This is a great question we are often asked by our prospects and existing clients. The answer to this question however is difficult to answer because it depends on the specific environment in which you are using the equipment, what your budget is, and your tolerance for the hassle associated with hardware failures of non-rugged equipment. Hardware is available in a variety of levels of quality, reliability, ruggedness, and usability outdoors.
Dataforensics recommends the RangerX line of tablets for users looking for rugged hardware. With 3 year accidental damage protection warranties, high accuracy GPS (+/- 2 meters), screens meant for outdoor use, multi-touch screens, and various accessories that facilitate usability in hot, cold, wet, dirty, sunny, snowy, rainy, environment in which our users work, it is the preferred tablet for running pLog. If you are working in extremely cold, extremely hot, very sunny, very wet environments, the rugged tablet is definitely the way to go. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For non-rugged tablets, any of the Samsung tablets (we prefer 10” tablets although some users prefer a smaller form factor) are acceptable. Some users like the Samsung Note line of tablets since they have stylus which facilitates data entry in particular with gloves. With many of the non-rugged tablets, our users have complained about battery life and visibility in bright sunlight. Also many of the non-rugged tablets do not have very accurate GPS.
Whether you choose rugged or non-rugged tablets, always get a microSD card to backup your data to prevent accidental data loss in case of equipment failure.