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Dell’s E6400 XFR takes rugged to a new level

Today’s public safety professionals need the latest technology not just for today—but for tomorrow too.

They also need their equipment to be able to withstand extreme wear and tear. Rugged laptops or “notebooks” are now a mainstay for first responders both in the field and in vehicles.

Enter Dell’s new rugged offering. The second-generation Dell™ Latitude™ XFR—the fully rugged E6400 XFR—was designed and engineered to meet the needs of the most demanding customers, like those in public safety. The Latitude E6400 XFR features Dell’s exclusive Ballistic Armor™ Protection System designed to meet and exceed real life and military standards (MIL-STD-810F). According to Steve Gilbert, worldwide business development manager of Dell Rugged Computing Solutions, Dell was the first company to take the Mil-spec up a notch by testing their rugged computers with a 4-foot drop. “We can’t compromise because people’s lives are on the line,” Gilbert said.

The E6400 XFR is a member of Dell’s award-winning Latitude family of laptops providing the same advantages in simplified IT management and investment protection. Many departments have come to depend on Dell for their rugged laptop needs, from small agencies to large agencies, such as the Department of Defense (DoD). The E6400 XFR is built to be ready out of the box to withstand pounding rain, blowing dust and dirt, extreme temperatures, accidental drops and more. According to Gilbert, the E6400 XFR has held up through sandstorms in Iraq as well as 70 mph hurricane-force rain.

Dell’s Ballistic Armor™ Protection System featuring PR481™ chassis material provides twice the impact strength versus traditional magnesium alloy. Because officers often find themselves in harsh or extreme conditions, the E6400 XFR’s Ballistic Armor enables a higher drop specification than any computer in its class (up to 4 feet). In addition, Dell’s PrimoSeal™ technology has a higher Ingress protection rating (IP65) than any other fully rugged notebook.

Enhanced Functionality

Dell is committed to providing first responders the commonality, tools and service offerings to simplify IT management, so they can focus on the mission at hand. Because the XFR shares the image and peripherals with the corporate-class Latitude E6400, agencies can achieve system commonality and a lower TCO. The Intel® Centrino® 2 with vPro™ technology provides built-in manageability and advanced security features.

In addition, the Dell ProSupport4 service offerings help you deploy systems easily and quickly. The high-performing, fully rugged laptop is the first in its class to offer both Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor with vPro™ technology and optional discrete graphics. The Latitude E6400 XFR has brains as well as brawn.

The QuadCool™ Thermal Management System allows the XFR to meet the MIL-STD for temperature extremes and enables exceptional performance while running the latest Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processors. Extended field-use batteries (6-cell) equipped with ExpressCharge enables battery recharge over two times faster than other leading rugged computers.

The E6400 XFR features securely sealed port covers and a wide range of key peripherals to work wherever you need to work. For example, working in direct sunlight with the large 14.1-inch wide-aspect LCD featuring DirectVue™ Technology LCD is not a problem. In addition, vehicle docking allows flexibility for police and field technicians to mount systems directly into their vehicles. Secure, simple, locking doors with PrimoSeal™ provide protection while working in wet or dusty conditions.


Dell’s latest rugged computer sports many features, including: Intel® Core 2 Duo Processors; NVIDIA® Quadro® NVS 160M 256MB DDR26 graphics cards; Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD6. Its wide-aspect transmissive display measures 14.1 inches WXGA (1280 x 800) with DirectVue™ technology for outdoor readability. For the discriminating customers like first responders, it is available in non-touch or resistive touch versions.

The E6400 XFR weighs 8.5 pounds (with 6-cell battery and SSD) and measures 13.9 inches wide, 10.1-11.5 inches deep, and 2.2 inches high. Its power supply consists of a 90-watt AC adapter with cord wrapping and a 6-cell primary battery. A 12-cell high-capacity rugged battery slice is optional. It also features a memory dual channel DDR2 Memory6, and two memory slots offering up to 8GB7. Memory bandwidth equals 800MHz.

Operating Systems include: Genuine Windows Vista® Ultimate; Genuine Windows Vista® Business; Genuine Windows Vista® Business 64-Bit; Genuine Windows Vista® Home Basic; Genuine Windows Vista® Business with Downgrade Rights Service to Windows® XP Professional.

In terms of wired connectivity, the E6400 XFR features a 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet network interface adaptor with a 56K v924 internal modem. For wireless LAN, which most officers in the field need, the E6400 XFR features the following: Dell Wireless 1397, Dell Wireless 1510; Intel® Wi-Fi Link 5100; Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300.

Mobile broadband and GPS features include the Dell Wireless 5720 (EvDO & GPS) Mobile Broadband8 Mini Card and the Dell Wireless 5530 (Tri-band HSDPA 7.2/HSUPA 2.0 & GPS) Mobile Broadband8 Mini-Card. For Bluetooth and Ultra-Wideband, the Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth® 2.1 is optional. Also, a dedicated GPS and Antenna with SiRFstarIII™ is coming soon.

Additional features include: Ports IEEE – 1394; docking connector; USB 2.0 (x4); VGA; Display Port; RJ-11 (optional); RJ-45; eSATA; USB PowerShare; headphone/speaker out; mic (all protected behind sealed doors); Multi Media 2 speakers; and a digital microphone Integrated Webcam (optional). Expandability slots are 1 Type I/II PCMCIA or Expresscard/54, 5-in-1 card reader. Users can choose from optional peripherals and docking such as: Vehicle Docking Systems, Rugged Battery Slice, Rugged Legacy I/O Adapter, E-Family Deskdock Adapter, Removable LCD Protective Touch Overlay, XFR Shoulder Strap Kit and Spare LCD Pen/Tether Kit. Modular options include E-Family modular bay: 8X DVD-ROM, 24X CDRW/DVD, 8X DVD+/-RW, second Hard Drive or Travel Lite Module.

On the security front, the E6400 XFR offers steel-reinforced cable lock slots, battery and hard drive locks. In addition, a Smart Card Reader and a Contactless Smart Card Reader protected behind a sealed door is available. A fingerprint reader is optional.

Dell’s TPM 1.28ControlVault™ allows secure credential management within a trusted boundary. Network security features 802.11 Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), 802.11i (WPA2), Virtual Private Networks (VPN) 802.1x with EAP modes and compatible with CCX 4.0. The E6400 XFR also sports an Intel® 45 Express Chipset. Primary storage is 5400 RPM shock-mounted up to 120GB7 with free fall sensor and solid state drives up to 128GB7. Optical drives include DVD-ROM, CD-RW/DVD and DVD+/-RW.

Environmental Testing and Certification

Dell’s E6400 XFR is independently tested to MIL-STD-810F for a 4-foot transit drop, aggravated rain, blowing dust, vibration, functional shock, humidity, salt fog, altitude, explosive atmosphere, temperature shock and temperature extremes. Its operating temperature range is -20ºF to 145ºF and its non-operating temperature range is -58ºF to 160ºF. It also has IP-65 certified protection, which means it’s dust-tight and protected against pressurized water ingress. In addition, it is UL1604 certified for hazardous locations (Class 1, Division 2, Zones A, B, C, D). As evident from its vast array of features, Dell’s E6400 XFR is fast becoming a major contender in the rugged laptop market. First responders need a durable and reliable notebook that can perform in the most extreme conditions. The ability to receive and send information in the field can be a matter of life and death. “Dell is driven to give officers better products,” Gilbert said.

Published in Public Safety IT, Sep/Oct 2009

Rating : 7.0

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