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Dell ATC D620: Rough and rugged laptop

Dell takes on Panasonic's toughest laptops with its own semi-ruggedised model -- the 'all-terrain grade' Latitude D620

Dell makes some of the scariest computers in the world. We've already seen the unfathomably large XPS M2010, the plethora of exploding laptops, and the viciously quick H2C desktop -- but none of us predicted the arrival of the Latitude ATG D620.

Billed as a semi-ruggedised laptop, the ATG D620 is designed for anyone who conducts their business in harsh environments. And when we say 'harsh', we don't mean slumming it in the first class section of a Virgin train because your limo driver has gout -- we mean harsh as in the frozen Arctic wastes or the panther-ridden jungles of the Congo.

ATG stands for 'all-terrain grade' so it's no surprise this thing has a removable shock-mounted hard drive, a 'road-ready' magnesium-alloy chassis with steel-reinforced hinges, and a shock-mounted 12-inch LCD that's designed to soak up bumps. Significantly, the display is a 500cd/m2 model (the ordinary D620 is just 250cd/m2) so you can use it in super-bright environments such as the desert or a glaring, snowy mountaintop.

Other additions include a spill-resistant keyboard, resistance to dust, humidity and high altitude, and durable paint that guards against scratches. If we ever ventured away from the safety and security of our air-conditioned, hermetically sealed ivory tower, this would be near the top of our list -- especially as it costs $2,499 (£1,265) -- which is less than an equivalent Panasonic Toughbook.

We'll try to break one the minute they arrive in the UK this February. -RR