Dell’s Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme Slims Down, Adds Kaby Lake Core i7 Muscle

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It’s rather easy to take a tablet and make it appear “tough” by slapping on a rugged case that can withstand a few drops or even immersion in water. However, taking a consumer-grade tablet and tossing it to demanding, real-world situations isn’t always the best course of action. That’s why Dell developed its line of rugged tablets that are aimed at military professionals, public safety and field service.

That brings us to the Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme Tablet (we’ll just call it Latitude 7212 for short), which has been designed to not only be lightweight (2.8 lbs), but can withstand brutal impacts and harsh operating environments. Latitude 7212 is MIL-STD-810G rated, and able to tolerate operating temperatures ranging from -20 degrees F to as high as 145 degrees F. It’s also been MIL-STD-461F certified against electromagnetic interference.

Dell has also outfitted the Latitude 7212 with a fourth-generation version of its Quad-Cool passive and active thermal management system. This cooling system uses a sealed fan to help dissipate heat and also keep out unwanted environmental “hazards” like dust and water.

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Unlike some other OEMs, Dell is allowing customers to select from older sixth-generation (Skylake) processors in addition to seventh-generation (Kaby Lake) processors. The decision to continue Skylake support is for customers that are still running Windows 7 and don’t have any desire to upgrade to Windows 10. By running Skylake (instead of Kaby Lake), they are afforded full support for the foreseeable future instead of being cut off prematurely by Microsoft.

While you’re limited to a dual-core Skylake Core i5 processors, going with the newer Kaby Lake processors will allow you to choose from Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 options. No matter which processor you select, 8GB or 16GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3 memory can be installed.

On the display front, Dell has outfitted the Latitude 7217 with an 11.6-inch FHD display that features “Direct-View” technology for superior outdoor visibility, Gorilla Glass protection, and the ability to accept multi-touch with gloved hands.

Storage options are plentiful, with Dell offering a wide variety of SATA and PCIe SSDs ranging in size from 128GB on up to 1TB. We count a total six SATA and three PCIe NVMe SSD options, which should be enough to cover a wide gamut of price/performance metrics sought after by customers. Dell also of course provides 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity (Intel- or Qualcomm-based), and Bluetooth 4.2 (Intel) or Bluetooth 4.1 (Qualcomm). Mobile LTE-A support can also be added using a Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 or Dell Wireless 5816e multi-mode Gobi 5000 modems.

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Like previous rugged tablets from Dell, the Latitude 7212 supports dual batteries, which can be hot swapped. Dell was able to increase battery capacity with this generation while maintaining the same form-factor by using denser cells. That means that the 2-cell batteries are now rated at 34Whr, which when paired with the efficient Kaby Lake processors, allow for longer runtimes (up to 19 hours). We should also mention that because the form-factor is retained, these higher-performing batteries are also compatible with the previous generation rugged tablet.

“The new Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme Tablet meets and exceeds those needs with a new light-weight form factor, optimized front of screen experience and best-in-class performance,” said Shannon MacKay, Vice President, Dell Rugged. “It also delivers on our commitment to our customers’ requests for a stable and long-life cycle ecosystem. The new Rugged Extreme Tablet is a device tested and designed to get work done, no matter how harsh the environmental conditions may be.”

The Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme Tablet is available today globally with a starting price of $1,899.