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Location: Home / Article / Rugged Notebooks: VT Miltope RLC-3G

Rugged Notebooks: VT Miltope RLC-3G

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VT Miltope is part of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc., a multi-national engineering group engaged in aerospace, electronics, land systems and the marine sector. The VT Miltope arm makes rugged computers and computer peripherals, designed and manufactured in the US, for military, industrial and commercial tactical and aviation applications.

The RLC-3G is a heavy-duty, high performance and fully ruggedized notebook designed for military use. With dimensions of 15 x 11 x 3 inches, this is a large machine that weighs, depending on options, around 12 pounds. The current (as of January 2011) version is based on the 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9400r, the Mobile Intel GM45 Express/ICH9M chipset, serial ATA, and a variety of state-of-the-art performance features. It can be equipped with up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a ruggedized 3gb/s SATA hard disk with capacity of up to 640GB (or 160-600GB of solid state disk), and an optical DVD writer drive. The machine is equipped with discrete ATI E4690 graphics with 512MB of dedicated video memory. This means the RLC-3G is capable of very good overall performance and excellent graphics performance, especially 3G/OpenGL.

The RLC-3G comes with a fully sunlight-readable 15.4-inch wide-format LCD with 1680 x 1050 pixel WSXGA+ resolution, a large internal 7,800mAH Li-Ion battery (the device can also run directly via 18-32 VDC military vehicle power), analog and digital video, and modular I/O technology that can handle whatever program options are required, including the MIL-STD-1553 data bus, video capture, async serial and more. For expansion there are two PC Card Type II slots, an Express Card 54 slot, amd a Smart Card reader.

As expected, environmental specs are impressive. Operating temperature is 0 to 140 degree Fahrenheit, IP54 sealing, and the machines undergo MIL-STD-810F testing for shock, vibration, altitude, humidity, driving rain, sand, dust, and salt fog, as well as MIL-STD-461E testing for EMI/ESD, and MIL-STD 2169B HEMP environment 1 testing (that's for high altitude electromagnetic pulse resistance).

Overall, the VT Miltope RLC-3G is very clearly designed directly for military requirements, where it is a popular choice under the US Army's Common Hardware/Software III contract. In terms of performance and overall features, the RLC-3G is close to the GD-Itronix Tadpole Topaz (see our

full review of the Topaz

).