The Crosscall Core-T4 will probably find itself some fans out in the consumer world but that's not where it hopes to spend all its time. Instead it has its eye on industry, be it construction or delivery, and it's here that it'll do very well for itself.
Tablets come in various shapes and sizes but they all tend to have more or less the same use. Browsing the net, watching Netflix, maybe a spot of light gaming when the lights go off… You know the drill. Crosscall, a French company, decided to be a little different with their Core-T4 rugged tablet.
Which, believe us, you’ll be paying for. Just in terms of standard spec, if you wanted the same internals and none of the tough stuff, you could get it for less than half the Core-T4’s asking price of R11,000. Which is… fine. You’re not Crosscall’s target market anyway. Industry is, and they will find this slate very attractive indeed.
Rough and tumble
The Core-T4 is designed for use outdoors, in all sorts of weather and in all manner of rough conditions. That much is obvious just by looking at it. As thick as several iPads stacked on top of each other and about six times as durable, this tablet weighs in at 610 grams. That’ll be the toughened frame talking.
Which, again, is obvious. Holding the thing gives you the impression that it would stop a bullet (that wasn’t trying too hard) — the thick plastic skin around the edges and at the rear is very reassuring and the 8in front panel also gives the impression of salty toughness. Which, you know, fair enough. The screen works on wet hands, gloves, and should even function in the rain and underwater. In case you need to take photos under your boat.
There are slots for dual SIM cards, as well as a microSD (yes, all three at once can be used), making this slate ideal for just about any use you care to name. There are two programmable physical keys in addition to the usual range and, our only complaint on the design side, a headphone jack and USB-C port tucked under flaps at the top and bottom.
The external surfaces are all tough as nails, which aligns with the IP68 rating and various military standards the Core-T4 conforms to. On the inside, it’s a little less high-end. There’s a Snapdragon 450, one of Qualcomm’s lower-mid-range processors, behind the 8in 1,200 × 800 panel along with 3GB of RAM. 32GB of storage is standard but you can expand that up to 512GB — if you have the card for it. Like we said, pretty standard specs. You can grab a tablet that does this stuff for a lot less than R11,000 if specs are all you want.
But the Core-T4 is designed for industry. Those apps don’t tend to be too resource hungry, meaning this spec in that shell isn’t a silly idea. It’s likely all you need for your warehouse stocktaking database or other app that requires putting in numbers somewhere a normal tablet would freeze or melt. Yeah, it has got a silly temperature rating, from -25° to 50°.
In actual usage, it’s… a tablet. Netflix runs well, basic games work, but using it as an at-home device is a chore. The weight is a factor when wandering around — it’s designed to be mounted on a wall, in a bakkie or on a motorcycle. Indeed, it comes with some mount options in the box. But, if you do buy one for the house, it’ll be a mission to break it.
The other guys
What other features are there? Well, the 13MP camera works underwater – which is the place to be if you’re taking photos using a tablet. Images aren’t especially good, compared to modern multisensor phones, but try taking pics underwater with an S20. Thought so. There’s also a serviceable front-facing 5MP camera for video calls or terrible selfies.
The battery here is a serious champ. Crosscall has fitted this with a 7,000mAh battery, made up of two 3,500mAh efforts working in tandem. Standby time is amazing, even if you have open apps draining the battery. You’re looking at constant (downloaded) Netflix for at least a day of Eskom shenanigans, with enough left in the tank to let you avoid the charger for a while longer. This also translates to extended uptime in the field, should you happen to be using it as intended.
Crosscall Core-T4 Verdict
If you haven’t taken Crosscall up on their offer to help you customise this tablet for your business, then the Crosscall Core-T4 is just a standard Android 9-toting bit of hardware, with a collection of extra skills. Skills that make it a nightmare for people like us, who tend to break unsuspecting hardware. But, as rugged as it is and as great as the battery is, it’s tough to justify spending this sort of cash on a Core-T4 for the home. It’s unwieldy to use and you can get an identically-internal device for much less than R11k. If you’re looking to modernise your business and your business likes to play rough, though… then the Core-T4 becomes a lot more attractive-looking.