News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

Motorola Solutions spins ruggedized Android tablet

Oct 11, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Motorola Solutions announced a ruggedized, seven-inch Android 2.3.4 tablet for enterprise users. The ET1 tablet offers a dual-core, 1GHz Texas Instruments OMAP4 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of flash memory, a 1024 x 600 pixel display with extra thick Gorilla Glass, and an eight-megapixel camera with barcode reading capabilities, the company says.

Motorola Solutions is the "other Motorola" that broke off along with the Android-focused Motorola Mobility consumer electronics company when the company split in two last December. The Motorola Solutions charter did not appear to include tablets, or Android devices in general, but apparently it does now, as the company says the ET1 is "the first in an emerging category of enterprise-class tablet computers designed for a variety of vertical markets."

Motorola Solutions ET1

Motorola Solutions also sells Windows handheld computers, as well as radio-based devices, and data capture and Wi-Fi security products. In addition, the company fields Linux-based set-top boxes, another product category where we may well see Android pop up in the future.

Meanwhile, its Motorola Mobility sibling continues to introduce ruggedized Android phones aimed at enterprise users in vertical markets, including the Motorola Pro+. Motorola Mobility's 10.1-inch, Android 3.x Xoom tablet has been pitched to enterprise users as well as general consumers. Additional Android tablets aimed at the enterprise market include the Cisco Cius and the ruggedized Panasonic Toughbook tablet.

Motorola Solutions has launched its first business tablet in a seven-inch form-factor, where its sibling has yet to venture. In fact, the ET1 appears to be the unnamed seven-inch Motorola tablet that emerged on the web in a leaked slide back in April. At that time, it was unclear which Motorola was behind the enterprise-focused tablet, however.

More views of the ET1

According to Motorola Solutions, the ET1 runs a "hardened," enterprise-ready version of Android 2.3.4 on a Texas Instruments dual-core, 1GHz OMAP4 processor, most likely the Cortex-A9-based OMAP4430 system on chip (SoC). The tablet is further equipped with 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal flash, plus an additional 4GB microSD card, says the company.

The seven-inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display offers 350-nit brightness, and is accompanied by an ambient light sensor, says Motorola. The display uses durable Gorilla Glass and is said to be 30 percent thicker than most consumer tablet displays. In addition, the screen is recessed within an extra-wide bezel to provide additional shock protection, and the bezel can be customized with a retailer's brands, says the company.

The design can "withstand multiple bumps and drops," and is compliant with MIL STD 810G drop standards, says Motorola. IP54-compliant sealing is also supplied, and the device can function at temperatures ranging from -4 to 158 deg. F, says the company.

Measuring 8.82 x 5.14 x 0.98 inches, the 1.4-pound device runs on a hot-swappable 4620mAh battery. The tablet also includes a back-up battery to retain RAM data for up to 15 minutes when the main battery is removed, says the company. Battery life is said to run from between 3.5 hours with full video to eight hours under typical use.

The ET1 offers both an eight-megapixel, back-facing autofocus camera with LED flash and a front-facing videocam. The eight-megapixel camera is designed to capture 720p video, as well as 1D and 2D bar codes, says Motorola Solutions.

Options are said to include a more fully featured, Bluetooth-connected handheld bar-code scanner, as well as a similarly Bluetooth-connected mag-stripe mobile-payment reader and mobile printer. Secure multi-slot recharging stations are also said to be available as accessories. One novel option is a swiveling hand strap that attaches directly to the back of the tablet, offering "comfortable full-shift handling."

No, that's not the ET1 carrying case, but an optional hand strap that attaches directly to the back of the tablet.

The ET1 is equipped with 802/11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, and GPS, says the company. Wired ports include HDMI, as well as a USB 2.0 On-The-Go docking connector and a regular USB 2.0 host port. In addition, there's said to be an undefined, "integrated expansion port for 'snap-in' peripherals for Motorola and third-party peripherals."

Enterprise software features include password protection, enabling IT centers to share and provision multiple employees according to different levels of responsibility and access rights, says Motorola Solutions. Managers can use this scheme to automatically control and monitor use of approved applications, says the company.

Specialized enterprise apps will also be available when the tablet ships at year's end. These are said to include assisted selling, mobile point of sale (mPOS), manager electronic dashboards, item locator, and planogram management and compliance applications.

Motorola also offers RhoElements — an HTML5 "application enablement framework" that lets users develop enterprise applications once and deploy them on both traditional Windows Embedded Handheld and Android-based Motorola devices, says the company. The new RhoElements software comes from Rhomobile, which Motorola acquired on July 29, according to Ubergizmo. Rhomobile is known for its Rhodes cross-platform smartphone development framework. has already published a review of the ET1, although reviewer Dave Bailey admits he did not have much time with the product. In the end, he gave it four out of five stars based on its durability, features, and modified Android UI.


Motorola Solutions' ET1 tablet will be available in the fourth quarter of 2011, says Motorola. According to the review, the tablet will sell for $1,595 U.S., but a Motorola spokesperson told the publication the price is expected to drop to around $1,000, assuming the company wins some large orders.

More information, including videos, may be found at Motorola Solutions' ET1 page.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.