Need a Really Rugged Laptop?

We’re sure you’re familiar with laptops and notebook computers aimed at general consumers: they tend to focus on slim designs, designer colors, sleek profiles, flavor-of-the-month features like Webcams and VoIP communications, and maybe being able to read your memory cards without booting into Windows. But, you know, if you drop them, they’re pretty much history. Move them from hot-and-humid to cool-and-dry, the condensation might kill them. Cases come apart, hinges have short lifespans, latches break…well, let’s just say they often don’t last long in the real world.

Then there are ruggedized systems like the General Dynamics GoBook XR-1, which is designed to be used in a variety of hostile, outdoor settings and in rugged conditions, and—unlike many systems pumped up for field use—actually packs some significant computing horsepower.

The GoBook XR-1 is the first laptop iTronix has produced since its acquisition by General Dynamics in 2005—and if your associations with the name General Dynamics are more long the lines of "military contractor" than "computer manufacturer," you’d be on target. Under the hood, the GoBook XR-1 features an Intel Core Duo processor running at 1.83 GHz with a 667 Mhz frontside bus and 2 MB of L2 Cache. The unit features a user-removable 40 or 80 GB 5400 RPM Serial ATA hard disk, 512 MB to 2 GB of DDR2 RAM, gigabit Ethernet, and an ATI M22-CSP/32 graphics controller with 32 MB of dedicated memory and 92 MB of shared memory, giving it a boost over the Intel integrated graphics seen in a lot of Core Duo offerings. The display is a 12.1-inch TFT LCD with a standard display heater and integrated touchscreen capability.

Need wireless capability? The GoBook XR-1 is for you: it can support up to three RF modems—WLAN/Wi-Fi, WWAN (EV-DO, 1xTRR/CDMA. HSDPA/UMTS/EDGE/GSM), and BlueTooth—plus a GPS receiver simultaneously. Also on board: a Type II PC Card slot, a swappable optical media bay for CD and DVD drive/burner options or a second battery, FireWire connectivity, three USB 2.0 ports, serial port, VGA out, plus headphone and microphone jacks.

And here’s (literally) the kicker: the GoBook meets or exceeds MIL-STD 810F military standards for drop and shock resistance and protection from water and dust. The GoBook XR-1 is watertight—and can handle submersion in bleach water and scrubbing—and the keyboard can stand up to liquids as well as abrasive dust and particles found on outdoor and industrial settings. The GoBook XR-1 also includes heaters for the hard drive and display for operation n sub-zero environments. The GoBook XR-1 also support Trusted Platform Module and offers an optional fingerprint reader. All this in just 6.8 pounds, and a package 11.8 inches by 9.65 inches by 1.97 inches.

But it isn’t cheap: the GoBook XR-1 will be available in North America this September at prices starting at $4,330, with worldwide release to follow. The GoBook XR-1 might seem like overkill for many users, but for folks who have to take their work into harsh environments or hazardous materials situations (I can think of one documentary filmmaker and another field audio expert who will salivate over these systems), they may be just the ticket.


Dell’s latest sale knocks $200 off the price of the touchscreen XPS 13 laptop

Looking for a new laptop? Now is the time to shop, as Dell is currently giving you a chance to save up to $200 on the new XPS 13, the gaming-ready XPS 15, and several other versions of its laptops.

Is 14 inches the perfect size for a laptop? These 4 laptops might convince you

If you're looking for the best 14-inch laptops, there are a number of factors to consider. You want good battery life, an attractive screen, solid performance, and a good build. Our favorites that do all that and more.

You could spend $1,000 on an iPhone, or buy one of these awesome laptops instead

Finding a decent laptop is easy, but finding one under $1,000 is a bit tricky. Luckily, we've taken some of the guesswork out of picking out a budget laptop. Here are some of our favorites, the best laptops under $1,000.

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX331UA -- will get the job done without digging too deeply into your pockets.

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are tools you can use both online and offline. This step-by-step guide will instruct you on how to use them.

Nvidia’s rumored 7nm Ampere graphics could debut next week, but not for gamers

Nvidia's next-generation 7nm Ampere graphics could debut as early as next week at the GTC show as part of an effort to catch up to rival AMD, which announced a competing 7nm Radeon GPU earlier this year.

Latest Skype preview now lets you chat with up to 50 people on a video call

The latest beta version of Skype is introducing an ability to enter a video call with up to 50 people, a change from the current public version which has a maximum limit of 25 participants.

Intel’s next-gen Comet Lake processors will reportedly arrive with 10 cores

Intel may give its next-generation desktop processor, known by its Comet Lake code name, a maximum of 10 cores, according to code found within the company's Linux drivers. Laptop CPUs will reportedly top out with six cores.
Emerging Tech

It’s not time travel, but scientists can turn back clock on a quantum computer

Physicists have demonstrated that they can wind back the clock on a quantum computer a fraction of a second. Don't get too excited about the prospect of human time travel any time soon, though.

Western Digital’s $55 solid-state drive gives new life to your aging PC

Western Digital is hoping that you'll pick up one of its affordable WD Blue SN500 solid-state drives to give your aging PC more storage and a speed boost. WD's NVMe-based drives are up to three times faster than older SATA SSDs.

Give your discs some extra life by watching DVDs and Blu-rays on Windows 10

Popped a disc into your Windows machine but feel lost without Media Center? You're not alone. But don't fret, with just a few tips you can learn how to watch DVDs and Blu-rays for free in Windows 10 in no time.

Walmart slices price on Canon ImageClass MF232W Wi-Fi laser printer

If you don’t need color printing, a monochrome laser printer like the Canon ImageClass MF232W can save you a lot of time and money. This beefy all-in-one Wi-Fi printer is on sale from Walmart for almost half off, letting you score it for…

Get Corsair’s best mechanical keyboard at a decent discount

From March 17 to 23, you can get one of the best mechanical keyboards around at a great price. The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is normally $200, but this week you can pick one up from Amazon for $160.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!