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Best Rugged Tablets & Scanners 

Harsh environments require rugged hardware. Find the best rugged tablets and scanners for 2021.

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Top Rugged Tablets

If your employees perform their jobs in harsh environments, a rugged device is a necessity. These devices help serve many of business functions because they can operate in environments where most devices wouldn't last. In this post, we’ll cover the best rugged tablets and scanners for 2021.

Honeywell ScanPal EDA70: Best Budget Scanner

The Honeywell ScanPal EDA70 Tablet is a solid choice as a rugged scanner. It is an enterprise-ready device, providing real-time connectivity for critical operations and efficient data capture capabilities inside or outdoors. This tablet is ideal for scan-intensive work such as customer engagement, on-demand delivery, field-service applications, and any other tasks requiring a mobile office. With its sleek, lightweight design, this enterprise-grade rugged tablet is built on the Android™ 7 (Nougat) platform and begins at a lower price than most rugged scanners.

Features:

  • Installed with Android 7 (Nougat) operating system with GMS
  • Large, 7-inch capacitive high-durability touchscreen
  • Integrated and easy-to-use, industry-grade imager
  • Built tough to withstand 1.2 m (4 ft) drops to concrete, and 200 (0.5 m) tumbles
  • Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC support
honeywell-scanpal-150
  • Rating - Great 80% 80%

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1: Best Lightweight

The Toughpad FZ-E1 is one of the world's most rugged 5-inch tablets. What workers enjoy about this scanner is how it pairs military-grade toughness and enterprise-class mobile computing power with Windows Embedded 8.1 handheld OS. Mobile employees can have all the computing power necessary in a handheld tablet small enough to drop in a pocket. The Toughpad FZ-E1 stands up to harsh environments ensuring that weather, drops, dust and water won’t prevent workers from being productive.

Features:

  • Data and Voice Technology
  • Qualcomm® Quad Core Processor
  • All-weather IP65 and IP68 Dust and Water-resistant Design
  • 14-hour Hot Swappable Battery
  • Optional Integrated Barcode Reader, Magstripe Reader
toughpad-FZ-E1
  • Rating - Great 80% 80%

Zebra ET51: Best Value Tablet

ET51 rugged tablets are suited to address the needs of enterprise workers operating in retail, field mobility, manufacturing, and warehouse environments which can be located in very unforgiving conditions. Available in two models, 8.4-inch and 10.1-inch, the Zebra ET51 is designed to have bright, daylight viewable displays making ease-of-use a key feature.The Zebra ET51 Tablet is a solid all-around scanner for the price that your employees will love.

Features:

  • Video calls for on-the-spot help
  • Wall and desktop mounts for versatile charging
  • Vehicle mounts available
  • Flexible wearability: belt holster, over-the-shoulder strap, cross-body strap
  • Advanced enterprise-class scanning
Zebra ET56
  • Rating - Excellent 90% 90%

Panasonic Toughbook FZ-N1: Best Battery Life

The Toughbook FZ-N1 is an amazingly rugged handheld scanner. It is slim, lightweight, powerful, making this rugged scanner the perfect all-in-one tool. It comes complete with a quad-core processor, angled rear-facing barcode scanner, warm-swappable battery, and multi-carrier 4G LTE, with voice capabilities. Workers report the extra long battery life which can last a full day as a key feature.

Features:

  • Industry leading quad-core processor by Qualcomm®
  • Long battery life: up to 24 hours
  • High volume 100db speaker with noise suppression and echo cancellation microphone
  • All-weather IP65 and IP67 Dust and Water-resistant design
  • Patented rain sensing and glove touch enabled screen technology
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-N1
  • Rating - Excellent 90% 90%

Zebra XSLATE L10: Most Versatile

The Zebra XSLATE L10 gives your workers a lightweight option for work that needs to be done when they are mobile. Regardless of where tasks are being performed, the XSlate L10 rugged tablet enables you to drive greater business efficiency among your workforce.  The XSLATE L10 is loaded with versatile features that make computing for employees smooth, simple, and efficient.

Features:

  • C1D2 (Class 1 Division 2) for hazardous locations
  • 4-16GB memory depending on model
  • 1” 2K resolution display
  • 13 MP rear camera, 2 MP front camera, rear camera LED flash
  • Vehicle docking connector available
Zebra XSLATE L10
  • Rating - Excellent 90% 90%

Xplore XSLATE R12: Biggest Screen Size

The perfect option for employees moving from out in the field, to their vehicle, or to the office, the XSLATE R12 is a lightweight and rugged 12.5” tablet. Many on-the-go workers love the R12 as it allows them to seamlessly transfer their tablet and data between varying environments. Find various accessories compatible with this tablet including docking stations, keyboards, digitize pens and much more. The XLSATE R12 is perfect for inspections, claims processing, inventory management, safety audits and much more.

Features:

  • Bright 12.5" display
  • Vehicle mounting available
  • Highly responsive pen and touch capabilities
  • Magnetically attached companion keyboard
  • C1D2 (Class 1 Division 2) for hazardous locations
honeywell-rt10
  • Rating - Great 80% 80%

Xplore XSLATE B10: Most Rugged/Durable

With its incredible ruggedness and connectivity, the XSLATE B10 rugged tablet is designed for work in truly harsh and extreme environments. The 10.1” screen sized tablet is popular among field workers because of it’s ability to stay working and not fail due to water and drops with its IP65 rating. Even with its compact design the tablet PC is ready to go and stay ready when you need it.

Features:

  • Up to 8 hour battery life (20 hour with dual battery)
  • Magnesium alloy midframe
  • Equipped to operate in extreme weather conditions
  • Hazardous Locations: ANSI/ISA 12.12.01 Class I Div 2, A,
    B, C, D (US, CAN), ATEX
xslateb10
  • Rating - Great 80% 80%

Honeywell RT10: Best Scanning Range

The Honeywell RT10 rugged tablet features either of your preferred choices of Windows or Android™ operating systems, with either Wi-Fi or 4G connectivity. This tablet is a solid choice as a rugged tablet because of its ability to be a viable solution for any enterprise environment. The FlexRange scanner allows for scanning for both near and far ranges at very fast speeds. The rugged construction has an IP65 rating which highly protects against dust and water.

Features:

  • Scan near, mid and far barcodes with lightning speed
  • Stay connected with field employees with the RT10W and Smart Talk
  • Docks for vehicles and office use
  • IP65 rating for protection against dust and water
  • Accessories for vehicle mounts and body straps
honeywell rt10
  • Rating - Excellent 90% 90%

Datalogic TaskBook: Most Ergonomic

The Datalogic TaskBook offers the unique but practical concept of one-handed operation. Available in 7- or 10-inch displays, both sizes can be used on the employee’s forearm with the other arm free for handling other products. In addition to the one-handed operation, the TaskBook offers excellent rugged computing, an IP65 rating, and the ability to be easily docked into a vehicle-mounted station.

Features:

  • 7 inch WSVGA or 10 inch WXGA screens
  • Anti-glare multi-touch with gloves support
  • Integrated 5 MP camera, rear facing
  • High performance Gorilla Glass (1.6 mm thick!)
  • Vehicle mounting available
datalogic taskbook
  • Rating - Great 80% 80%

Zebra ET56: Top Pick

Last but not least on our best rugged scanner list, the tough, yet lightweight Zebra ET56 tablet is perfectly designed to meet the needs of any growing, enterprise business. Commonly used in retail, field mobility, manufacturing, and warehouse environments; the ET56 is the thinnest and lightest of Zebra's full-line of rugged tablets, but durable and rugged enough to survive harsh conditions. Perform any task anywhere with our top pick from Zebra.

Features:

  • Class-best brightness and your choice of screen size (8.4in or 10.1in models)
  • Advanced touchscreen technology
  • Extremely fast wireless connectivity
  • Vehicle mounting options available
  • Wearability with holster on a belt, over-the-shoulder strap, or cross-body strap
Zebra ET56
  • Rating - Excellent 100% 100%

Best Rugged Tablet Comparison Chart

Product Reliability Screen Size Battery Life Scanning
Range
Weight Ruggedness Warranty Repair
Reputation
Compatibility Ease of Use Temperature
Tolerance
Water
Resistance
Drop
Resistance
Score
Honeywell ScanPal EDA70 4 4 4 3 5 4 3 3 3 4 4 4 3 4
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 4 3 4 3 5 4 5 3 3 4 4 5 5 4
Zebra ET51 5 5 5 3 4 4 3 4 3 4 4 4 4 4.5
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-N1 4 4 5 3 4 4 5 3 3 4 5 5 5 4.5
Zebra XSLATE L10 5 5 5 4 4 5 5 3 3 3 4 5 4 4.5
Zebra XSLATE R12 5 5 4 3 4 5 5 3 4 3 4 3 3 4
XSLATE B10 5 3 3 3 4 5 5 3 4 4 5 5 5 4
Honeywell RT10 4 3 3 5 4 4 5 4 3 3 4 5 4 4.5
Datalogic TaskBook 4 4 4 4 3 5 2 3 2 3 4 5 4 4
Zebra ET56 5 5 5 4 5 5 3 4 4 5 4 5 4 5

1=poor, 5=best

*Depends on exact model

Nicolas has been working in the barcode technology industry for several years and understands the value of accurate inventory management. He keeps up-to-date on technology in the industry and is a great resource for finding the latest in barcode technology including barcode scanning, printing, labels, POS systems, software and more. Find his writings across the Barcodes, Inc website to learn more about the latest and greatest in barcode technology.