Dell introduces rugged tablet PC

Latitude XT2 XFR stands up to sandstorms, incorporates touch features

Dell today announced the Latitude XT2 XFR, which the company is billing as the industry’s smallest 12.1-inch rugged convertible tablet PC.

This is the first Dell PC that meets Mil-Std 810-G requirements, which includes standards for withstanding high-impact sand, said Steve Gilbert, senior manager for Dell’s rugged systems.

The XT2 XFR PC was designed for people who need a tablet that they could take into the elements and also withstand the occasional coffee spill, Gilbert said. Potential users include people who work in the field, such as child protective services workers, hospice staff members, home inspectors and law enforcement officers, he said.

The XT2 XFR shares common images and components with the Dell Latitude XT2 tablet, making it easier for existing customers to adopt the rugged tablet, Dell said.

Another feature that sets the XT2 XFR apart is its keyboard, Gilbert said. Most of the tablet’s competitors have mini keyboards, with smaller keys, he said. “I would see these big guys, crawling under a Hummer, with gigantic hands,” he said. “I would wonder, how are they going to use those mini keyboards?” The XT2 XFR has a full-sized keyboard and also incorporates multi-touch capability for using gestures such as a pinch or a tap for scrolling and zooming.

The PC is available today with Windows XP and Vista, and a month from now with Windows 7, Gilbert said.

Of special interest to government users, the XT2 XFR incorporates the Latitude line of security features, including a smart card reader, Gilbert said.

The tablet PC also includes Intel Core 2 Duo processors with up to 5G of RAM, and the QuadCool thermal management system, enabling the machine to run at temperatures of between minus 10 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

The tablet PC lists for $3,599. For more information, see the Dell XFR Web site.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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