For many mobile workers, tablets are a good choice. When faced with the dust and grit of a construction site, however, or there's a good chance of being subjected to a soaking on a regular basis, many tablet users run for cover ... quite literally. If protecting your existing device with a toughened-up outer case (such as the rather tasty Lifeproof nüüd) doesn't sound like your cup of tea and you'd rather invest in a dedicated rugged tablet, the Algiz 10X from Sweden's Handheld Group might be worth a look.

The Algiz 10X joins a seven-inch tablet and a touchscreen notebook in the same family, and is intended for use by field professionals in geomatics, logistics, forestry, public transportation, utilities, construction, maintenance, mining, military and security. The 10.8 x 6.7 x 1.2 inch (275 x 171 x 32 mm), 2.9-pound (1.3-kg) rugged tablet is IP65-rated (sealed against dust, and can survive an attack from water jets but is not immersion-protected) and meets MIL-STD-810G military standards for dust, water, vibrations, drops (from up to four ft/1.22 meters), extreme temperatures (-4°F to 140°F/-20°C to 60°C) and varying altitudes (up to 15,000 ft /4,572 meters at 73°F/23°C).

It features a 10.1-inch, 1366 x 768 resolution resistive touchscreen with the latest generation of MaxView technology, which makes the screen readable even in direct sunlight, and there's a useful keypad to the right side of the screen.

An Intel Atom N2800 dual-core processor running at 1.86 GHz powers the tablet, supported by 4 GB of DDR3 RAM and either 64 or 128 GB of SSD storage, with microSD expansion. Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11b/g/n WLAN feature, plus it's ready for WWAN Gobi 3000 and comes supplied with a u-blox GPS receiver and WAAS/EGNOS/MSAS capability. There's a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, a 38.5 Wh Li-ion battery as standard (with a 77 Wh battery also available), and waterproofed USB, VGA and RS232 ports.

The Algiz 10X currently runs on Windows 7 Ultimate edition but is Windows 8-ready, and will be available from January 2013 for a starting price of US$2,849.

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