I never really counted on tablets to give me the kind of peace of mind where I wouldn’t have to worry about its safety. I’ve never seen them as the most reliable devices, ideal for light, indoor usage but little else. This was until I came across the Enduro T1. This brilliant machine by Acer surpassed my expectations of its ruggedness. It showed me what a tablet looks like when designed with nothing but toughness in mind.
The T1 is an 8’’ tablet from Acer’s Enduro series was specially designed for industrial or warehouse usage and retail operations. It comes in at $350, which may seem like a high high price point. However, it makes complete sense once you learn more about the tablet’s body and performance.
The T1 comes in panel-bonded glass with rubberized borders on all four sides. Each side features a textured exterior that enhances grip and adds aesthetic. The back of the tablet sports a grainy surface that ensures it doesn’t get stained by fingerprints while adding appeal at the same time. There is a considerably large area dedicated to the rear camera at the back. Each of the four corners hosts metal discs with rubber rims, two of which are arranged diagonally to each other and have metal rings attached.
There’s a hand strap in the accessories apart from a manual and an AC adapter. The hand strap attaches to the diagonal metal rings creating a comfortable fit grip for holding the tablet from behind. As someone who’s so dependent on pop sockets that I’m uncomfortable using a phone without it, I deeply appreciated the provision of a gripping accessory in the box.
The T1 weighs just over a pound. It is bulky for sure, but I appreciate the healthy bulk in a device designed for rugged use. It is weighty but not awkwardly hefty. You can truly feel its toughness when you hold it in your hand. It is a solid device that looks like it’ll endure anything. The T1 is MIL-STD-810G certified, which means it’s military-standard-certified and has gone through a series of 29 tests. These tests include but aren’t limited to shock, vibration, heat, cold, gunfire shock and humidity. Its IP54 rating means it has a rating of five regarding endurance against solid agents such as sand and a score of four with liquids such as water or sweat.
I put the T1’s ruggedness to work and was impressed. I conducted quite a few drop tests on it from multiple angles on multiple surfaces. Whether I dropped it face down, face up or on its edge, the T1 remained scratch-free despite my merciless behavior with it. I poured water over it to test if it would get under the flaps that keep its ports covered. And as expected, the ports remained dry. I didn’t have sand to put it to the test, but I did take the tablet out in my backyard to perform a few activities with soil. But the T1 didn’t give up.
This Android-powered tablet comes with the 9.0 Pie version. To test its 4GB RAM and MediaTek MT8385 Quad-core 2 GHz processor, I played a couple of Android games such as World of Kings and Minecraft on it. Though I’ve come across faster tablets with smoother performance, I didn’t experience any lag while gaming on the T1. My experience was completely stutter-free. If the response time were just a little fast and the loading time just a little less, I would’ve given its performance full marks. However, considering I enjoyed a lag-free experience, I’m not complaining either. I also tested the RAM working on up to eight tabs simultaneously, which didn’t disappoint me either. To conclude, for light gaming and multi-tasking, the T1 isn’t bad at all. Its 64GB eMMC is sufficient storage and most likely won’t cause space issues.
The T1’S 4420 mAh Li-ion battery gave me an unbelievable performance of nine hours on a single charge. I charged it once, then completely forgot about having to recharge it. My hours-long gaming sessions, browsing on the web and a lot of YouTubing streaming lasted three days before I had to reach for the charger. The T1’s Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.1 gave me zero connectivity issues throughout my experience with them. I expected a little Bluetooth lag, considering the tablet is not updated to the latest version, but it maintained a fairly strong connection with my Roccat 7.1 Air.
Display and Controls
The T1 features an Active Matrix TFT LCD, which means the display’s Thin-Film Transistors (TFTs) are arranged in a matrix to improve contrast and addressability. Its screen is 10-point capacitive. That means the tablet can detect all your fingers separately while also taking different amounts of pressure into account. Featuring IPS technology, the T1 is supposed to give you good viewing angles from all sides, but I often had to fight glare using the tablet.
Its WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution gave me quite nice image quality. Graphics on the T1 are rich but not sharp enough. They lack focus and detail. I don’t know if it’s the average resolution or the thick Gorilla Glass coating that keeps its color from popping and details from showing.
The T1 has limited port options. There’s a USB-C port, a 3.5 mm audio jack and a MicroSD card reader only. While this may be a deal-breaker for some, I don’t really mind the selective inclusion of three essential controls only. It’s enough for the kind of use the tablet aims to cater to and helps keep navigation minimal.
The front of the screen hosts five physical buttons. Out of those, two buttons are customizable according to your needs. The power button is in the center is with the back button on its left and an options button on its right. On one of the longer sides of the tablet, you find the lock button with a volume rocker under it. I thoroughly liked the control display panel on the T1, especially the two programmable keys.
The Enduro T1 has a speaker in the back that may not be outstanding but of above-average quality. Its 8MP rear and 2MP front camera quality are pretty good, but there isn’t a flash option, restricting the kind of lighting you can take pictures in. All in all, this powerful Acer machine is an excellent investment if you’re looking for a rugged device. If you want an average tablet for everyday use or a performance-wise fast tablet for school or work, this may not be the best option for you.
Is It Hardcore?
The T1 is a solid machine with ruggedness in every single one of its fibers. Not only is this tablet ideal for rough use, but it also sports simple navigation and a fairly fast processor.