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I have been developing a piece of software that is essentially a web-based GUI interface that configures equipment that will be used in outdoor/field environments (over a wifi network created by the equipment itself). The webgui is responsive across multiple browsers and platforms, but we would like to have a single device that we can ensure the customer will be able to get it to work on, and that we can ship with our equipment.

So I'm looking for an Android tablet that will be used in the field in outdoor work environments, but does not need any of the "frills" common to tablets today. All it really needs to do is run this webgui.

Basically I need:

  • Long Battery Life
  • solid Wireless card that does not easily disconnect/slow down
  • Reliability
  • $200 max

I do not need:

  • Large HD space
  • Camera
  • Speakers
  • HD screen
  • Fast Processor
  • Bluetooth
  • SD Card
  • Any other of the common selling points among consumer electronics.

I am currently looking at the Lenovo A8-50, but even that has a lot of unnecessary features. The only real alternatives I've found to mass-consumer electronics are the super-rugged tablets used by the military and industries that are based outdoors. This would be an excellent choice, except those are an order of magnitude more expensive.

Any suggestions? Perhaps there is a company out there that makes cheap non-consumer tablets meant to be used and locked into specific niche purposes?

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Samsung offers professional customization for many of their products, including locking down to one dedicated app, (re)branding and whatever else. It is called Samsung Knox Customization. This solution is over-the-top for my own purpose, but it may be useful for you.

  • I think Knox is also over the top for us, but thanks for the suggestion. In the end, we decided to go with the Lenovo A8-50, as we already had one of them lying around to work with, and I was unable to find anything that was significantly cheaper that was still fairly reliable. – Brian C Oct 25 '16 at 17:13
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You might want to consider a windows tablet, or an aftermarket version of the android os if reliability is a concern. Stock android is susceptable to android bloat, faulty updates and the like.

A panasonic toughpad might be something to look at, though it's definitely at the higher end of the spectrum.

  • Windows tablets have terrible, terrible support and usability compared to iOS and Android. Also, what? How is stock Android more susceptible to bloat than a fork? I'd argue it's the other way around. Toughpads are neat, but even in an outdoor environment, their level of ruggedization is beyond what's probably needed here. Also no way those are staying under $200 consistently. Also Windows. – JMY1000 Jan 6 '18 at 8:10

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