General Dynamics Itronix Launches GD8200 Rugged Laptop for Military, Public Safety

Itronix's latest rugged notebook, the GD8200, can withstand the rumbles and spills of military action, hospital emergency rooms and accident scenes.

General Dynamics Itronix has unveiled a new rugged notebook, the GD8200, to allow law enforcement officers, military personnel and public safety personnel to stay connected in harsh working environments.

Itronix is the rugged laptop division of General Dynamics, the U.S. government and defense contractor that manufactures aircraft, ships, military armament and IT equipment.

The company's rugged mobile products are used by industries such as intelligence, military, law enforcement, EMS and fire department first response, utility companies, construction, transportation, oil/gas and shipping. A vehicle dock allows users to plug the GD8200 into the front console of vehicles in all of these government and industry sectors.

Announced on June 7, the unit features a second-generation, low-voltage Intel i7-2655LE vPro CPU to meet the needs of first responders, law enforcement and the military to record data-intensive images and video. Intel vPro provides more remote-management capabilities over the previous generation CPU.

A solid state hard drive in 120GB or 256GB capacities also holds no moving parts.

The unit's 13.3-inch LED-backlit DynaVue II screen is viewable in full sunlight. Enhanced outdoor visibility may improve the safety of first responders, as they're able to monitor emergencies on their laptops, according to Itronix.

DynaVue can balance display brightness and contrast ratio while virtually eliminating internal reflections that hamper the display's clarity, the company reports.

For wireless connectivity, the GD8200 supports 4G LTE for continuous roaming, along with WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and 200mW high-power wireless LAN. The laptop also has a multitouch trackpad, and lasts about 8 hours on the main battery and 12 hours with a secondary battery.

In designing the GD8200, Itronix aimed for a balance between durability and usability, Carlos Nieves, the company's product manager for rugged mobile computing solutions, told eWEEK. The unit is light and small while also sturdy and weather-proof, he noted. Its rugged design minimizes downtime in the field, Nieves said.

The unit survives drops of about 4 feet and has been crash-tested. It's also been tested to strongly resist helicopter vibration, which is an important factor in law enforcement and military applications.

Meanwhile, the touch screen is glove-friendly, a feature ideal for emergency room clinicians in health care applications.

This rugged laptop model can withstand conditions such as extreme temperatures, rain, wind, dust and vibration. The notebook complies with military standards for extreme heat, ice, drops, shakes and shock.

"We've worked hard to earn the confidence of users working outdoors or in locations where conditions can be harsh and unpredictable," Mark Johnston, director of strategic computing solutions for Itronix, said in a statement. "Making the GD8200 more power-efficient, smaller and lighter than most computers in the fully rugged class means this rugged notebook is real-world ready."

Unlike rugged tablets, such as the recently introduced Xplore Xtreme model, rugged notebooks cannot be relied on to work after being submerged in water, Nieves noted. "As far as I know, there are no full-size notebooks that are submersible," he said.

Lighter tablets such as those offered by Motion Computing, Xplore and Itronix are also more of a fit for EMS and health care workers in a hospital, Nieves said.

Itronix launched the industry's first rugged Android notebook, the GD300, last year, Nieves noted.

The GD8200 will be available in July starting at $4,460.