Motorola: New 7-Inch Rugged Tablet Has "More Targeted Market Than PlayBook"

Written by Matthew Lentini     11/10/2011 | 00:35 | Category: HOME

Motorola Solutions has announced a tough-build, 7-inch Android tablet that means business, made especially for bulk-buying enterprise.

The ET1 features Android 2.3 and runs on a 1GHz dual-core processor with 8GB of internal storage, expandable up to 32GB through microSD. The rugged device is built tough with Gorilla Glass and weighs in at around 600 grams.

Motorola is burning the bridge between the consumer and enterprise tablet that devices like the BlackBerry PlayBook and the now-defunct HP TouchPad were looking to blur to gain sales in both markets.

While PlayBook sales have dipped, Motorola Solutions' director of product marketing, Sheldon Safir, said that the ET1 would pull up better as it "has a much more targeted market than PlayBook."

The device is intended for retail and warehouse workers, with Motorola Solutions running a beta program overseas with retailers. The unit is currently Wi-Fi only, but features connecting accessories like barcode readers and magnetic stripe readers.

The ET1 is set to be sold in bulk to business at a price somewhere under the US$1000 mark. While many competing tablets sit below the $500 mark, Safir said that the expected three to five year device life from the rugged build will outlast consumer devices.

This rugged build features hardened Gorilla Glass and a casing that protects against knocks. The battery is also swappable and can be done without shutting off the device.

The Android 2.3 software will be customised especially for different organisations, with additives like multiple user log-in software to access different profiles and their applications and documents.

The device fits into the Motorola Solutions Mobility Services Platform that allows businesses to manage a large fleet of devices with security features like GPS tracking and remote data wipes.

The ET1 is expected for a late 2011 release.