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Fall 2011 Rugged Laptop Preview

Written by Jennifer Gavigan

Public safety personnel are routinely called upon to perform their jobs in extreme environments. Using a computer in the fi eld leads to unique challenges, such as working in direct sunlight or away from a source of power.

Secure, reliable and rugged computing solutions allow personnel to bring portable computing power into almost any hostile environment to effectively communicate, gather real-time information, and access important applications. Following is a preview of the newest rugged laptops for law enforcement from some of the major manufacturers.

Brite Computers 

Brite Computers’ rugged FM1200 all-in-one tablet solution addresses all the needs of mobile computing: a bright 1200 NIT screen for better viewing, up to 1TB shock-mounted removable hard drive, resistive touchscreen display, spill-resistant keyboard, MIL-STD 810F compliance, numerous ports and a comprehensive three-year warranty. Designed specifically for the patrol vehicle, the Brite tablet improves officers’ access to applications and ports while providing a safe, fanless computing environment.

The FM1200 tablet also fi ts into the Brite Swing Away Mount system which includes a console, a backlit keyboard on a swivel arm, an armrest with optional printer, cup holders and cigarette lighter plugs. Brite’s ergonomic Swing Away Mount places the monitor in front of the dash without physically altering the vehicle. This reduces the space required for the computer and its equipment, freeing up the passenger seat and allowing access to the instrument panel.

Brite also offers its Fujitsu Solution, which includes the semirugged Fujitsu™ LIFEBOOK® T730, or LIFEBOOK® T901, convertible notebooks in Brite’s Swing Away Mount. The Fujitsu notebooks include Intel’s Second Generation processors, an outdoor display with fi nger touchscreen, up to 500GB of shockmounted hard drive, and MIL-STD 810F compliance. Brite can provide the complete solution including the Fujitsu Lifebook® T-730, three-year Quality Care warranty, mounting, peripherals, console, base plate and armrest.

Dell 

Dell’s new line of rugged computing solutions maximizes performance and durability in any environment for public safety officials, law enforcement, military personnel and those operating in harsh conditions. This new line of notebooks, coupled with Dell’s Mobile Video Evidence Management solution, will withstand extreme conditions commonly faced by first responders.

The Latitude E6420 XFR with BallisticArmor ™ protection has been independently tested to MIL-STD- 810G, IP-65, MIL-STD-461F and UL1604 standards. It has been designed to take advantage of the ideal properties of the new PR-72™ ultra-polymer and magnesium alloy. With a rugged chassis and redesigned bumpering system, the Latitude E6420 XFR passes a 6-foot MIL-STD transit drop on a single unit that has also been subjected to a full round of 4- and 5-foot drops for a total of 78 drops.

With PrimoSeal™ die-cut and form-in-place compression gasketing, the Latitude E6420 XFR is certified to an IP-65 level of protection against water and dust ingress. The Latitude E6420 XFR has optional hot-swappable media bay modules for increased battery and I/O fl exibility, as well as an array of solution elements including vehicle docking and stealth mode. The E6420 XFR features a large 14-inch HD anti-glare LED display with Direct Vue™ technology for sunlightreadability and an optional resistive touchscreen.

In addition, the Latitude E6420 XFR provides up to 7.5 hours of battery life with the standard 6 cell battery and features Intel® Core™ i5 and i7 processors, optional 512MB discrete graphics, optional solid state drives, and an array of wireless connectivity options including mobile broadband. Officers know their data is secure with Dell’s Data Protection encrypted hard drive options, and they control who has access to their data with Dell ControlVault™ contactless smart card and fi ngerprint reader log-in access options.

Fully compatible with the standard Latitude D620, the Latitude ATG (All Terrain Grade) is built and tested to meet MIL-STD 810F1, features a shock-mounted removable hard drive, a shock-mounted LCD screen, a dustand spill-resistant keyboard, port covers and more. The Latitude ATG is prepared for dust, humidity, vibration and high altitudes. Its back and edges are covered in a highly durable textured paint that provides an additional layer of protection against scratches and the daily wear that comes from working in demanding environments.

In addition, the Latitude ATG features a super bright 500 NIT LCD display with anti-refl ective coating, so the screen can be easily seen on even the brightest days. On the other hand, for offi cers working in dark environments or at night, the ATG’s special ATG task lights will illuminate the keyboard.

GammaTech 

GammaTech’s Durabook has three new models of rugged notebook computers. The R13C is a fully rugged convertible notebook scheduled to release in July 2011. With just a swivel of the screen, the R13C fl ips between being a notebook and a tablet for true two-in-one functionality. Each model comes equipped with a 13.3-inch, 1280 x 800 resolution WXGA waterproof resistive touchscreen display that responds to both fingers and the included stylus and is readable in all light conditions, including bright sunlight. It features a DVD burner and a variety of ports for connective peripherals and fl ash media storage.

The R13C is powered by an Intel TDP 25W (fanless version system) / Intel- Core i7 processor and is compatible with Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system. In addition, the R13C is encased in GammaTech’s patented, fully rugged construction built to military specifications. The magnesium alloy framework is secure, making each model drop, shock, spill and dust resistant both outside and in. Data is further protected by TPM 1.2 technology, a fingerprint scanner, a Kensington lock and a smart card reader.

GammaTech’s Durabook Rugged U12C Convertible Notebook is lightweight and can be transformed quickly and easily into a tablet PC. It is tested by the Military 810 standard, which means it is drop, shock, dirt and spill resistant. The U12C also features a 12.1-inch convertible TFT, LED backlit touchscreen display, and optional sunlight viewable display.

The U12C comes with an Intel® i5-540UM processor and Intel® HM55 chipset and has up to 8GB of memory capacity. Security is of paramount importance, and the U12C includes multiple security features such as TPM 1.2 technology, a fingerprint scanner, and a BIOS administrator password/Boot password.

The U12C features instant boot-up with SSD, Win 7 Pro, a second battery to extend battery life, a touchscreen LCD with digitizer, and a rugged hinge version with I/O modules. The I/O module options include USB 2.0 smart card reader, WWAN 3G module that supports HSDPA/EVDO or Gobi 2000 module or GPS mini card module, or two 2M pixel auto-focus camera modules on the bottom of the unit.

GammaTech’s S15C Rugged Notebook is tested by Military 810G standard, so it’s also drop, shock, dirt and spill resistant. A flexible cable design absorbs shock from drops, providing protection for important data, while anti-shock mounting technology helps protect the screen from accidental damage.

The S15C features a 15.6-inch HD display and comes with Intel® i7, i5 and i3 processors and Intel® HM55 chipset. Its two dual-channel DDR III SODIMM slots provide up to 8GB of memory capacity. The unit’s spill-resistant design protects the keyboard, touchpad and switches from spills seeping into sensitive interior parts. GammaTech’s optical-disk-tray lock prevents unintentional tray ejection due to drop and vibration.

General Dynamics Itronix 

The General Dynamics Itronix GD8200 is the company’s next-generation, fully rugged notebook, designed to maximize performance and reliability in extreme conditions. The GD8200 is the fi rst fully rugged notebook to leverage the second-generation Intel® Core™ i7-2655LE vPro™ mobile processor, enhancing computational power while optimizing weight, power consumption and performance.

Extensively tested, the GD8200 meets or exceeds all commercial and military standards for fully rugged computing and offers the widest range of environmental certifications, including additional fluid, shock and acidic atmosphere tests. The GD8200 is equipped with next-generation DynaVue® II technology to deliver superior sunlight viewing ability. Its touchscreen display technology and a multi-touch touchpad provide advanced functionality, such as pinch to zoom.

Controlled access and security features allow data sharing with maximum security. Built with multiple security technologies such as anti-theft, user authentication, virtualization and more, the GD8200 keeps data safe and protected. It has an internal antenna protected inside the display; integrated WWAN, WLAN, GPS and Bluetooth; and 4G LTE wireless capabilities.

Getac 

Getac Inc.’s new S400 semirugged notebook is specifically designed for use in a variety of field applications, including public safety and military applications for vehicle and office use. The S400 offers two processor options including the powerful Intel Core™ i5 2.4 GHz processor, MAX 2.93 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology.

The S400 incorporates several features essential for field use including a bright 700 NIT display with glove-friendly multi-touch touchscreen technology; a water-resistant keyboard with optional backlit keys; IP5X and MIL-STD 810G compliance for temperature, shock and vibration; and optional Gobi™ 2000 mobile broadband technology. With an integrated Gobi 2000 mobile broadband card, the S400 can be easily confi gured for multi-carrier wireless deployments.

The S400 body is made using Getac’s new KryptoShell™ body material, which allows the S400 to meet or exceed MIL-STD-810G temperature, shock and vibration specifications including a 2.5- foot drop on six faces. The S400 also offers an integrated smart card reader and fingerprint reader to meet security requirements by government and corporate data management departments.

Additionally, the S400 can be confi gured with Intel® vPro™ technology, enabling IT specialists to maximize hardware-assisted security to better maintain, manage and protect their business PCs. Programmable hot keys can be custom-set to trigger common actions or act as an emergency key for safety applications. The S400 was designed to be wirelessly connected and features a host of wireless options from Bluetooth, WLAN to 3G WWAN.

Motorola 

Motorola Solutions’ MW810 Mobile Workstation is IP54 sealed and tested in accordance with MIL-STD-810G specs. It also features a wide operating temperature range (-30 C to 72 C); a dead-reckoning GPS option for accurate location tracking where it’s hard to get line-of-sight to a satellite; and a modular design which has both financial and ergonomic benefits.

The MW810 provides reliable mobile wireless connectivity and computing power for mission-critical applications. It is designed to withstand round-theclock use in a public safety vehicle. Responders can stay in the field instead of returning to file reports or get information, allowing for better response from personnel on scene. The MW810 supports multiple wireless modems, so officers can connect to and roam among wireless networks—public or private. The
Motorola MW810’s backlit, full travel keyboard with built-in mouse can be picked up and held in an offi cer’s lap for maximum user comfort. The threepiece confi guration—CPU, keyboard, display—allows mixing and matching of options, as well as easy upgrades and replacements. The CPU (central processing unit) can be mounted inside the vehicle to reduce wiring or in the trunk to save space.

Motorola designed a display appropriate for public safety, one that is clear and easy to read, even in direct sunlight. Touchscreen capability is standard, and customizable buttons give instant access to frequently used programs or functions. An easy-to-use knob gives officers control over settings such as brightness and contrast. The viewing angle is wide enough that both driver and passenger can see the same screen clearly.

For larger vehicles (such as command, fire truck or ambulance), the MW810 supports a second touchscreen. The display is made from tempered glass for safety and durability. All components are tested in accordance with U.S. Military Standard 810G and other standards for resisting temperature extremes, vibration, shock, humidity, dust and other hazards of use in harsh conditions. Then, the MW810 must pass Motorola’s own 12M tests, which require that the MW810 be powered on.

The MW810 supports not only standard GPS but also dead-reckoning GPS, which helps with vehicle location even where a GPS satellite signal is poor or intermittent. Combined with the emergency button at the top of every display, which lets the user send a distress call without typing or saying a word, the MW810 keeps law enforcement personnel safe, even when their environment is not.

Panasonic 

Panasonic Solutions Company announced the Toughbook 53, a semirugged notebook with a 14-inch high-definition LED display. Weighing 5.6 pounds and delivering up to 10 hours of battery life, the Toughbook 53 provides mobile responders with a reliable and versatile device that delivers high performance computing. The latest in the line of products that created the semi-rugged category, this new notebook is the first Toughbook device offering optional 4G LTE mobile broadband.

The Toughbook 53 is powered by a second-generation Intel® i5 or i3 processor, is designed to survive 30-inch drops on six faces, features a spill-resistant keyboard, and passes nine MIL-STD- 810G tests. The Toughbook 53 is also the fi rst Panasonic notebook to support a high-defi nition LED display. It offers an optional 2-800 NIT sunlight-viewable Panasonic CircuLumin™ touchscreen, plus an adjustable backlit emissive keyboard, making it ideal for use in any lighting conditions.

Panasonic has increased the size of the touchpad by 25 percent while giving it multi-touch with zoom and scroll capabilities. The Toughbook 53 also offers USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI and an SDXC slot for even greater flexibility.

The Toughbook 53 offers a variety of embedded wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, optional Bluetooth® 2.1 and Gobi2000™ 3G mobile broadband technology from Qualcomm. The device is certified on the Sprint and Verizon Wireless 3G networks, allowing first responders to stay connected at all times.

The Toughbook 53 delivers an optional dual antenna pass-through for in-vehicle use in passenger cars and light-duty trucks, perfect for professionals whose vehicles regularly serve as mobile offices. There are also options for an integrated webcam, plus fingerprint and smart card readers for enhanced security. Enhanced connectivity includes options for FireWire, 56K modem or second LAN port.

Jennifer Gavigan has been writing about cuttingedge topics in the field of law enforcement for LAW and ORDER for more than eight years. She can be reached at jgavigan@hendonpub.com. All images are courtesy of their respective companies.

Published in Law and Order, Jul 2011

Rating : 8.3


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