Combat may not exactly be the place where we envision tablets being used – but the fact that they are easily portable gadgets that can provide communication and information cannot be easily ignored. Heavy-duty rugged tablets aren’t anything new though, although they’ve usually been used by more peaceful users like explorers and construction workers on deployment. The Harris RF-3590 is a pioneer because of its use of the Android OS, the Honeycomb version at that – and that it is specifically designed for use in combat zones.
It has some pretty decent specs that should be a boon for any soldier: a 1024 x 600 multi-touch display which is backed by a powerful dual-core 1.5GHz CPU. It also has two 8-megapixel front and rear-facing cameras – which would help commanders get a ground-level view of the combat zone. Soldiers equipped with this tablet can have live updates of enemy positions and new orders at a touch of the screen. It also gives them access various intelligence sources like live feeds from video cameras, satellite data and a lot of of other information that can mean life or death for a soldier.
Being a comfortable 7 inches, the tablet is easy to carry and fits well in the hand or in a soldier’s pocket. Also durably made, the Harris RF-3590 is a military-grade product – which means its meant to take a pounding and keep on kicking, which is important for soldiers on the go. Supporting most military communication platforms, it could be easily included in any force with the minimum of fuss. With the increasing presence of technology on the battlefield, this tablet looks to be a logical next step.
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I hope it has a sunlight readable display (ie Pixel Qi or Mirasol). The bulk of the “coalition of the willing” are deployed in areas that aren’t known for their cloudy days. I’d hate to be in a stressful situation and having to think about getting a better view of the screen.