Rugged Laptop Review

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Why Buy a Rugged Laptop?

With laptops infiltrating nearly every job available, it stands to reason that people with demanding jobs need a rugged laptop that can handle the pressure. Whether the computer is dropped, dunked or buried in a sand bank, durable laptops can handle it. These are nearly essential for firefighters, foresters, or even military personnel to keep their data safe in even the most severe environments.

One of the biggest differences between your normal web-surfing computer and one designed for the environment are the certifications. While these certifications are Greek to the majority of the population, they are what you need to look for when trying to find the right rugged laptop. For more information on the certifications check out the articles on rugged laptop computers. Some of the best products include Getac B300, Amrel ROCKY RT and Panasonic Toughbook. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™

Rugged Laptops: What to Look For

While processing speed, battery life, screen size and memory are all important factors to consider, certifications and ruggedness are just as important. The following criteria are what we used to evaluate each rugged laptop.

Durability
There’s no point in buying a waterproof laptop if it’s going to die a horrible death as soon as it starts to rain while you are in the middle of taking a reading. The MIL-STD and IP ratings are used to test the ruggedness of the product.

The MIL-STD is the United States military standard for testing and certifying devices to meet military requirements. This is done by subjecting the device to various tests based on the size, weight and use. The two main tests that apply to rugged laptops are 810F and 810G. The difference is the requirements for changing electromagnetic environments.

The IP rating is not just for the United States, but it is an international protection rating for rugged computers. An IP rating lists two numbers: The first number refers to protection against solids and the second number pertains to liquids. Together the IP rating signifies a dust and water resistant laptop. The higher the number, the more rugged the product.

Features
Battery life and available memory are important factors to consider when purchasing any laptop, rugged or not. When you are out in the middle of nowhere without an outlet in sight, you definitely want to make sure your laptop can last as long as you do. Screen size and resolution are also important factors when working in full sunlight.

Customization
Almost all rugged laptops are all about expandability and customization. While two large manufacturers are known for producing a durable laptop, many manufacturers are smaller and specialize in customizing. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G and GPS are all available for those who need the extras. Many of the manufacturers also work with software companies and provide complete solutions for many different applications. By working with the manufacturers that specialize in what you need, you can normally get exactly the rugged computer you are looking for.

Help & Support
When hardware goes wrong and your job is on the line, you need help fast. Not only are FAQs and online support helpful, but telephone support is also a must when working in the field. Your rugged notebook may be the only connection you have to the internet, and if it’s on the fritz, you’ll be up the creek without a paddle if there’s no other form of help.

While not all people on the job require a rugged laptop, you know if you need one. For those of you who do, we’re here to help you with side-by-side comparisons and reviews of the best rugged computers available.

 
 
Electronics » Computers » Rugged Laptop Review
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Getac B300 ROCKY RT Toughbook 31 ROCKY RF Getac A790 ROCKY RK Latitude E6400 XFR General Dynamics GD8000 Algiz XRW
Getac B300 ROCKY RT Toughbook 31 ROCKY RF Getac A790 ROCKY RK Latitude E6400 XFR General Dynamics GD8000 Algiz XRW
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Ratings
10.00
9.65
9.32
9.30
9.25
9.07
8.55
7.85
7.40
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
9.00
10.00
9.75
10.00
10.00
8.50
10.00
8.50
9.00
9.13
9.25
10.00
10.00
8.50
8.50
10.00
9.00
8.75
8.75
10.00
10.00
8.00
8.00
7.75
9.25
8.00
6.25
7.50
9.25
7.50
5.00
7.50
 
Durability
IP IP65 IP54 IP65 IP54 IP65 IP54 IP65 IP64 IP65
MIL-STD 810
MIL-STD 461
   
MIL-STD 3009
        
UL1604
 
    
 
Hardware
Battery Life 11 hrs. 8 hrs. 13 Hours 8 hrs. 9 hrs. 8 hrs. 8 hrs. 8 hrs. 8 hrs.
Hard Drive 250GB 250GB 320 GB 250GB 160GB 250GB 128GB 160GB 64GB
RAM 8GB 4GB 4GB 4GB 4GB 4GB 8GB 8GB 2GB
Resolution 1024 x 768 1024 x 768 1024 x 768 1440 x 900 1024 x 768 1024 x 768 1280 x 800 1024 x 768 1366 x 768
External Ports
USB 3 3 4 3 2 2 4 3 2
DVD/CD 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1  
Modem (RJ-11) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1  
PCMCIA 2 2 1 2 3 2 1   
IEEE 1 2 1 1 1 2 1   
Serial (RS-232) 2 2 1 2 1 2   1 1
SD 1   1       1
HDMI 1   1       
Connectivity
Bluetooth v.2.1 +EDR v.2.0 v.2.1 + EDR v.2.0 v.2.0 + EDR v.2.0 v.2.1 v.2.0 + EDR v.2.0 + EDR
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 802.11a/b/g 802.11a/b/g/n 802.11a/b/g 802.11 a/b/g 802.11a/b/g 802.11g 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n
Cellular Gobi 3G HDSPA 3.5G Gobi 3G HDSPA 3.5G HSDPA 3G HDSPA 3.5G 3G HSDPA 3G HSDPA 3G
GPS
Camera   
      2MP
Operating System
Windows 7
 
 
 
Windows Vista
 
 
Windows XP  
 
 
Help & Support
Standard Warranty 5 years 1 year 3 years 1 year 5 years 1 year 3 years 3 years 1 year
Email Address
Telephone
 
FAQs