New Backcountry Tablet Set for Late Summer Launch

Stratageme.com, Flickr

This summer, backcountry enthusiasts might be stowing a new piece of electronic gear into their packs.

After a successful crowdfunding campaign, developers are planning to launch Earl, a 7-inch “backcountry survival tablet” this August. The rugged, Android-based tablet was designed for outdoor adventure, with an ultra-precise GPS chipset, weather sensors, two-way radio and laminated solar panels to recharge on the go. (A fully charged Earl tablet will run for approximately 20 hours in the wild before needing juice.)

The Wi-Fi enabled tablet can survive a 3-foot swim in a running creek, so long as you rescue it within 30 minutes, and at altitudes up to 40,000 feet. But don’t plan on using it on your next polar expedition; Earl is rated to work in temperatures down to 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sqigle founder and tablet mastermind Jon Perry named the device after his eight-year-old Italian greyhound, a frequent companion on his adventures. The design team went through more than 100 case designs before finding a design that would stand up to the type of abuse typically dished out on the trail.

The 7-inch 10.8-ounce e-Ink tablet will likely retail for $325 when it’s released later this summer, although early backers can purchase it for 30 percent off until June 9.