Information Warfare: Good Enough Trounces MilSpec


November 28, 2011: One reason the military is evaluating commercial smart phones and tablets for combat use, is that the equivalent devices produced by the usual defense contractors are heavier, pricier and much less capable. In part, this is because MilSpec (military specification) equipment is built to strict standards of ruggedness and performance.

For example, defense supplier L-3 Communications offers its L-Tab (Lightweight Data Tablet) that weighs five times as much as commercial rivals, while having less than half the battery life and less than half the computing power of the Galaxy tablet that the U.S. Army is evaluating. The L-Tab also costs more than five times as much as the Galaxy. The brick like L-Tab is 285x175x58mm (11.2x6.9x2.3 inches) and is, as advertised, ruggedized. It has a larger display (8.4 inches versus 7), but the resolution on the L-Tab is only 800x600, allowing 480,000 pixels on the screen, versus 614,400 on the Galaxy. The L-Tab runs Windows or Linux, not Android as with the Galaxy. L-Tab has an 80 GB hard drive, versus 48 GB solid state memory on the Galaxy.

The Galaxy tablet is a 388 gram (13.58 ounce) device featuring a 90x154mm (3.54x6.05 inch) display with 600x1024 pixel resolution. There is a dual core processor and a 3 MP camera plus many of the same accessories as most smart phones.

Guess which tablet the troops would prefer and the military could afford?




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