Itronix rolls out "affordable" and lightweight rugged notebook

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Spokane (WA) - Itronix, a General Dynamics company, has announced their new GoBook XR-1 rugged notebook that can withstand heat, water and shock. Capable of resisting 140 degree Fahrenheit heat and 3-foot drops, the XR-1 is a fully wireless computer with an Intel Core Duo processor. Traditional rugged laptops have been extremely expensive and heavy, but the XR-1 is surprisingly affordable and light, weighing in at 6.8 pounds.

Itronix XR-1

The XR-1's waterproof magnesium chassis houses an Intel Core Duo (T2400) 1.83 GHz processor, up to 2 GB of DDR2 RAM and shock mounted 40 or 80 GB 5400 RPM hard drives. The 12.1" LCD touch screen is bright enough to be viewed in sunlight, but night workers may appreciate the "NiteVue" glow in the dark keyboard or the optional backlit keyboard.

Several wireless connectivity options are avaible for the XR-1. For wi-fi, buyers can pick between an Intel PRO Wireless a/b/g card and the Atheros high-powered a/b/g card. EV-DO and HSDPA can also be purchased along with Class 1 (100 meter) Bluetooth V.1.2. GPS and an integrated antenna can also be purchased with the XR-1.

The XR-1 has passed the military 810F specification for shock, heat and dust resistance. Itronix says the laptop can work in subfreezing temperatures and heaters are integrated with the hard drive and the display. In addition to being sealed against water, the chassis can withstand dust and vibration. It can even be fully submerged in bleach, which is just the ticket after you've been playing with bird flu all day.

The laptop is expected to start selling in September for $4330. While this is more expensive than a comparable non-rugged laptop, this is cheaper than previous generations of rugged laptops. Other companies also been releasing cheaper rugged laptops and the most notable could be Twinhead which recently released their Durabook with prices starting at $1,000.