In 2015, look beyond the sleek, stylish features of an everyday handheld computing gadget. Most people already own one. Consider buying a mobile device that’s bulked up with strength and performance, enabling you to use it in extreme conditions.

Here are three high-performing rugged devices–the Cat S50 smartphone, as well as the military-grade DT398 tablet and Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme notebook computer.


Cat S50


For $499, you get to own a piece of tough hardware that can incidentally make calls, send SMS text messages, and enable Web browsing. Designed by the same company that manufactures highway equipment, the Cat S50 is not your ordinary smartphone. Maker of backhoes and road graders, Caterpillar has designed its S50 handset to be waterproof, dustproof, as well as scratch- and shock-resistant.

The 4G LTE Cat S50 smartphone is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor that runs Android 4.4 (KitKat). It has a 4.7-inch screen made of Gorilla glass, 64GB of support for your micro SD card, an 8Mpx HD camera, and internal storage space of up to 8GB. The rugged S50 smartphone has a built-in app store that features more than 1000 widely used mobile apps. This prevents the hassle of having to locate them on the Google Play store.




The rugged DT398 tablet meets military deployment requirements, according to its manufacturer DT Research. The tablet’s 9.7-inch touchscreen has been treated to enable reading even under the harsh glare of sunlight. Dust-resistant and waterproof, DT398 is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor that can run either Windows 7 or Linux.

The Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-enabled tablet has a wide operating temperature range (-4 to 122°F), a 2Mpx camera, and an RFID reader for scanning barcode tags.


Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme


Like the DT398 tablet, the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme notebook computer meets military standard requirements. This high-performing notebook is made tough and resilient by its magnesium alloy framework and polymer casing. Dust-, moisture-, and sand-proofed, the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme computer can be controlled using its touchscreen interface or backlit keyboard. The screen is designed to minimize reflections, allowing you to see what’s being displayed even under harsh lighting.

Powered by a fourth-generation Intel Core processor, this rugged notebook computer from Dell can run operating systems from Windows 7 to 8.1 Pro. It weighs approximately 8 lbs if an optical drive is included. Use it as a fully functional mobile office even during hot weather. The notebook computer is equipped with an advanced QuadCool system that helps dissipate heat fast, enabling operation even during high-temperature conditions.