dell latitude 7220 product review

Dell has released a rugged mobile computer to challenge all competitors – Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet. This full-scale, extremely functional and portable device is a solid 2-in-1 tablet and laptop solution suitable for harsh working environments.

This article digs a little deeper to find out just how powerful the Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme is.

Our Verdict

Truck driver using Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet

This tablet’s features are exceptional. The sturdy design, outdoor-viewable display, and more than adequate battery life make this device one of our top picks in the industrial tablet category.

The IP-65 rating, solid infrared camera, and plenty of connectivity options make it highly versatile and suitable for warehouse, manufacturing, transport, logistics, and other sectors that operate with highly functional and durable devices.

Outstanding features and design make our score for the device 8.5/10.

Pros and Cons of Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet

Firefighters Using Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet

Pros

  • Durable, sturdy design
  • Outdoor-viewable display with extra brightness
  • Long-life batteries
  • Customizable, with three available models
  • IP65 rating

Cons

  • On the pricey side
  • Lack of HDMI port
  • No 4K or slow-motion video recording
  • Heavier than some competitor models

Different Model Options for the Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet

Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet is available in three different models. The two more affordable options have 8GB memory, an Intel Core i3 processor, a 128GB hard drive, and a Wi-Fi connection of up to 1.73 Gb/ps.

The premium version runs on an Intel Core i5, has 16GB memory, a hard drive of 256GB, and Wi-Fi speeds up to 2.4 Gb/ps.

When it comes to the difference between the two more affordable models, the advanced option comes with digital tracking technology that provides line of sight to devices whether they’re on or off the network.

In terms of security software, the two more affordable options come with a 30-day free McAfee Small Business Security plan trial, while the premium version has no security software. All models have a three-year mail-in service warranty, the same number of slots, the same dimensions, and the same camera. There is no difference in terms of design, weight, operating system, battery life, and display.

Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet Specifications

Construction Workers using Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet

Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet is packed with specs that can satisfy most warehousing, manufacturing, logistics, or transport sector needs. The 11.6-inch screen features a full HD display with 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution and a stunning 1000-nit outdoor-readable feature. The tablet runs on an 8th Generation Intel Core processor, and it comes with internal memory starting from 8GB.

The IP65 rating means this tablet is water, dirt, and dustproof, making it strong enough to withstand harsh handling conditions. It’s drop tested from four feet and temperature tested from -20 F to 145 F.

Below is a table of 15 most notable Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet specifications.

Screen size11.6-inches
LaunchedOctober 2019
CPU8th generation Intel Core
DisplayFHD 1920 x 1080 p
Weightstarting from 2.93 pounds
Battery34Whr, 2 cell lithium-ion battery
RAMUp to 16GB
DurabilityIP65
ConnectivityUSB 3.1 Type-A, USB 3.0 Type-C, Combo Mic/Headphone jack, Mini Serial RS-232, Docking and Backpack Pogo connectors
Camera5 MP RGB + IR FHD front, 8 MP rear
Power2 x 34Wh
HandleHard or soft
KickstandVariable angle (180 degrees)
Operating SystemWindows
WarrantyThree years of mail-in service

Operating Systems and Memory

The Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme operates on Windows 10 Pro. To all intents and purposes, it’s a tiny PC that includes the connector, modules, and components. Running on Windows also means the tablet has all standard PC ports.

The Windows 10 Pro edition has all the features from the Windows 10 Home, such as the revamped Start Menu, Cortana, Battery Saver, and the Windows Hello biometric feature. In addition, the Pro comes with enhanced connectivity and privacy features, including Domain Join, Bitlocker for disk encryption, Assigned Access 8.1 for locking user accounts from accessing apps, Remote Desktop, and Direct Access for intranet connectivity.

The Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme comes with 8GB or 16GB internal memory, depending on the model. The hard drive is available for the 128GB and 256GB options.

Windows is a powerful operating system, but it doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re looking for an Android-powered rugged tablet with advanced specs and design, you may want to consider Sonim RS80. This all-in-one mobile computer and smart scanner has all the features you need for seamless management in the warehouse, transportation, manufacturing, field service, fire and EMS, or law enforcement sector.

Display

The Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet has a full HD display of 11.6 inches that comes with a 1920 x 1080p resolution, with an HD-standard 16:9 aspect ratio and 190 pixels per inch. Its predecessor, Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet, only had a 1366 x 768p resolution and a 135 PPI, making the new model an excellent step up. Although 190p isn’t the sharpest DPI by modern standards, it’s decent enough to offer a crisp image.

A more critical aspect of this tablet’s display is how it behaves in outdoor use. Outdoors makes the display brighter, even in the shade. Also, the reflections can often make the display unreadable. But Dell is a pioneer in LCD outdoor viewability. The Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme is readable even in direct sunlight, and it has a whopping 1000 nits of luminance. Furthermore, tests show that there is a complete absence of reflection.

Ruggedness

Scanning box with Sonim RS80

When it comes to ruggedness, this tablet is a solid and trustworthy solution. The company designs its portable devices to withstand harsh handling conditions. The Rugged Extreme can be used at extremely high temperatures, and it has an operating range from -20 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

When it comes to resistance to liquids and dust, it’s crowned with an IP65 rating. The “6” means dustproof, and “5” handles low-pressure water jets regardless of the direction. That is to say you can use the tablet in the rain and it can withstand most spills, but you should avoid submersion.

As the company claims, the tablet was tested following the MIL-STD-810G and MIL-STD-810H procedures. These include rain, transit drop, sand and dust, functional shock, vibration, freeze and thaw cycles, etc.

If you think of using the tablet in the gas, oil, or petrochemical industries with the presence of ignitable gases or vapor, there is a C1D2 certification available.

In general, the Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet is a sturdy tablet with components and ports well sealed and protected from accidental damage.

Data Capture and Compatible Software

Tablet-optimized software is among the key features to how well a tablet performs. This is even more important for Windows devices that primarily work following the desktop – keyboard – mouse paradigm. That’s why Dell has just enough physical buttons for users to perform all the tasks they need, augmenting the user experience on the hardware side.

When it comes to the software, there’s the “Rugged Control Center” app, including a dashboard easily populated with one-touch hardware controls and shortcuts. This Center also lets users set programmable hardware buttons with separate tabs for GPS and other system settings.

Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme makes it straightforward to capture data. Powered by the latest imaging system, it can scan any data type – 1D, 2D, photos, editable legal, A4, A5 documents, letters, or magnetic stripes. This is possible via the Barcode Magnetic Stripe Reader, a plug-and-play device that’s easily attached to the tablet’s rear. A driver for this module is available for download on Dell’s website.

There’s plenty of other software available, such as the eGalax Touch Mode for switching between the touch mode and providing hardware and firmware-related info. Other software solutions help access and configure settings such as keyboard backlight, night mode, Windows settings, antenna switch settings, GPS, and more.

To expand the compatibility of the device, it’s recommended to install and update the drivers regularly. Besides expanding compatibility, updates also increase system performance, patch security risks, and fix device issues.

Design and Aesthetic

Field Service worker using rugged tablet

Dell’s Rugged Extreme Tablet belongs to the company’s business laptop and tablet line. Compared to the commercial models with an elegant, consumer look, the rugged models are entirely different.

This device is what we can call a “military tech monster.” The aesthetic surely fits the “Rugged Extreme” denomination. From first sight, it’s obvious this device is made for rough and tumble handling. The angled design and weight indicate that this tablet can handle any conditions and still function properly.

The color of the Extreme Rugged tablet is all-black. The housing is backed up by polycarbonate plastic, and the front bezel and the sides are matted and rubberized. The protective corner bumpers add another layer of protection to the device.

There are eight buttons below the display, including the brightness buttons missing from the previous version. All ports are located on the right-hand of the tablet, behind protective doors that guard them against damage.

As it was designed for extreme conditions, Latitude 7220 is quite chunky considering the screen size. It’s also quite heavy, as it weighs a little over three pounds. However, this design is what plays a significant role in protecting its core components. Hardly any rugged tablet can be considered pretty by consumer standards, but you’ll agree that looks aren’t paramount to the unit’s protection.

The screen can easily be used with gloved hands. And if you don’t like touching the screen, there’s a caddy on top of the display housing a stylus. The item is rather basic, but it gets the job done.

Camera

The tablet has a 5 MP HD IR built-in camera and an 8 MP rear camera, both featuring a flash and a dual microphone. The front face recognition camera works for Windows Hello logins. Both cameras come with a 1080p resolution and perform pretty well in capturing bright and sharp pictures.

The front camera is in the center and has a manual shutter. This low-tech solution guards’ users against unauthorized snooping. Just slide the camera window to cover the lens, and you’ll be good to go.

When it comes to image resolution, there are 11 settings ranging from 160 x 120p up to 3264 x 2448p. There are ten formats for video shooting, from 120p up to 1080p at 30 frames per second. This means there’s no slow motion or 4K video support.

Regardless of the lack of advanced filming options, the pictures and videos are of decent quality. The camera has a “Standard,” “Whiteboard,” “Panorama,” and “Document” shooting mode. There’s also a “Pro” mode with limited manual control for brightness, time delay, manual focus, and finish.

If you need more advanced camera settings, you’ll have to download third-party camera apps. Overall, the camera is good enough to capture basic documentation tasks and stream conferences.

Battery Life and Power Options

Dell Latitude 7220 Extreme Rugged Tablet Firefighters

The battery of the Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme runs at 34Whr. Even though there are two battery cells in the unit, the device comes with only one, most likely for weight reasons.

With dual batteries, the device can last for around 17 hours in Power-save mode with the Wi-Fi turned off. One battery can last for about nine hours in the same conditions. However, real use typically involves higher screen brightness, Wi-Fi usage, and more apps running in the background, briefing the power time.

There are different battery power modes depending on your needs:

  • Adaptive – set by default
  • Standard – charges the battery at a standard rate
  • ExpressCharge – fast charge
  • Mainly AC use
  • Custom

When it comes to the device power, there are four power usage modes to choose from:

  • Power Saver
  • Balanced
  • Performance-enabled, set by default
  • High Performance

Accessories

Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet Construction Work

Latitude 7220 Extreme Rugged has accessories to fit the needs of fast-paced working environments. Some of the most commonly purchased include:

  • Carrying accessories such as shoulder straps, nylon, and rigid handles, cross-straps, or chest-straps for taking the tablet outside.
  • Keyboard covers for increased productivity with an IP-65 full-size keyboard and additional screen protection, with a 180-degree kickstand.
  • Active stylus to get the most out of the input responsiveness.
  • Vehicle or remote docking for charging, security, and connection to peripherals in the enterprise or other workplaces.
  • Charging accessories, including a security cabinet for seven tablets, perfect for making sure the tablets are always ready to go.
  • Tablet docks for creating an office-like setting while reducing the chance for accidental damage.

Similar Devices to the Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet

Sonim RS60 Rugged Tablet

Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet is a robust device in every sense of the word. There’s hardly a competitor that can come close to it.

However, if you’re looking for a more compact and portable option, consider the Getac T800. It’s one of the only tablets that offers as many features at a more affordable price. This all-in-one mobile computer is equipped with the latest specs, including a long-lasting battery with Warm-Swap capability, high-speed barcode scanner extension option, sunlight-readable display, 4GB RAM, and up to 256GB MicroSD external memory. The T800 also carries military grade rugged standards in addition to being IP65 sealed against water and other elements. It’s definitely worth considering for businesses looking to spend less but get extremely versatile tablets.

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