Tech Yeah! Durabook U11 Rugged Tablet
This week's tech yeah comes in the form of an ultra-rugged tablet computer running windows 10. It's the Durabook U11. It's a ruggedized tablet computer that runs Windows 10 on a 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor. It has 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage. As suggested by the name, the Durabook is designed for construction sites, battlefields, disaster areas, and basically the scariest environment imaginable.
This is a tablet designed for extreme environments. It's got 6 feet drop protection and certifications for both MIL STD-810G and Ansi 12.12.01 (C1D2). That means, go ahead and kick it, drop it on the beach, In the water, or in the sand, and it'll smile at you and keep going. The design of the tablet is also fanless to ensure it's always quiet, which is also necessary for dangerous situations. Durabook put a lot of thought into this. I've tossed this thing around myself and it has held up beautifully.
So let's take a tour around this puppy. On the front, you've got a 2MP camera up top. On the right side, there's a power button, two programmable buttons, and volume up and down buttons that can also control brightness.
Around the sides, you've got a smartcard reader on the left, a USB Type-A port on top, barrel charging port, Mini display port, USB 3.0port, RJ 45 Jack, MicroSD, and sim card slot, and mic/headset jack combo all on the left side. While you're out and about, you probably won't use too many of those ports, and they're all covered up by rubber plugs or by much more sturdy sliding covers. There are also hooks for a shoulder strap, an included stylus, and a slot to store the stylus.
When you're back at the office, Durabook also sent me an office dock that has a ton more I/O. Basically, you can set the tablet down in the dock and add a mouse and keyboard large monitor, and a ton of accessories and you've got a fully functioning computer. It's a pretty cool setup.
I ran the tablet through its paces, using it for a couple of days as my main computer. It's not the most powerful tablet in the world - I won't be making any videos or even recording a podcast on this thing. But for everyday activities like writing, publishing articles, and the like, it was just fine. The office dock helped a lot for sure. The main hangups I found were no fault of Durabook. The main problem is Windows and Windows not knowing how to behave like a tablet. It's generally not a good experience as I detailed in my ThinkPad X1 Fold review.
There's also a ton of accessories available for this device as well - There's an attachable keyboard, hand strap, hard handle, expansion modules, vehicle docks, folio case, and so much more.
I'm not going to comment on the thickness or the weight, except to say that they're appropriate for the genre. You don't go to watch a war movie and complain there was too much violence. Thick and heavy are what this tablet is designed for. So yeah, it's thick and it's heavy. It's also expensive, coming in at around 2,300 dollars. A lot of that cost goes into the expandability and durability, and future updates that this tablet will receive. It's very modular. You can incorporate a fingerprint sensor into here. The battery is hot-swappable. Even if the computer is on, you can pull out the battery and pop in a new one. Touches like this make ultra-durable tablets like this really cool. If you're the type of person who needs a tablet like this, then this is a good choice.
Overall, this is a niche device for a niche market that I wanted to experiment with. It's not for me, certainly not, but I wanted to take one out for a test drive to see how it worked. Overall, I love the idea of them even if I don't need one myself.