The more I use my notebook, the more I'm disappointed that it doesn't play very well outside. The glossy screen is difficult to read in outdoor lighting and impossible to see in sunlight, and the chassis isn't as impervious to moisture as someone living in rainy Vancouver might want. I suppose that's why I'm particularly intrigued by this rugged netbook teased over at Engadget this morning.
Swedish notebook maker Handheld Group has announced a beefed up Algiz XRW system with a 10.1" 1366x768 display that's purportedly readable in sunlight, a 2GHz Atom Z550 CPU backed by 2GB of memory and a 64GB SSD, and an enclosure that meets the IP65 and MIL-STD-810F standards for ruggedness. The IP65 standard prescribes resistance to water and particulate, while the MIL standard is a Department of Defense spec that covers various environmental factors in addition to physical shock.
As one might expect, the XRW is also loaded with wireless connectivity, including an optional 3G modem. The whole thing is said to weigh 3.3 lbs and offer an impressive eight hours of battery life, too, but it appears to be quite a bit thicker than the average netbook. Handheld Group says the XRW will begin shipping in December, although it's unclear whether the system will be available stateside or how much it might cost.
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