Airplane on Tarmac

Best New Tablets for Airlines: Zebra’s Fast and Rugged XPLORE Series

Tablet computers are becoming an increasingly common and crucial aspect of airline passenger service and workflows—from sharing flight plans with pilots to streamlining gate check-ins and conducting food and beverage service.

However, there have been a number of challenges in integrating tablets in such a busy and data-intensive operational environment, including the durability and reliability of devices along with their connectivity and overall speed and performance.

Fortunately, tablet technology is continuously evolving, and device manufacturers are using every opportunity to meet these challenges with new innovations and expanded device portfolios.

Meet the Zebra L10 Device Family

In the case of Zebra Technologies, a global leader in barcoding, RFID and mobile computing for the airline industry, this has meant an entirely new addition to its family of enterprise tablet computers. Zebra recently added the XPLORE Series to its tablet offering, introducing three new tablets that are the fastest and most rugged devices available on the market.

Zebra’s XPLORE devices offer three configurable designs and form factors for virtually any airline workflow or environment.

There’s a hard-handle model that allows a tablet to be carried as comfortably as a small carry-on bag, a slate-style design, and a 2-in-1 configuration that serves as a laptop or desktop replacement with a storable and magnetically attachable wireless keyboard.

The big differentiators with these tablets are speed, power and ultra-rugged durability.

For example, Zebra’s XPLORE L10 device family includes the following features for enhanced processing power, speed and tablet performance:

  • Intel Corei7 vPro processor
  • 16 MB of RAM
  • Up to 600% faster downloads
  • Up to 300% faster uploads
  • Up to 10 hours standard battery
  • Up to 27 hours extended battery
  • Dual SIM plus RJ-45, USB.30 and USB-C

Zebra’s XPLORE tablets are also incredibly strong, with the following durability features you won’t find in any other device:

  • Magnesium frame for harder-than-steel durability
  • Resistance to concrete drops from up to 6’
  • MIL-STD-810G military-grade ruggedness
  • IP65-rated sealing and C1D2 certification
  • Resistance to extreme temps, drops, and vibration
  • Resistance to wind/rain, dust, humidity, and more
  • Corning™ Gorilla Glass™ display with protective film

Ideal for Airlines

This unique combination of computing speed and physical durability means these devices are ideal for the most demanding enterprise environments, including all aspects of airline operations.

They can take all-day use and abuse while still delivering the fast and reliable connectivity, application performance, and touch screen simplicity that drives optimal data sharing and workflows.

Zebra’s XPLORE tablets begin with the L10 device family, which includes three models:


Hard-handle tablet with built-in barcode reader and trigger


Slate-style tablet with blazing fast speeds and optional 4G LTE


2-in-1 rugged tablet with companion keyboard for laptop/desktop configuration

Zebra also offers the XSLATE R12 model, which is a lighter-duty, yet rugged dockable laptop replacement with a wireless keyboard. It’s an ideal option for flexible mobile computing and boasts a number of powerful features:

  • Intel Core i7 vPro processor w/ 8 GB RAM
  • MIL-STD-810 military-grade durability
  • Up to 9 hours of hot-swappable battery life
  • 12.5” 1000-nit View Anywhere™ Corning™ Gorilla Glass™ display
  • Pass-through antenna for WWAN, WLAN, and GPS
  • Magnetically attached and storable wireless keyboard
  • Optional smart card/CAC reader

These tablets are such a breakthrough in toughness and performance that they’ve quickly become our top-recommended devices for the airline industry.

Next Steps

To learn more and get more specifications and details, including a customized quote, contact our mobile computing experts at Strategic Systems now.

Join the hundreds of IT and operations professionals receiving our newsletter, learn how to improve productivity, and keep up with the latest trends in barcoding and RFID. We'll also send you a guide on Selecting the Right Mobile Device when you subscribe.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.