Sunday, February 12, 2006

Rugged Tablet PC - UberTablet Braniac Test is an Aussie Tablet PC Blog. Contrived by Uber Geek, Hugo Ortega, it has slowly become a means of expression for its creator. Sharing tales of struggles and tales of joy are often riddled with impulsive thoughts that are sometimes clever enough to remain memorable. On this occasion I write as would a young child about to describe his first ride on a brand new bicycle, or an adult telling tales of some flaunting nighttime madness. I’ve got something to share with you and it’s one of those moments that go off the scale on the cool-ometer.

Rugged Tablets! We’ve heard the hype, and some of us have even sampled the delights. There’s the obvious contender, the Panasonic Tough Book. It’s been recognized as a winner and championed in many a field as the Ruggedized Tablet to own, while iTronix also successfully bear a rather attractive Rugged Tablet PC too. In regards however to these genre of tablet the average Geek knows little and to that degree have experienced little exposure to the Ruggedized version of the Tablet PC.

As most of my readers will probably know Australia is a rugged country. We are famed with the Aussie Outback, a barren land that is barely inhabitable. You’ll also know of the Aussie bloke, barely impenetrable when it comes to showing any form of emotion – we’re tough bastards you see! So it brings me to my point – Rugged Tablet PC vendors in Australia.

I was recently fortunate enough to sit with Robert Ward, the Director of Sales for Xplore Technologies Asia Pacific. He was in Sydney for some Training so I took the opportunity to break bread with the man (at Doyle’s Waterfront Restaurant) and do what I do best, “Talk Tablet”.

Impressed with Mr. Wards passion for all things Tablet it seemed obvious we’d remain acquainted, supporting each others hunger to see Tablet PC awareness in Australia increase. We completed the meal and as I dropped him outside his hotel of choice I did what any Uber Geek would have done… I inquired… “gotta demo I can borrow for a couple of days?” At which point he winks, steps out of my vehicle and says, “see what we can do.”

Many amicable emails later and here I am with Xplore IX104T Tablet PC in hand (Slate form factor). We’ve not parted for several months and our relationship is STRONG. Thinking back to our seafood extravaganza, of Salmon for Robert and Kingfish for me, I recollect a passing comment that Robert made during our meal. “While visiting with the local Water Boards or Sewer Plants we often throw the Tablet into a sink full of water to show just how waterproof it is!” And he boasts of many successes coming from this very act. He goes onto explain that the Xplore Tablet is thrown into the sink full of water while turned on – and Robert proceeds to Ink on it while in a submerged state – COOL!

So my time has now come to bid my farewells. Mr. Ward has sent several emails requesting “Kathy” back – that’s what I call the demo unit allocated to me. As I start to box her up I feel a kryptonite type effect dawn over me. I’m somber in the knowledge that as of tomorrow I will revert to regular Tablet Geek and I’d have lost all ruggedeized powers. I also begin to consider that this muscled beast has been wasted with my humble efforts to test its abilities. I’m not Army, nor am I Navy. In fact my 4x4 only sees sealed roads and seldom did the Rugged Xplore Tablet even leave my doorstep apart from a journey to BHP Billiton mines by one of my resellers. I quickly remember the sewerage plant, of Robert Wards dinner time conversation, and I hastily make my way to the laundry...

The following is a short video that will walk you through just how rugged this Xplore Tablet really is. I realize that one picture is worth a thousand words, and with that I present you with the most inspiring display of rugged technology you’ll see on any blog. Oh! And as Uber Geek host of Brainiac Jon Tickle states: “we do these stunts ourselves so that you don’t have to”.

    Download the file here: WMV[5.7MB]

    For all the Uber Geeks I've added running commentary to this cut of the underwater test.

      Download file with commentary: WMV [6.2MB]
      Watch it on:


      Warner Crocker said...

      Wow. Great stuff.

      Hugo Ortega said...

      Hey Warner!

      I tell you, I'm off my face with excitment about this!!!

      Lawrence Ladomery said...

      Good to see that it floats too :)

      frank arrigo said...

      yeah - wmv files ;)

      Hugo Ortega said...

      Hey Lawrence - yeah it floats!! And I'm told they're used by the Queensland (Northern State of Australia) Water Police while mounted on Jet Ski's to book troublesome boatpeople... too cool!

      Hey Frank - thought I'd save you ripping into me again - only Windows Movie Maker from now on! :)

      Lawrence Ladomery said...

      Then it has to be shark/crocodile proof too. Probably is!

      Hugo Ortega said...

      Ciao Lawrence,

      Stay tuned for my next podcast..."inking uberwater with Sharks!" LOL.

      Great Website!

      Anonymous said...

      Hi Hugo --

      Great blog. We too would love to see rugged computers be daily talk in Australia! We've just started a blog at trying to get rugged computers to be daily talk in America as well. I know we're not nearly as rugged as your Outback terrain, but there's some pretty rugged places that require rugged computers.

      We'd love to have you stop by and post a hello, and if we can provide any info for your site (since we also make rugged handheld computers: Trimble Recon and Trimble Ranger) we'd be happy to help!

      Hope to hear from you!
      guamgirl at

      Hugo Ortega said...

      hi GuamGirl,

      Firstly allow me to thank you for your comment. I appreciate the level of respect you have shown me and would hazard to suggest that we are on the smae path - although your a slightly harsher one (that's a joke. LOL)

      I would love to help promote Rugged awareness but have little access to the sort of devices that you speak of. If you wna tot alk offline about sponsoring the blog, and providing some eval units then I am sure you will be one step closer to where you want to be in Australia and America. Use the email below and let me know your thoughts.


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