The value of rugged tablet PCs may not be widely recognized among consumer audiences, but they often play a direct role in the manufacturing, delivery, installation, and maintenance of goods that impact both our personal and professional vitality, such as food, natural resources, appliances, automobiles, and airplanes. These ruggedized mobile computers play an influential role in the sustainment of public safety, contribute to the success of worldwide military operations, and enable healthcare providers to extend lifesaving medical services to those living in remote and rural areas. And, every day for the last 20 years, rugged tablets have aided in the reliable delivery of power, water, and telecommunications services to millions of residential and commercial customers worldwide. But they’ve also had a much more significant – and direct – impact on the advancement of global business throughout the last two decades.
Rugged tablets have validated the capacity for pen and touch mobile computers to meet business’ operational demands amidst the most hazardous working conditions on Earth. They’ve also facilitated the expansion of the now 1.2 billion-strong mobile workforce by removing the operational risks and back-office compatibility issues that have been barriers to entry – and roadblocks to success – with other portable PC form factors. In fact, rugged tablets powered by Intel® processors were the first mobile computers to prove that organizations of all sizes could securely extend accessibility to mission- critical workflows and sensitive data systems beyond the office and beyond the vehicle, the only “in field” location where notebooks could feasibly add value. Indeed, rugged tablets were the first to reach field-based employees who spent their days working on foot, either above or below ground. And they remain the only mobile PC platform able to do so without compromising on computing functionality, a challenge still encountered with handhelds today.