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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 offers a full spectrum of fully rugged laptops, tablets, convertible tablets, handhelds, smartphones, mobile biometric devices, and in-vehicle systems. For over 30 years, they have supplied fully rugged customized solutions to the Defense, Public Safety, and Industrial markets, while providing service, warranty, and support to their customizations for long-term (3-5 years).

AMREL pioneered the dual purpose tablet/laptop that could serve both as a stand-alone device and as an in-vehicle terminal.  Law enforcement agencies,  around the country, appreciate AMREL’s commitment to exceptionally long term support (some laptops are still being used 14 years after purchase).

The line of super-slim computers are typified by the ROCKY RS11 fully rugged laptop…one of the lightest, thinnest, fully rugged laptop in the world (weighing only 5.5 lbs and just an inch thick, it’s extremely durable laptop). There's also the super-tough and compact ROCKY RV 11, one of the thinnest rugged laptops that has a 15.6” display. 

Another member of the super-thin fully rugged tablets is the ROCKY DS11 10.1”. Less than inch thick, it fits in the tightest spaces (it’s 1000 nits rating makes it easy to read, even in the brightest sunlight). Despite its small footprint, the ROCKY DS11 is fully rugged, independently certified for MIL-STDs 860/461 and IP65.

Finally, the APEX PX 5 is another 10.1” super-bright, fully rugged tablet. Its 1000 nits rating, bright backlight, anti-reflective coatings, and directly bonded LCD layers...provide exceptional image quality and detail. With a Corning Gorilla glass display, IP65 rating and MIL-STD-810G compliance, APEX PX5 can operate even in the most demanding conditions. For a full line of rugged offerings, visit


Brite Computers  

The Brite-Fujitsu Q-Series Tablet Solution combines the power of Fujitsu tablet computing with an industry leading Brite Q-Active Dock.  The Brite Q-Active Dock was built by public safety, for public safety.

The innovative Brite Q-Active Dock is built with USB, Ethernet and power ports to connect all necessary peripherals. The Brite-Fujitsu solution is ergonomically designed to improve officer safety by providing a clear view of the windshield and side mirrors.  It is also positioned in the center of the vehicle allowing officers to take back the passenger seat and keeping the airbags free of obstruction. The two piece swing away mount gives officers access to all center console controls and allows for ease of data input with the articulating keyboard tray.

The MIL-STD-810G certified Q-Series tablet will withstand harsh mobile environments, while providing top of the line technology. Paired with the Brite Q-Active Dock, the Brite-Fujitsu Q-Series Tablet Solution continuously proves itself in the hands of officers in 40 states.

For more information visit



The Data911 TX1 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 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 TX1 Tablet was designed with input from their public safety customers utilizing the familiar Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system. Data911 will load agency’s Microsoft Windows Enterprise licenses prior to shipment. The TX1 tablet includes a three-year warranty with an available extended warranty. 

Data911 has also released the first M7+ Multi-Touch Display designed specifically for emergency vehicles. The M7+ Display is extremely rugged, sunlight readable and supports touch, swipe, flick or pinch and zoom even with the gloved hands of public safety personnel. The Display is also compatible with a non-powered stylus pen – no batteries or electric cords are required.

The M7+ Display features dedicated programmable, backlit function buttons. These buttons can be used for functions such as emergency calls, toggling between applications, Stealth Mode, Monitor Blank and more. The Blank on Motion feature disallows use while driving to promote maximum safety. However, Data911 incorporated a user override with pre-set time limits for instances when responders require immediate access to information while on the move. The Stealth Mode allows the display to function without a backlight in situations when the responder must be undetected. The M7+ Display also features an integrated Bluetooth Transceiver which supports wireless keyboards, fingerprint readers and other Bluetooth devices without the need for an additional antenna.

The M7+ Multi-Touch Display was engineered to be compatible with Data911’s M7 CPU as well as with all next generation CPUs in support of the ongoing effort to make the job of saving lives as safe and effective as possible.



Building on years of success with the Tracer fixed mount PC solution, Datalux has now added a removable product to the lineup.  The Datalux TM110 was engineered to provide superior and durable functionality in vehicle deployments, while still being a highly portable tablet that can be quickly removed from the vehicle.

The TM110 is powered by the latest Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor.  It has a large, sunlight readable 11.6-inch screen that has over 25 percent more viewable area than popular 10.1” tablets (making it truly readable by the driver when mounted near the dash). The brilliant HD display is easily viewed in direct sunlight or bright vehicle interiors. Designed to MIL-STD 810G, the durable construction (with reinforced chassis) handles the tough environments of law enforcement and public safety in or outside the vehicle. Yet, at just 2.7 pounds, it’s one of the lightest, fully rugged tablet on the market, with an 11.6-inch screen.

The utility of this new rugged tablet is further enhanced by multiple options for security and data collection; these include readers for barcode, RFID, smartcard and fingerprints.  In addition, the TM110 tablet is available with built-in 4G LTE cellular connectivity (Gobi 5000).  Two antenna output connectors enable the connection of a roof mount antenna for increased reception.

For customers currently using the Tracer fixed product and Datalux TRU-Mount…an adapter is available that enables the TM110 tablet and vehicle dock to become a drop-in replacement for the Tracer. The TRU-Mount provides stable and ergonomic mounting in standard police vehicles without restricting the passenger seat area, even in today’s smaller vehicles. The TM110 rugged tablet is also offered with Datalux’s innovative TRU-Keyboard that can be singlehandedly clipped and unclipped from the vehicle mount. For more information, visit



Dell Latitude Rugged offers a complete family of rugged mobility products – featuring real-world durability, go-anywhere productivity, and business-class control.

The Dell Latitude Rugged family includes 2 fully rugged notebooks:  The Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme and 12 Rugged Extreme notebooks are 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, both are 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.

Also included in the Dell Rugged portfolio is the Dell Latitude 14 – Semi-Rugged notebook.  It is a 14" semi-rugged notebook that works as hard as you do with full IO capability, performance and an outdoor-readable display with optional glove-capable touchscreen. 

And the newest addition to the Dell Rugged family is the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet.  This is a 12" fully rugged tablet engineered to excel in the most extreme work environments and situations with an outdoor-readable display and glove-capable multi-touch.  A complete range of peripherals and ecosystem options enable full productivity across environments from in-vehicle to in the field.



GammaTech’s DURABOOK line of industry leading rugged tablets and notebook computers is specifically designed with law enforcement in mind.  The industry’s tablet computer trend makes its way to law enforcement with obvious benefits such as smaller form factors, addressing the limited space inside patrol cars, and superior portability, which can be cumbersome with traditional bulky, heavy laptops.   

The DURABOOK R11 Rugged Tablet PC targets these needs while also meeting and exceeding a host of rugged certifications including MIL-STD 516.6 & 514.6, IP65 and ANSI ISA standard 12.1201 & MIL Spec 461F.  It has Intel’s latest 5th generation Broadwell i5/i7 processor, an 11.6” capacitive multi-touch screen that offers exceptional viewability even in direct sunlight, and an ambient light sensor to help maximize the display without a lot of user intervention.  Most agencies prefer an external wireless keyboard for in vehicle use, but the R11 vehicle mounting solution/keyboard tray accommodates both wired and wireless options.  

The R11 features a full HD front facing camera as well as a 5MP rear-facing camera.  Many agencies have used this technology to record statements and other pertinent/time sensitive situations.  Connectivity to other devices is plentiful with the R11 supporting docking, DC power, USBs, Micro SD and SIM readers.  Optional integrated scanner support for 1D/2D barcodes, RFID reader support and smart card readers are also available.  

The R11 has Centrino Wireless AC7260 that supports 802.11ac a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.  An optional integrated M2 module GPS/WWAN (LTE) GOBI 5000 is also available. The R11 is one of the most flexible tablet form factor solutions available on the market today at a budget friendly price.  

GammaTech has several other DURABOOK models, such as the new S15AB, R8300 and SA14 rugged notebooks, that are also built tough to ensure the reliability and performance that law enforcement personnel need and deserve.


GETAC Technology  

Designed to withstand the daily – and often punishing – routine of public safety officers, the all-new Getac S410 semi-rugged notebook provides the highest levels of performance, flexibility, security, and durability in a form factor that is 29% thinner and 23% lighter than the previous Getac semi-rugged laptop.

Taking full advantage of Intel’s 6th Generation Skylake Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, the S410 delivers the highest performance solution in its class.  Combined with optional NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M discreet graphics, Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 technology, and a hot-swappable battery design, users will experience maximum around-the-clock performance. 

The S410 is a versatile, "purpose-built" solution, enabling users to customize their configuration to fit their specific needs and existing workflow, resulting in more successful implementations.  The S410 offers the most complete combination of integrated I/O features and rugged vehicle dock solutions from Gamber-Johnson and Havis, making it ideal for public safety.

The Getac S410 provides a variety of security features including TPM 2.0, optional Absolute DDS, and multifactor authentication options (including password protection, RFID reader, finger print reader and SmartCard reader) to take full advantage of Microsoft Windows 10 identity and access control features including Windows Hello, Microsoft Passport, and Credential Guard. 

Durability is synonymous with the Getac brand and the all new S410 semi-rugged notebook proudly continues that tradition.  It is MIL-STD810G and IP51-certified to survive drops, spills, moisture, vibrations, shock, and extreme temperatures from 5.8°F to 140°F (operating temperature) and -60°F to 160°F (storage temperature).  Sealed I/O ports, an island-style, splash-proof keyboard ,  KryptoShell™ 2.0, rubber corners and an ergonomic rubber handle provide supreme protection. The S410 semi-rugged notebook is our latest addition to an expansive line of fully rugged notebooks and tablets.  Learn more at


OEM Micro Solutions  

Equipped with an Intel i5 CPU, an internal 10.6Ah Li-Ion battery, Bluetooth, and 128GB SSD, 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 resistive touchscreen standard. The expanded I/O includes seven USB Ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI video output, and HD Audio input/output, and SD Card reader. Other standard features include 4GB DDR3 RAM, a full-travel water-resistant 88-key keyboard with integrated touchpad, and backlit keys, and a 10.6Ah Li-Ion internal UPS Battery that provides four-plus hours of operation if the vehicle power is not available.

The TAC-4 options include i7 CPU, 802.11abgn, 8GB or 16GB DDR3 RAM, larger SSDs, and GPS, plus embedded 4G LTE cellular. The new Universal Dash Mount provides a very flexible center-dash mounting solution for today’s smaller cars. The TAC-4 comes with a standard Three-Year Warranty and an Optional Extended Warranty for up to five years. An optional Maintenance Agreement provides no-fault repair/replace coverage for all system components for years one to five.


Panasonic Solutions  

The Panasonic Toughbook® 20 is the world's first fully rugged detachable laptop that easily transitions to become a 10.1-inch tablet. The Toughbook 20 features a durable MIL-STD-810G and IP65 design along with a lightweight, magnesium alloy chassis, enabling officers to take the essential part of their vehicle anywhere they go. At only 3.9 pounds, this 2-in-1 machine is good on the go. The clever built-in handle also functions as a kickstand, providing on-the-job flexibility. The optional bridge battery allows hot swap battery replacement without disruption. The gloved multi touch display is sunlight-viewable, making this hybrid laptop perfect for rugged outdoor environments. With this detachable laptop tablet at your side, you can handle anything thrown at you. For more information on the Toughbook 20 detachable laptop, please visit


Xplore Technologies  

The Motion R12 by Xplore Rugged Tablet PC is purpose-built to meet every specialized mobile computing requirement set forth by the public safety sector – including mission-critical durability, connectivity, and true mobility features.

Its sleek design makes the R12 appealing as a laptop replacement in the office, while its rugged MIL-STD-810G and IP54-rated strength makes it one of the safest and most reliable solutions for in-vehicle and in-field use.

From the large 12.5-inch View Anywhere® touchscreen and wireless keyboard option, to the built-in barcode scanner, RFID reader, hi-res camera and digital pen, officers can easily review real-time intelligence, capture data, and make immediate, informed decisions at the scene. Multi-layer authentication measures such as fingerprint scanners and CAC readers provide secure access to CJIS records, while support for Windows 10/8.1/7 OS ensures full compatibility with agencies’ preferred software and back-office systems.

Boasting a powerful Intel® Core vPro™ processor, up to 256 GB SSD, up to 8GB RAM, and hot-swappable battery options, the R12 keeps officers plugged into the latest action non-stop for up to 20 hours at a time. Built-in 4G LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, GPS, and IP technologies also eliminate the need for external antenna systems while providing a greater range of uninterrupted communications connectivity for highly coordinated response efforts with dispatch and supporting agencies.  .


Hilary Romig has extensive training in law enforcement and forensics. She is currently pursuing a career in public safety. She is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association.

Published in Law and Order, Apr 2016

Rating : Not Yet Rated

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