Semi-Rugged Notebooks Weather Bumps, Extreme Temps

Itronix's GoBook VR-1 is a "semi-rugged" notebook computer designed to be tougher than the average laptop.

Itronix in September will introduce the GoBook VR-1, a "semi-rugged" notebook computer designed to be tougher than the average laptop in that it can withstand temperature extremes and bumps, but it is not weatherproof.

"If you need a product youre going to get wet and you need a product that youre going to drop, then you need fully rugged," said Matt Gerber, senior vice president of product-line management at Itronix, based in Spokane, Wash. "If you have a customer who is based out of their vehicle as their office, then semi-rugged makes sense."

The VR-1 comes preloaded with Windows XP and has a 1.86GHz Intel Centrino Pentium M chip set and a 40GB removable hard drive. It can optionally support up to four integrated radios for Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and WANs—either GPRS/EDGE or CDMA 1xEV-DO. The WAN module can easily be removed and switched out, officials said.

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Pricing for the VR-1 will start at $3,329. It will be available in November.

The company is also introducing a Hummer-branded version of the VR-1, the result of an exclusive licensing agreement between Itronix and General Motors.

The Hummer laptop will be available at Hummer dealerships and at www.hummerstuff.com.

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