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To help you find the best rugged tablets to meet all of your outdoor or work technology needs, we spent a large amount of time analyzing and researching a wide number of different devices. During our research, we ranked each option based on its overall durability, including professional certification, and its overall performance. We also identified advanced functionality and recommend you purchase a tablet that offers niche features for your specific industry, such as barcode scanners or thermal imaging capabilities.
With these things in mind, we chose the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro as the best rugged tablet your money can buy today. Keep reading to learn more about this option and the best tablets we included in this buying guide.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This tough, powerful tablet offers military-grade certification, a powerful camera, and extra-long battery life, making it the easy choice for our top pick spot. You’ll also get a water-resistant S Pen stylus and compatibility with attachable keyboards for even greater functionality.
When it comes to making a high-quality rugged tablet, Samsung really knows what they are doing. With the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro, you’ll get an elevated level of durability and ruggedness. The tablet sports a MIL-STD-810G military-grade certification and IP68 certification for water and dust resistance. These two professional ratings mean you’ll get best-of-class protection against things like water and dust exposure, drops, shocks, and more. Your purchase of this tablet also includes an S Pen stylus with IP68 water resistance. The stylus works incredibly well, even under inclement weather or extreme temperatures. As such, the Active Pro tablet is perfect for use at job sites and on camping trips.
Related: Also check out the best stylus for touchscreen.
Fortunately, you’ll also get a lot of power and performance reliability with this rugged Samsung tablet. It sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 octa-core processor, which isn’t the latest and greatest chipset, but it still offers plenty of juice to keep the tablet running with ease. More impressively, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro provides a large battery with around 15 hours of battery life. Plus, once the battery dies, it can be hot-swapped for a fully-charged replacement with ease. You’ll also get a high-quality camera with 13 megapixels of resolution and AR-enabled functionality. It’s one of the best tablets with keyboards on our list.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a huge, long-lasting battery, barcode scanning capabilities, and a powerful internal processor, this rugged tablet is perfect for power users and warehouse workers alike. Plus, it features IP67 water and dust resistance as well as an included wrist strap for added durability.
The Vanquisher Ultra rugged tablet is an excellent option for warehouse management, shipping/tracking applications, and field maintenance jobs because of its integrated barcode scanner. It features a Zebra EM1350 1D laser scan engine which enables the Vanquisher to scan barcodes at an extremely fast rate. Plus, the tablet is lightweight and compact enough to easily carry around with you, especially since it includes a backhand strap for a more secure grip. If you were to drop the tablet, you can rest assured that it won’t cause much damage, if any at all, thanks to its rubberized edges and corners.
The Vanquisher is an 8-inch tablet with Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) on the IPS display. The screen is also bright and colorful, making work easier to see while you’re on the go. When it comes to internal performance, you can expect a lot of speed and fewer frozen apps thanks to the tablet’s Qualcomm octa-core processor. However, even better than all of this is the Vanquisher’s impressively large, 10,000 mAh battery. With such a huge battery, the tablet is rated to have 500 hours of standby time on a single charge. Of course, battery life lessens as you use the tablet, especially with resource-heavy applications. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find a rugged tablet with as much battery life as this. It’s a great rugged tablet option for anyone also looking for the best tablets for travel.
Award: BEST WITH STYLUS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This compact and rugged tablet offers an incredibly user-friendly and versatile experience thanks to the inclusion of an impressive S Pen stylus. Plus, its snappy Exynos processor, long-lasting battery, and headphone jack make this tablet an easy choice.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 rugged tablet is the smaller and more lightweight cousin to the Galaxy Tab Active Pro, but it keeps up well enough on its own, which is why we featured it here. With an 8-inch display, this rugged Android tablet offers a more portable and lightweight experience while you’re out and about at job sites or on camping trips. This smaller size makes it easier to carry the tablet in your bags or backpack. The display only features a 1280 x 800-pixel resolution, but it’s bright and colorful, which improves the overall viewing experience.
The Galaxy Tab Active 2 is rated with both MIL-STD-810G certification and IP68 water and dust resistance, so you know you’ll be getting an extra-durable product if you choose to go this route. Even better, your purchase will include an S Pen stylus, which works well on the water-resistant touchscreen, even when it’s wet. The best stylus itself is also IP68 water and dust resistant, so you won’t have to worry about it getting ruined in inclement weather. The tablet sports the Exynos 7870 processor and 3GB of RAM, which should both be more than enough for most people’s needs.
Award: BEST PROCESSOR
WHY WE LIKE IT: This rugged tablet is one of the most powerful options on the market, thanks to its Intel Core i5 processor and whopping 8GB of RAM, which together allow you to multitask with ease. Plus, it offers a display with a polarized filter and wide viewing angles for use in direct sunlight.
The Dell Latitude 7212 offers some of the best power and performance that you can find in the rugged tablet market today. With a snappy Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, you’ll be able to run nearly anything you want on this tablet without experiencing freezing or stuttering. Plus, this kind of power combination allows you to multitask and swap back and forth between open apps with ease. You’ll also get a 256GB SSD for plenty of storage options and added speed to the tablet’s performance.
This Dell rugged tablet is also designed exceptionally well, with MIL-STD-810G certification and an IP65 rating for water and dust resistance. The tablet’s body features a rubberized case and Corning Gorilla Glass on the display for added shatter resistance. The display itself is also of good quality, with Full HD resolution at 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution. The screen also has a high-grade filter and a high level of brightness so you can use it in direct sunlight. We were also impressed by the Latitude 7212’s hot-swappable battery system, which allows you to switch dead batteries for live ones without powering down the device. It’s definitely one of the best tools for outdoor jobs.
Award: BEST DISPLAY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This rugged tablet offers a best-in-class display quality with glove-compatible modes and a high level of brightness that can be used in direct sunlight. You’ll also get advanced functionality like hot-swappable batteries, dual SIM functionality, and programmable physical buttons.
If you’re looking for a rugged tablet that doesn’t hold back on giving your a high-quality display that you can use anywhere without straining to see, then the Panasonic Toughbook A3 is an excellent choice for you. The tablet boasts a large 10.1-inch display with Full HD resolution and great color accuracy. More importantly, though, is the fact that the display is more than bright enough to be completely visible even in direct sunlight. It also sports an anti-reflective coating to keep glares to a minimum.
On top of the excellent display, the Panasonic tablet gives you tons of functionality and overall reliable performance. You’ll get a quad-core Qualcomm processor and 64GB of eMMC storage. We do wish the internal storage were in the form of an SSD, but the eMMC configuration works well enough for most purposes. The Toughbook A3 also gives you a dual SIM setup for connection to multiple cellular networks, and a hot-swappable battery system so you never have to run out of power.
Award: BEST WITH KEYBOARD
WHY WE LIKE IT: This nearly-indestructible tablet features military-grade certification for its durability and a ton of excellent features like its extra-bright display and Windows 10 operating system. Plus, this tablet includes a detachable keyboard that’s just as durable as the tablet for on-the-go work.
If you’re looking for a rugged tablet that allows you to work on the go with ease, then the Panasonic Toughbook 33 is the device for you. For starters, this tablet features a detachable keyboard that can also swivel and close entirely to protect your screen. The keyboard works really well and is just as durable as the Toughbook itself. Plus, the keys are comfortable and easy to use, making word processing and other work a breeze while you’re away from a desk or office.
The Panasonic tablet also offers official military-grade quality for its durability, in the form of a MIL-STD-810G certification. With its rubberized edges, port covers, and built-in handle, the Toughbook 33 can take a beating, dips in the water, and falls without getting ruined. We were also impressed by the Panasonic tablet’s overall performance. With an Intel Core i5 processor, the tablet runs its Windows 10 operating system with ease. On top of that, you’ll get a large battery that can be hot-swapped, meaning it can be switched out for a fully-charged battery without needing to turn off the device. You might also like our best tactical backpacks buying guide for transportation options.
Award: BEST PORTABILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This tough tablet is made specifically for portability and versatility because of its included carrying features, mountable design, and extra-protected corners. The tablet also performs well with an Intel processor and long-lasting battery.
The MobileDemand Flex 10B rugged tablet is designed specifically for portability. While all tablets provide an elevated level of portability when compared to laptops or other work technology, the Flex 10B includes both a carrying handle on the top and a hand strap on the back, both of which make the device easier to carry along with you. Plus, the back cover can easily be mounted using a mounting accessory (separate purchase).
The Flex 10B tablet also features a durable, drop-resistant rubberized casing, but the added rubber on the corners ensures minimal damage will occur if you do drop the tablet. We were overall pleased with the tablet’s display quality, although we do wish it had more pixel resolution than the 1280 x 800 resolution on the spec sheet. The tablet also uses an Intel processor that offers more than enough power for the Windows 11 operating system, and it keeps everything running well without freezing or hesitating. It’s great if you’re looking for the best tablet computer with weather-resistant capabilities.
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for the best quality you can get in your rugged tablet, then you can’t go wrong with this option. It’s built from a magnesium alloy and features a rubberized casing for added durability, as well as a hot-swappable battery system for long-lasting use and a powerful internal chipset for reliable performance.
The Getac F110 rugged tablet was built with quality in mind in every aspect of its design. The first thing you’ll notice is the large, 11-inch display, which makes work on the go easier to use and the tablet easier to navigate overall. Unfortunately, the display only gives you a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution. However, the 800 nits of brightness more than makeup for the lower display resolution. With this level of brightness, you’ll be able to use the Getac tablet in full daylight and still see everything on the screen. The screen’s anti-glare coating helps in this department, as well. The tablet is also designed with rubberized edges for added durability and features a variety of physical buttons for more efficient workflow operations.
The Getac F110 is also a high-performing tablet, thanks mostly to its powerful Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. You’ll be able to run both work and casual applications with ease here. Plus, the tablet runs on the Windows 10 operating system, which gives you more access to professional applications on the go. When it comes to the Getac’s actual durability, you’ll be pleased to find MIL-STD-810G certification as well as IP65 protection from water and dust ingress. It stands up against many of the best convertible tablet options on the market.
Award: BEST WITH WINDOWS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This rugged tablet is powered seamlessly by the Windows operating system, which makes it the easiest option to use for work applications. On top of that, you’ll get a lightweight design, powerful internal Intel processor, long-lasting battery life, and a glove-friendly touchscreen.
The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 lives true to its name by providing you an extra-rugged and durable tablet experience, perfect for taking with you to worksites or to warehouses. The tablet’s corners feature a thick rubber casing that prevents the tablet from breaking when it’s dropped, and it features both MIL-STD-810G and IP65 ratings for protection from other environmental hazards. However, in spite of all this added durability, the Panasonic still manages to remain lightweight and portable, which is a huge plus. This is even more surprising considering the fact that the battery is large enough to provide all-day power. This is similar to what you’d find with the best gaming tablets.
This rugged Windows tablet houses a powerful Intel processor that keeps everything running smoothly, which is a nice addition. With this processor, you’ll get seamless access to the Windows operating system for more comprehensive work applications. Unfortunately, the tablet only offers 128GB of internal storage with no option to expand it. All in all, though, the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 is easy to use and reliable for long-term applications. The screen is bright and can be operated while you’re wearing gloves, which is rare to find in ruggedized tablets. For the reader in your life, you might also be interested in our best tabs for reading buying guide.
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re on a budget or looking for a rugged tablet that you can use in your classroom, then this is the best option for you. With Dragontrail Pro glass, a user-friendly operating system, and both USB-C and headphone ports, this rugged tablet is an excellent choice for equipping students with technology on a budget.
While the Lenovo 10e doesn’t follow the same form factor as some of the more intense rugged tablets featured in this buying guide, it still offers plenty of toughness and versatility. Plus, it does this all on a low price point that’s sure to make any bargain seeker’s wallet happy. The tablet’s overall durability, affordability, and user-friendliness make it an excellent choice for teachers who need to purchase technology for their classrooms.
For starters, the Lenovo rugged tablet has a tough display that can withstand drops and shattering thanks to its Dragontrail Pro glass. The cheap rugged tablet doesn’t feature any kind of rubberized casing, but the plastic of the case is scratch-resistant, as well, which does well in classroom environments. With the simple user interface of a Chromebook, the Lenovo 10e is an excellent choice for students, as well. Plus, you’ll get both a USB-C port and a headphone jack for extra connection versatility. Make sure you invest in the best tablet cases for the outdoors to protect your device.
The first thing we measured when ranking the best rugged tablets was their overall durability ratings. We gave preference to tablets with professional certifications and awarded more points to those with MIL-STD-810G and IP68 ratings. We also preferred rugged tablets to have more durable casing than standard options. This usually comes in the form of rubberized corners and back casing. Tablets with shatter-resistant glass on the display were also awarded more points than those without.
Next, we looked at overall performance. Tablets with seamless performance and user-friendly interfaces are better overall because they provide a more reliable and consistent user experience. We rated options higher if they included more RAM and more powerful processors. This is important because you don’t want to be on a job or with a client trying to get your tablet to work.
Finally, we looked at additional functionality and battery life. Rugged tablets with added features like thermal and AR cameras, GPS, and barcode scanners, among other features, provide more functionality to professionals and were thus scored higher. The same goes for long battery life. We preferred tablets with at least 13-15 hours of battery life and awarded more points for options that allow you to swap dead batteries out for charged ones.