This article will describe preferred applications for Windows and Android OS for rugged tablets and guide users with an idea choice based on use case.
4 Mar 2022

How to Select an Operating System for Rugged Tablets: Windows vs. Android

No matter the industry, all business has become connected. For applications in harsh conditions, technology solutions must be durable enough to withstand temperatures ranging from weather, drops, and impacts. For remote applications like a construction job site, a rugged tablet offers a technology solution that is portable enough to carry and hold while operating yet is durable enough to withstand the application’s demands.

It is essential to select the correct operating system (OS) for the application to maximize the benefits of using rugged tablets, rugged laptops, or semi-rugged laptops. The various operating systems carry similar but different features and benefits. As a result, the use case demands dictate which OS operators should use to provide optimal performance in the field. Of the commercially available OS options, the two most common are Windows and Android. After reviewing their advantages, this article will describe preferred applications for each OS and select the appropriate choice.

Windows OS Advantages

For years, Windows was the primary operating system choice. With the rise of the internet, many systems employed Windows as the first mainstream OS and never looked back. Numerous benefits have made Windows the standard OS as a result.

High Performance

Windows-running rugged tablets are high-performing and capable of increasing multitasking, an increasingly essential trait of a tablet used in the field. A tablet running Windows 11 OS requires a 1GHz processor and 4GB of RAM to ensure it can run any application it receives. In addition, the Windows OS is robust enough to handle applications with comparable loads to gaming and intelligent video conferencing.

Compatibility with other devices

The wide usage of Windows makes integration an essential feature of a Windows-running tablet. When comparing Android vs. Windows tablets, Windows models offer many options for integration with third-party keyboards and mice, docking stations, hard drives, and other hardware components. In addition, Windows tablets typically contain multiple USB 3.0 and C ports, along with HDMI for connecting other devices and presenting equipment.

Variety of design options

In addition, a rugged Windows tablet can come in various sizes, shapes, and weights. Screen sizes can range from 7-15.6”, allowing the user to select the optimal size for the application. This design flexibility enables users to choose the Windows tablet that best fits the usage scenario for their job.

Windows-powered rugged tablets benefit from key features that have made it the standard OS.

Android OS Advantages

The Android OS is an effective alternative that allows businesses to tailor the technical complexity to their needs. Customization is Android’s most significant advantage, and there is a low barrier to publishing new applications without a lengthy review process. This characteristic may be the Google Play Store is more popular than Microsoft Store.

Cost efficiency

Although Windows tablets enjoy a robust, mature OS capable of performing nearly any task, users may not always need a powerful system. This is because the processor, graphics, and RAM are always present, whether the operator uses their full capability or not. Android OS can be application-specific, promoting a customized architecture that reduces overall hardware costs. In addition, Android carries a significantly lower license fee.

The combination of more flexible hardware options and reduced license fees make the Android tablet a cost-effective solution by enabling developers to avoid platform-specific code specifications.

Lower power consumption

And while Windows OS implemented changes to extend battery life, Android generally uses less power and is more energy-efficient than its Windows counterparts due to its ability to customize system architecture to its application. Lower power consumption reduces operating costs and extends the lifetime from a single battery charge during remote operation.

Google integration and open source

Android can integrate with Google Workspace easily, a platform many users are already on. Seamless integration can tie the Android rugged tablet to cloud storage and the most powerful search engine. Though the ease of new application launch and open-sourced availability make the OS easy to institute, security issues are common with streamlined or no limited reviews and open sourcing. Though Android may be slightly more susceptible to viruses than Windows, it carries the advantage of employing expandable memory to grow with the application.

Variety of applications

Android tablets provide access to many different applications, downloaded from Google Play and able for you to use simultaneously. In addition, Android apps are readily available and allow you to tailor the software to fit your needs.

With advantages to both Windows and Android OS, it is helpful to review applications better suited for either OS.

The Android OS is an effective alternative that allows businesses to tailor the technical complexity to their needs.

Android vs. Windows Tablets: Which OS for Your Use Case?

The easiest way to think about which operating system to select is deciding how you will use the rugged tablet. If the application requires a simple, cost-effective solution that allows you to customize it to a specific use case easily, Android may be the better choice. The rugged Android tablet takes the simplicity of the smartphone and extends its applicability to a business-capable, efficient, cost-effective solution.

Windows is better for high performance, integrated with other systems and devices, prioritizing data integrity and device-managed security and flexibility in tablet design features. A rugged Windows tablet maintains the power, safety, and compatibility of a laptop while adding the agility and compactness of a tablet.

Getac Product Solution – Android OS Rugged Tablet ZX10

Android tablets are gaining favorability in the marketplace in applications not requiring the capability of a Windows solution. Industries employing this device include Defense, Public Safety, Utilities, Automotive, Oil & Gas, and Transportation & Logistics. Getac offers the ZX10 rugged tablet, which provides its users with the advantages described above. Here are the essential features of the ZX10:

Key features

The ZX10 operates on Android 11 OS, can last an entire work shift, and boasts the efficiency and intuitive operation users expect from an Android tablet. The tablet uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 CPU, which incorporates more computationally-intensive tasks without the power draw of Windows models. It also includes dual microphones and contains a dedicated GPS.

Getac engineered the ZX10 to withstand rugged conditions with power and versatility. It is certified to survive weather and element, water-jet, and extreme temperature (-20-145°F) exposure.


The ZX10 comes with a 4990mAh battery, 65W AC wall adapter, and a capacitive stylus with a tether.

Optional accessories include a 100W Type-C wall and 120W DC-DC vehicle adapter, and an external dual bay primary battery charger. For transport, the ZX10 fits into a fabric carry bag. It works in a 2- or 4-point harness for hands-free access when using the tablet.

The ZX10 can use an office dock for touchscreen use or a keyboard doc for conversion to a laptop-style experience for monitor-style display. It also integrates with a rotating strap, kickstand, and multiple models of vehicle docks.


A 10.1” touchscreen display with an 8MP front/16MP rear camera captures high-quality images and videos. In addition, the display augments the transportability of a hand-held tablet with the ability to use it as a remote laptop when docked.

Support options

Because of the ZX10’s durability, Getac offers a standard 3-year warranty to cover accidental damage to the entire device in these harsh working environments. This benefit provides you the peace of mind that you will be back running in days, minimizing cost and downtime.


The ZX10 can be stored or used in environments between -60-160°F in 95% relative humidity (non-condensing) conditions.

Click here to explore Getac’s rugged tablet solutions.

Android is a trademark of Google LLC. Windows is a trademark of the Microsoft group of companies.

As one of the leading rugged computer providers, Getac offers extensive rugged computing product lines and serves a wide range of vertical markets.

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