With the exception of a few other manufacturers, Panasonic has had the rugged notebook market all to themselves. At least until now. Weighing in at 7lbs, Dell has unleashed its first rugged notebook, the $3,145 ATG (All Terrain Grade) D620. The folks at Laptop took the new system for a spin and were more than impressed with Dell's showing. The system comes with everything you'd expect from a ruggedized notebook, like a magnesium-alloy chassis, shock-mounted HDD, and spill-resistant keyboard. The 14.1-inch LCD (1,280 x 800) can also withstand 30% more force than a traditional LCD. Performance-wise, Laptop found the 2GHz Core 2 Duo was more than adequate and the 9-cell battery endured for 6 hours. Even more impressive is the fact that the D620 is 802.11n ready and comes with a built-in EV-DO modem. Overall, it seems like Dell hit the bull's eye with their first rugged system.
I've been very impressed with Dell's laptops over the last 12 months or so. They've been increasing power, improving "appearance", offering specs people want and have done it all while remaining at the low end of the price spectrum. I just picked up my wife a 15" Inspiron fully loaded for $750, and it is one solid, solid piece of equipment.
Whoever is heading up their laptop division knows what their doing, and I'm very interested in their new offerings, given their recent Gaming rigs and now this ATG.