Dell introduces Rugged Extreme Latitude devices

Dell has launched a fully-ruggidised version of its Latitude 12 and 14 devices as the firm looks to target the oil/gas, construction, military and public service sectors.

The Latitude 12 and 14 Rugged Extreme models fulfil the Military Standard 810G specification and have an IP65 rating. This means the devices will be able to withstand water jets, have complete protection against dust and survive drops from up to 6 feet.

Dell has combined a Magnesium alloy with a resistant polymer for the chassis to achieve the ruggidised spec. All ports and connectors are covered with flaps which are secured in place with slide-to-lock clips (below).

Both devices also share Dell's QuadCool thermal system, which isolates the fan from sensitive components and means water can be drained out of the device without damaging anything.

Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme

Starting at 2199 ex VAT, the smaller Latitude 12 will be released on 6 May. It shares the flip screen from the consumer range, which allows the device to be used as a laptop or in a tent or tablet mode.

The Latitude 12 has a starting weight of 2.72kg with the 4-cell power pack. The manufacturer claims the battery will last up to 8.5 hours.

Dell has used a 11.6in LCD display with a 1366 x 768 resolution. It's been designed with an outdoor-reading mode and has multi-touch capabilities. On the software side, users will be able to choose between Windows 8.1 Pro (64-bit), Windows 7 Pro, Ultimate, Home or Linux Ubuntu.

The device will be fully configurable - with a choice between Intel's Core i3, i5 or i7 Haswell (4th Gen) chips with vPro, support for up to 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SDD or 256GB SED.

On the bottom of the device is an 8-megapixel camera, which Dell envisages will be used by architects and construction workers.

Connections include 2 x USB 3, 1 x USB 2, native RS-232 serial port, RJ-45 gigabit Ethernet network connector, pogo-pin docking connector, VGA and HDMI ports.

There is also the option to configure the device with memory card readers but an ExpressCard or PCMCIA will replace one of the USB 3 ports. A fingerprint reader is optional.

Wireless connectivity will include Bluetooth 4 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac dual band, 2x2, with speeds up to 867 Mbps. 4G compatible devices will be available in the US and Canada at launch with EMEA to follow.

Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme

Dell will release the Latitude 14 in mid-May with prices starting at 2169 ex VAT.

This is a fully-ruggised conventional laptop. The processor, software and storage options are the same as the 12in model but key differences include the display, number of ports, battery life and graphics capabilities. The 14in model has also got a carry handle built into the frame.

Dell has included a 14in touchscreen display (1366 x 768) and there's an option to have an Nvidia GeForce GT 720M (DDR3 2GB) discrete graphics card.

The Latitude 14 is also capable of housing an optical drive, and there's a choice between a 6-cell (12 hours claimed battery life) or 9-cell power packs (14 hours claimed battery life).

The larger chassis allows for more physical connections too. Dell equips the 14in Latitude with 2 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, 2 x native RS-232 serial ports, 2 x RJ-45 gigabit Ethernet jacks along with the pogo-pin docking connector, VGA and HDMI outputs.

Weight will vary depending on the customisable but the Latitude 14 has a 3.54 kg starting weight with a 6-cell battery and no optical drive.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.