updated 01:55 pm EDT, Mon October 10, 2011
$1,000 ruggedized tablet targets enterprise market
Motorola has brought out a new, ruggedized seven-inch tablet targeted squarely at pro users. The ET1 Enterprise Tablet is built for rough handling and includes special features such as Corning Gorilla Glass, which the company claims is 30 percent thicker than conventional home tablet displays. The tablet will run Android 2.3 instead of the latest Android release, Honeycomb (3.0), but has incorporated several enterprise-specific apps and features.
The ET1 runs on a TI OMAP4 dual-core 1GHz processor with DSP video graphics acceleration, a 1024x600 display, and two cameras including an eight-megapixel rear facing one. If the battery runs out of charge, a new one can be swapped in without powering down, so long as the swap happens within 15 minutes. The initial release will be Wi-Fi only, but the company is planning 3G and 4G upgrades in the future.
Businesses have traditionally preferred hardened mobile devices that run Windows CE. However, faced with the growing concern over how Microsoft will support the enterprise with the newer Windows Mobile OS, Motorola opted for Android. "Customers feel they can worry less about Android," said Sheldon Safir, the product marketing lead.
Motorola will begin shipping the ET1 in December. It will be priced at $1,000 in bulk. Safir acknowledges that this is well above consumer tablets or even iPad 2s, but claimed, because of the tablet's durability, with a useful life of three to five years, "Enterprises will only need to buy 40 percent fewer of these tablets [over the years]." [via Computerworld]