Feature Article

January 24, 2013

Handheld Group Launches Tougher, Faster New Algiz XRW Notebook

Handheld Group is known throughout a fairly large swath of Europe -- especially since it's located in Sweden -- as a growing force in rugged mobile hardware. Smartphones, PDAs, even laptops are all part of Handheld's arsenal, and today, they announced the launch of a revamped version of their Algiz XRW line. The update will bring in not only significantly more power, but provide some peace of mind for those who have to take electronic gear out into the wild with them.

The new version of the Algiz XRW notebook contains a wide array of major improvements, like an upgraded processor. It now features a dual-core Intel Atom N2600 processor running at 1.6 GHz. It's also had an upgrade to its storage capacity, now holding 128 gigabytes on its internal solid-state drive, and to its RAM as well with four gigabytes of DDR2 RAM. Better yet, they've improved the GPS system to include a u-blox GPS, a TPM chipset to improve data security, and even stepped up the wireless WAN systems by offering the Gobi 3000 as an option.

Aesthetics also got a shot in the arm thanks to a 10.1 inch touchscreen display boasting MaxView technology to ensure that the screen is always bright and crisp despite conditions on the ground. It weighs just 1.6 kilograms (3.5 pounds), and even has a level of protection, often called "ruggedization" thrown in for extra protection in the field.

The touchpad and keyboard are sealed, complete with LED illumination, and it's protected against sand, dust and water to an IP65 rating, which essentially translates as "complete protection against dust" and "protection against low pressure water jets from all directions.” What's more, it can handle extreme temperatures from -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) to 55 degrees Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit), and has even passed MIL-STD-810G testing, including surviving a 1.2 meter (about 3.94 feet) drop.

The new device is available for order now, and for the same price as the older version, but shipments won't start until the end of February.

While the power on this may not be the greatest, especially as compared to many current laptops in the field or even some breeds of tablet, it's clear that this isn't supposed to be a powerhouse tool but rather a rugged tool designed to get safely through the slings and arrows of a typical day in some fields, especially those like mining and the like in which drops onto rocks or just wet environments in general are likely and should be expected. Algiz is likely to have a very well received solution on its hands, though, as in those kinds of environment, survivability is job one, and the XRW looks like it should do nicely on that front.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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