What’s rugged ? What does that mean in mobile computing ? From user’s point of view, ruggedness is the device’s ability to withstand the harshest working environments and remain operational, but not for just one mission, for the whole lifespan of a unit, which can easily reach 2-5 years if not more than that.
However, depending on the type of environment the specific “ruggedized” device is exposed to. what is considered rugged for one type of mission, isn’t rugged at all for another type. For example, a mobile terminal in a warehouse environment is likely to get dropped often and may get exposed to dust, but unlikely to get exposed to rain or extreme temperatures. On the other hand, a woodchuck will need a unit that is protected against mud, water, often humidity and air pressure changes, but probably won’t be very concerned about dust.