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VT Miltope RLC-3G Computer

Rugged high-performance laptop with discrete graphics for military use
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

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).

Added/updated Added 1/2011
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 with 6MB L2 cache and 1066MHz front side bus
CPU Speed 2.53GHz
Chipset GM45 Express chipset with ICH9M-Enhanced
OS Windows 7 32bit (Vista or XP downgrade available IAW Microsoft licensing provisions), Linux
Video ATI E4690 with 512 MB dedicated video memory
Standard/Max RAM Up to 8GB DDR3
Disk/drive Shock-mounted 80-640GB SATA hard disks; optional 160-600GB SSD
Optical drive Internal 5" ISO standard DVD+RW/CD-RW
Card slots 2 PC Card Type I or II (or 1 x Type III), Express Card54, Smart Card
Display type Sunlight-viewable AMLCD TFT up to 125,000 lux
Display size/res 15.4"/1680 x 1050 WSXGA+
Digitizer/pens none
Keyboard/scale Rugged 87 key, backlit keyboard with tactile feel, touchpad and mouse stick
Housing Unknown
Operating Temp 0*F to +140*F (MIL-STD-810F, Method 501.4/502.4, Procedure II (3 cycles))
Sealing IP54
Shock 3 foot drop (MIL-STD-810F, Method 516.5, Procedure IV)
Vibration MIL-STD-810F, Method 514.5, Procedure I, Cat. 21 (Ground Vehicles), Figure 514.5C-1 (RLC-3G out of transit case); Paragraph
Altitude 15,000 feet operating
Salt Fog MIL-STD-810F, Method 509.4; (RLC-3G in transit case, 5+/-1% aqueous salt)
EMI/EMC MIL-STD-461E Radiated Emissions (RE101-1 and RE102-3), paragraph 5.15 and 5.16; Radiated Susceptibility (RS103 and RS105) paragraph 5.19 (2 MHz to 18 GHz) and 5.20; Conducted Susceptibility (CS101, CS114, CS115, and CS116) paragraph 5.4 and 5.5; Conducted Emissions (CE101, CE102) paragraph 5.7, 5.12 (limit curve #3), and 5.14, MIL-STD-464A Electrostatic Discharge, paragraph 5.7.3; FCC Class B, Part 15 Electronic Equipment Digital Device
HEMP MIL-STD-461E, RS105; MIL-STD 2169B HEMP environment 1
Size (WxHxD) 15.0 x 11.0 x 3.0 inches
Weight About 12 pounds
Power Li-Ion 7800 mAh rechargeable battery
Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n
Interface RS-232/422/485, 4 x USB 2.0, Analog (SVGA)/Digital (DisplayPort), 1 x RJ45 10/100/1000 Ethernet, eSATA, 3 x audio
List price inquire
Contact www.miltope.com
Brochure RLC-3G brochure
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