ToughShield T700 Tough Tablet Review
A tough tablet?
Say hello to the ToughShield T700 - the first rugged tablet rated at the IP68 standard; the highest IP rating against dust and moisture ingress, combined with dual SIM and NFC as standard.
We received our review model in a stylish black box adorned with ToughShield logos and a silhouette of the T700 on the front in silver. It made a great first impression. However we've heard from our supplier that these premium style boxes will soon be replaced with something a little more eco-friendly (whatever that means).
The T700 is not a pretty tablet by any means but then again it isn't meant to be, it needs to be durable and manages to check all boxes in that department.
The device is rated at the IP68 standard which means that it is fully submersible in water up to 1.2m for up to 40 minutes. Plus, as it is shock proof it should be able survive drops onto concrete from heights of up to 1m, plus it offers total protection against dust and micro particles. The tablet also has a MIL-STD-810G rating, which is a military grade rating for device survival.
The T700 tough tablet is clad in thick rubber around all edges, giving dimensions of 212.5mm x 135.5mm x 19.8mm and, as it weighs in at 610g, it is pretty chunky. Which is a good thing, we feel, as the device is easily held in the hand (or gloved hand), but it feels 'weighty' and very rugged. It feels a lot more solid than other tablets in the 7” category e.g. Google's Nexus 7.
At the top of the device you have dual covered ports that hide away the two microUSB ports, plus headphone and charging access. Along the right hand edge you gain access to the power button and a dedicated camera shutter button. Then on the left hand side you have the volume rocker and a reset button. All pretty standard really.
Hardware and Software
We were pleased to see that this 7" tablet, while rugged and sturdy, still has decent tech. The T700 is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, backed up with 1GB RAM, making this tablet quick and powerful, we had no issues with lag or slowdown and found the screen to be responsive and able to keep up with its backend.
The screen is a 7" TFT multi-touch capacitive display with 1280x800 pixels (approx 215 dpi). It has an anti-scratch coating, but there were no mentions of it being Gorilla Glass. However, we found it to be tough and hardwearing (albeit our trial was only over 14 days).
The device is running on Android 4.2.2 (JellyBean). While this isn't the latest version of Android, the functionality is still there. We could install all the apps we needed and had no issues with any features.
Connectivity, battery life and features
ToughShield has made sure that this device is pumped full of useful features; the device has Dual Sim card functionality plus access to mobile data. You can also send and receive texts and make calls on this tablet - you might look a little odd while making calls on the T700 but it's a great asset to have.
There are plenty of other features that the T700 possesses; for example there is an NFC chip in the tablet, USB OTG functionality, Bluetooth v4.0 (LE), A-GPS (open area, static accuracy, radius10m), Digital Compass, Ambient Light Sensor and Barometer - all great additions to the tablet.
The camera is also pretty decent for a tablet - the main rear-facing camera is capable of taking 8MP shots, plus it has a flash. It takes clear, crisp pictures and our test photos were of acceptable quality. The front-facing camera is only a 2MP snapper and takes pictures with a quality you'd expect from a 2MP camera.
Battery life on tablets is, of-course, a big issue and can often make or break the user’s impression of their tablet, especially when out on site or in the field. Luckily, the T700 doesn't disappoint in this area - with a whopping 6000 mAh Li-Ion battery crammed into the device we had no issues with battery life and weren't at all surprised to see just how long the device could last from a single charge with medium usage. ToughShield have stated that there is a standby time of up to 320 hours and up to 17 hours talktime.
What's in the box?
You get the usual; user manual, MicroUSB-to-USB charger cable and an unlock key for the battery compartment. We were also surprised to find four different charger heads for different regions which could be very useful for those who often work abroad.
There aren't many tough tablets on the market and the ToughShield T700 fits that niche quite nicely. It would serve very well anyone who works in a challenging environment - lone workers, surveyors, tree surgeons, sailors etc. It is an excellent product for those who need to keep up-to-date with the latest tech, but are worried about less-durable products. This tablet comes highly recommended.