Test Center: Xplore's Rugged XSlate R12 Has Zippy Performance, Sharp Display

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Like any good rugged tablet, the XSlate R12 can survive drops and some exposure to water. But it's not just a utilitarian machine. Made by Xplore Technologies, the tablet features an appealing design and a sharp 12.5-inch display. It's also got lots of thoughtful touches.

The tablet comes with an excellent kickstand that magnetically attaches to the back of the tablet. The keyboard also magnetically attaches to the back of the XSlate R12 for storing. And, the tablet, keyboard and kickstand all fold up together, which is great for portability.

The R12 is fairly light for a rugged tablet at 2.9 pounds. We found it reasonably comfortable to hold with one hand on the back of it. Xplore houses a digital pen in the side of the XSlate R12, which is wisely attached by a cord to the side of the tablet.

A high point of the tablet is the horsepower.

A seventh-gen Intel Core i7 processor and 8 GB of RAM enabled zippy performance in our tryout. We weren't as impressed with the battery life. In our test, the battery drained halfway during two hours of testing.

For ruggedness, the XSlate R12 includes a rubberized enclosure and Gorilla Glass 4. In terms of water resistance, the tablet still works after splashes. The XSlate R12 is pricey at $3,400. But we think that pairing ruggedness features with a tablet that's a joy to use is an impressive feat. We think the tablet is worth the investment. 

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