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RM releases rugged classroom laptop

Bash Street Kids-proof

British education-oriented PC maker RM today introduced a cut-price ruggedised notebook designed to be "secure, robust and able to function" in "demanding classroom environments".

Definitely one for Bash Street, then.

The RM Mobile One is fitted with thin rubber shock-absorbing panels around each of the two halves of the clamshell case. The lid is pressed from impact-resisting magnesium alloy. The display is a hard-screen 15in LCD - a first for this kind of notebook, RM claimed - to guard against jabs from fingers and sharper implements.

The power port is designed to allow the connector to be pulled smoothly without damaging the connector or the computer should some errant pupil yank it out, RM said.

And there's an optional waterproof cover for the keyboard, which can be colour-coded to help younger pupils. A Kensington lock is provided for physical security, and the removable optical drive can be locked down too, RM said.

RM Mobile OneInternally, the Mobile One is based on Intel's 915GM chipset with integrated graphics. RM is selling the unit with a choice of Pentium M and Celeron M processors, and up to 1GB of 200MHz or 266MHz DDR SDRAM. The machine is available with a 40, 60 or 80GB hard drive, and a choice of CD-ROM or DVD-ROM/CD-RW optical drive.

Connectivity comes courtesy of built-in 10/100Mbps Ethernet, 802.11abg wireless networking and 56Kbps modem. The Mobile One sports the usual array of USB, Firewire, TV out, headphone, microphone, infra-red and VGA ports.

RM - better known to old-skool types and those of us who cut our computing teeth on the 380Z as Research Machines - said the Mobile One starts at £549. It is available now. ®

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