8500 where the memory and SIM card slots are on the outside of the device, the T1500 has them inside the battery compartment. That makes them less accessible, but fat better protected. In the picture above, on the left is the micro SD card slot and on the right the micro SIM slot.

    Note that the xTablet T1500 doesn't have a fan and uses solid state storage instead of a rotating hard disk, so it operates silently. Which can be a big plus in an office setting. And not having a fan means not having to worry about a mechanical component that can get clogged up or fail. On the other hand, fans have greater cooling power than passive thermal solutions.

    A look inside: very different from the Flex models

    Just as we found with the smaller xTablet T8500, opening up the xTablet T1500 yields a surprise. At least for those familiar with MobileDemand's low-end Flex tablets that consist of generic white box tablets inside a tough and rugged protective exoskeleton-like enclosure. We had initially assumed that MobileDemand would go that same route again with the somewhat higher-end xTablet T8500 and T1500, only with more permanent and even tougher enclosures.

    But that's not what reveals itself upon undoing the dozen small Torx T6 screws that secure the integrated rear bumpers and then the 16 even smaller Torx T5 screws that are along the sides of the tablet. Instead, what one finds is a conventional rugged tablet design, i.e. a tough PC+ABS plastic box with a rear cover plate of the same footprint. The seal between the two housing parts consists of an intricate rubber pressure seal that sits in an elaborate groove around the perimeter of the bottom plate. A corresponding thin hard plastic lip on the box part of the housing presses into the rubber to form the seal. The rubber seal appears to be replaceable and it doesn't easily come loose. This is a rather well thought out solution.

    Below you can see what the xTablet T1500 looks like inside:

    Like the smaller xTablet T8500, the T1500 doesn't have an intricate magnesium or alloy chassis/frame as most high end rugged tablets have. Instead, a simple aluminum plate provides the basis for the LCD on the front side and the battery and circuit boards on its rear.

    One big difference to the T8500 is that whereas the smaller tablet has a non user-replaceable glued-on battery in blue shrink-wrap, the xTablet T1500's 3.7 Volt, 10,000mAH battery is both externally accessible and replaceable. It's a conventional Li-Ion pack that sits beneath a separate PC+ABS battery compartment cover held in place with six large and easy-to-open screws. A thin, replaceable rubber pressure-seal keeps liquids out. We much prefer this solution over a non-replaceable battery.

    The motherboard itself measures about 3.5 x 4.5 inches.There's not much to be seen on it as a good half of its surface is covered by a black shield or heat spreader (we removed that for the photos). Black fabric tape is used liberally to protect connectors and other small details and keep them in place. White silicone glue is used to seal any potential openings to the outside, as well as glueing and sealing the small speakers.

    The colorful picture to the right was taken with our Flir One infrared camera. It shows the thermal situation inside the xTablet T1500, with darker areas the coolest and bright yellow the hottest. Since the xTablet T1500 doesn't have a fan to remove heat, good thermal management is essential. As can be seen, the area where the xTablet T1500's processor resides is hottest. In our performance benchmark testing, the T1500 was heat-sensitive, even though in operation the tablet didn't feel excessively hot.

    Most I/O is edge-mounted on the motherboard, which means it's fixed. Higher end devices often have part of their I/O on daughterboards, which offers flexibility as customers may be able to specify optional I/O.

    The image on the left shows the xTablet T8500's integrated Fibocom Wireless H350 module (see here) that supports legacy GSM/GPRS/EDGE and 3.75G UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+.

    As is usually the case even in rugged devices, the protective rubber doors are the sole guard against liquids entering the interior of the case. We don't like to see that, but it's the standard solution today. So always keep an eye on those protective doors before using the tablet in the field. The good news is that the doors are screwed on and can be replaced should they get worn or damaged.

    And speaking of protective features, while the contoured corner guards look like they are screwed on and replaceable, they're really glued onto the rear cover of the xTablet T1500.

    Shown below are a couple of interesting details of the xTablet T1500. On the left the tablet's optional fingerprint reader that's sitting beneath a hinged, sealed protective door. On the right the battery locking levers that make sure the battery will never lose contact unless you want it to. Also note the precision-cut replaceable battery compartment pressure seal in its groove.

    Overall, this is a very workable solution. It shows that with some thought and good design, even economically priced designs can provide very good stability and sealing.

    Intel "Bay Trail" processor

    Computing power comes from a 1.33GHz quad-core Intel Z3735F processor that can reach burst speeds up to 1.83GHz. It belongs to Intel's "Bay Trail" platform that employs 22nm process technology and represented a major advance in Atom microprocessor design, the first since the platform arrived several years ago. Note that turbo boost is called "burst frequency" in the Bay Trail lineup, and that an implementation of the clever power-saving "active idle" feature from Haswell core processors is apparently there as well.

    That said, the Bay Trail processor platform is somewhat confusing as it includes not just Atom but also Celeron and even Pentium branded chips. The N2920 used in MobileDemand's xTablet T1400, for example, is sold by Intel as a Celeron whereas Intel lists the xTablet T1500's Z3735F as an Atom. For full Z3735F specs, see Intel's Z3735F product sheet.

    While even detailed examination of Intel's literature provides few clues as to what the relevant, real-world differences are between the various Bay Trail processor lines, it does appear that Intel views the Z-Series as suitable for lower cost tablets and perhaps even smartphones, whereas the significantly more costly N-Series is for higher end tablets.

    PassMark 6.1 MobileDemand MobileDemand MobileDemand
    Model xTablet T1500 xTablet Flex 10 xTablet T1400
    OS Win 10 (32-bit) Win 8.1 (32-bit) Win 8.1 (64-bit)
    Processor Type Intel Atom Intel Atom Intel Celeron
    Processor Model Z3735F Z3770 N2920
    CPU Speed 1.33Hz 1.46Hz 1.86Hz
    Max Burst Speed 1.83Hz 2.39Hz 2.00Hz
    Scenario Design Power (SDP) 2.2 watts 2.0 watts 4.5 watts
    CPU Mark 1,083.5 1,590.9 2,014.7
    2D Graphics Mark 113.3 179.8 153.1
    Memory Mark 308.1 412.8 409.9
    Disk Mark 923.6 294.4 2,048.3
    3D Graphics Mark 97.8 127.3 115.3
    Overall PassMark 560.4 603.2 1,062.7
    CrystalMark
    ALU 19,159 30.027 26,714
    FPU 16,025 18,413 22,541
    MEM 18,206 22,904 16,411
    HDD 27,802 10,634 36,655
    GDI 3,723 5,793 4,816
    D2D 2,922 3,216 3,335
    OGL 2,448 3,366 3,207
    Overall CrystalMark 90,295 94,353 113,679

    Another somewhat irritating development is that Intel has started using SDP ("Scenario Design Power") sometimes instead of and sometimes in addition to the more common TDP ("Thermal Design Power"). TDP indicates the maximum amount of heat in watts a system's cooling must be able to remove, giving a pretty good indication of the chip's overall performance, whereas SDP is the amount of heat to be removed under benign conditions, i.e. standard tablet apps and no temperature extremes.

    "Burst speed," likewise, is just the speed the processor may reach under ideal conditions. We take this as meaning that if things get hot, the chip slows down.

    On the plus side, the graphics cores integrated into Bay Trail systems are of the same HD 4000 architecture and variety as those used in Intel's 3rd generation "Ivy Bridge" processors, albeit with fewer execution units (four instead of several times that number) and lower clock speeds. Still, that means the new graphics support most of the same APIs and features.

    Finally, Intel has been in quite a rush to introduce new processor generations as of late. Perhaps that's due to a (somewhat needless) effort to prove that "Moore's Law" (which says that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles every two years) indeed still holds true. Unfortunately, it also means that processors become obsolete very quickly. As of this writing (June 2016), "Cherry Trail" has already replaced "Bay Trail" and a Cherry Trail chip is in MobileDemand's xTablet T8650 (see our preview of the T8650).

    As is, the table above shows our benchmark results for the Z3735F-based xTablet T1500, the Z3770-based xTablet Flex 10, and the N2920-based xTablet T1400. It's never totally clear to us how vendors pick one chip and not another. The Z3735F, while sharing most of its specs with the Z3770 used in the Flex 10 evaluation unit we had in our lab a while ago, is a lower-end processor with lower base and burst clock speeds, a different type of memory, and only one instead of two memory channels. And its maximum graphics speed is lower, too. All that is reflected in our benchmark results where the xTablet T1500 can't quite match the rather quick Flex 10.

    There is, however, one area where the xTablet T1500 blows away the Flex 10, and that is disk performance. That's because the Flex 10 uses comparatively slow eMMC solid state storage whereas the xTablet T1500 uses quicker mass storage technology. That helps the xTablet T1500 to considerably close the bottomline gap to the Flex 10 to a barely noticeable 5-10%.

    And what about battery draw? Intel claims a minuscule 2 watts of "scenario design power." MobileDemand says 6-8 hours. In our BatteryMon battery drawdown tests we saw a low of 3.8 watts with screen brightness at its lowest, 6 watts with the screen at 50%, and 7.1 watts with the screen at its brightest setting. 3.8 watts would translate into almost ten hours of operation, 6 watts still 6.2 hours. That's quite respectable.

    The xTablet T1500, of course, can't match the performance of a much more expensive Intel Core-powered device, but it doesn't feel sluggish. And, in fact, the xTablet T1500 scored almost twice the benchmark performance of MobileDemand's high-end flagship T8700 of just a few years ago.

    Excellent IPS 1280 x 800 pixel capacitive multi-touch display

    While the xTablet T1500's processor and memory makes performance concessions in the interest of affordable pricing, the tablet's display certainly does not. Measuring a roomy 10.1 inches diagonally — it's very noticeably larger than the 8-inch screen of the smaller xTablet T8500 — it offers WXGA resolution. That's 1280 x 800 pixel in 16:10 wide-format — 30% more pixel that the 1024 x 768 XGA format that was commonly used in rugged tablets (even ones with larger screen sizes) for many years, and is still being used today.

    On a 10.1-inch tablet screen, that translates into 149 dots per inch (dpi), which is not terribly high by today's standards, but still more than adequate. The xTablet T1500 uses 10-point projected capacitive multi-touch for effortless tapping, panning, pinching and zooming. That's twice as many discrete finger inputs as the smaller T8500, though we can't think of many crucial operations that require more than just a couple of fingers.

    The display is of the IPS (in-plane switching) variety that makes for perfect viewing from all angles. We cannot overemphasize how important a wide viewing angle is for a satisfying, non-disruptive viewing experience. Older and lesser display technologies are prone to often dramatic color and contrast shifts when viewed from different angles, something that we don't consider acceptable anymore. The xTablet T1500's IPS display is totally immune to such shifts, which makes it a pleasure to use. And outdoors the display feels brighter than its listed 320 nits luminance rating.

    MobileDemand supplies a pen with a foot-long lanyard. The pen is of the passive capacitive variety and has the broad tip that works well for tapping and panning, but not for precision work. To MobileDemand's credit, they replaced the usually short and chintzy generic capacitive pens with their rubber tips with a metal mesh tipped stylus that is, albeit still rather wide, more durable, works somewhat better, and is longer and thicker than generic styli. And they also used their standard and very durable tether and stylus holder to store the pen when it's not in use.

    It's interesting that until recently capacitive touch was considered unsuitable for rugged tablets, in part because of the technology's inability to work with gloves and in part because Microsoft Windows, unlike iOS or Android, simply wasn't designed for finger touch. Today, most new rugged tablets use capacitive touch, mostly because customers, who all use capacitive touch smartphones and tablets at home, simply demand it. Add to that Microsoft's efforts to make Windows more touch-friendly and the increasing availability of capacitive touch-enabled gloves, and it absolutely made sense for MobileDemand to go this route.

    Below is an outdoor side-by-side shot of the xTablet T1500 and an Apple iPad Air 2, both with screen brightness set to automatic. The iPad Air 2 is rated at about 415 nits, but the T1500, though rated lower at 320 nits, looked just as bright. Both tablets' displays are glossy, which means that despite today's almost universal application of anti-reflective measures, there are reflections.

    Bottom line here is that MobileDemand certainly didn't cut corners in the display department when designing the T1500. While we've never been fans of capacitive touch on small screen Windows tablets, that's much less of an issue on a larger display like the T1500's, and Windows 10 is significantly better suited to capacitive touch than its predecessors.

    Note, however, that whereas most capacitive touch tablets have glass covering the entire frontal surface for easy touch operation around the perimeter of the LCD, the T1500's slightly raised plastic bezel doesn't leave a margin around the LCD. That means fingers often bump into the perimeter during touch and multi-touch operations. One way to address that is by switching resolution from the display-filling native 1280 x 800 to 1280 x 768 or 1280 x 720 with a mild letterbox look. That doesn't affect picture quality other than slightly changing the aspect ratio, and it provides a bit of extra room past the image perimeter for touch.

    Very good dual cameras

    The xTablet T1500 has two integrated cameras. The user-facing 2mp camera is for video conferencing, whereas the rear-facing 5mp camera with LED flash can be used for documentation purposes.

    Cameras integrated into handheld and tablet computers have historically underperformed compared to even low-end dedicated cameras and, more recently, the cameras available in virtually every smartphone. Things have gotten better on the built-in camera front, but usually not enough to eliminate the need of taking along a dedicated camera or smartphone if photo or video documentation is needed on the job. This remains a concern given that the cameras in leading smartphones are now capable of excellent picture and video quality.

    As was already the case with our xTablet T8500 evaluation tablet, we couldn't fully examine the capabilities of the xTablet T1500 cameras. That's because the Windows 10 default imaging app only offers the most basic functionality, and so we couldn't test all the usual settings integrated cameras are doubtlessly capable of. System integrators and most customers will likely want more comprehensive software with all the usual settings.

    In our testing, still images defaulted to 2560 x 1440 pixel, and video to 1920 x 1080 pixel. In still photography, auto-focus worked fine, images were surprisingly crisp and sharp, and the camera does not over-compress images. Video was sharp enough for almost all purposes and did not lag behind.

    The front camera, though capable of 2-megapixel images, defaulted to 1280 x 720 pixel (720p). It worked more than well enough for conferencing.

    Below are pictures shot with the xTablet T1500 camera in 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. To see a full-size image of the compilation, click on the picture.

    We're happy to report that the integrated documentation camera of the xTablet T1500 clearly exceeded our expectations. It's perfectly suitable for most documentation tasks, both in still shots and in video. Whether that still matters in this era of ubiquitous smartphones with their superior apps is up for discussion.

    Remarkable ruggedness

    Here it gets interesting. Unlike the Flex 10 where a consumer-grade tablet sits inside a customized rugged case, the xTablet T1500 is a rugged tablet, albeit one that costs far less than most. What can it do that the already quite impressive Flex 10 can't do?

    Well, the drop spec is the same. MIL-STD 810G, 516.6 IV, which mandates 26 repeated drops to one operating unit onto plywood over concrete from 48 inches. That's the gold standard in the industry. Why? Because if a tablet is dropped while it's being used in a standing or walking position, it'll drop about four feet. The xTablet T1500 can handle that.

    The operating temperature range is -4° to 140°F, much wider than the somewhat restrictive 32° to 120°F range of the Flex 10. That covers virtually any application out there, even if it involves freezers or outdoor use in nordic climates.

    The biggest difference between the xTablet T1500 and the Flex 10 is sealing. Despite its protective casing and nicely implemented protective rubber plug for all I/O ports, the Flex 10 isn't considered a sealed unit and does not have an ingress protection rating. That means no working in the rain. The xTablet T1500, on the other hand, carries a respectable IP67 rating. That means it's totally dustproof and can also handle low pressure water jets from all directions. That's less than the IP67 rating of the smaller xTablet T8500, but it'll certainly do for virtually all deployments.

    The picture below shows our long-term xTablet T1500 test unit during an outdoor photo shoot in the mid-teens. It had already passed its immersion tests (yes, we tried that anyway, despite the IP65 rating) and was sitting in an icy-cold stream with no ill effect.

    So while the xTablet Flex 10 looks like a fully rugged device but really is a consumer tablet inside an intelligently designed case system, the xTablet T1500 is a rugged tablet. No asterisks. Given that, however, we would like to see more detailed ruggedness specs. Most customers will want that, as ruggedness is the primary reason for a device like the xTablet T1500, and test results should be readily available.

    Mounting and docking options

    Most tablets used in business or on the job come with some kind of docking and mounting options, and the xTablet T1500 is no different. While MobileDemand does not (yet?) offer the vehicle docks available for most of its higher end tablets, the company provides a nice office dock, reasonably priced at US$195.

    A big advantage here is that the office dock can actually be used for both the small 8-inch xTablet T8500 as well as for the xTablet T1500 (it's shown on the right with the smaller xTablet T8500). It's designed to accommodate an external monitor, keyboard and mouse via three USB ports, and it also has an RJ45 LAN port for wired Ethernet connectivity.

    Given its compact size and rugged design, the xTablet T1500 would also be a natural for use in vehicles with a quick-release mount, or as a fixed mount in all sorts of deployments. So we hope to see those as well.

    As is, the tablet has two screw holes on its backside that are 95 mm apart, whereas VESA 75 and 100mm patterns, so we'll have to report on this as we find out.

    Bottom line: MobileDemand xTablet T1500

    With the xTablet T1500, MobileDemand complements their existing and similarly sized Flex 10 with a tablet device that offers a significantly higher degree of ruggedness, while still keeping costs remarkably low.

    Unlike the Flex 10 where MobileDemand prepackaged a generic tablet with a reinforced custom case, the xTablet T8100 is a rugged tablet from the ground up. And it can also be equipped with an integrated industrial-grade scanner, something which is mandatory in deployments that rely on quick and accurate scanning.

    Weighing in at a reasonable 2.65 pounds as tested, MobileDemand's xTablet T1500 provides another alternative for customers who want the convenience and ease of use of a 10-inch class consumer media tablet in package that's much better protected but still only costs a bit more than a premium, non-rugged consumer tablet.

    Making this possible required some, but remarkably few, concessions. The xTablet T1500's quad-core Intel "Bay Trail" processor is basic (but still provides about twice the performance of MobileDemand's flagship T8700 tablet of just a few years ago).

    The xTablet T1500 impresses with an crisp, bright and vibrant display that offers 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, a perfect viewing angle from all directions, and no color or contrast shifts.

    Its 10-point capacitive multi-touch screen is quick and very responsive, and works very well with Windows 10 and touch-optimized applications. The included capacitive stylus has the usual broad tip, but it's of the metal mesh variety and works quite well.

    For an inexpensive thin-and-light tablet the xTablet T1500 has adequate onboard connectivity, including USB host and client ports, and micro-HDMI. The 2mp and 5mp cameras are more than good enough for conferencing and documentation. And we very much appreciated the user-accessible and replaceable battery.

    The tablet's rubber and polycarbonate casing is simple and well designed, protecting the innards of the xTablet T1500 from damage and leakage. It is well sealed, and the operating temperature range of the tablet is wide enough for virtually any application.

    All of this makes the fanless xTablet T1500 a compelling and competitively priced package for anyone who needs Windows on tough jobs, even those that require high-level sealing, GPS, and industrial-grade scanning. -- Conrad H. Blickenstorfer, June 2016

    MobileDemand xTablet xTablet T1500

    Type Rugged tablet computer
    Added Added 12/2015, full review 06/2016
    Processor Quad-core Intel "Bay Trail" Z3735F
    Processor speed 1.33GHz, 1.83GHz burst frequency
    Scenario Design Power 2.2 watts
    Display Chipset Intel HD Graphics Gen7 (4EUs)
    OS Windows 10 Professional or Home (32-bit)
    Memory 2GB DDR3L-RS-1333
    Display TFT LCD
    Display size/res 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 pixel
    Digitizer 10-point capacitive multi-touch/capacitive stylus
    Keyboard Onscreen keyboard + optional external
    Storage 64GB
    Expansion slots 1 x micro SD
    Housing Polycarbonate housing with integrated protective rubber bumpers, aluminum internal frame
    Size 10.6 x 7.4 x 0.83 inches (268 x 188 x 21 mm)
    Weight 2.65 lbs. as tested
    Operating temperature -4° to 140°F (-20° to 60°C)
    Ingress protection IP65
    Drop/shock MIL-STD 810G, 516.6 IV: 26 repeated drops to one operating unit onto plywood over concrete from 48 inches
    Tumble Unknown
    Vibration Unknown
    Regulatory FCC Class B, FCC/SAR, CE!
    Power Internal non user-replaceable 3.7V 10,000mAH 37 watt-hour Li-Polymer ("6-8 hrs")
    Cameras 2mp camera front, 5mp AF camera with LED flash rear (up to 2592 x 1944 pixel)
    Sensors Ambient light, G-sensor
    Interface 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x Micro USB, 1 x Mini HDMI, headphone jack, power, docking
    Wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, optional: NFC, 1D/2D scanner
    Price Starting at US$995, US$1,495 fully loaded
    Warranty 3 year limited warranty
    Web MobileDemand xTablet T1500 web page
    Contact MobileDemand xTablet T1500 specs (PDF)

    (copyright 2016 RuggedPCReview.com)