Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Laptop Designed to Take a Licking and Keep on Ticking

“All terrain” is not usually a designation associated with things as delicate as hard drives and high-speed memory chips. Dell, however, is betting that its Latitude ATG D620 — the ATG stands for All-Terrain Grade — can change that.

The ATG D620, which Dell says is designed to military specifications, includes a spill-resistant keyboard, heavy-duty case and 14-inch screen, which is visible in direct sunlight. It weighs about 6 pounds with the optical disk drive and battery installed, and is about 2 inches thick.

The laptop comes in a metal-and-black finish with protective coverings on its serial, video out, modem, Ethernet and four U.S.B. ports.

Inside the hard shell is an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, running at up to 2 gigahertz, and up to 4 gigabytes of memory. The least expensive model ($2,499) runs at 1.6 gigahertz and includes an 80-gigabyte drive and 512 megabytes of memory.

Dell includes a fingerprint scanner for security, while military and other security-conscious users can enable the laptop’s built-in Smart Card reader and other data encryption technology.

While it won’t survive a dunk in the deep, the ATG D620 can survive a splash of mud or a good, hard drop

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