Rugged notebook from the house of salt and fog

Notebook PC passes grueling Department of Defense salt/fog test.

It happens every time. The mainsail cover is off, and it's freshening nicely. Then the boss calls begging you to get online and placate one of her key accounts. Luckily, she's seen fit to spring for the fully salt/fog-certified B300 ruggedized notebook.

What distinguishes this rugged, watertight, vibration- and drop-shock resistant PC--besides the sealed ports and connector cover--is the finish. According to manufacturer Getac, it protects everything from hinges to the keyboard to the electrical innards from salty corrosion, thus allowing you to telecommute from deck to dune.

Getac

The B300 was recently certified under standards set by the Department of Defense MIL-STD-810F - 509.4, according to Getac. Certification consists of 24 hours exposure to a 5 percent salt/fog mix, and 24 hours to dry off. Then it's back into the chamber for another 24 hours, 5 percent exposure, and so on for 4 days total. (Watch a video of a water sprinkler hosing down the keyboard.)

"Salt is one of the most aggressive chemical compounds in the world," said Getac President Jim Rimay. "Salt will quickly corrode a computer's exterior (and) impair vital electrical system functions. The B300 addresses these issues with its salt/fog certification and elevates it to an elite status among ruggedized computers for safe and uninterrupted operation in any location, especially in coastal regions of the world."

The B300 includes Giga LAN and 802.11a/g/n; Bluetooth 2.0, EV-DO and optional GPRS/EDGE networks, and integrated GPS, plus a number of security features like a fingerprint scanner and optional smart-card reader.

Also helpful for catching up--the B300's super-bright 1200 NITS screen with optional night vision and the 12 hour battery life.

At just over $3,000 retail you can pick up an extra one to stash in the trunk with your wetsuit.

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