If ruggedness and portability need to go hand in hand, General Dynamics has a tough, powerful device that fits comfortably in just one … hand. The Itronix GD2000 runs on Windows 7 and is powered by an 1.2 Ghz Intel Celeron processor, but that’s not extremely unique. What sets this computer apart is its ruggedness (dust and water safe while meeting or exceeding multiple military specifications for durability) and size (measuring at 1.8” x 6.6” x 4.8″ and tipping the scales at a modest 2.4 pounds).

Here’s the catch: the Itronix GD2000 starts at a price that’s anything but small: $4,900. With a price like that, this little computer seems better suited to an outfit with a nearly endless budget — like the Pentagon, for instance. However, while General Dynamics boasts that the Itronix GD2000 is “paratrooper proven,” they also recommend it for field workers: “Enhanced graphics and 3D rendering performance make this device ideal for applications such as field communications, situational awareness, paperless metering and ticketing, and other transactional applications.”

As you would expect with the price tag, this computer has a list of features a mile long. Here are some of the most notable:

  • 6-hour lithium-ion battery that can be swapped out without system interruption
  • 5.6-inch, 1024 x 600 LED touchscreen that’s visible in bright sunlight
  • Touchpad, micro-joystick, mouse thumb buttons and direction pad
  • Withstands accidental drops, extreme temperatures, heavy vibrations, blowing rain, sand and dust, humidity, altitude, acoustic noise, fungus, direct sunlight, and many other conditions
  • Multiple wireless options including WWAN, WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n, PAN, and Bluetooth
  • GD2000 can run up to 3 RF modems and a GPS receiver at one time
  • Standard 3-year warranty

Truth be told, we have a hard time imagining workers in the field getting outfitted with devices that cost more than some service vehicles back in 1986. But the trend toward smaller, tougher mobile devices is certainly one we’ll keep watching.