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Averatec announces semirugged Voya laptops

The Averatec Voya 4473 and Averatec Voya 6494 laptops were announced today.

Averatec Voya laptop
A magnesium alloy outer case and corner bumpers help the new Voyas take abuse. CNET Networks
Averatec semi-rugged laptop
Inside: a spill-resistant keyboard and touch pad. Averatec

This week Averatec officially announced the release of two semirugged laptops: the 14.1-inch, standard-aspect Voya 4473 and the 15.4-inch wide-screen Voya 6494. Both Voya laptops combine magnesium alloy outer cases, corner bumpers, and a shock-mounted hard drive to help withstand vibration and drops. The laptops also incorporate a spill-resistant keyboard and touch pad.

We had a chance to see these during a recent visit to the company's Santa Ana, Calif., offices. Reminiscent of the semirugged Twinhead Durabooks we've reviewed in the past, the Voya laptops felt sturdy enough to withstand a drop or two (we'll test this more thoroughly when we receive our review units). Otherwise, the Voya 4473 and Voya 6494 are fairly straightforward business laptops, with Intel Centrino and Windows Vista inside.

Pricing for the systems starts at $1,299, which is competitive with other semirugged laptops on the market and likely to appeal to anyone who heaps a little extra abuse on their gadgets.

The release is part of a broader brand revival for Averatec, which has been somewhat quiet in the U.S. market during the last 18 months. With its new line of laptops, Averatec is moving its focus away from the super-value systems of the past and toward more upscale and specialized consumer markets.