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Rugged & Semi-Rugged Laptops & Notebooks

Ruggedized, portable computers are designed to operate under harsh conditions that are inherent in police, fire and military environments. Since different levels of ruggedness are required for specific applications, it is important to choose the option that will be most effective. The degree of protection against dust, vibration, drops, immersion, and extreme temperatures determines whether a laptop or notebook is categorized as semi-rugged or fully rugged.

Semi-rugged devices are not fully sealed against water and other outdoor elements, but still offer a certain degree of protection against harsh temperatures, extreme vibration, and moisture on the keyboard. Fully rugged devices are designed from the inside out, certified to military standards, and can withstand extreme temperatures, drops, shocks and vibrations.


Determining the degree of ruggedness required depends on the type of conditions to which the computer will be exposed. While a semi-rugged computer would be a good choice for a patrol car where the device rarely leaves the vehicle, devices used in SWAT scenarios must be able to withstand severe conditions, requiring fully rugged models.


American Reliance, Inc. (AMREL®)

AMREL is a leading provider of mobile computing solutions for the military, public safety, healthcare, and industrial markets. Their rugged mobile computer division designs and manufactures small-footprint, long End of Life, highly integrated solutions that include fully rugged laptops, tablets, convertible tablets, PDAs, and rack-mountable network equipment.

AMREL’s line of ROCKY rugged computers are open-platformed, customizable to ensure low NRE on low volume orders, and can easily be upgraded and reconfigured. Available with either an 8.4-inch or 12.1-inch screen, these rugged tablets are AMREL military grade, capable of handling the toughest environments and conditions.

The ROCKY DR10 and DK10 Rugged Tablets are ideal for applications that demand portability, capability and ruggedness, such as field data collection, homeland security, and law enforcement. Equipped with a powerful Intel® Sandy Bridge i7 processor, these fully rugged tablets have been independently certified for MIL-STD 810 and IP65. Both run on Windows® 7/8 and feature a sunlight-readable LED display and single touch-resistant panel touchscreen. Expanded mobile broadband options offer a greater choice of carriers, and numerous wireless options include wireless LAN, WAN, Bluetooth®, and GPS.

The ROCKY DR10 has an 8.4-inch screen and weighs 4.2 pounds, while the DK10 has a large 12.1-inch screen and weighs 5.5 pounds. Both run on Windows 7/8, are powered by Lithium-Ion batteries, and come with an optional multi-battery charger. While the DR10 and DK10 are equipped with an upgradeable, removable SATA II HDD 500, solid-state hard drives are also available. AMREL extends the manufacturer’s warranty to all modifications it makes.


Brite Computers

The next-generation Q-Mobile Tablet Solution with Fujitsu STYLISTIC Q-704 is equipped with a 12.5 –inch, full HD display, the latest Intel® Core i7 processor, and 8GB of memory. With 4G/LTE multi carrier cellular capability, this rugged tablet system offers enhanced speed and capacity for the exchange of mobile data. The Fujitsu STYLISTIC Q-704 was developed through extensive research, real life usage, and feedback from first responders as a custom solution specifically for Law Enforcement, Fire and EMS.

The design of the Q-Active Dock allows for easy installation and removal of the tablet while leaving peripherals connected to the USB, power and Ethernet ports of the dock. The universal swing-away mount is adaptive to all vehicles, and provides easy access to in-dash controls and full use of the passenger seat.



Other features include the latest Intel© technology, a front and rear camera with auto focus and photo LED, and a fingerprint reader. The Fujitsu Q-series is MIL-STD-810G certified and IPX5/7/8 rated to handle harsh mobile environments.



The new Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme notebook is designed to withstand hazards such as dust, moisture, drops, vibration, and extreme temperatures. Independently tested to military standards for drops up to 6 feet, ingress protection, emission, and hazardous materials, the Latitude 14 is built with the most robust materials available, including impact-resistant ultra-polymers and sturdy magnesium alloy. Sealed doors and compression gaskets protect data while enabling performance at high temperatures with fourth-generation QuadCool™ thermal management.

The Latitude 14 features “Direct-View” outdoor-readable displays for clear viewing in harsh sunlight with minimal glare, and a sealed, customizable “RGB” backlit keyboard that enables work in all lighting environments. A resistive multi-touch screen is designed to recognize intuitive gestures while wearing thick gloves, and a press of a button activates an “instant stealth” mode to disable all lights on the laptop and prevent the user from easily being spotted at night.


Other features of the Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme notebook include a fourth-generation Intel® Core™ processor, up to 16GB of memory and 512GB solid state storage, and extended battery life of up to14 hours.



Designed to withstand the harshest environments, the GammaTech DURABOOK R830 meets a host of rugged certifications that include Military Standard 810G, 461F, and IP65. This fully rugged notebook is equipped with Intel’s i-core CPU, a mobile Intel QM77 Express Chipset, and includes the Windows 7 operating system. The R8300 features a 13.3-inch Resistive Touch Sunlight Readable LCD display for easy viewing in the brightest conditions.


With quick-release HDD-storage capability, users can inter-swap HDDs simply by turning a couple knobs. The keyboard has 88 US Keys with Windows Key, and an optional backlight keyboard with 10 levels of brightness adjustment. The R8300 comes with a Super Multi ODD or optional second battery with hot swap support for full-day operation.

Security protection features include Absolute Computrace, TPM 1.2, and a Kensington lock.


Various connectivity support is available, such as Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.0, SIM card slot, GPS module, and Wi-Fi.


Data 911

The Data911 Rugged Tablet PC is the lightest rugged 11.6-inch tablet available with Intel fourth-generation Core i5 and i7 processors. It features a sunlight-readable 700+ NIT multi-touch display, includes 802.11 AC WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, and is drop and weather resistant. It has programmable capacitive buttons on the front to launch critical applications with a single touch as well as configurable auto-dimming via software. The tablet is offered with an optional vehicular docking station specifically designed around occupant safety and user ergonomics.

The Data911 solution has been designed with input from their customers in public safety utilizing the familiar Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system. Data911 will load agencies Microsoft Windows Enterprise licenses prior to shipment. The tablet includes a three-year warranty with an available extended warranty.



GETAC Technology

Using Getac’s new KryptoShell™ body, the S400 is able to meet or exceed MIL-STD-8140G criteria for shock, vibration, temperature, and a 3-foot drop on six faces. It provides advanced protection against harmful dust ingress with an IP5X rating, and each door and hinge is engineered to withstand a twist strength of 30 kilograms of force per centimeter. The advanced 800 NITS widescreen display is equipped with Getac’s QuadraClear™ solution that combines proprietary technologies for both screen brightness and anti-reflectivity.

The S400 is available with an Intel Core i3, i5, or optional i7 processor, and a Solid State drive that allows quicker boot-up, faster access to applications, and lower power consumption. While most semi-rugged computers throttle down the CPU to control heat overload, the S400 maintains up to 89 percent of its CPU processing power when the computer heats up.


All S400s configured with the i5 processor come with the low-temperature feature that provides safe, secure boot-up even in extreme cold, and 4G LTE wireless capability. Other features include a water-resistant backlit keyboard, customizable Quick Keys, and security components, such as TPM 1.2, a Kensington lock, and an optional fingerprint reader. The S400 is covered by a three-year limited warranty standard, and all warranty repairs are done by expert technicians using original Getac production parts.


Mobile Demand

The latest addition to MobileDemand’s innovative line of tablets is the xTablet T1600, providing enhanced mobility while retaining its rugged tablet form factor. The T1600 is IP65 sealed against water and dust, and with MIL-STD 810G certification, can survive 3-foot drops.


Equipped with a high-performance Intel i5 processor with 4GB or 8GB of DDR3L RAM, the T1600 comes with either Microsoft Windows 7 Pro, or Windows 8.1 Pro with a 64GB or 128GB hard drive. The tablet offers two native high-speed full-size USB 3.0 ports, a combo in/out audio jack, and a docking connector. Wireless capability is provided with dual-band 802.11ac WiFi via an Intel Wireless AC7260 module that also provides Class 1 Bluetooth version 4.

Thin and light, the T1600 features an 11.6-inch high-definition display with 10-point capacitive multi-touch and 400 NITS brightness (an 800 nits xView Hi-Brite screen option is available for direct sunlight use). Hot-swappable batteries provide added time in the field without downtime for re-charging, with battery life of seven hours. The T1600 is equipped with dual color cameras: 5MP integrated w/ LED flash (rear-facing) and 2MP integrated (front-facing). Available options include a high-performance 2D imager, bar code reader, and HF RFID reader.


Motorola Solutions

Motorola’s MW810 is a rugged fixed-mount computer that provides secure, reliable wireless connectivity and computing power for demanding environments. This highly compact system features a flexible three-piece design, making it ideal for space-limited vehicles. The MW810 offers three powerful Intel® processor options and 2 GB DDR3 DRAM 1066 MHz of internal memory, expandable to 8 GB. Multiple expansion board options allow all vehicle types to be outfitted with the same CPU platform for streamlined maintenance and life cycle management.

The MW810 is MIL-STD-810G tested and IP54 certified, and features a transflective, high-contrast display for enhanced performance even in difficult lighting conditions. Optimized for wireless, the MW810 delivers robust coverage and increased throughput, even at highway speeds.


OEM Micro Solutions

Equipped with a third-generation Intel i5 CPU, an internal 10.6Ah Li-Ion battery, Bluetooth, and 320GB HDD, the TAC-4 Mobile Tactical Computer retains many of the features and benefits of its predecessors in a lighter, more compact design. The CPU continues to be integrated to the back of the LCD, which can be either a 12.1-inch or 15.0-inch, with 1,200 nit LED backlight and resistant touchscreen standard. The expanded I/O includes seven USB Ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI video output, and HD Audio input/output. Other features include 2GB DDR3 RAM, 320GB HDD SATA3, and a 10.6Ah Li-Ion internal UPS Battery that provides four-plus hours of operation.

The TAC-4 comes with a full-travel water-resistant 88-key keyboard, integrated touchpad, USB interface, and backlit keys. Options include i7 CPU, 802.11abgn, various SSDs, and GPS plus embedded 4G LTE cellular. The new Universal Dash Mount provides a very flexible mounting solution for today’s smaller cars. The TAC-4 comes with a Three-Year Warranty, an Optional Extended Warranty for years four and five, and an optional Maintenance Agreement for years one to five.


Panasonic Solutions

Panasonic Solutions’ latest addition to its Toughbook line of rugged laptops is the Toughbook® 31, providing optimum performance and superior rugged design. With MIL-STD-810G certification, the Toughbook 31 can withstand a 6-foot drop, shock, vibration, rain, dust, sand, altitude, freeze/thaw, high/low temperature, temperature shock, humidity, and explosive atmosphere. Other rugged features include MIL-STD-461 and IP65 certification, a shock-mounted flex-connect hard drive with quick-release, and a full-magnesium alloy case with handle.


The Toughbook is equipped with a 13.1-inch XGA sunlight-viewable touchscreen that features Panasonic CircuLumin™ Technology. It comes with Windows® 8 Pro 64-bit software, with a Windows® 7 downgrade option, and extended battery life (12+ hours) is provided with a long-life Li-Ion battery pack that charges in 3.5 hours. Wireless features include optional integrated 4G LTE multi-carrier mobile broadband with satellite GPS, Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6235, and enhanced authentication and encryption capability for maximum security.



Originally designed and built for the military markets, the Robo III is an all-in-one-solution that gives first responders, police, fire and EMS personnel access to critical data in all environments.


The Robo III incorporates a number of state-of-the-art features housed in a rugged, precision-milled aluminum chassis that is built to withstand the harshest conditions. A Wide Angle 1,000+ NITs display allows both driver and passenger to view the system simultaneously under the brightest conditions. It also features the industry’s first “Instant Blanking” feature, which allows the operator to quickly and covertly black out the display to maintain data security.


The Robo III converges the display and CPU into a single, mountable unit that affords personnel more space to maneuver, without compromising quality. Multiple mounting options are available, such as in-dash, flat panel mount and pedestals and, in most cases, can be retrofit with existing mounts and consoles. Completely radio independent, the Robo III comes loaded with user-selected Windows® operating systems and fully customizable memory, hard drive and wireless connectivity. RoboVu offers the industry’s only “No Upgrade/No Cost Five-Year Warranty” in which customers can choose either a five-year warranty or a three-year warranty with credit for trade-in at the end of the third year.


Xplore Technologies

Ideal for harsh outdoor conditions, the XC6 DMSR is MIL-STD-810G certified and IP67 rated with a 7-foot drop rating. Dust-proof and fully submersible, this fully rugged tablet is powered by a 4th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 processor, and features a direct sunlight readable display for exceptional readability in the brightest conditions. An innovative resistive multi-touch interface allows users to run the toughest applications, even in the most extreme environments. Security features include TPM 1.2, Intel® VPro, Intel® AMT 9.5, Computrace® Application Agent Option, and Kensington® Lock Slot.

The XC6 DMSR is available with Microsoft® Windows® 8.1 Professional or Microsoft® Windows® 7 Professional and provides up to 256 GB Storage with Dual SSD Drives.


Other features include an Advanced Communications Suite with 4G LTE, standard 4 GB DDR3L memory (1600 MHz) expandable to 16 GB, and a full-shift battery life of up to 8.5 hours.


The active cooling system allows the tablet to run efficiently without throttling speed.


The XC6 DMSR is field-repairable & easily upgraded, eliminating user downtime and transfer/repair costs. It comes with a Three-Year Standard Warranty with four-and five-year options, as well as optional xDefend for Additional Coverage.

Susan Geoghegan is a freelance writer living in Naples, Fla. She can be reached at

Published in Law and Order, Apr 2015

Rating : Not Yet Rated

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