Xplore Technologies Corp. recently marked an industry first: 20 years solely manufacturing rugged tablets. The company's products are purpose-built for the energy, utilities, telecommunications, military/ defense, manufacturing, distribution, public safety, health care, government and field service sectors.

On the heels of its anniversary, the company unveiled its latest rugged tablet PC, the XSLATE R12. Among its features, the product boasts that it "needs no downtime": its battery can be swapped out with a fully-charged replacement without having to power down the system or any software.

According to VDC Research, Xplore is the only mobile computer OEM to have had this singular focus on rugged tablets for so long. Mark Holleran, president and COO of Xplore, put it succinctly: "Rugged tablets are all we do, and we do it best."

"In a tech culture where new mobile computing devices enter the market on a frequent cadence and a one-to-two year 'rip-and-replace' model is prevalent, it's rare to see such a strong company commitment to the development of future-proof mobility solutions on the scale Xplore has sustained for 20 years," noted David Krebs, executive vice president of enterprise mobility and connected devices at VDC Research.

Notably, some in the mobile computer industry predict the decline of tablets as opposed to evermore ubiquitous smartphones. But most fail to differentiate between consumer-grade tablets and rugged devices: VDC expects that growth in rugged tablets and consumer-grade tablets used for business will remain in the low single digits through 2020.

With no other computer maker having reached this milestone, Xplore notes that its indeed unprecedented 20-year milestone comes on the heels of its fifth consecutive year of market-exceeding growth.

A core value Xplore claims — going back even to its first rugged tablet, the GeneSys p133 — is always working side-by-side with customers and partners to build products with the right feature sets, workflow capabilities, and accessories for each unique operating environment. Xplore also points to its recognition by thousands of public and private sector customers for its rugged products, including organizations in the telecommunications, utilities, manufacturing, military, public safety, transportation, distribution and natural resources industries.

As further testament to the durability and "future-proof" quality of its products, multiple generations of Xplore's rugged tablets are used daily by hundreds of thousands of mobile workers worldwide, the company notes.