Dell goes tough with first rugged notebook

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Round Rock (TX) - Throwing its hat into the relatively uncrowded ring of rugged laptop computers, Dell today announced the Latitude ATG D620, a new notebook PC that meets military standards for a variety of environmental and accidental factors.

According to Dell, the new PC is designed to withstand "accidental bumps, moisture, and other elements that customers encounter working in the field," and has met the strict military standards for protection against vibration, humidity, and altitude.

"We have heard from customers loud and clear that a tougher, highly protective notebook with a screen that is easy to see outdoors is necessary in many lines of work. We're glad that we could meet that customer request with a product distinguished by industry-leading features," said senior Dell VP Jeff Clarke.

Currently, Panasonic is the main name behind rugged notebooks with its Toughbook brand of PCs.

The Dell Latitude ATG 620 features a shock-mounted hard drive, a spill-resistant keyboard, and is coated with high durability paint. Other features include a 14.1" WXGA screen with a 1280x800 resolution, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, support for up to 4 GB of DDR2 SDRAM, and support for Windows Vista, which is still on track for a January 31 release.

While the rugged notebook has most use for industrial, military, and medical purposes, Dell is targeting it for ordinary consumers as well, just like Panasonic with its wide-reaching marketing campaign for the Toughbooks. Pricing for the ATG 620 begins at $2500.