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Where can I find the data?

by 6sigmom / June 5, 2008 11:40 AM PDT

It seems I need to buy a laptop that does not exist. I need a fully rugged with a 2Ghz duo or faster. That processor puts me into the semi rugged or less. So here is the problem: I want the toughest mil spec TEST RESULTS for dropping from at least 3 feet, water and dirt, in that order. In researching toughbook and some of the other laptops or notebooks I find a lot of references to their being "designed to mil specs" but no where can I find the actual test results. The closest I have found said that the new toughbook 52 withstood a drop of 12 inches, as do the "business rugged" panasonics. Well, I'm sorry but if I can only drop it 12 inches, what's the point? I know there are several other manufacturers that say they have a "rugged" product but where can I find actual test results?

Perhaps, someone can chime in with the closest machine they know of to my "dream machine"
College of Architecture requires MINIMUM of: 2Ghz Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB Ram, 100 GB HD, DVD-R, 128 MB video card, 802.11 G Wireless, USB 2.0 Port, pcmcia/express card slot, wired ethernet connection, 16 bit sound card, windows xp professional (NOT VISTA) and office 07.
I need to be able to drag this thing through the woods, across the farm, across the country and across campus, in the rain and the mud, snow, mountains, beach, heat and humidity. I guarantee I will drop it on occasion, probably from waist high and it will get kicked by various lifeforms and popped in and out of bookbags and luggage at a very fast and unceremonial pace. That's me being careful. I also have a focus in International Business so it will be going to third world countries and asked to perform fairly sophisticated media presentations. I can not be sending it in for this and that little fix, whether it's free or not. It must be kill proof and savvy.

Year before last, I killed 3 brand new laptops: a sony vaio, a toshiba satellite and most pathetic of all, an HP. I then got a Panasonic toughbook cf-18 convertible which has proven to be indestructible (except for the plastic keys constantly popping off the keyboard). I love the ability to flip the screen and it has done well considering BUT it is fully rugged and the college requirements are not available in a fully rugged to my knowledge. Does anyone have experience with any of the other "ruggeds" like Motorola, Itronix, Getac or Panther? I'm sure there are more that I've never even heard of but does anyone actually test these things and publish the results?? In my surfing there seem to be a lot of claims but where's the proof?!!

Thanks in advance for any input : )

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Try the phone.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 5, 2008 11:44 AM PDT

You found the companies but did you call them to get your data? I know that today many forget to try the old fashioned phone system.

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I did
by 6sigmom / June 5, 2008 11:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Try the phone.

I did try the phone. First call was to panasonic. I intended to just order the best/closest option and be done with it. I talked to Sheena Simmons who was such a - politeness won't allow the description-

Anyway, at that point I went looking for alternatives and found that much of what I thought I knew about panasonic and toughbooks was wrong. I have gotten some opinions from various sales people but nothing seems to be available in actual written data.

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The others have mil spec docs.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 5, 2008 11:34 PM PDT
In reply to: I did

It rarely results in a sale but I am not a company rep so I stand by my suggestion. Keep phoning.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 5, 2008 11:35 PM PDT

The docs cost about 500 bucks each last time I looked into this. Not free so be sure you know it can be costly to some. In my case it was just part of the deal.

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extremely depressing
by 6sigmom / June 5, 2008 11:47 PM PDT
In reply to: ps.

I guess I'm just doomed to chunk $4,000 + in the wind in the hope that a product I buy will actually deliver as promised. These days finding a product or service that performs as advertised is very rare indeed. I appreciate the suggestion but I don't see the logic in paying $500 for information to support the purchase of one laptop.

Maybe I should just buy a truck load of dells and back everything out each time I boot up. Certainly wouldn't cost any more time or money than this process!

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Such docs cost money to create.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 6, 2008 12:03 AM PDT
In reply to: extremely depressing

And given the many hundred pages it's not cheap to print either. That market is not for consumers on the whole so you appear to applying consumer pricing to what is something entirely different.

The toughbooks are tough but why are you testing their toughness? I'll share we used to get those for our abusive employees but times changed and we changed the abusive employee out and was able to just use cheap Dells.

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I only want to LOOK
by 6sigmom / June 6, 2008 12:52 AM PDT

I don't need to own the document. I only need a bit of the information - how far and how often can they drop, how wet can they get & how much dirt is too much.

I'm not trying to abuse my equipment - far from it - but I know what my days are like and will be like and I need a computer with the best chance of making it to the finish line with me, operational.

If I may ask, what was your industry that you are now able to use dells rather than toughbooks?


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Was test equipment for mil.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 6, 2008 1:29 AM PDT
In reply to: I only want to LOOK

Now the normal production lines and offices. I see you are looking from a consumer stance and comparing consumer gear to toughbooks and militarized units so you may not be happy with the 5 to 10 thousand and up pricing you see in such units. The real drop resistant units do not have hard disks but solid state disks. Be sure you get that if you must drop the unit.

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now we're getting somewhere
by 6sigmom / June 7, 2008 10:22 AM PDT

I don't know of any consumer gear that would have a prayer of surviving but of course it would be nice to have a prettier and cheaper laptop.

I can and will pay the price I need to pay but you bring up another question regarding the hard drive (or not). Is there a truly rugged, drop in the mud and survive laptop that will meet the college and business requirements in my original post? I have a little leeway on presonal use and business use but the school of Architecture requirements are set in stone.


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I think so.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 7, 2008 10:31 AM PDT

But I am not actively researching this anymore since our needs changed. I'm sharing what happened last time I dove into this area. You have the names in your top post. I think the phone is next and once you get over the sticker shock and the lack of free documentation it gets better.

However I'd find a way to stop abusing the hardware.
I'd get on the phone (like I did last time.)

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