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Amrel Rocky RF10

For when you need a rugged notebook with a BIG screen
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Most fully rugged notebooks have displays in the 13 to 15 inch range, and that's not always enough for customers needing something larger. We think there's definitely a market for laptops with larger displays for situations where you need more screen real estate and working on a smaller screen isn't optimal. For that there's the Amrel Rocky RF10, which the company calls the world's only 17.1" fully rugged laptop.

The Rocky RF10, introduced on April 23, 2014, is an upgrade to Amrel's prior RF9. As is the case with all of Amrel's notebooks, the big 17-inch laptop uses a base platform that can then customized and specialized for industrial and military markets. Military specific features, for example, include a NATO green color scheme, MIL-STD 461 (EMI) compliance, and military connectors. Amrel says that over 80% of their sales include customization, so meeting special requirements is part of their business.

There are various reasons for wanting a larger display. Larger displays are easier to view and read, and the RF10 with its wide-format 16:10 aspect ratio 1440 x 900 pixel LCD certainly covers that need. Another argument for a large screen is that it's better for complex applications such as mapping, GIS, engineering, diagrams, situational awareness, etc. For that 1440 x 900 may not be quite enough, and so Amrel also offers displays with 1680 x 1050 (WSXGA+) and 1920 x 1200 (WUXGA+) pixel resolution.

Rugged laptops in this class will likely be used outdoors as well as in vehicles and field offices, and that's why the RF10 has a sunlight-readable display with optical treatments that increase screen contrast and reduce reflective glare for maximum viewability under bright conditions.

Compared to its RF9 predecessor, the RF10 benefits from substantial technology upgrades. They include a two processor generation jump from the Intel Core 2 Duo era all the way to Intel's "Sandy Bridge." The RF10 gets an ultra-low voltage dual-core Core i7-2610UE with a low thermal design power of just 17 watts. Base clock speed is 1.5GHz, with a maximum turbo frequency of 2.4 GHz. The chip has integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000, a good step up from the RF9's Intel GMA 4500 graphics.

Maximum RAM has doubled to 16GB DDR3, the RF10 has two fast USB 3.0 ports, and wireless is now handled by a Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 module that also includes Bluetooth 4.0. As with the RF9, there's optional ublox LEA-6H GPS, both VGA and DVI video ports, and Gobi 3000 vendor and technology independent mobile broadband. Also important to many users: legacy ports such as RS232/422/485 and PS/2 are still present.

As are most of Amrel's rugged laptop platforms, the RF10 is Flexpedient capable. Flexpedient is an Amrel technology that enables hardware to be rapidly reconfigurable to handle different applications via a client's application-specific modules (see Amrel's Flexpedient page).

Also of interest is Amrel's proprietary "dock under" system for easy mounting and dismounting from vehicles of all types. Amrel also has a Customizable COTS program, so any of their rugged notebooks can be designed to fit a customer's unique requirements, specs and environments.


Based in El Monte, California, AMREL (AMerican RELiance) has a long history of offering value-added applications in vertical markets. The Rocky line of ruggedized notebook computers was introduced in 1995 and has been updated, enhanced, and fine-tuned every since. AMREL was among the first to offer the full power, expansion, and convenience of a standard notebook in a ruggedized package.
Specifications Amrel Rocky RF10
Status Added 04/2014 (replaces RF9)
Processor Intel Core i7-2610UE with 4MB cache
CPU Speed 1.50GHz (up to 2.40GHz turbo)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 3000
OS Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Professional
Standard/Max RAM 4GB/8GB/16GB DDR3 1,333MHz
Disk/drive Removable, heated, shock-resistant 500GB or larger 2.5-inch hard disk; optional 2.5-inch SATA II SSD
Media Bay Removable SATA II DVD-RW or 2nd battery or 2nd HD/SSD or Flexpedient module
Card slots 1 x ExpressCard slot
Display type TFT LCD with LED backlight and anti-reflective coating
Display size/res 17.1-inch 1440 x 900 pixel WXGA+ 16:10 wide format, optional 1680 x 1050 (WSXGA+) and 1920 x 1200 (WUXGA+)
Digitizer/pens NA
Keyboard/scale Standard 87-key or backlit rubber-type 89-key keyboard, full scale
Housing Magnesium (black or NATO green)
Operating Temp MIL-STD 810G Method 501.5, Proc. I and II, Method 502.5, Proc. I and II; operating range -4° to 131°F (-20° to 55°C)
Sealing IEC 60529, IP65
Shock MIL-STD-810G 516.6 Proc. I
Salt Fog test MIL-STD-810G 509.5
Humidity test MIL-STD-810G 507.5 (Aggravated)
Vibration MIL-STD-810G 514.6, Proc. 1, Cat. 1, 14 and 20
Size (WxHxD) 16.1 x 12.4 x 2.8 inches (410 x 316 x 71 mm)
Weight 13.0 lbs. (5.9 kg)
Power Removable 11.1V 8,700 mAH Li-Ion (military connector); optional 11.1V 8,700 mAH Li-Ion 2nd battery swappable with optical drive, optional military DC jack
Interface 2 x RS232/422/485, 1 x LPT, 1 x DVI (or 2nd RS232), 1 x VGA, 1 x gigabit RJ45, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 2 IEEE1394, 1 x PS/2, audio in/out, dock; optional RJ11
Wireless Options: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 (802.1 1 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 3.0, 3.0+HS, 4.0 (BLE), uBlox LEA-6H GPS, Gobi 3000 WWAN
List price Inquire
Contact RF10 page
Spec sheet RF10 spec sheet