Is the end near for clunky, heavy industrial tablets?
Construction may be one of those fields where tablet computers were actually used, back when they were little more than laptops without a keyboard. The new, semi-rugged GD3015 from General Dynamics does almost nothing to acknowledge the huge changes in the tablet market over the past year, and offers little more than a specialized netbook without a keyboard.
The GD3015 is designed for public safety, utilities, transportation, and warehousing workers. To this end it is dust, water, shock and vibration resistant, has options for 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS and can also be had with an optional magnetic stripe reader, barcode scanner, camera or RS232 port.
But at its heart, the tech is all very 2008. The processor is an Intel Atom chip, the touch-screen “works even with gloves on,” meaning resistive, not capacitive touch, and the battery life is listed at five hours, so in real life it will surely be less. Worse, it runs Windows 7, which offers a thin touch skin over a regular resource-hogging desktop OS.
But the real eye-opener here is the price. The GD3015, as it is known, starts at $2,400, and that’s before you get into all the options above, or make a choice to put in an SSD. Even more astonishing is this snippet from the press release, which shows that General Dynamics actually considers this computer to be cheap.
The GD3015 pairs ruggedness with a Windows-based operating system so budget-constrained IT managers have a computing solution that is easy to deploy, minimizes training costs for users and leverages existing software and operating system configurations.
“Budget constrained.” Ho ho. $2,500 for a netbook in a drop-proof case. How many iPads (or Android tablets) in ruggedized cases can you buy for $2,400? And with a real tablet, you don’t need to worry about 3G, Bluetooth or SSDs being optional.
Call me cynical, but these overpriced, under-specced commodity machines don’t seem to have much of a future.
GD3015 semi rugged tablet [General Dynamics]
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Via: Gadget Lab