Rugged devices in use by the military

Rugged notebooks and modular handhelds debut

Two companies recently introduced rugged mobile devices for users in military service, public safety, manufacturing and first response.

Dell’s two rugged notebooks -- the Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme notebook and the Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme convertible notebook -- feature remote management capability, Intel vPro technology for out-of-band management, FIPS 140-2 compliant Trusted Platform Module (TPM1.2) and advanced authentication.

"We see a growing requirement for ruggedized devices across a wide variety of business directives.” said Shawn McCarthy, research director, IDC Government Insights. “As device requirements increase, so will end-user performance expectations. Balancing the divergent needs of end users will become increasingly important for manufacturers of these types of devices."

The Latitude Rugged Extreme lineup comes with the following features:

  • Resistive multi-touch on the Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme for recognizing intuitive gestures while wearing thick gloves.
  • A rugged “flip-hinge” convertible display with the Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme.
  • Docking commonality across the Dell Rugged Extreme portfolio, regardless of form factor.
  • Sealed, customizable “RGB” backlit keyboard features an “instant stealth” mode.
  • Full HD webcam with a privacy shutter.

The Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme begins at $3,499 and is available now. The Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme convertible notebook begins at $3,649 and will be available in mid-May.

Meanwhile, VT Miltope announced a new family of modular mobile computing solutions called the MACH-1, Mobile Adaptive Configurable Hardware.

Three handheld models (MACH-1i, MACH-1s and MACH-1r) come with varying degrees speed, memory and ruggedness.  The core architecture is based on the Intel Atom Bay Trail Series and features an X86 processor, up to a quad core.

The MACH-1 will be factory configured to ship with the Windows 7/8, Android4.3  or Linux 64-Bit Operating Systems. The 1024x768 9.7 inch diagonal LCD screen is daylight readable, and it comes with what VT Miltope calls “smart docking solutions.”

"The MACH-1 is the first enterprise class computing system built for your ever-changing world. Its modularity allows you to adapt to your operating environment from industrial grade all the way to military rugged," said Julie Briggs, president and CEO of VT Miltope.

VT Miltope's MACH-1s has recently been selected for the U.S. Army Tactical Airspace Integration System (TAIS) block upgrade program with deliveries beginning in July 2014.

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