updated 02:20 pm EDT, Mon August 14, 2006
General Dynamics Laptop
Soldiers posted to stations in the Middle East and other harsh climates know all too well the headaches associated with bringing a laptop overseas. Even in the safest conditions, desert dust and tropical moisture can creep into computers - and if the system breaks due to corrosion or a drop, service simply isn't an option. Panasonic's Toughbook has been the main choice for these soldiers and anyone else at high risk of losing a computer to damage, but now there is an alternative from an unusual source: General Dynamics. GD is best-known for the F-16 fighter and other large-scale military electronics, so it comes as a surprise that the company just announced the GoBook XR-1, which is meant for both those in uniform and the private sector. It meets official US military standards for dust and water resistance, altitude, shocks and more. The XR-1 is also unique for its built-in GPS tracking. The price is very much in line with military pricing, however: at $4330 for a 1.83 GHz Core Duo and 12.1-inch screen when it ships in September, the XR-1's main clients will be those who absolutely must rely on their laptop in the field. See a full picture after the jump.