Dell Latitude XT2 XFR ruggedised laptop
A tablet to take for the rough and tumble
Review Dell’s XT2 tablet PC has been around for just over a year, and now the company has come up with a fully-ruggedised version in the form of the XT2 XFR. Able to withstand drops, freezing temperatures and rain, it’s primarily aimed at those who have to cope with something a little more testing than a daily commute on the train.
Hard as nails? Dell’s fully-ruggedised XT2 XFR
With a sturdy, rubber-edged chassis, the XT2 XFR has much in common with similar ruggedised laptops from the likes of Getac and the Toughbook range from Panasonic. One of the downsides of these designs is that they tend to look almost toy-like, and the XT2 XFR is no different.
All ports round the edge are covered up by small waterproof doors, while a catch at the front securely locks down the lid. At 2.7kg, it’s fairly heavy for a tablet, but that’s to be expected given its robust nature. On the underside the 42Wh battery is removed by unlocking and releasing two catches – take it out, and a 128GB Samsung SSD is also revealed.
The 12.1in flip-and-twist screen (1280 x 800) is a capacitive multi-touch display, and Dell supplies a stylus that slots neatly into the side of the chassis. Being bright and lacking a glossy coating, the display is also perfectly suited to outdoor use. It welcomes finger prods, but if you whip the stylus out it’ll ignore them, so if your palm touches the screen your scribbling won’t be interrupted.
Inside, the keyboard is comfortable to type on and Thinkpad fans will appreciate the nipple control sat in the middle. The touchpad seems unnecessarily small, though, and the rubber buttons are awkward to use.
All ports are hidden away behind waterproof doors
The laptop’s powered by a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo SU9600 processor, has 2GB of DDR3 memory to play with and uses Intel’s integrated GMA 4500MHD chipset for the graphics. Other features include 802.11n wireless, Gigabit Lan, an ambient light sensor, fingerprint reader and Windows 7 Professional 32-bit.
Run those tools in a virtual machine, perhaps?
I cannot understand why Dell would not use Windows 7 Pro. As a previous poster send WIndows XP is very important to the corporate market and will remain so for another few years. 7 Pro and Ultimate includes Virtual PC meaning any XP program will work without any problem, alhough not XP drivers, ultities and AV software.
I have to say though that in this market the Panasonic Toughbooks are the benchmark for fully rugged laptops. And for semi-rugged laptops I would very strongly recommend the new HP Elitebooks.
The battery is woeful! my toughbook can manage 7hours with display on full brightness, wifi on and several internet pages running...
The XFR's are nice looking but after a few toughbooks, I wouldnt choose anything else! - Ive thrown an old CF-27 over head height, in the garden and it apart from dislodging a pcmcia card carried on working :D
I've dropped my vaio about three feet onto concrete, spilled wine on the keyboard and additionally in the dvd drive (don't ask), i've used it in the rain and it's still happily ticking along after four years of abuse additionally it only weights 1.2 kilograms and didn't come with the pricetag that the tablet does.
"Other features include 802.11n wireless, Gigabit Lan, an ambient light sensor, fingerprint reader and Windows 7 Professional 32-bit."
Why for the love of all that is holy is anyone shipping NEW machines with 32 Bit versions of Win7?
I mean for that matter why did M$ even MAKE a 32Bit version available? It's not like there are any machines running with 32Bit only CPUs still out there that could run Windows7 comfortably FFS
Or maybe they WANT people running P4 1.6Ghz installing their OS, so that they get pissed off with it being so slow, and go out to buy a new computer, which nets M$ another License?
It is baffling.