Panasonic's Toughbook 30
Improved memory and better screen visibility are also a priority for Panasonic. In January, the company announced it was updating these features in its Toughbook 30 laptop and Toughbook 19 tablet computer.
The Toughbook 30-which weighs 8.4 pounds and retails for $3,649-received a touch-screen, as well as a 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SL9300 processor and an optional maximum of 4GB of DDR2 RAM.
The Toughbook 19-weighing in at 5.1 pounds and retailing for $4,749-received the same 4GB of memory and hard disk drive storage capacity as the Toughbook 30, but was updated to a low-volt Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300 chip running at 1.2GHz.
Both also feature anti-reflective screen treatment, have shock-mounted hard drives and spill-resistant keyboards, and can weather drops from 3 feet. As of October 2008, the two are also available with Qualcomm Gobi technology, enabling them to connect to UMTS and EV-DO cellular networks worldwide-a feature Panasonic announced it would include in all its mobile computing products by the end of the first quarter of 2009.
Panasonic's rugged offerings include Business-rugged, Semi-rugged, Fully-rugged, Vehicle-mounted-rugged and Ultra-mobile-rugged lineups.
Dell's Latitude E6400 XFR
Dell introduced a new rugged notebook on March 10, also with Intel inside: the Dell Latitude E6400 XFR. Its housing is made of the same high-tech polymers used to make ballistic armor, and the notebook can survive drops to concrete from 4 feet when powered down.
The Latitude E6500 XFR features a 14.1-inch screen that's available as a touch-screen, and is designed with a boosted backlight and reduced reflectivity for better visibility in bright daylight.
On the inside is a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 9600 processor, a Nvidia Quadro 160M graphics card and dual-channel DDR2 memory.
The E6500 XFR weighs 8.5 pounds, and pricing begins at $4,299.