Durabook product family



In demanding industries like Military Defence, Public Safety, Field Utilities, Logistics, Manufacturing, Construction, and Healthcare, rugged devices serve as reliable companions of businesses. Rugged laptops, tablets, and phones, such as Durabook’s R11, U11I, R8, S14I, Z14I and S15, are designed to thrive in challenging environments. Unlike regular consumer devices, these rugged gadgets are purpose-built to adhere to stringent industry standards, guaranteeing their resilience in harsh environments. Certified standards validate the capability of these devices to withstand conditions that would cripple ordinary devices. Hence, rugged devices are ideal for professionals working in challenging conditions, where durability and functionality are paramount. Whether you’re on a construction site, in the field, or working in hazardous zones, these devices can be your trusty allies, keeping you connected and productive. In this article, we delve deeper into the world of rugged technology.



2.1 Types of Rugged Devices


Types of Rugged Devices


In the realm of digital devices, a one-size-fits-all approach falls short, especially in demanding industries where reliability is key. In this section, we look into the types of rugged devices and the varying levels of durability they offer. 


1. Semi-Rugged Devices

Semi-rugged devices strike a balance between durability and versatility. They are built to resist challenging environments, making them suitable for industries like field service, healthcare, and retail. While they may not be as robust as their fully-rugged counterparts, they still offer protection against dust, water, and minor drops. For professionals who prioritise mobility, semi-rugged devices are a practical choice.


2. Fully-Rugged Devices

In environments where toughness is a non-negotiable requirement, fully-rugged devices come into play. These devices are engineered to endure harsh conditions with resilience. Whether you’re in construction, manufacturing, or military operations, fully rugged devices can handle it all. They adhere to stringent industry standards for water resistance, dust resistance, shock resistance, and temperature tolerance. The Durabook R11 stands as a prime example of such a device.


Fully-Rugged Devices


3. Ultra-Rugged Devices

Ultra-rugged devices take durability to another level. Designed for the harshest environments imaginable, these devices are commonly found in military and demanding industrial settings, where extreme temperatures, high levels of dust, water immersion, and substantial drops may often occur. Despite having to operate in demanding environments, ultra-rugged devices exceed industry standards, guaranteeing constant operations even in the most critical scenarios.


2.2  Key Features of Rugged Devices


Key Features of Rugged Devices


Rugged devices have become essential tools for businesses in Singapore and beyond. These devices come with a distinctive set of features designed to endure harsh environments, ensuring consistent performance and unwavering resilience. Below, we explore what makes rugged devices a top choice.


1. Durability: Built to Last

Compared to consumer counterparts, rugged devices are engineered to cope with the harshest conditions. Their sturdy construction and reinforced exteriors enable them to absorb shocks and vibrations, guaranteeing continued functionality even after accidental drops or impacts. 


2. Reinforced Internal Components: Strength from Within

What distinguishes rugged devices is not solely their rugged exteriors but also their reinforced internal components. Through meticulous engineering, these internal components are strengthened with shock-absorbing materials and mechanisms. Strategically positioned, these components disperse the force of impacts and vibrations, safeguarding the device’s operational integrity even in cases of accidental drops or impacts.


3. Water and Dust Resistance: Unmatched Reliability

In industries where exposure to wet or dusty surroundings is common, the importance of water and dust resistance cannot be overstated. Rugged phones and other similar devices typically receive industry-standard certifications that highlight their resistance to water and dust infiltration. This certification attests to the functionality of rugged devices in various scenarios, from dusty construction sites to underwater environments, assuring users that these elements won’t compromise their performance.


4. Temperature Tolerance: Unfazed by Extremes

Extreme temperatures are no match for rugged devices. Be it scorching heat or freezing cold, these devices are designed to perform consistently. 

Rugged devices employ advanced thermal management systems, such as heat sinks and fans, to dissipate excess heat. These systems prevent the device’s internal temperature from reaching levels that could damage sensitive components. 

As such, engineers who conduct field surveys in high-temperature environments can use Durabook laptops to sustain peak performance levels without succumbing to overheating issues.

In freezing conditions, rugged devices excel with their insulated casings and internal heaters. These casings preserve warmth within the device, while the heaters keep core components functional even in sub-zero temperatures. 

For instance, field researchers working in Arctic environments can rely on rugged laptops to carry out essential data collection tasks, without disruption caused by adverse weather.


5. Customisation: Tailored to Your Needs

The developers of rugged devices recognise the limitations of a one-size-fits-all approach. Hence, extensive customisation options are offered to align with specific business requirements. This commitment to adaptability shines through in all of our Durabook products. Built to meet the diverse needs of various industries, the Z14I distinguishes itself by offering a wide array of tailored solutions. These encompass extensions, modules, RAM variations, and more, meticulously designed to cater to a range of operational demands. Additionally, users are able to select from various interfaces and add-ons, including Thunderbolt™ 4, RJ-45 ports, RS-232 serial ports, ExpressCard 54 or PCMCIA Type II slots, as well as USB alternatives such as Type-C to Type-A and USB 3.2 Gen2 to USB 2.0.


2.3 Rugged vs. Consumer Devices

Choosing between rugged and consumer devices may seem challenging but here are some important factors to consider that will aid in your decision-making process: 


1. Durability and Build Quality

Rugged devices are built to endure the harshest conditions, Boasting sturdy exteriors, fortified internal components, and engineering tailored to withstand drops, impacts, and extreme environments. In contrast, consumer devices, though sleek and lightweight, are not designed to withstand rough handling or exposure to challenging elements.


2. Environmental Resistance

When your work environment includes exposure to water, dust, extreme temperatures, or potentially hazardous substances, environmental resistance takes precedence. Rugged devices like Durabook laptops typically carry industry-standard certifications for water and dust resistance, making them ideal for outdoor and industrial settings. Conversely, consumer devices are more susceptible to damage in harsh situations.


3. Functionality

While consumer devices are designed with general use in mind, rugged devices meet specific industry needs. They offer specialised functionality that promotes productivity and efficiency. For instance, explosion proof phones are custom-made to operate in hazardous zones, a feature that consumer devices simply cannot provide.


4. Customisation

Rugged devices recognise the distinct needs of various industries. With a high degree of customisation, these devices can be tailored to fulfil specific business needs. Users have the option to select specialised software, add extra ports, or choose unique accessories, allowing rugged devices to be finely tuned to match operational demands. In contrast, consumer-grade devices often lack such flexibility. They come with pre-configured software and limited options for customisation, making them less suitable for the rigorous demands of industries such as construction, manufacturing, or field services. 


5. Maintenance and Repair

When device damage occurs, prioritising maintenance and repair becomes essential. Rugged devices often come with service agreements and support systems in place to minimise downtime. However, consumer devices do not offer the same level of comprehensive support for businesses. Instead, they rely on standard warranties that may not adequately address the urgency of repairs needed in an industrial setting. 


6. Industry Suitability

Ultimately, the choice between rugged and consumer devices should be based on the device’s suitability for your industry. Rugged devices have found their niche in sectors such as Military Defence, Public Safety, Field Utilities, Logistics, Manufacturing, Construction, Healthcare, and more. Consumer devices, while suitable for general use, may not meet the stringent requirements of these industries.



3.1. Top Risks of Mobile Device Damage


Top Risks of Mobile Device Damage


Mobile devices are indispensable tools that keep users connected and productive in their daily tasks. However, in certain industries and environments, these devices face significant risks that can lead to damage and disruption. This section will identify the top risks encountered by mobile devices, including phones for hazardous areas, intrinsically safe tablets, and Durabook laptops, and provide strategies for safeguarding against these risks.


1. Moisture Ingress

Moisture poses a frequent challenge for mobile devices, especially those used in outdoor or wet environments. Rain, splashes, or high humidity levels can lead to moisture penetration, resulting in malfunctions or even complete failure. However, rugged devices remain functional in damp conditions, thanks to their waterproof seals and protective casings that effectively shield against moisture ingress.


2. Extreme Temperatures

Extreme temperature fluctuations may compromise the functionality of mobile devices, causing components to overheat in scorching conditions or become unresponsive in freezing cold. In contrast, rugged devices are equipped with advanced thermal management systems. This allows them to perform optimally in temperature extremes, benefiting workers from manufacturing, outdoor fieldwork and other industries.


Extreme Temperatures


3. Shock and Vibration

Rugged devices undergo rigorous testing to withstand shocks and vibrations, which assesses their resilience against internal damage. This resistance should not be underestimated, especially for use in sectors like heavy machinery, construction, or transportation.


4. Dust and Debris Exposure

In dusty or debris-laden environments, particles can infiltrate devices, clogging ports and hindering performance. Hazardous area phones and other rugged devices feature sealed ports and dust-resistant designs, ensuring they remain free from debris and consistently operational. 


5. Chemical Exposure

Manufacturing and Petrochemical employees frequently work in environments with high exposure to corrosive chemicals. Such an exposure can also cause device malfunctions, consequently requiring expensive repairs or replacements. Rugged devices are purposely built with durable materials to protect them from corrosive substances, including solvents, and other harmful chemicals but not inclusive acid. Thus, they become essential for engineers and field workers to ensure reliable communication and data collection even in challenging environments.


6. Heavy Machinery Interactions

Working in proximity to heavy machinery may cause damage to devices. In this regard, intrinsically safe laptops and tablets with robust casings and protective enclosures safeguard the internal components of the device from damage. Therefore, even in the event of an accidental collision with heavy machinery or a crushing incident, they remain intact and fully functional.


7. Electromagnetic Interference

Environments with strong electromagnetic fields, like industrial facilities or locations densely populated with electronic equipment, often interfere with the normal operations of conventional mobile devices, potentially resulting in disruptions. Fortunately, rugged devices integrated with sophisticated shielding techniques and materials are deployable in such settings. They effectively block or absorb electromagnetic waves that interfere with the device’s internal components and wireless communication systems.


Electromagnetic interference


3.2 Top Industrial Uses for Rugged Devices

Rugged devices have become indispensable assets in various industries. Explore the key industrial applications of these rugged devices below.


1. Military and Defence

In the military and defence sector, rugged devices act as mission-critical elements due to their ability to endure harsh weather, shocks, vibrations and other challenges. These devices have the ability to shield against combat and harsh environments, ensuring military personnel’s reliable access to real-time information. 


2. Public Safety

Highly recommended for public safety professionals, including first responders, law enforcement, and emergency services, rugged devices outshine their conventional counterparts. Their reliable performance in harsh environments fosters seamless coordination between on-the-ground personnel and the central command centre. 


3. Manufacturing

In addition, rugged devices are indispensable when it comes to optimising operations and elevating productivity in the manufacturing industry. They excel in real-time inventory management, streamlined production processes, and the maintenance of stringent quality control standards. Devices like the Durabook S14I, characterised by its powerful mechanical design and components rigorously tested to meet MIL-STD-810H standards, in demanding factory environments. They can withstand up to a 4-foot drop and hold an IP53 rating, making them resilient against dust, debris, and heavy machinery vibrations. This helps manufacturers achieve higher levels of precision and efficiency in their tasks, ultimately contributing to improved productivity and profitability.


4. Construction

Construction sites are notorious for their challenging conditions. Dust, debris, moisture, extreme temperatures, and physical impacts are all part of the daily challenges. However, rugged devices come equipped with reinforced exteriors and durable components, meeting rigorous industry standards for resistance to water, dust, and shock. Their tough exteriors can endure accidental drops, vibrations from heavy machinery, and even exposure to mud and rain. They also enable contractors and engineers to access blueprints and manage project timelines with ease, even while navigating tough conditions.


5. Healthcare

In the healthcare industry, rugged devices are poised to withstand rigorous use, accidental drops and exposure to liquids, on top of providing ease of disinfection. They exhibit versatility across various healthcare applications, including electronic health records (EHR) management, patient monitoring, and telemedicine, enhancing patient care at all times.


6. Logistics and Transportation

Rugged devices play a part in the logistics and transportation industry, where their robustness and durability make it easy for real-time tracking, route planning and inventory management. Take Malongo as an example. The Mediterranean coffee manufacturer was seeking devices that are sturdy, feature large screens, offer portability, and can be easily attached to trucks while enduring challenging conditions. They were then offered the R11 rugged laptop. The R11 meets all of Malongo’s requirements, with a larger display of 11.6 inches and improved portability, robustness and performance. Particularly, the model’s 4G modem provides stable communication to support logistics and 16 hours of battery life keeps it operational for an entire shift. When mounted into the truck, the tablet can resist vibrations, knocks and other shocks, as well as low and high temperatures. In essence, Durabook tablets are well-suited for varied tasks, offering both durability and functionality.


7. Retail

In the retail sector, rugged devices are used for inventory management, price checking, and enhancing the overall shopping experience. What sets them apart is that they can withstand drops, spills, and constant handling. This durability reduces the need for frequent device replacements, saving costs in return.


8. Warehousing and Distribution

Rugged devices are the backbone of warehousing and distribution operations. They help with order picking, inventory management, and package tracking, under challenging warehouse conditions. 


3.3 At a Glance: MIL-STD-810, IP Rating System, Zone 1 and 2

MIL-STD-810 and IP ratings are two critical standards that assess the protection and durability of electrical equipment enclosures, particularly in hazardous environments. 

Defined by the international standard EN 60529 (British Standard BS EN 60529:1992), IP ratings categorise the degree of protection against the intrusion of foreign bodies like tools, dirt, and liquid water. These ratings consist of the letters IP followed by two digits, where a higher number indicates superior protection, and sometimes, a digit is replaced by an X to signify a lack of rating for that specification.

For example, IP54 offers protection against limited dust ingress, prevents harmful deposits, and handles water splashing from all directions with limited ingress permitted. In contrast, IP65 signifies the ability to completely withstand dust, dirt, and water contact, even surviving a one-metre drop. The highest IP rating, IP67, ensures protection against extreme weather and allows for submersion in up to one metre of water for 30 minutes.


IP rating chart

Source: As-Scan


It is a comprehensive standard that evaluates the ruggedness and durability of equipment under various environmental and operational conditions. While IP ratings focus primarily on protection against dust and water, MIL-STD-810 covers a broader range of factors, including shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, and more. Together, these standards guard the reliable performance of these devices in demanding scenarios.

Reference: https://rainfordsolutions.com/products/ingress-protection-ip-rated-enclosures/ip-enclosure-ratings-standards-explained/

Typically used to define areas where flammable gases, vapours, or liquids are likely to be present in sufficient quantities to create a potentially explosive atmosphere. 

Used to describe locations where the presence of flammable gases, vapours, or liquids is less likely and less frequent compared to Zone 1. 

These zones are characterised by the following attributes:


3.4 Specialised Devices Used in Hazardous Environments

Specialised devices designed for hazardous environments are crucial in ensuring safety and productivity in industries where explosive atmospheres or other dangerous zones are prevalent. 


1. Explosion-Proof Phones

Explosion-proof phones prevent the ignition of potentially explosive atmospheres, such as those containing flammable gases or dust. They boast toughened structures and seals to ensure safety in hazardous environments.


2. Hazardous Area Phones

A hazardous area phone is built for use in environments where the presence of dangerous substances or conditions could pose a threat. They mitigate risks and facilitate reliable communication in such settings.


3. Zone 1 Phone

Zone 1 phones are certified for use in Zone 1 hazardous areas where explosive atmospheres may be present. These devices undergo rigorous testing and are constructed to prevent the generation of ignition sources.


4. Zone 2 Phone

Zone 2 phones are certified for use in Zone 2 hazardous areas, which are locations where explosive atmospheres are less likely to occur but can still be present. They offer a lower level of protection compared to Zone 1 phones.


5. Intrinsically Safe Tablet

Intrinsically safe tablets are meticulously engineered to eliminate the risk of sparks or heat that could potentially ignite flammable substances in hazardous settings. These tablets are rigorously certified for safe use in areas with potentially explosive atmospheres. Durabook R8 tablet, known for its rugged design, is a dependable choice for field operatives navigating challenging conditions and managing heavy workloads. With an IP66 rating, it has been drop-tested from 6 feet, MIL-STD-810H and MIL-STD-461G certified. Furthermore, the optional ANSI Class 1 Division 2 certification is boasted.


6. Intrinsically Safe Laptop

Intrinsically safe laptops follow the same principles as tablets, ensuring that they do not produce sparks or heat that could pose a danger in explosive atmospheres. Compared to tablets, these laptops have a conventional clamshell design with a physical keyboard and a larger screen, ideal for carrying tasks that involve extensive data input, complex software applications, or scenarios requiring a larger display. One of the available laptops is the Durabook Z14I, with ANSI Class 1 Division 2 certification. 


3.5 Importance of Customisable Rugged Laptops

Customisable rugged laptops can be tailored to meet specific hardware requirements and industry-specific demands in a cost-effective way. Their adaptability makes them a valuable investment.


1. Tailored Hardware Configuration

Customisable rugged laptops allow businesses to configure hardware components according to their precise requirements. Users will have access to the exact processing power, memory, and storage capacity, optimising overall productivity and efficiency.


2. Industry-Specific Adaptability

Whether it’s the integration of specialised software, additional ports, or unique accessories, some rugged laptops, like the Durabook Z14I, are highly customisable. Therefore, they align perfectly with the operational needs of different sectors.  


3. Cost Efficiency

Investing in customisable rugged laptops can lead to cost savings in the long run. By tailoring the hardware to exact needs, businesses can avoid overpaying for unnecessary features and additional devices.


4. Longevity and Future-Proofing

Customisable rugged laptops are long-lasting and designed to withstand harsh conditions while maintaining optimum performance over time. Furthermore, the ability to upgrade specific components ensures future-proofing, extending the lifespan of these laptops.


5. Environmental Adaptability

These laptops can be tailored to withstand and thrive in various challenging environmental factors. For instance, they can be designed to operate seamlessly in extreme temperatures, resist dust and moisture ingress, and endure vibrations and shocks.


3.6 Potential Future Advancements in Modular Rugged Devices

As technology continues to evolve, modular rugged devices are poised for exciting future developments. These anticipated advancements pave the way for more reliable and adaptable modular rugged devices.


1. Enhanced Modularity

Future modular rugged devices are poised to usher in a new era of versatility and customisation, with the ability to seamlessly swap out components and modules to meet specific user needs. This enhanced flexibility will be complemented by user-centric design advancements that prioritise ergonomic and intuitive features, resulting in highly adaptable and efficient computing solutions for various industries.


2. Interoperability and Compatibility

In the future, advancements in interoperability will promote seamless collaboration among modules from different manufacturers, thus boosting rugged devices’ compatibility. Besides, integrated sensor modules are likely to boost data collection capabilities, paving the way for the precise and diverse gathering of information across various industries.


3. Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Modules

The future of modular rugged devices holds the promise of sustainability as well. These devices are expected to incorporate eco-friendly materials and innovative designs to reduce environmental impact. This green approach aligns with the growing global consciousness toward sustainability in the coming days.


4. Human-Machine Interaction

The development of modular rugged devices brings exciting progress in human-machine interaction. The integration of cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and edge computing will facilitate real-time data processing for quicker decision-making. On top of that, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will jointly create immersive experiences that benefit professionals in fields like training, maintenance, and design. These innovations collectively represent a leap forward in the capabilities and versatility of rugged devices.


3.7 Questions You May Have

1. Can I still use rugged devices for office tasks and everyday use?

Absolutely, rugged devices are versatile and can be used for regular office tasks, communication, and productivity. Some models offer the convenience of transitioning between office and field environments seamlessly.

2. Do rugged devices offer comparable performance to regular devices?

Rugged devices offer comparable performance to regular devices, with considerations for durability. However, performance may vary depending on the specific device specifications and components.

3. Are rugged devices suitable for remote locations with limited connectivity?

Yes, rugged devices are often equipped with satellite communication modules and other connectivity options, ensuring that you can stay connected even in remote areas with limited traditional network coverage



Rugged devices represent the pinnacle of innovation tailored to thrive in demanding environments. Their unwavering performance in the face of dust, water, extreme temperatures, and impacts goes beyond mere durability; it signifies a commitment to reliability under the most unpredictable conditions. Whether in military operations or remote field research, these devices have ushered in a revolution, empowering professionals with real-time data collection, analysis, and communication capabilities where traditional devices fall short. Looking ahead, the future of rugged devices holds exciting promises. With modular designs, integration with emerging technologies, and expanded customisation options on the horizon, these devices are poised to not only maintain their physical ruggedness but also evolve in functionality, opening new doors of opportunity across industries.

Safecom Mobile is dedicated to delivering computing and communication solutions that enhance operational productivity and efficiency in challenging environments. Our commitment to upholding unwavering integrity and maintaining a high standard of professionalism forms the foundation of our approach to delivering quality products and services.

Contact us now to find out more about our products.


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