Dell Bumps Toughness Of Rugged Laptop

The Latitude E6400 XFR, made from materials used in military equipment, can withstand water sprayed from a fire hose and a 4-foot drop while powered down.

Antone Gonsalves, Contributor

March 10, 2009

2 Min Read

Dell Latitude E6400 XFR rugged laptop (click for larger image)

Dell has beefed up its rugged laptop with technology that enables the system to survive a 4-foot drop and withstand water sprayed from a fire hose.

Dell calls the Latitude E6400 XFR its "next-generation fully rugged platform." The system is for organizations that have field employees working in harsh environments. Such workers include soldiers, police or other emergency personnel, and field-service technicians.

The new product's chassis is built with a material called PR481, which is used in aircraft, military equipment, and devices that operate in very low temperatures. The material enables the laptop, when closed and shut off, to withstand a 4-foot drop, versus a minimum of 3 feet required to meet military specifications, Dell said. Running and open, the system can withstand a 3-foot drop.

For dust and water, the laptop gets an international Ingress Protection Rating of 65. The six means the system is fully sealed against dust, and the five means it can withstand water from jets the equivalent of a fire hose, Dell said in introducing the product late Monday.

The new system has the same internal components as the Latitude E6400 business laptop, which means the rugged model can be introduced into the same IT environments. For example, the hard drive from the E6400 could be plugged into the rugged model.

Specifications of the E6400 XFR include a discrete Nvidia Quadro NVS 160M graphics card, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and a 120-GB hard disk drive or 128-GB solid-state drive. The system sports a 14-inch screen that can be read in sunlight and comes with support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and EV-DO mobile broadband. The laptop also has a global positioning system, includes a 12-cell battery, and weighs 8.5 pounds, which is about 5% lighter than the previous-generation XFR.

The ruggedness of the Latitude E6400 XFR makes the system a premium laptop with a starting price of $4,299.

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