Pacific Data Systems recently previewed the all new Algiz XRW from Handheld and were blown away by this impressive low cost laptop.
At first glance the Algiz XRW impressed us with its size. Anyone who is used to a rugged laptop will testify that they are often bulky - a design problem that is hard to overcome without compromising on the rugged rating.
But the Algiz XRW looked more like a netbook (albeit a thicker version) and had a similar weight to what we would expect from a regular non-rugged laptop.
It is still clearly ruggedised though. The laptop is IP65 rated and has passed the stringent MIL-STD-810G military standard for drops, humidity, vibration and extreme temperatures. All the external ports are secured against dirt and water intrusion by very sturdy covers and rubberised bumpers on all corners add extra protection against drops up to 1.2 meters.
When we turned on the Algiz XRW, our excitement did not fade - the 10.1" screen was crisp and very comfortable for working on and we were very pleased to hear that a touchscreen has been included as a standard item. We are certain that this will open the Algiz XRW up to a whole new range of applications. The keys were also surprisingly easy to use for a laptop of these smaller proportions. Although necessarily closer together, they do require the user to push down firmly on the keys as you would with a desktop keyboard, as opposed to the very light-touch keys often found on modern laptops.
The clincher for us came when we realised that this was a truly rugged laptop being made available at an unprecedented price. Previously we had only seen "business-rugged" or "semi-rugged" laptops available this cheap.