Normally, when we think of Dell's rugged notebook lineup, we think of the Latitude E6400 XFR, a nine-pound clunker of a military-grade laptop. Today, though, Dell announced the Latitude XT2 XFR, the rugged version of the Latitude XT2, the company's multitouch tablet. This 12.1-inch tablet weighs in at a comparatively light 5.4 pounds (starting weight), is 1.5 inches thick (Dell says that makes it the thinnest rugged convertible tablet), and starts at $3,599.
Like the E6400XFR, the XT2 XFR is a fully rugged notebook, tested in accordance with military specifications (MIL-810G, which Dell says is more stringent than the usually MIL-810F standards used to test rugged laptops). Likewise, it's also intended not just for the armed forces, but for field workers. The tablet promises to endure temperatures between -10 and 140 degrees Farenheit. Its QuadCore thermal management system removes heat from the processor in such a way that it also keeps dust, water, and wind out.
Feature-wise, the tablet's multitouch display allows for four-fingered gestures. It runs on Intel Core 2 Duo processors (Dell says it decided not to go with more battery-conserving ULV processors so that its customers wouldn't have to sacrifice performance). It can take up to 5GB of DDR3 RAM, and has a GPS module, wireless-N, Bluetooth 2.1, and optional mobile broadband.
Users can choose between a four-, six-, and nine-cell battery. According to Dell, the XT2 XFR is expected to last over nine hours with a six-cell battery and battery slice. We faulted the original Latitude XT and the Latitude XT2 for not lasting long on a charge.
The XT2 XFR will be sold in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany.
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