Dell has today launched the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet, the company's first ultra-tough Windows-powered tablet that's designed for "performance and reliability in the harshest conditions."
The Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet meets both the MIL-STD-810G and IP65 specifications, meaning it's designed to survive up to four foot high drops, vibration, shock, temperatures between -20 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 to 63 degrees Celsius), high altitudes, salt fog, explosive environments, solar radiation, dust exposure, and water jets.
To protect the components of the Latitude 12 against the elements, the device comes with a pretty hefty shell, as you would expect from a rugged tablet. The tablet's 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 display, optimized for outdoor viewing and use with gloves, is surrounded by large bezels, and the body clocks in a 24mm thick and 1.63 kg heavy.
Internally the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet comes with an Intel Core M CPU, up to 8 GB of RAM, and up to 512 GB of solid state storage. Although Intel designed Core M for fanless designs, the Latitude 12 includes a fan so that a consistent level of performance can be achieved. There's also a two-cell battery that provides up to six hours of life, although you can add a second battery to extend that figure to 12 hours.
Dell has a range of accessories for the Rugged Tablet, including a digital pen, a full-sized keyboard cover, and vehicle and desk docks that connect via a "pogo-pin" interface. On top of this there's a decent collection of standard ports on the tablet itself, including USB 3.0, micro-HDMI, a microSD card slot, and even a micro serial port.
Those who purchase the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet have a choice of Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 depending on their needs.
The Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet will retail for at least $1,600 when it hits the market by the end of July. This may sound like a lot of cash for a Windows tablet, but it's actually cheaper than a lot of its rugged-body competitors.