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Unitech TB100

Rugged 7-inch Android tablet for business
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

While Unitech, founded in 1979, is one of the largest manufacturer of rugged PDAs, the company, to the best of our knowledge, rarely ventures outside of its AIDC product comfort zone. That changed in July of 2012 when Unitech introduced their rugged TB100 enterprise tablet.

With a high resolution (1280 x 800 pixel) 7-inch projected capacitive multi-touch display and weighing just 1.26 pounds, the TB100 is designed to be a tool for business environments where sales staff can conduct customer-related activities such as demonstrating products, looking up pricing, availability or delivery status, and so on. The TB100's bright (400 nits) high-res display has a virtually perfect viewing angle from all sides, making it easy to involve customers.

Powered by a dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, the TB100 runs the tablet-oriented Android "Honeycomb" 3.2 on the handy 8.6 x 5.4 inch tablet that's well under an inch thick. The device comes with 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth and optional 3.75G WWAN. For wired connectivity, there are mini USB and HDMI ports, and a standard 3.5mm audio jack. The TB100 has 16GB of onboard eMMC Flash memory, and a micro-SD card slot for additional storage. Unitech rates the 27 watt-hour battery as good for about six hours between charges, which isn't quite as much as we'd like to see.

Compared to consumer media tablets, the TB100 is a whole lot tougher. There's an exceptionally wide operating temperature range of -4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which means the tablet can be operated amost anywhere. It can handle repeated four-foot drops, and sealing is at the IP65 level, which means that tablet is totally dust-proof and can also handle low-pressure water jets from all directions (albeit with limited ingress permitted). Corning Gorilla glass makes the display durface virtually impervious to scratching and breaking, and the rubber sleeve that surrounds the entire tablet should offer not only excellent protection, but also a good grip.

We haven't had hands-on with the Unitech TB100 tablet, but between the clean, no-nonsense design, the high display resolution, the wide viewing angle multi-touch display, and the impressive ruggedness specs, this compact Android tablet is certain to address the needs of various enterprise applications, and likely beyond. How much does it cost? Apparently around US$1,200 for a basic unit, and a couple of hundred dollars more for one with 3.75G mobile broadband. That is not inexpensive, especially compared to consumer tablets, but good tools for the job always fetch a price.

Contact Unitech America:

Web: www.ute.com
Phone (US): 1 (800) 861-8648
Specifications Unitech TB100
Status Added 9/2012, updated 05/2013
Form-factor Rugged tablet
OS Android 3.2
Processor Dual core Nvidia Tegra 2
CPU Speed 1.oGHz
Chipset Nvidia
Standard/Max RAM unknown
Disk/drive 16GB eMMC Flash
Card slots 1 microSD card
Display type LCD with LED backlight (400 nits) and Gorilla Glass (7h hardness)
Display size/res 7-inch, 1280 x 800 pixel WXGA
Digitizer/pens Projected capacitive multi-touch
Keyboard/scale NA
Navigation Touch
Operating temperature -4° to 140° Fahrenheit (-20° to 60° Celsius)
Sealing IP65
Vibration MIL-STD-810G-514.6, Procedure I Cat. 24, Fig. 514.6E-1 & 514.6E-2
Shock Multiple 4-foot (1.2-meter) drops to plywood over concrete
Humidity 10% to 95% (non condensing)
ESD +/- 8kV air discharge, */- 4kV direct discharge
Certifications CE/ FCC Class B/ UL.RoHS compliance
Housing Plastic with rubber bumper corner protection
Size (WxHxD) 8.6 x 5.4 x 0.83 inches (218 x 137 x 21mm)
Weight 1.26 pounds w/ battery and WWAN module
Power 27 watt-hour Li-Ion ("6 hours")
Sensors G-sensor, ambient light, gyroscope
Camera 1.2mp front, 5mp autofocus rear
Interface 1 x mini-USB, 1 x mini-HDMI, 1 x 3.5mm audio
Wireless 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, optional 3.75G WWAN
List price Seen at US$1,200 (US$1,400 with WWAN)
Web page Unitech TB100 web page
Brochure Unitech TB100 brochure (PDF)