Dell Latitude 6430u

Dell brings Mil-Spec rugged rating to tough and tiny ultrabook

Government agencies and traveling employees looking for rugged notebooks have always had to make compromises. Generally, they either have to settle for a big bulky system, like a computer encased in a suit of protective armor that has to almost be dragged through airports, or opt for a smaller, lighter system that isn’t as well protected as some users actually need.

Dell is trying to change that with the introduction of the Latitude 6430u, one of the first ultrabooks that can stand up to rigorous MIL-STD-810G testing.

It has magnesium alloy-wrapped corners, providing strong protection for components, a spill-resistant keyboard and a protective seal around the 14-inch LCD monitor.

For security, the 6430u ships with Windows 8’s boot-level security. It also offers a Trusted Platform Module, full-disk encryption on a 256G solid state drive and an optional smart-card and fingerprint reader for public-sector employees who really need to lock down their system. It boasts up to 10-hours of battery life, and its batteries are hot-swappable in the event that work needs to continue past that point.

Moreover, it’s an ultrabook, with dimensions of only 13.3 inches by 9 inches. It sits less than an inch high and weighs 3.7 pounds when equipped with a three-cell battery. For performance, it comes packed with an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor and up to 8G of DDR3 SDRAM. They keyboard can also be backlit when needed.

Units are shipping now, and a system we built out that was right in the middle of the performance range for the new model cost $1,300 before any government discounts were factored in. The GCN Lab has requested a review unit and should soon be able to give a full report on the Latitude 6430u in terms of ruggedness and performance.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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