When the going gets tough, these Dell laptops keep on going. The company announced the latest pair of notebooks to join their rugged line of products: the Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme and the Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme. While both laptops are built to take a beating, Dell is touting the Latitude 12 as the world's first fully rugged convertible laptop.
Without all the impact-resistant polymers and magnesium alloy encasing it, you might compare the Latitude 12 to the Dell XPS 12 (2013). Both laptops feature Dell's innovative flip-screen design that rotates the panel within its frame. The end result is a quick transition from notebook to tablet. During our hands-on, the touchscreen display snapped out position with an audible, yet satisfying click, seamlessly rotating and popping back into place. Other features of note on the Latitude 12 include a bottom-mounted 8-megapixel camera.
The Latitude 14 isn't convertible, but it matches the smaller Latitude 12 in every other way. Each laptop has been MIL-SPEC tested for dust, drops up to 6 feet, moisture, extreme temperatures and vibrations. Both notebooks can be configure with up to a Core i7 fourth generation Intel processor with up to 16G of RAM and up to a 512GB SSD. The traditional keyboard is backlit and sealed to guard against spills and dust.
The Rugged Extreme series are as secure as they are rugged thanks to Dell's Data Protection software and its Encryption and ControlVault program. The laptops are also feature a simplified system management with remote management capability which will should make the IT department happy. In terms of battery life, Dell claims that the Latitude 14 and 12 can last up to 14 and 8.5 hours respectively.
Dell has yet to release information pertaining to pricing and availability.
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Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.