Desktops and Notebooks: Dell's Latitude E6400 XFR Rugged Laptop Built to Take Abuse

 
 
By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2009-03-10
 
 
 

First Look: Dells Latitude E6400 XFR Rugged Laptop

by Nicholas Kolakowski

First Look: Dells Latitude E6400 XFR Rugged Laptop

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Dell's second-generation Latitude E6400 XFR can withstand a drop-and-impact from 4 feet (as opposed to 3 feet for the first generation), thanks to an outer shell crafted from the same polymer used in ballistic armor.

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A provided stylus allows users to interact with the touch-screen even while wearing heavy gloves. It also helps avoid smearing the screen with oil, dirt or other contaminants picked up in the field.

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The Latitude E6400 XFR moves heat away from the core areas via a heat pipe system to the sealed thermal bay, which uses a heat exchanger to exhaust the hot air through vents. Dell says the device is capable of operating in temperatures of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

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In order to qualify for military-grade "full ruggedness," the laptop had to undergo 13 required tests for extreme temperatures, impacts, etc., plus two additional ones.

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Two anchor points on the underside of the device keep it firmly locked in the vehicle dock. The laptop has also been crash-shock tested, meaning it can still operate after a particularly bad fender bender.

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Dell designed the hard drive to be removed in less than 5 seconds. In our test, it took around 3 seconds.

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The Latitude E6400 XFR can run for over 6 hours on the provided six-cell battery. An extra battery that attaches to the exterior of the device, and also ruggedized, will extend that life to over 13 hours.

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Compression gasketing keeps the laptop sealed tight against dusty or moist environments. Theoretically, it can even survive a hurricane-caliber torrential downpour.

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By reducing its reflectivity while simultaneously boosting the backlight, the screen boasts increased daylight visibility.

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The second-generation version of the laptop is 15 percent thinner than the first-generation one.

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