Durabook R11 Rugged Tablet Review: A Tough Cookie

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Having a modern Core U-series CPU instead of a weaker Celeron or Atom variant helps tremendously in system responsiveness. Despite being marketed as a more affordable rugged tablet, the Durabook R11 doesn’t sacrifice display quality or processor options by all that much.

There is room for improvement. A brighter 1000-nit panel option would have helped a lot for outdoor users as 500 nits is usually not enough. Furthermore, hot spots on the tablet can get quite warm despite the thick profile and active fan. Thirdly, the touch-sensitive buttons and bright LEDs along the edges of the screen are more distracting than helpful especially since the buttons are easy to hit by accident. These buttons can fortunately be disabled, but it’s a missed opportunity for other potentially more helpful features.

Perhaps the most notable drawback is the use of pulse-width modulation for brightness control at almost all brightness levels. If your eyes are sensitive to flickering, then don’t plan on using this tablet in the dark too often.

A rugged tablet with an impressive display for its category. However, its finicky touch-sensitive buttons and display PWM should definitely be addressed in future iterations.

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