Dell Goes Ballistic with Latitude E6400 XFR Rugged Notebook

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Notebook computers might be great for taking crucial applications and documents from place to place—and keeping up with all-important email on the go—but they sure aren’t known for being durable. Almost anyone who has owned a notebook has also owned a broken notebook…and that fragility is a show-stopper in some lines of work. To that end, computer maker Dell has rolled out its new Latitude E6400 XFR rugged notebook, aimed at first responders and military personnel looking for a machine that can take a few bumps and jolts. The Latitude E6400 XFR represents Dell’s first fully-rugged notebook—is has previously offered semi-ruggedized models—and puts the company in competition with PC makers like Panasonic and Lenovo for the fully-rugged market.

The E6400 features Dell’s Ballistic Armor Protection System to meet or surpass MIL-STD-810F toughness standards—and it can handle rain, wind gusts up to 70 mph, operating temps down to -20°F, and work for almost an hour over 15,000 feet in the air. And falls? The system should handle a three-foot drop while running, and a four-foot drop when not.

The Latitude E6400 XFR will be available in both touchscreen and non-touchscreen version, featuring an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a 14.1-inch 1,280 by 800-pixel display, either Nvidia Quadro NVS 160M or Intel GMA 4500HD graphics, support for up to 8 GB of RAM, a choice of a 120 GB shock-mounted hard drive or a 128 GB SSD, and a variety of wireless options, including Wi-Fi, mobile broadband, and GPS. The E6400 also sports a smartcard reader (behind a sealed door), an optional fingerprint reader, a Type I/II PCMCIA slot, four USB 2.0 ports, an IEEE 1394 port, an eSATA connector, DisplayPort and VGA output, and headphone/mic jacks, all protected behind sealed doors.

The Latitude E6400 XFR should be available starting today in the U.S., Canada, and Europe at prices starting around $4,299.