Samsung ruggedises a tablet with Tab Active

A new tablet is on the way for people who need tablets to be a little more rugged than the rest of us, as Samsung embraces the “Active” name once more, like it did a couple of years ago with the Galaxy S4 Active, one of the company’s only attempts at water- and shock-resistant technology, which at that time was a smartphone.

In last year’s Galaxy S5, there was no need for an “Active” edition as it was already semi-rugged, sporting IP67 certification and meaning it could survive encounters with dust and water.

But Samsung’s tablets are another story altogether, and while the Galaxy Tab S is a nice looking tablet, ruggedisation is something it doesn’t have, and so people who are a little on the clumsy side or looking for something a little better built — say for business — might have to turn to something with a slightly different build.

In fact, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Active could be the ideal tablet for anyone risking a tumble, with the 8 inch portable offering IP67 ruggedisation for dust and water resistance, as well as some very impressive military spec’d shock resistance.

Helping that last bit is a special casing used in the body construction, which also offers a bit of drop-proofing. That boost to its design means the Tab Active is able to survive up to 1.2 metres of shock, tested  “in accordance with US Military Standard MIL STD 810G”. Yikes.


“The Galaxy Tab Active features deliver business functionality based on performance, durability and protection, to help users work more flexibly in and out of the office,” said Todd Lynton, Director of Enterprise and SMB at Samsung Electronics in Australia.

Android runs on this tablet, with version 4.4 “KitKat” the operating system used here, a little outside the latest updates now that we’re in Android 5 “Lollipop”, with some moderately spec’d hardware, including a 1.2GHz quad-core chip, 1.5GB RAM, and 16GB storage with a microSD slot included to update this.

There’s also WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n, Near-Field Communication, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and a choice of either a WiFi-only model or a 4G/WiFi variant, with both featuring an 8 inch 1280×800 display and
pen stylus.


One thing concerns us on this tablet, and that’s the system spec which feels a little out of date. In comparison to Samsung’s other tablets, the Tab Active feels fairly low-spec, coming across as a Galaxy Tab 4 with a slightly more rugged chassis.

Maybe it’s just us, but that’s a lower spec item than we expect, and given that the Galaxy Tab S range not only offers better speed and more impressive displays, we’re a little surprised to see those tablets not used as the template for this slate, especially since there’s an 8 inch model in that range, too.

That said, business is apparently the focus here, and if businesses are after what the 8 inch Tab Active offers instead of say a Tab S in a rugged case (or another tablet altogether), they’ll find it in select retailers shortly for recommended retail prices of $699 for the WiFi only variant, while the 4G and WiFi model will see release for $849 RRP.