Dell’s heavy-duty notebooks aimed to beat Panasonic’s products

Dell Inc. is selling heavy-duty notebooks used in extreme environments that will compete with products made by Panasonic Corp.

The Latitude XFR D630 has a 14.1-inch screen. The laptop starts at $3,899 and weighs just under 9 pounds without the handle.

Dell’s rugged notebook is aimed at the military, emergency workers, oil-field engineers and others who work in harsh environments. The machine includes a keyboard designed to withstand driving rain and dust.

Dell Inc., an American technology-company based in Round Rock, Texas, develops, manufactures, sells, and supports personal computers, servers, data-storage devices, network-switches, personal digital assistants, software, televisions, computer-peripherals, and other technology-related products.

Dell's major competitors include Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, Gateway, Lenovo, Sony, Acer, Toshiba and Asus. Dell and its subsidiary, Alienware, compete in the enthusiast market against Falcon Northwest, Voodoo PC, and other manufacturers. In the second quarter of 2006 Dell had between 18% and 19% share of the worldwide personal computer market, compared to HP with roughly 15%. By leveraging its business-model, Dell attempts to undercut competitors and offer customers a more attractive choice of personal computers and other equipment.

Panasonic is an international brand name for Japanese electric products manufacturer Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Under this brand Matsushita sells plasma and LCD display panels, DVD recorders and players, Blu-ray Disc players, camcorders, telephones, microwave ovens, shavers, projectors, digital cameras, batteries, laptop computers, portable CD, analog tape decks and home stereo equipment, electronic components and semiconductors, all of which are marketed under their slogan "Ideas for Life."