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State-of-the-art Military Rugged Tablet
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

No longer carrying the "Hammerhead" name, the DRS MRT (Military Rugged Tablet) merges what was WalkAbout's Hammerhead platform and technology with DRS Tactical Systems' expertise in providing computing equipment for specialized military markets. Designed from the start to a variety of MIL-STD-810F certification, the military-grade aluminum housing of the MRT offers both compact size, fairly light weight, as well as maximum performance and powerful communication solutions.

The DRS MRT is based on thoroughly reliable and vastly field-tested technology. In essence, this is a 9th generation version of a design that goes back to the original Hammerhead pen computer in the early 1990s. This latest (and attractively styled) version uses state-of-the-art technology. The MRT is powered by a ultra-low voltage 1.2GHz Intel Core Duo U2500, has 2GB of RAM, and a shock-mounted hard disks up to 160GB (or solid state disks up to 128GB).

A Type III PCMCIA slot (or 2 Type II) can be used for expansion and the MRT also offers a flexible connector panel that allows each unit to be customized with a variety of standard communication devices, such as TacLink 3000e and PCIDM modem cards. All MRTs have an internal "flex" space that accommodates a commercial Global Positioning System or an additional radio. A Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) ready option is also available as is integrated Bluetooth.

The MRT features a 1024 x 768 pixel 10.4-inch indoor/outdoor viewable display (a SVGA version is still available) for optimal visibility in all lighting conditions including direct sunlight. In addition, a built-in Night Vision option can be used to customize display brightness down to 0.05 nits without exterior filter screens, making for NVG/NVIS compliance. While earlier MRTs came either with a proximity-sensing electromagnetic digitizer or a 5-wire resistive touch screen, this latest model seems to be touch screen only.

While this is portable computer, the MRT can also be hard-mounted directly into a vehicle platform without an additional vibration isolation kit. The unit can run on vehicle power and has embedded MIL-STD-1275 power conditioning.

The environmental specs list is long and once again demonstrates that the MRT merges WalkAbout and DRS heritage into a new and impressive product for military applications.

Added/changed Added 03/2008
Form-factor Rugged military-spec Tablet PC
Processor Intel Core Duo U2500
CPU Speed 1.2 GHz
Chipset Mobile Intel 945 Express
Standard/Max RAM 2GB/4GB
Disk/drive 40-160GB hard disk or 8-128GB solid state disk
Card slots 2 PC Card Type II or 1 Type III, "flex-space" and optional flexible connector panel
Display type Transflective TFT
Display size/res 10.4-inch/1024x768 or 800x600 with NVG/NVIS compatible nightvision adjustment
Digitizer/pens 5-wire touch panel, strengthened and coated glass
Keyboard/scale External
Ruggedness IP65, 4-foot drop, -22 to 140 degree F, numerous MIL-STD tests, EMI/EMC, vibration, safety, radiation, salt/fog, chemical, etc.
Housing Military-grade aluminum
Size (WxHxD) 12.25 x 8.25 x 2.0
Weight 8.5 lbs.
Power 15-33 VDC vehicle or dual Li-Ion
Interface 2 USB, LAN, RS232/422
Interface Via dock: 3 serial, SVGA, USB, parallel, keyboard
List price Inquire
Contact DRS Tactical
Brochure DRS MRT brochure
Web RuggedPC Review