Companies showcase new ruggedized notebook features

This week’s FOSE trade show features several vendors, including Itronix and Getac, which are showcasing firsts in the ruggedized notebook computer space.

Itronix, which General Dynamics recently purchased and is now a General Dynamics-branded company, is showing its first semi-rugged offering, the VR-1, at the trade show in Washington, D.C. The company has focused on extremely rugged notebooks and is now expanding into the semi-rugged space for customers who don’t need maximum ruggedization.

The VR-1 is designed primarily for in-vehicle use and focuses on three areas of ruggedization: temperature, vibration and humidity. It meets the military standard, MIL-STD 810F for temperature and vibration.

The VR-1 is the only semi-rugged notebook on the market that publishes a drop specification, which in this case is a drop of 30 inches.

The notebook computer also sports a shock-mounted hard drive and display, a spill-resistant keyboard and palm rest area, and a magnesium alloy case.

Customers won’t be lacking for wireless communication options thanks to the four integrated wireless protocols. The VR-1 can concurrently run 802.11a/b/g, wireless wide-area network, Global Positioning System and Bluetooth.

The notebook also supports General Packet Radio Service/Enhanced Data GSM Environment and 1x real-time technology/Evolution-Data Optimized wireless networks, and there’s room for future wireless technology development thanks to a user-upgradeable wireless module.

Feds will also appreciate the security features that include an integrated fingerprint reader, smart card reader and removable hard drive.

Getac is showcasing another first in the ruggedized notebook space, the MobileForce M220, which is the only ruggedized notebook computer on the market with a 15-inch display.

The notebook is certified to MIL-STD 810F for environmental factors such as drop, shock and vibration. It is also certified to the IP54 standard, which means the unit is sealed against dust, water spray and the possibility of wires touching dangerous parts.

Other ruggedized features include a magnesium alloy case and waterproof keyboard. In addition, the hard drive is shock-mounted, removable and encrypted by Enova Technology for security.

Another interesting feature is the POGO docking port. The name is not an acronym; it actually describes the design of the port, which is similar to that of a pogo stick. The design renders it waterproof and according to Getac, it won’t wear out.

The notebook comes standard with 802.11b/g wireless, but customers can order it with optional 802.11a/b/g, GSM/GPRS, Bluetooth or GPS.

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