Dell has introduced a new version of its high end 12-inch Latitude Rugged Extreme tablet, the Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme. Like other ruggedized PCs, the new 7220 is designed to reliably work in harsh environments, offering against scapes, drops, and material ingresses of all kinds. At a high level, Dell's latest ruggedized tablet largely carries over their earlier designs – making it compatible with 'most' of the accessories developed for them – but now it has been upgraded to a quad-core Intel Core 8th Generation CPU, a 1000 nits display, as well as the latest in connectivity technologies.

Dell has a history of offering fully-rugged tablets that goes back to 2015, and with the Latitude 7220 RE they are now on their third generation tablet. Just like its predecessors, the Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme tablet comes in the MIL-STD-810G-certified 24-mm thick chassis designed to withstand operating drops, thermal extremes (-29°C to 63°C/-20°F to 145°F), dust, sand, humidity, blowing rain, vibration, functional shock and all other kinds of physical impact. The tablet is also MIL-STD-461F certified, meaning that the Latitude 7220 RE is both designed to avoid leaking electromagnetic interference, as well as being able to resist it.

Because of the significant chassis bulk required meet the durability requirements for a ruggedized device, the Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme is neither small nor light; the device weighs in 1.33 kilograms, which is comparable to a full-blown 13.3-inch notebook. In fact, the new model is 60 grams heavier than the previous-generation Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme.

From a technology perspective, one of the key improvements with the Latitude 7220 RE is its new display panel, which offers a peak luminance of 1000 nits and should be bright enough to provide decent image quality even under direct sunlight. The brightness of the screen can now be regulated on the front panel of the tablet, which should be rather convenient. Meanwhile, the tablet no longer has a dedicated Windows button, but the latter is still present on Dell’s optional IP65-rated keyboard cover with kickstand.

Under the hood of the new tablet is Intel’s 8th Generation Core i3/i5/i5 (Whiskey Lake) processor, which offers two or four cores along with Intel’s UHD Graphics 620. Depending on exact tablet SKU, that CPU can be accompanied by 8 GB or 16 GB of LPDDR3 memory and a PCIe 3.0 x4-based Class 35 or Class 40 M.2 SSD, with capacities ranging from 128 GB to 2 TB. The system can be powered by two hot-swappable batteries, each with a 34 Wh capacity (by default, the system includes only one), though Dell isn't promoting specific battery life figures since they expect the tablet's customers to have a pretty varied range of use cases.

Meanwhile, Dell's latest ruggedized tablet has also received a communications upgrade. The tablet not only offers Wi-Fi 5/6 and Bluetooth (which can be hardware disabled for military-bound devices), but also can include an optional Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 4G/LTE modem, as well as a FirstNet module to access networks for first responders.

As for wired I/O, the Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme includes a USB 3.1 Type-C connector that can be used for charging and external display connectivity, a USB 3.0 Type-A port, an optional micro RS-232 port, a POGO connector for the keyboard, and a 3.5-mm audio jack for headsets. The tough tablet also features rear and front cameras, an SD card reader, an optional contactless smart card reader, as well as a touch fingerprint sensor. Meanwhile, notably unlike its predecessor, the 7220 no longer includes a GbE port, VGA, HDMI, nor some other legacy I/O options.

As far as security is concerned, Dell’s Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme can be configured to cover all the bases. The tablet has a fingerprint reader, Dell’s ControlVault advanced authentication, Intel vPro remote management, a TPM 2.0 module, optional encryption for SSDs, and NIST SP800-147 secure platform.

Specifications of the Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme Tablets
  Latitude 12 7212
Latitude 7220
LCD Diagonal 11.6" 11.6"
Resolution 1920×1080
Features Outdoor-readable display with gloved multi-touch AG/AR/AS/Polarizer and Gorilla Glass Brightness: 1000 cd/m²
Outdoor-readable, anti-glare, anti-smudge, polarizer, glove-capable touchscreen
CPU Dual-Core 7th Gen Intel Core i5 CPUs (Skylake-U)
Dual-Core 7th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs (Kaby Lake-U)
Intel Core i7-8665U: 4C/8T vPro Intel Core i5-8365U: 4C/8T vPro
Intel Core i3-8145U: 2C/4T
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 520/620
(24 EUs)
Intel UHD Graphics 620
(24 EUs)
RAM 8 GB or 16 GB LPDDR3 8 GB or 16 GB LPDDR3-2133
Storage 128 GB SATA Class 20 SSD
256 GB SATA Class 20 SSD Opal 2.0 SED
256 GB SATA Class 20 SSD
256 GB PCIe NVMe Class 40 SSD Opal 2.0 SED
512 GB SATA Class 20 SSD Opal 2.0 SED
512 GB SATA Class 20 SSD
512 GB PCIe NVMe Class 40 SSD
1 TB SATA Class 20 SSD
1 TB PCIe NVMe Class 40 SSD
M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs:

Class 35: 128 GB;

Class 40: 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB;

Class 40 SED: 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB.
Wireless Wi-Fi,
Bluetooth options
Wireless LAN Options:

Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 with Bluetooth 4.2 + vPro Mobile broadband

Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 + No Bluetooth 4.2 Wireless Card

Qualcomm QCA61x4A 802.11ac Dual Band (2x2) Wireless Adapter+ Bluetooth 4.1
Wireless LAN Options:

Intel Wireless-AC 9560, 2x2, 802.11ac with Bluetooth 5.0

Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200, 2x2, 802.11ax with MU-MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0

Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200, 2x2, 802.11ax with MU-MIMO, without Bluetooth
Mobile Broadband
Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A for Win 10 (DW5811e Gobi5000) for Worldwide (Windows 7 and 10 options)
Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A for Win 10 (DW5811e Gobi5000) for AT&T (Windows 7 and 10 options)
Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A for Win 10 (DW5811e Gobi5000) for Verizon (Windows 7 and 10 options)
Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A for Win 10 (DW5811e Gobi5000) for Sprint (Windows 7 and 10 options)
Dell Wireless 5816e multi-mode Gobi 5000 4G LTE WAN Card (Japan/ANZ only)
DW5821E Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 4G/LTE Wireless WAN card for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
GPS Dedicated u-blox NEO-M8 GPS card
Additional Dual RF-passthough (Wi-Fi and mobile broadband), Near field communication (NFC) ?
USB 3.1 1 × USB 3.0 Type-C w/ DP, PD
3.0 1 × USB 3.0 Type-A
Cameras Front Front-facing camera 5 MP RGB + IR FHD webcam with privacy shutter
Back Rear-facing camera with flash LED 8 MP rear camera with flash and dual microphone
Security Optional Security includes:

TPM 2.0;
ControlVault advanced authentication;
Dell Security Tools;
Dell data protection encryption;
Contactless SmartCard reader; Fingerprint reader.
Steel reinforced cable lock slot

Optional Security includes:

TPM 2.0;
ControlVault advanced authentication;
Dell Security Tools;
Dell data protection encryption
Contactless/Contacted SmartCard reader;
Fingerprint reader;
NIST SP800-147 secure platform;
Dell Backup and Recovery.
Other I/O TRRS audio jack, micro RS-232 (optional), POGO, SD Card reader, etc.
Battery 34 Wh Primary battery 34 Wh Primary
34 Wh Secondary (optional?)
Dimensions Width 312 mm | 12.3 inch 312.2 mm | 12.29 inch
Height 203 mm | 8 inch 203 mm | 8 inch
Thickness 24 mm | 0.96 inch 24.4 mm | 0.96 inch
Weight 1270 grams (tablet) 1330 grams (tablet)
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro with Windows 7 Professional Downgrade (64 bit) - Skylake CPU required
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Regulatory and Environmental Compliance MIL-STD-810G Transit drop (48”/1.22m; single unit; 26 drops), operating drop (36”/0.91m), blowing
rain, blowing dust, blowing sand, vibration, functional shock, humidity, salt fog, altitude, explosive atmosphere,
thermal extremes, thermal shock, freeze/thaw, tactical standby to operational.
Operating thermal range -20°F to 145°F (-29°C to 63°C)
Non-operating thermal range -60°F to 160°F (-51°C to 71°C)
IEC 60529 ingress protection IP-65 (dust-tight, protected against pressurized water)
Hazardous locations ANSI/ISA.12.12.01 certification capable (Class I, Division 2, Groups A, B, C,D),
ANSI/ISA.12.12.01 certification capable (Class I, Division 2, Groups A, B, C,D)
Electromagnetic interference MIL-STD-461F certified MIL-STD-461F and MIL-STD-461G
Optional Accessories Dell Desktop Dock for the Rugged Tablet,
Dell Dock WD15,
Dell Power Companions,
Kickstand and Rugged RGB Backlit Keyboard cover,
Shoulder Strap,
Soft and Rigid Handle options,
Chest Harness,
Cross Strap, Active Pen,
Backpack Modules,
Dell monitors,
Dell Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
Rugged Tablet Dock
Keyboard with Kickstand
Havis Vehicle Dock
PMT Vehicle Dock
Gamber-Johnson Vehicle Dock
Carrying accessories
Scanner module
Extended I/O module
Dell monitors (with USB-C or over a USB-C-to-DP adapter)
Dell wireless keyboard and mice
Price Starting at $1,899

The Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme tablet is now available from Dell starting at $1,899.

Related Reading:

Source: Dell
Some images are made by Getty Images and distributed by Dell

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  • DanNeely - Monday, November 4, 2019 - link

    "(-29°C to 63°C (20°F to 145°F)" You have mismatched parenthesis and a missing negative sign here. It should be something like " (-29°C to 63°C or -20°F to 145°F)" or " (-29°C to 63°C (-20°F to 145°F))"
  • Lakados - Monday, November 4, 2019 - link

    I need a new machine to run the diagnostic software for the new bus fleet we are bringing in and this would be about perfect....
  • StevoLincolnite - Monday, November 4, 2019 - link

    Why not a regular tablet with a rugged case? Even as a firefighter that is the preferred option I would take.
  • khanikun - Monday, November 4, 2019 - link

    Regular tablet with a rugged case would be the way I'd go to, unless I needed some type of water resistance to it or deal with extreme temps. These rugged tablets/laptops are usually pretty slow and heavy. Nothing I'd want to use on a day to day basis and having to lug around.

    I use to work at a place that had Panasonic Toughbooks. I hated those things. Slow, heavy, and horrible battery life.
  • Lakados - Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - link

    Old 10 year old Toughbooks are what run the existing software for the busses, these would be a good bit lighter and more than fast enough, the software requirements havent changed much but the new tools are bluetooth and not serial.
  • khanikun - Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - link

    You'd probably be fine with them, if you have a need for a rugged computer and the workload isn't changing. I would probably still go with a rugged case on a regular tablet. Like a rugged case with a Surface Go.

    Course if the employees using the hardware kind of treat company provided tools like ass, then maybe it's worth it to go with a rugged tablet off the bat.
  • jabber - Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - link

    Folks always forget one point about this gear.

    If it's going to be used outdoors 90% of the time then the screen's daylight performance is paramount. Most devices do not cut it for that kind of use. They have to be specifically designed.

    Many years ago I got moaned out by a senior IT account manager for supposedly 'introducing another unnecessary item' to the IT kit roster. It was a new XP based tablet for the Inspection engineers. He was currently up to his neck in schmoozing with Panasonic to get the Toughbooks in.

    I rolled my eyes and then told him "1. We have used those tablets for the past 3 years and these are just a new version. 2. We use those tablets because they have the best outdoor screens! Have you tested the screens on the Toughbooks for outdoor use? You know...where they will mostly be used?!?"

    He went very quiet as the penny dropped, walked off quickly and the Toughbooks never appeared...
  • sorten - Monday, November 4, 2019 - link

    Looks like a great set of features for the intended market.
  • serendip - Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - link

    You could get a Surface Pro 7 with a UAG, STM or Kensington case for less, although the screen would be more fragile. I don't know what Dell is using to make the screens tougher.
  • abufrejoval - Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - link

    That's pretty much the same price as one of these ultrabooks, only in this case I understand the value of the premium they charge.

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