Dell has released what it says is the industry's thinnest 12.1-inch rugged convertible tablet, the Latitude XT2 XFR. Designed for physically demanding vertical markets such as military, police, field service, factory fulfillment and first responders, the new tablet extends Dell's mobile solution portfolio, which includes the Latitude E6400 XFR and semi-rugged E6400 ATG laptops.
The Dell XT2 XFR can perform in temperatures from 140 to negative 10 degrees Fahrenheit. It's compression-sealed to protect against moisture and dust, and Dell soon expects an MIL-810G rating, which is related to the amount of multi-axis shaking the device can withstand.
"The typical tablet wasn't prepared for dust or wind - or cheese powder or chocolate sauce," David Lord, a Dell senior manager, told eWEEK, further indicating Dell's expected customer base. For those who "need to be able to wash it off at the end of the day, we've taken the functionality of XT2 tablet and fused it with the ruggedness of XFR."
The new XFR, which Dell announced Oct. 27, is 1.5 inches thick, weighs 5.4 pounds and features an impact-resistant, sunlight-viewable 12.1-inch LED display that's multi-touch enabled. It also runs Microsoft's Windows 7, which Lord says enabled Dell to offer enhanced functionality, such as not only using four-finger touch to manipulate photos and other items but using touch for various commands.
The XFR features a choice of several Intel Core 2 Duo processors and up to 5GB of DDR3 (double data rate 3), 1,066MHz memory. There are four-, six- and nine-cell battery options, and security features include a fingerprint reader and Dell's ControlVault, for protecting passwords, biometric templates and security codes safe, and ControlPoint interface for management across multiple applications.
There's an optional, hot-swappable module coming soon for GPS and a 2-megapixel "sliver," says Lord, that attaches to the bottom of the device, enabling the screen to act as a camera or viewfinder.
Connectivity options include mobile broadband, 802.11 a/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1.
"We are listening and delivering purpose-engineered products based on unique usage models within customers' environments," said Steve Lalla, vice president and general manager of Dell's Business Client Product group, in a statement.
"The Latitude XT2 XFR is a perfect example where feedback told us that customers needed the innovative functionality of the Latitude XT2 with the ability to perform in rugged environments."
Lord says the XT2 XFR is also another example of Dell's building "specialty or purpose-built solutions" for particular markets, which is a goal of the company's. In May, for example, Dell introduced the Latitude 2100 netbook to the K-12 education market. The ruggedized netbook comes with an easy-to-grip case, an anti-microbial keyboard and the option of a rolling cart that can house and simultaneously charge a classroom's worth of device, while also enabling them to be remotely managed by an IT department.
The rugged XT2 XFR will be available in the United States, Canada, France, Spain, the U.K., Germany and Italy, with pricing starting at $3,599.