With the tablet form factor having added an entirely new dimension to how people work, there is now a substantial demand for business and enterprise-oriented versions that are tougher and more durable than the generally ultra-thin and flimsy consumer media tablets.
San Jose, Calif.-based DT Research is in a good position to takie advantage of that demand, having gathered experience in the professional-strength tablet market for two decades. The DT311 Series, introduced in May 2015, extends the company's product roster into larger-screen tablets designed for those who need the display real estate of a small notebook. And the rugged thin-and-light DT311 further extends the company's focus beyond its traditional concentration on the point-of-sale market.
For many years DT Research tablets (and there have always been quite a few different lines) had a distinct rugged look with black or dark-gray housings and very prominent rubber bumpers on their corners. The new DT311 models are more conventional, featuring a modern, businesslike design that's instantly at home in any enterprise. This makes the DT311 Series a competitor to thin-and-light tablet offerings from the likes of Getac, GammaTech, Xplore/Motion or MobileDemand, all created to be elegant, compact, lightweight tools for jobs on sales floors, warehouses, field offices, transportation, logistics, etc.
Measuring 12.3 x 8.2 x 0.86 inches and weighing well under three pounds, the DT311 has roughly the footprint of a 13.3-inch MacBook Air, is not much thicker than the sleek Apple laptop, and actually weighs less. That's quite an accomplishment given the tablet's very sturdy construction. The DT311 Series includes a full-slot Smart Card reader, has a hot-swappable 44.3 watt-hour battery, comes with speedy dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. Optionally available is a 4G LTE mobile broadband module.
Anyone who needs more screen real estate than 10-inch consumer tablets offer will appreciate the DT311's larger 11.6-inch screen that offers full 1920 x 1080 1080p pixel resolution. And like most recent Windows tablets, the DT311 has capacitive multi-touch.
The DT311 Series is available in two versions. The DT311C comes with a 1.5GHz Intel Celeron processor whereas the DC311H is based on a 5th generation "Broadwell" i7 Core processor with a base clock speed of 2.4GHz and turbo boost up to 3.0 GHz. DT Research doesn't specify the exact processor model, but we suspect it's the Celeron 3205U and the i7-5500U. The only other difference on the spec sheet is included RAM, which is 4GB for the low-end and 8GB for the high-end model. If our CPU guess is correct, then the Celeron-based DC311C uses Intel HD Graphics whereas the DC311H comes with much more powerful Intel HD Graphics 5500, so the performance difference is likely substantial (see full processor comparison).
On the ruggedness side, the DT311's ABS + PC plastic and magnesium-aluminum alloy construction mean that the tablet is a lot sturdier and tougher than its light weight and elegant design suggest. The specs state IP65 sealing for the front panel, which means it's fully protected against dust, and also protected against low pressure water jets from all directions. The standard operating temperature range is a modest 32 to 104 degrees, but a -4 to 122 degree option is available. DT Research claims MIL-STD-810G testing for drop, shock and vibration, but doesn't go into specifics. Regardless, the DT311 seems designed to go well beyond "business-rugged" and can likely handle drops and rain and rough handling out there in the field.
With the DT311 Series, DT Research offers a thoroughly modern, state-of-the-art thin-and-light tablet that's tough enough to be deployed in numerous business and field applications.
To see the complete DT Research tablet lineup, see the DT Research tablet comparison table.