Dell Ships First Ruggedized Notebook - InformationWeek

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Dell Ships First Ruggedized Notebook

The Latitude XFR D630 meets the military's standards for withstanding extreme conditions in the field.

Dell on Tuesday introduced its first notebook for government and commercial customers looking for a notebook that can withstand extreme temperatures and moisture.

The Latitude XFR D630 meets the Department of Defense's MIL-STD 810F standard, which certifies that the equipment is capable of withstanding the extreme conditions in the field.

The rugged notebook shares components with the rest of Dell's Latitude line to simplify maintenance and integration with networks, the computer maker said. "The Latitude XFR D630 represents a tectonic shift towards simplicity in the ruggedized laptop space," Brett McAnally, director of Dell's Product Group, said in a statement.

The XFR D630 includes a 14.1-inch LCD screen, but is available with an optional touch screen that supports finger, gloved, or stylus inputs. The system is powered by a 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 processor, and comes standard with 512 MB of RAM, Windows XP Professional, and a 160 GB hard disk drive. Solid-state drives are also available for boosting hard drive speed and reliability.

The notebook also comes with shock-isolated mounting to protect the hard drive, LCD screen and other core electronic components. In addition, there are dual-locking butterfly mechanisms for easy access to components, and a sealed keyboard designed to withstand dust and driving rain.

The XFR D630 comes standard with next business day on-site service for major components inside the notebook. Pricing starts at $3,899.

In entering the rugged-notebook market, Dell faces competition from Panasonic and possibly Motion Computing, which introduced a ruggedized tablet PC on Monday.

The F5, built for workers in field service, manufacturing, government, and construction, is powered by an Intel Core Solo 1.2-GHz U1400 processor, and includes an Intel Pro/Wireless 3945 Wi-Fi network connection. In addition, the computer comes standard with 1 GB of RAM and a 40-GB hard disk drive. An optional 32-GB solid-state drive is also available.

The computer has an international protection rating of 54, which means it meets the International Electrotechnical Commission standards for protection against dust and water. In addition, it has a magnesium frame that adds durability, a shock-mounted hard drive, and integrated digital camera and scanner for radio frequency identification tags. The F5 is available with Windows XP Tablet PC Edition or Windows Vista business edition, pre-installed. Pricing ranges from $2,699 to $4,000 depending on configuration.

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