Android is being used more and more on all kinds of devices, including business tablets and smartphones. However, sometimes you just need to have a full operating system to get something done. While Windows 8 is certainly looking promising for mobile users who need that kind of functionality, SDG Systems has already announced a rugged tablet with a full desktop operating system that is based on Ubuntu.
The tablet, called the Trimble Yuma, is actually a slight redesign of a previous Windows 7 business tablet, but with slightly updated specs. Its hardware matches up nicely with netbooks, as it includes a 7-inch display, 1.6GHz Atom processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 32GB or 80GB SSD. It does have some additional consumer/business oriented features, like GPS, dual cameras, and SDHC and ExpressCard slots.
As far as ruggedized goes, the Yuma looks very good compared to some other "ruggedized" hardware we have seen. It has a magnesium alloy case to protect everything, is water and dust-resistant, meets the United States Military Standard for durability, and has an Ingress Protection rating of 67.
Last year, we heard of Canonical's (Ubuntu's parent company) plans to bring the Ubuntu OS to mobile devices, and while it doesn't appear that SDG Systems is affiliated with Cannonical, they have done just that. Unfortunately, their device has been designed strictly for the business side of things, with a consumer shocking $3695 a device sticker price.
Still, the Trimble Yuma is pretty cool simply for being a practically indestructible tablet with a unique OS, and something that I would own if I could afford it. The KDE Spark tablet may be a better fit for consumers, this might serve as a good baseline example what Ubuntu and Linux can be on a full fledged Micro PC, and get people interested in full featured operating systems on tablets.[PCWorld]