The Getac Z710 is officially the world’s first rugged 7-inch Android tablet, and that’s something that Pocket-lint can ratify now that we've had our hands all over it.
Running the Android 2.3.5 version of Gingerbread, the Getac Z710, with its IP65 certification, can withstand temperatures between -20C and 50C degrees, handle a hurling from 6ft and submersion in a puddle at the side of the road.
It’s aimed at the utility industry for out on the road use but there’s no reason why you couldn’t pick one up for the beach, deck of your yacht or mountain trek. The other two big features for the consumer looking for something a bit different are a capacitive screen so sensitive that you can use it wearing thick gloves and very decent readability in bright sunlight.
The Z710’s display is made up of several layers, with the liquid crystal at the bottom and Gorilla Glass at the top sandwiching the touchscreen itself. Rather than have air gaps in between, as is normal, Getac has inserted optical clear resin which lends itself to added sensitivity and protection as well as reducing glare - so we’re told.
It weighs a fairly hefty 800g and is as chunky as you’d expect, but it’s still perfectly comfortable to use with one hand. As far as specs go, it runs a dual-core 1GHz OMAP CPU, features a rear-facing 5MP camera with flash and a 10-hour battery life, thanks to the Li-polymer battery.
There’s 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but it’s the added sensors, readers and scanners that are most useful. On top is a barcode reader, there’s an RFID scanner on the back and the dedicated SIRFstar GPS chip ensures pin-point location to within 2 metres. There’s also an attached stylus with a magnetic home on the back for it to clip into.
Port-wise, you get USB in normal and micro sizes and a selection of added docks and connectors for both in-car and on-desk use.
There's been very little tampering with the Google Android experience, save the addition of some function softkeys at the bottom for quick access to certain areas and a couple of interesting apps, including the big screen compass.
Other than that, it’s a regular 7-inch Android tablet. You can still watch films on the 1024 x 600px display, surf the web and play games. It might not be silky smooth to look at but we wouldn’t expect a Nexus 7 to last very long in the kinds of hands and places where the Getac Z710 is expected to turn up.
The Getac Z710 is available now. It starts at £709 and expect to pay more once you add in all the required readers, scanners, memory options and connectivity.