Xplore RangerX in-depth review - Rough and ready

Look and feel

The RangerX is a rugged demon that can withstand four-foot drops, water and dust damage, but it’s chunky and heavy as a result.

 

Ease of Use

The 10.1-inch screen is bright and spacious enough for all of your needs.

 

Features

The RangerX features a bevy of ports, including a SIM card slot with optional 4G support. The 5-megapixel and 1.2-megapixel cameras are basic but will do for simple shots. Sadly there’s no Google Play support, so your app and game downloads are severely restricted.

 

Performance

An ageing dual-core Cortex A9 chip provides basic performance, but we saw no troublesome stutters.

 

Battery life

We managed five to six hours of video playback per charge, and average tablet result.

 Xplore RangerX Review - Rough and ready
3.5

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,10/24/2013 4:11:59 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

7

out of 5

Look and feel

7

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Impact and water resistant; Bright screen; Great connectivity; 4G support

Cons:

No Google Play; Bulky and heavy; Basic performance

If the RangerX was an action star, it’d be Chuck Norris. This meaty, rugged tablet is a beast, able to take a solid punch without stress, as well as a dunking in ice cold water. It packs some reasonable specs too for a rugged device, although you really have to desire a bit of rough to opt for the RangerX over more consumer-focused tablets.

 

Rough and ready

 

The RangerX has full rugged certification, so you can confidently chuck it in a lake or use it to ward off an angry bear without it crumbling to pieces. The MIL STD 810G rating for hardiness, for instance, means you can drop it four feet without worry. That’s possible thanks to the tough Magnesium Alloy frame, which dampens shock on impact, plus the corner bumper guards, which are also raised above the screen surface to protect the display from impact damage.

 

Of course, all of that protection makes the RangerX a chunky mother. This is one of the fattest, bulkiest tablets we’ve seen in some time, so you need to be serious about protection to invest. At just under a kilo in weight, it’s not a device you’d want to clutch one-handed for too long. Thankfully there’s a padded arm strap on the back, so you can wield it like a shield without aching your bicep too much.

 

The RangerX is also Ingress Protection tested to IP65 standards, which means it’s resistant to dust storms and water damage. That’s nothing new, though – Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z, for instance, is also able to sit in a bathtub for up to half an hour. You can also bag fully waterproof cases for popular tablets, so there are alternative options if you just need something that’ll survive in a rainstorm. However, the RangerX does come bundled with a foam-tipped stylus too, which is handy if your fingers are damp.

 

If you love a good port, you’re in luck – the RangerX has ports aplenty. Beneath a thick flap on the left side you get a SIM card slot, microSD card slot, full-sized USB port, micro USB and Mini HDMI. Security-conscious folk can also use the CAC card reader to prove their identity, ideal for military types and MPs who delight in leaving their briefcases on trains.

 

RangerX tablet review 

 

Glare counter

 

That 10.1-inch IPS LCD screen will be just as important for adventurous outdoor types. After all, what’s the point of lugging a rugged tablet into the desert, if you can’t see a damn thing once the sun comes out? Thankfully the RangerX’s display is bright enough to counter typical outside glare. It’s also reasonably crisp with a 1366 x 768 resolution, which doesn’t quite make the most of HD movies, but does the job for browsing the web.

 

Android 4.0 Ice Cream is on board, and feeling a little bit old with none of Jelly Bean’s neat and handy tweaks. However, our main issue is the lack of Google accreditation, which means no access to the Play Store. This will be a big turn-off to app and games fans, who should look elsewhere.

 

A basic dual-core A9 processor provides satisfactory performance. The RangerX isn’t exactly a speed demon, but we didn’t encounter any stifling lag when checking emails or messing around online, helped by the 1GB of RAM. Battery life is about average, with five to six hours of video playback per charge.

 

Features

 

The RangerX has a SIM card slot, which is great news if you’re roaming further than your local Starbucks. Chances are you won’t find a Wi-Fi hotspot in the middle of the jungle, but fingers crossed you’ll manage to get some mobile signal, so you can email your folks or post up Facebook photos of yourself fending off venomous retiles. There’s an option for 4G compatibility too, which is a great addition.

 

Speaking of photos, you can snap them directly on the tablet’s five-megapixel camera. It’s a basic snapper and our photos came out a little grainy, with motion blur proving a bit of an issue, and there are limited features: some manual controls are as complex as it gets. You do get a flash, however, and the front-facing camera is perfectly fine for online chats.

 

The verdict

 

The Xplore RangerX is a capable tablet that boasts some decent features, such as the 4G-compatible SIM Card slot. However, it’s first and foremost a tough-as-old-leather rugged machine that will suit anyone who ventures to hostile climes on holiday. As long as you don’t mind the chunky design, it’s one of the sturdiest beasts we’ve seen in some time.