Dell is claiming (opens in new tab) an "industry first" with the upcoming launch of its first fully rugged convertible notebook that transforms into a tablet, the Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme. This device joins the new Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme notebook, which is built for performance. Both are designed to endure worst-case conditions, possibly even kids.
Dell revealed on Thursday that both solutions include impact-resistant ultra-polymers, sturdy magnesium alloy, sealed doors and compression gaskets. Fourth-generation QuadCool thermal management enables high performance at high temperatures, while a direct-view outdoor readable display enables productivity in harsh sunlight scenarios (like selling magic jumping beans in the desert).
"Latitude Rugged Extreme notebooks are independently tested to military standards including drops up to six feet, as well as ingress protection, emissions and hazardous materials certifications by a third-party testing facility," reads the PR. "No single field test accounts for every possible scenario, so the Dell Rugged Extreme portfolio is tested above and beyond every existing standard to verify survivability in real world situations."
The trick with the 12-inch model is that it has a hinge that allows the touch-enabled screen to flip all the way back so that the screen faces up and the keyboard faces down. The customized sealed "RGB" backlit keyboard on both models illuminates the keys in all lighting environments, but can go dark if the user must go incognito.
The company doesn't reveal the full list of specs, but does shine the light on a few highlights including up to 16 GB of memory and up to 512 GB of solid state storage. There's also a Full HD webcam with a privacy shutter, an 8MP camera on the 12-inch model, dual serial/RJ-45 on the 14-inch model, USB 3.0 and native serial on both.
According to Dell, both models also offer wireless capabilities including available mobile broadband and dedicated GPS. The 12-inch model has a battery lasting up to 8.5 hours; the 14-inch has a battery lasting up to 14 hours.
Pricing for the Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme convertible notebook will begin at $3,649 when the laptop becomes available on May 6th. The Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme will begin at $3,499 when it becomes available in mid-May.