back to article Military-grade bruiser: Getac F110 rugged tablet... is no iPad

Getac’s F110 is just another Windows tablet in the same way that AM General’s Humvee is just another off-roader. Getac F110 rugged Windows tablet When the going gets tough: Getac's F110 rugged Windows tablet You see, it isn’t – strictly speaking – a consumer product. It’s more the sort of kit you’d expect to find bolted to …

Anonymous Coward

ice-blasted tundra

not with the operating temps down to -21 C. and "down to..." is probably similar to "up to with broadband speeds. Possible. In theory.

p.s. how's that screen to touch in mitts? Or those fancy gloves worn by the tough-looking US Marines out there, on the desert?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ice-blasted tundra

>> USA Department of Defense MIL-STD-810G and 461F certified ruggedness, IP65 resistance to dust, grit and water and -21°C to +60°C temperature tolerance <<

Yeah, just like those military standard broadband claims!

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Re: ice-blasted tundra

gloves.....

<cough> stylus

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Rugged?

Yet another "rugged" device that is significantly less waterproof than many regular phones. Sony, Samsung and Motorola can all manage waterproofing at no significant extra cost, but a two grand tablet specifically designed to be rugged somehow can't manage it at all? The buttons look rather shit as well. Far too small to be used while wearing gloves.

So yeah, this is going to fail hard. Too expensive and pseudo-ruggedised for normal people, but completely useless for anyone who actually needs a real rugged device.

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Re: Rugged?

waterproofness and shockproofness, for the people that make this sort of kit, These tend to be conservative claims... I've had a few toughbooks in the past, CF27, CF29 & CF30's I have run them submerged in water before with no issues and the little 27 has been thrown into the air as hard as I could manage (in the garden), other than the doors popping open... it was still useable... Getac tends to be overbuilt when compared to Panasonic...

As for buttons and sizing... when its freezing cold and you have mitts on, then you just use the stylus and poke the buttons with that... although I'm surprised the button faces aren't concave...

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Silver badge

Re: Rugged?

Try sticking your Sony or Samsung under the rear tyre of a bogged down vehicle in the middle of a field to gain some traction to get it out...

We had a field engineer literally stuck in his field. He stuck his Husky under a wheel of his Mercedes G Wagon and managed to get himself unstuck. After driving out of the field, he walked back, dug out the Husky, washed it off in a near-by stream and carried on working with it.

I'm guessing the Sony or Samsung won't stand up to that sort of abuse. But if you want to test it and prove me wrong, go ahead.

Also the IP65 testing is relatively cheap. All the additional rugged bits on the tablet for the rest of the certifications isn't cheap (well the raw materials are, but the design effort to produce them isn't) and then there are the prototypes that get destroyed during development and then the expensive certification testing.

We make our teminals to IP65 and IP69K, that is expensive enough. IP65 is enough for most people, the IP69K is great for our industry (food production, where they are cleaned at the end of a shift with a high pressure stema jet). Mostly they just want to ensure that blood doesn't get into the works and that the cleaning liquid that follows it.

Out in the field you generally don't need a tablet that can spend an hour at 1M under water. IP65 is enough for most purposes (generally they go above and beyond IP65, but don't reach the breath holding qualities of IP67 and IP68).

Our terminal held for over 24 hours at 95cm, but didn't survive the hour at 1M (the only tank we could get on short notice for internal testing was a couple of cm too short). The extra couple of CM make a big difference. That said, we are hopeful our modified design will get IP68 next time around. In essence, it means the terminal is IP65; even though it can spend a whole day submerged in water, it doesn't rate as IP67 and waterproof.

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Bronze badge
Childcatcher

Re: Rugged?

"Our terminal held for over 24 hours at 95cm, but didn't survive the hour at 1M (the only tank we could get on short notice for internal testing was a couple of cm too short). The extra couple of CM make a big difference."

Would that just be the extra pressure or some other reason?

Such a small difference suggests to my uninformed self a seal that is *really* at the edge of its design at 95cm.

Think of the children: I'm on the scrounge for a free maths lesson idea here.

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Silver badge

Re: Rugged?

It was the increased pressure. At 95cm the case was pressed evenly or at least the pressure difference top to bottom didn't over stress the seal; but the extra pressure at the bottom once we hit the 1M mark caused the door to be pushed in enough at the bottom, that a small gap at the top let water in - we are talking about a teaspoon full of water after the hour, but enough to fail. The new design overcomes that problem.

I'm not the physics expert, but I believe, if the case had been laid flat, as opposed to vertical, it would probably have passed, but that would not have been usable in that position, so not allowed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rugged?

> He stuck his Husky under a wheel

I totally believe the Husky¹ would survive unscathed. What I can't quite believe is that he would not have anything else to stick under the tyres. Even if he wasn't carrying sandmats or some wood (and he should have), one can always use the wheel brace and / or jack.

¹ That's a handheld device running MS-DOS (6?) btw, not a sled dog, so would the animal welfare crowd please calm down a bit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rugged?

> So yeah, this is going to fail hard.

I couldn't say without actually having a unit on my hands, but a priori looks OK to me, and not too expensive (shame about the "OS" though). I have extensive experience using ruggedised kit in desert, Arctic, jungle, urban, and marine environments btw. What about you?

Btw, usually it's not the water you're worried about. It's the sand/dust/salt that's going to ruin the thing when you need it the most and you're in the middle of nowhere.

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Silver badge

Re: Rugged?

Yes, the Husky was running MS-DOS, although I think it was 3.x at the time.

I don't know why he didn't have anything else he could have use. Although it might have been one of his first field assignments and usually they didn't really need to go that far off-road, so he might not have been prepared.

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Silver badge

Re: Rugged?

Btw, usually it's not the water you're worried about. It's the sand/dust/salt that's going to ruin the thing when you need it the most and you're in the middle of nowhere.

Or the cleaning crews or the users... We had a few devices back defective touchscreens, because the users use the point of their knives to press the buttons on the screen. Usually after their employer has warned them that next time they use a knife to operate the terminal they will get the bill, we don't see the terminal in for repair again.

I've heard from rivals that some cleaning crews have competitions to see who can destroy a touch display quickest. Again the threat of having to pay the bill usually stops such silliness.

The most bizarre repair was somebody who drove a forklift directly into the touchscreen and pushed it almost through the back of the casing! :-O

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Bronze badge

Re: Rugged?

"The most bizarre repair was somebody who drove a forklift directly into the touchscreen and pushed it almost through the back of the casing! :-O"

I am indirectly involved in big touch screens - sorta 500cm x 300cm x200cm - at the edges of their solid stainless cab. And I am told more than the odd one gets this treatment. Why?

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Anonymous Coward

Panasonic

We use Panasonic Toughbooks when out and about. They also work at -20 to +60. Thankfully not had to have either although did get to -10 once. They are dustproof and waterproof too. They work quite well.

Good to have an alternative though.

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Silver badge
Meh

Hmm Hang on.

You say the tablet has a 128GB SSD in it with Windows 8.1 Pro installed, leaving 60GB spare.

So say 120GB usable. Install of Windows 8.1 Pro about 18GB, so that leaves us with around 100GB spare..

A recovery partition usually takes around 10GB say.

Thats some bloatware on that tablet!

As an aside I'm running full blown laptops just fine with some old Intel 40GB SSDs that even with Office installed still leaves around 10+ GB free. Perfectly good for general use.

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Re: Hmm Hang on.

You can get windows in <20GB but only if you don't run any updates. It's only 9 months since I reinstalled windows from scratch and my windows directory is up at 35GB. And unlike XP there's no way to trim out the junk.

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Silver badge

Re: Hmm Hang on.

Hmmm again.

My laptop running a fully updated 6 month old Windows 8.1 Pro setup with Office 2013, Libre Office, Firefox, Chrome, Skype, Spotify etc. etc.on a 120GB SSD...

21GB.

If you go to Drive tools you can trim out all the unwanted files...including the updates and the previous version of 8 from the 8.1 upgrade. So it's dead easy to trim out the junk.

So quite what this tablet is doing with only 60GB free...

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Re: Hmm Hang on.

@Tim 11 Assuming you're on Win7/Server 2008 SP1 - If you've installed the requisite update the Disk Cleanup Wizard will tidy up unnecessary update files: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2852386

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Silver badge

How long will it be before someone puts wireless usb, wireless hdmi and wireless charging in one of these and you can have a completely sealed unit? Repairability would be non-existent but that's no different from a lot of other tablets out there and it would be less likely to break.

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Silver badge

You can have serviceability and a completely sealed case. Submariners the world over report being pleased with the technology.

But you're right about the ports. We have a lot of ruggedized gear here and it's (almost) always either heat or something creeping in through a poorly sealed port. It doesn't actually take a whole lot of sand, metal shavings, sawdust, etc... to slip in unnoticed when you've got a port opened and compromise a seal when you close it back up. Despite their apparent differences, sand and metal shavings are both imbued with the same ancient black magic that allows those things to creep behind things like seals and happily cut there way trough a bit more evertime you open and close the port. Evil. Pure fucking evil.

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!!!

'Military Grade' <=>'Windows OS': Does not compute!

<explodes>

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Re: !!!

I agree - it'd be a kick to have one of these, were it not for the "OS" (loose use of the term - sorry).

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Silver badge

Re: !!!

I see where you could get confused. There's a very outdated assumption that Western militaries are there to defend the citizens of their countries and the various interest of those countries. Nearly every day, since mid-August 1945 that assumption has become a little less valid. Militaries have been reorganized to act as a kickstand for industrial infrastructure that helps support ignorance 'Knowledge economies'.

With that in mind, Windows is perfect for modern military use. You can't artificially support economies with FOSS you know. You've got to have expensive licenses and a deliberate lack of interoperability to support today's modern warfighter, and the economy that (kind of) pays them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: !!!

> Militaries have been reorganized to act as a kickstand for industrial infrastructure

I am not sure if you are fully aware of how spot on that comment of yours actually is.

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Bronze badge

What, a QUIET USB3 port?

See http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/io/universal-serial-bus/usb3-frequency-interference-paper.html

Having spent some decades working with radio interference and susceptibility specs, problems and fixes, I wish all electronics were quiet enough to meet Mil-Std 461.

(Your side of the Pond, DefStan 59: http://www.tuv-sud.co.uk/uk-en/industry/aerospace-defence/defence-testing-and-certification/uk-defence-standard-59-411-on-electromagnetic-compatibility).

Regrettably, they're not; the latest kefluffle here is LED and fluorescent lamp (luminaire) ballasts jamming safety, law enforcement and shortwave radio comms. The only good from that might be that they'll also mess up PLC. What fun.

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Bronze badge

Re: What, a QUIET USB3 port?

And also

http://blog.macsales.com/15990-shielding-resolves-usb-3-0-conflict-with-bluetooth

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b 3

great now,,

make me a "Military-grade" netbook plz!

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Anonymous Coward

hows about sand on the display?

y'know, left outside in a sandstorm in <insert exotic locale the military is in>. How does the screen stand up to that?

But more seriously, a tablet with a USB port and a modem is just screaming "steal me" to your local insurgent/enemy. Would be interesting to know how the mil. intend to lock these down. Might be some lessons for the enterprise there.

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HOW Rugged?

Where's that guy who likes testing phones with high-velocity rounds when there's a real challenge for him?

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Silver badge

Re: HOW Rugged?

Someone has to say it:

"Will it blend?"

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And...

... will it play Crysis ?

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Anonymous Coward

I heard of...

...a Toughbook that got shot by an AK-47. It didn't survive, but the bullet didn't come accross it to hit the (military) user, stopping at the magnesium case, after punching the HDD aluminum housing on the edge.

Lucky shot, but still...

Yeah, I guess this one wouldn't blend.

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JDX
Gold badge

128GB SSD (which means you have about 60GB free for storage).

Um, really? Given you can buy tablets with full W8.1 installed with 64 or even 32Gb SSD drives, claiming Windows takes up 68Gb doesn't sound correct. I thought it was more like 20Gb?

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Anonymous Coward

What have here then is

an article that hasn't been proofread.

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Only an IT department

would buy this overpriced guff. Anybody sane would but 3 regular laptops and bin the broken ones as and when they got wrecked. But IT Dept logic says you punish the company upfront with high priced unsexy bricks that you don't want them having due to remote worker support hell.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: Only an IT department

So when it breaks out in the field during important work, you just abort the mission and come home to get another one?

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Anonymous Coward

Waterproof *and* fan cooled...

So if the device is running under water, does it draw in water and pump it back out? Would this be of benefit for overclocking? Does it provide a degree of propulsion? If it floats near the surface so that it can keep a GPS lock, could it be programmed to swim home?

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