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3 Rugged Notebooks Take a Beating

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the catharsis-defined dept.

Portables 119

bsk_cw writes "Brian Nadel got a chance to try to destroy three 'fully rugged' notebooks and get paid for it — Computerworld had him drop, spray, drown, bake, shake, and freeze notebooks from General Dynamics Itronix, Getac, and Panasonic. All three suffered some damage, but only the Getac M230 actually died as a result. Brian made videos of the tests (which were apparently done in his home, including his kitchen)."

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so what ? (-1, Flamebait)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418226)

What about the GIs who also take a serious beating?

Re:so what ? (1, Troll)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418288)

What about the GIs who also take a serious beating?

Well, obviously, you have to give up some form of frivolous pastime in order to show solidarity with them.

Re:so what ? (-1, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418508)

Why, I'm not even American?
Maybe it'd be okay if they were not as fat and focussed on coming back alive instead of butt-fucking their (political) prisoners.
You people annoy me: how is it that you accept that situation to the point that you even see possible that McCain or Hillary Schmuckton could become your next president?

Re:so what ? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419058)

You want to see videos of U.S. soldiers getting blown up?

Obligatory.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23418290)

I'd like to see this same test done with any of the Apple laptops.

Re:Obligatory.... (1, Insightful)

PawNtheSandman (1238854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418332)

I'd like to see the same test done to Justin Long.

Re:Obligatory.... (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418614)

I'd like to see the same test done to Sanford Wallace and Walter Rines.

Re:Obligatory.... (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419698)

Coincidentally enough, i have a friend who lives in Oregon named...Justin Long.

Obvious... (4, Funny)

Bullseye_blam (589856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418338)

Brian made videos of the tests (which were apparently done in his home, including his kitchen)."

Proof that Brian is not married.

Re:Obvious... (3, Funny)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418706)

He also missed out on an awesome opportunity for a Martha Stewart impression when he was pulling those things outta the oven.
...Proof that I am married?

Insert obvious "you're not married you're gay / a nerd joke".

Re:Obvious... (1, Offtopic)

rockout (1039072) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419438)

You're not married, you're a nerd that thinks pre-emptively ragging on yourself will make you seem less gay.

Re:Obvious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23422314)

you're not married, you're a gay nerd!

Re:Obvious... (1)

moshez (67187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418888)

Not anymore, in any case.

Re:Obvious... (3, Funny)

Schmyz (1265182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419446)

well its good to know what the laptops can take...lord knows when we will fall asleep in our oven during a late night programming session...I mean come on...dont we all climb in to keep warm or is it only me?

You know what else just took a beating? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23418350)

my cock, that's what

Re:You know what else just took a beating? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23418554)

Your parents should have named you Getac M230.

-----
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Re:You know what else just took a beating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23420166)

How do you manage to do that with that little thing? Tweezers?

Print link - avoid 6 pages of ads (5, Informative)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418388)

To save you having to wade through 6 ad-filled half pages - here's the link [computerworld.com] .

Why this link is't published to start with is beyond me.

Re:Print link - avoid 6 pages of ads (4, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418656)

As stupid and annoying as going through 6 ad-filled pages, that is entirely the publisher's choice to do, and working around it would be, while maybe not wrong, not nice. They pay for their bandwidth, and you have to admit that going to slashdot without ad support, would suck.

Re:Print link - avoid 6 pages of ads (3, Insightful)

JustShootThemAll (1284898) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418784)

I tend to think of ads as electronic warfare. "They" try to get as much exposure, I try to minimize it. That means they get to try their latest pop-up/pop-under schemes, and I get to sharpen my skills with AdBlockPlus, NoScript and a very broad hostfile to exclude ad-domains. I'm not interested in the crap they peddle. I'm also think it is morally wrong to let them enjoy ad-income. And if they can't exist without the money from ads, well, they are free to remove their website.

Re:Print link - avoid 6 pages of ads (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419336)

I'm also think it is morally wrong to let them enjoy ad-income.

Truly, sir, you are the new Socrates.

Re:Print link - avoid 6 pages of ads (4, Interesting)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 6 years ago | (#23420034)

I'm [sic] also think it is morally wrong to let them enjoy ad-income.

Great thesis. Now support it.

To put my money where my mouth is, I will attempt to support the opposing view (disclaimer: yes, I run Google AdSense on my web pages). Web pages such as the one in TFA are information that you, at your option, may find useful. Generating the content, and acquiring the bandwidth to provide it to you, costs money -- sometimes just a little bit (as in my case), and sometimes a lot (as, I suspect, in the case of TFA above -- destroying laptops in an abuse test can't be cheap). The content provider is providing that information to you completely free (as in beer). How then, if you do not charge for access to the content, do you pay for the bandwidth, hardware and, well, content required to provide interesting, relevant content? One way is to serve ads on the web page. Provided that the ads aren't the annoying, overly garish, flash-based crap that seriously detracts from the host web page, I don't believe this is too much to ask. As I said above, I put Google AdSense on my web pages because I don't think a simple text-based ad on the border of a web page is too intrusive. While other web hosts might disagree, I don't really give a rip if you want to run ad blockers, NoScript or edit your host files to block ads on my server. My web sites are primarily a hobby; I would just like to generate a little extra income to help offset the costs of bandwidth and servers. FWIW, I am a long way from breaking even on costs. My sites are pretty low volume (and ironically OTA right now; gotta call my upstream and find out what's going on...sigh).

And if they can't exist without the money from ads, well, they are free to remove their website.

On the flip side, if you are so morally opposed to ads on a web page, you are free to not visit my web sites ;)

Re:Print link - avoid 6 pages of ads (1)

JustShootThemAll (1284898) | more than 6 years ago | (#23422028)

Web pages such as the one in TFA are information that you, at your option, may find useful.

True. I appreciate pages that are genuinely informative. The web can be a wonderful thing. On the other hand there are imperial truckloads of crappy sites. That, also, is the web.

Generating the content, and acquiring the bandwidth to provide it to you, costs money -- sometimes just a little bit (as in my case), and sometimes a lot (as, I suspect, in the case of TFA above -- destroying laptops in an abuse test can't be cheap).

Again, you are right. I publish several websites myself (only one of them has a significant number of visitors) and colocating isn't cheap.

The content provider is providing that information to you completely free (as in beer). How then, if you do not charge for access to the content, do you pay for the bandwidth, hardware and, well, content required to provide interesting, relevant content?

Well, how do people get money? By working for it, for example. That is what I do, in any case.

One way is to serve ads on the web page. Provided that the ads aren't the annoying, overly garish, flash-based crap that seriously detracts from the host web page, I don't believe this is too much to ask.

Here our viewpoint differs. I don't want to see ads. Not in real life, not on tv and certainly not on the internet.

As I said above, I put Google AdSense on my web pages because I don't think a simple text-based ad on the border of a web page is too intrusive. While other web hosts might disagree, I don't really give a rip if you want to run ad blockers, NoScript or edit your host files to block ads on my server.

No problem here then! You try to serve ads, I block them. You are happy, I am happy.

My web sites are primarily a hobby; I would just like to generate a little extra income to help offset the costs of bandwidth and servers. FWIW, I am a long way from breaking even on costs.

You aren't breaking even, by a long shot. Then why serve ads at all? It would only be slightly more costly to not serve them, right?

As I understand it, only first time visitors tend to click on ads. Once you get repeat visitors they mentally block them out and don't click any more. I don't know anything about your sites, but if it is anything that encourages return visits then you annoy your loyal visitors while not getting any revenue from them anyway. Just remove the ads, it amounts to nothing in the end.

On the flip side, if you are so morally opposed to ads on a web page, you are free to not visit my web sites ;)

That's only fair! ;-)

To be completely honest, I often don't mind a small text ad somewhere in the border. But the complete crapfest on most of the websites of the 'traditional media' is pretty horrific. For those sites, anything goes.

I'm getting better at completely blocking the ads, even if I have to write an interpreter for each and every site where the content might be mildly interesting.

Of course, I would be less of a hypocrite if I just didn't visit those sites at all, but hey, I'm only human too...

Re:Print link - avoid 6 pages of ads (1)

nicklott (533496) | more than 6 years ago | (#23424082)

Well, how do people get money? By working for it, for example. That is what I do, in any case.
and where does your employer get the money to pay you? Or if you're self-employed how do your customers find you? and how do their employers get money to pay them? Selling products or selling services? Whatever it is there's a good chance that they need to advertise to be successful. Any economy where the entire means of production isn't state-owned (ie everywhere outside Cuba) will have advertising, it's necessary in order for any economy to function with any degree of efficiency.

As I understand it, only first time visitors tend to click on ads. Once you get repeat visitors they mentally block them out and don't click any more.
If that were true why do you think companies continue to pay good money for them? By definition they only do things that make them money overall. It's only with pay-per-click ads that clicking is even important. People spent trillions on advertising before the internet came along and gave them a way of directly measuring impact (not to claim that it's an accurate measure).

That's not to say that it can't be overdone. Artificially splitting an article into 6 more pieces just to present more ad impressions is repugnant and self defeating. I can guarantee that the ads on such sites will be bottom-of-the-barrel specimens.

Re:Print link - avoid 6 pages of ads (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23424900)

As stupid and annoying as going through 6 ad-filled pages, that is entirely the publisher's choice to do, and working around it would be, while maybe not wrong, not nice.

If only they would provide a single page article with ads. Then a site like slashdot could link to that, they would get ad money, and we wouldn't have to type or click so much just to RTFA. The problem isn't with the ads (we can just block those), we have objection to the click-fest.

Re:Print link - avoid 6 pages of ads (2, Insightful)

jdmetz (802257) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419490)

Why this link is't published to start with is beyond me.

I think it is pretty obvious why the ad-filled link was published. Note that the article is from ComputerWorld, and the submitter was bsk_cw.

Mental note: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23418392)

Mental note: buy panasonic stock...

In Related News... (5, Funny)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418398)

Fisher-Price today announced that, rumors to the contrary, they do not intend to introduce notebooks for children. A company spokesman gave the company's reasoning in prepared remarks, "These laptops survived being buried, broiled, frozen and drowned for a weekend? That is a typical lazy Sunday for our products in the hands of our customers. We are supposed to be impressed by that? No, our customers would scoff at such fragility."

Re:In Related News... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419420)

I wonder if anyone has any statistics on just how long stuff by FP lasts.

I seem to recall having a fleet of it when I was a kid, much of which had been through my brother (a human wrecking machine as a child, I'm told).

As far as I can tell, that stuff is nearly indestructible in the hands of all but the most determined children.

Cheers

Re:In Related News... (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 6 years ago | (#23420090)

VERY good point...

Too bad FP doesn't make laptops. Maybe they would be better suited for some of the people I work with than the Dells we currently buy <grin>

Re:In Related News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23421658)

I did some unscientific long terms tests with the larger Tonka trucks.
A Tonka Bus that my son got when he was 2 is still around and working fine. He is 17 so he played with it outside for about 6 years and it sat dormant for the last nine in our back woods. It was almost completely buried with leaves and twigs. My 2 year old nephew was back in the woods last week end and found it. He needed help getting it out of the ground but I smacked it down a few times to knock of the stuck on mud and he immediately started playing with it. Even the stop sign on the side opened and closed with no problems.

This bus is one of the first plastic models styled close to the older metal models but more rounded than the the older metal ones that I had growing up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7fR8uC_p7k [youtube.com]
I was a little skeptical of the "plastic" version of the Tonka trucks when we got it for him 15 years ago but I can tell you that it has held up better than any of the metal ones I used to have when I was a kid. My god, kids these days might get hurt with a big metal toy and what if they sit on it and go flying down the road without a helmet. I can not speak for the current crop of Tonka Trucks though. They look extremely flimsy. I am about 200 pounds and can stand on the ones my son had.

Re:In Related News... (1)

trongey (21550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419782)

Fisher-Price today announced that, rumors to the contrary, they do not intend to introduce notebooks for children... our customers would scoff at such fragility.
This is especially funny when you consider that everything from Fisher-Price is made of plastic.

Re:In Related News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23421324)

Fisher-Price has been selling notebooks for children for years through the Macintosh brand.

Control group? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23418400)

This doesn't seem to have any value unless you compare them to normal notebooks. It's just as important to know if buying any "rugged" notebook is worth it.

I heard a few years ago that someone ran over his Powerbook G4 with a truck and it survived. I'd love to see how a Macbook Pro would compare to these "rugged" notebooks.

Re:Control group? (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 6 years ago | (#23421360)

While being run over with a truck is awful for a person it really isn't that bad for a machine, even if it is a laptop. The truck's tire pressure on the road is only a few dozen psi due to all the contact area. Most laptops are reasonably strong and can handle some things stacked on them when just laying flat with the cover closed. Dropping it on its edge from airplane luggage rack height makes for a good test because the impact g force is huge. Rather than destroy some normal laptops doing that, just take my word for it that'd kill them and send them to me instead.

What kind of drop test is that? (4, Insightful)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418410)

All the drop tests in the video showed the units being dropped onto a soft mat. Where's the drop onto the tile floor? Where's the drop onto parking lot asphalt? From a moving rental car? Landing under the wheels?

The Six Year Old Test (4, Interesting)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418560)

Nothing is better than the six year old test. The Beeb ran a test a few years ago [bbc.co.uk] on rugged testing CF cards. They nailed them to a tree, given to a six year old with simply instructions to "destroy" and put in a strainer and stove top boiled. now THAT is what I call ruggedized testing.

Re:The Six Year Old Test (5, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418746)

It would have been more disasterious if he gave it to a 4 year old and telling them to be careful with it.

Re:The Six Year Old Test (3, Funny)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418854)

I don't think it deserved that sort of torment :(

Re:The Six Year Old Test (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419508)

It would have been more disasterious if he gave it to a 4 year old and telling them to be careful with it.

I think you have a potentially valuable line of research there.

I'm sure you can apply for a grant to study the relative destructiveness of children of various ages under various instructions.

You can fully quantify the Index of Capacity For Destruction under controlled (and uncontrolled) circumstances. As a control group, put them in the hands of people who think they're power users or pointy haired bossed -- they seem to be able to break almost anything and claim they did nothing to it.

Of course, my prediction is the kid from "Toy Story" is going to be your most disaster-inducing group. I'm sure you can find some parents of children with an unbridled capacity for damage who would be willing to hand you their little monsters^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hdarlings.

Cheers

Re:The Six Year Old Test (1)

quarterbuck (1268694) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426084)

My favorite is this one [youtube.com] again from the BBC.

Re:What kind of drop test is that? (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418700)

All the drop tests in the video showed the units being dropped onto a soft mat. Where's the drop onto the tile floor? Where's the drop onto parking lot asphalt? From a moving rental car? Landing under the wheels?

Woah there! You might break one doing that. Those things is expensive. Here's some other advice: if you accidentally drop your laptop, try not to drop your laptop.

Also, why specifically a rental car?

Re:What kind of drop test is that? (1)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419028)

Also, why specifically a rental car?

It's a reference to the intended audience of the original article (based on the first paragraph): business travelers.

Re:What kind of drop test is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23418952)

Or the drop into a blender [willitblend.com] ?

Hey, accidents happen.

Re:What kind of drop test is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23419044)

Where's the drop onto parking lot asphalt? From a moving rental car? Landing under the wheels?
Why do you always have to bring that up? I made a mistake, all right?

Re:What kind of drop test is that? (1)

triso (67491) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425160)

All the drop tests in the video showed the units being dropped onto a soft mat. Where's the drop onto the tile floor? Where's the drop onto parking lot asphalt? From a moving rental car? Landing under the wheels?

I'm a sucker for the one-meter drop onto a cold washroom floor with ceramic tile on concrete.

Obligatory Karmawhoring Link (-1, Redundant)

lazybratsche (947030) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418412)

Here's the link to the article on one continuous page [computerworld.com] , bypassing the ads and pageload glomming.

kitchen test (5, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418428)

Well, come on, man, tell us what we need to know.

Did it blend?

Laptop raper! (2, Funny)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418440)

What kind of maniacal beast would cook their brand new multi thousand dollar laptop in the oven?? Maybe he was hit over the head when he was a kid with laptops and this is some kind of twisted cathartic therapy?

Re:Laptop raper! (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418622)

Ever left something in the car on the seat on a hot summer day? Stuff can get damn hot in there, so an oven is quite a reasonable emulation of that circumstance.

Re:Laptop raper! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23419278)

Many years ago, in a land far, far away, my parents had taken us to Disney World in Florida in June. My dad parked the car in one of the lots and we hiked to the entrance for our first day of fun and frolicking.

When we came back, we closed the windows (they had been cracked to allow for some sort of air flow), turned on the a/c and headed back to our hotel. My dad retrieved his handheld ham radio from under the seat and turned it on. No signal. He checked all his settings and everything was perfect. A bit miffed, he left it on as we drove away.

Somewhere along the way, I reached into the glovebox and removed the small radio that was stored inside. When I went to turn it on, I noticed the plastic case around the knob was deformed. I looked more closely and noticed that other parts of the case were similarly deformed.

It was then that a lightbulb (no LEDs back then) went off above my dad's head. The reason the case to the radio was warped was because the heat inside the car had been so great. This also explained why his ham radio wasn't working. The heat had shifted the frequency of the crystal. Sure enough, about fifteen minutes later, after the a/c was cooling the interior, his radio worked perfectly.

Moral of story: subjecting a laptop to an oven baking is a valid test of how well that laptop will stand up to high temperatures which could be experienced when left inside a car on a hot summer day.

Posting anonymously so as not to undo a previous moderation.

a jest (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23421614)

The above original post was a more a jest and not really serious. However, I completely agree that on a hot summer day, a car can become nice and toasty. I'm sure a black car with black leather seats would fry most bottoms, and bad things would happen to electronics. As with the guy who posted about his dad's ham radio, I am not surprised.

Re:a jest (1)

MagusZeal (1156955) | more than 6 years ago | (#23423040)

Living in Florida I test the black car with black leather seats on a daily basis. Word to the wise, the seats less of a danger then the steering wheel that will try to melt flesh along with the exposed metal on the seat belt.

Re:Laptop raper! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419546)

What kind of maniacal beast would cook their brand new multi thousand dollar laptop in the oven?? Maybe he was hit over the head when he was a kid with laptops and this is some kind of twisted cathartic therapy?

Do you really believe, deep in your heart, that someone hasn't accidentally done something equally insane to their machines?

I bet somewhere in the Annals of Documented Carnage (TM) you'd find an example of a laptop being subjected to something in that vein. It simply has to have happened. :-P

Heck, I'm sure someone here will provide a close example. ;-)

Cheers

Heat treatment (1)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 6 years ago | (#23422868)

I bet somewhere in the Annals of Documented Carnage (TM) you'd find an example of a laptop being subjected to something in that vein. It simply has to have happened. :-P

Oh sure - I can just imagine.

"I put it in the oven to dry it out."
"Dry it out?"
"After I dropped it in the pool."
[Forehead smack]

Re:Laptop raper! (1)

Kompressor (595513) | more than 6 years ago | (#23424552)

OK, you asked for it.

I once worked for one of the big 2 PC manufacturers in technical support. There was a documented case of a customer who had spilt lots of liquid inside his desktop system, and decided he needed to dry it out. His solution: take the components out, spread them evenly on an oven rack, and bake for a while.

As I understand it, the call came in because it wouldn't work when he put it all back together. It didn't work, of course...

So, sometimes computers do indeed need to be able to survive ovens.

Laptop Testing services (5, Funny)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418446)

Does this guy do house calls? If so, my neighbour's laptop might need some "testing".. I know his sound system works thanks to his rigorous 24 hour full-volume test, but I'd like to be just as confident in his laptop's abilities as well.

Oh, and don't tell him you're testing it either. It's a ummmm..surprise birthday present from me. Yeah, that's it. Birthday present.

Re:Laptop Testing services (1)

bjackson1 (953136) | more than 6 years ago | (#23422906)

The reminds me of a situation I had with my neighbor, who also liked to test his sound system day and night, and also was quite unclean and brought a large amount of roaches with him. It appeared that he had an unsecured wireless network, in fact a WRT54G. Next thing you know I have OpenWRT on that baby and the DNS is pointing everything to TubGirl. Took him two weeks to buy a new router, but I saw him trying to fix it the whole time, bringing it up and down probably wondering what happened to his precious web interface. Memories of college *sniffle*

drop test seems pointless (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23418448)

They should not be dropped flat or on their spine to simulate drop damage. I've seen plenty of notebooks survive that. Pick a corner.

Re:drop test seems pointless (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419466)

I've got two Acer Aspires that survived exactly that without a scratch. On linoleum, nothing TOO horrible or too soft.

Missed one (5, Informative)

plopez (54068) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418496)

He missed one, battery life at low temps. A few years back for a former employer we looked at ruggedized laptops for field work and battery life at low temps was a major draw back. Our conclusion was that pencil and paper was still the best.

Re:Missed one (2, Interesting)

joshv (13017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418830)

Huh, seems like it's be easy enough to add a temperature sensitive battery warmer - granted it would lower battery life a bit, but not as much as the temperature would.

Re:Missed one (1)

ca111a (1078961) | more than 6 years ago | (#23423820)

I wonder if running a CPU-intensive process on the background could address that (given, of course, the process is nice enough to other tasks)

Tiny Market (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418538)

The market is growing quickly. In 2007, with sales of 575,000 systems, rugged notebooks made up only about 1% of the global notebook market. However, Krebs forecasts growth for rugged systems to top 11% annually, with sales reaching 879,000 systems in 2011.
So, they expect it to grow rapidly from 1% of the market all the way up to... 1.5% of the market over the next 3 years. Wooo!

Geek math error alert (3, Insightful)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418712)

Growth from 575,000 units to 879,000 units in three years represents 15 percent growth, when compounded annually. Are you in a market segment that is growing that fast?

Re:Geek math error alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23420610)

Growth from 575,000 units to 879,000 units in three years represents 15 percent growth, when compounded annually. Are you in a market segment that is growing that fast?
Fast growth is easy. I sold one gumball last year and five this year. 500% growth, FTW!

Re:Tiny Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426028)

You're not using marketing math [dilbert.com] . It's a whopping 153% growth in only 4 years!

PS: I linked to the secret "fast" Dilbert version, not the bloated Flash version.

The videos are a joke (5, Informative)

Bazer (760541) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418566)

Don't bother clicking through for the videos. All three only show how they dropped the laptops on the floor. Whooping three shots per laptop: falling on the floor on the spine, base from 29 inches and in a bag from 60 inches. Nothing interesting. Just go with the print version [computerworld.com] if you want to read it.

Re:The videos are a joke (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 6 years ago | (#23420140)

I think I've posted this in another story quite a while ago, but this seems relevant again: Toughbooks are monkey-proof [monkey-proof.com] . Hopefully this will make up for the shitty videos from the article.

Rugged? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23418776)

This almost sounds like a bad choice of words, given its slightly ambiguous meaning. Heck, I'd call my current work desktop and laptop "rugged" since neither are from this millennium.

The motorcycle-in-the-rain test (2, Informative)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418836)

My IBM (nee Lenovo) Thinkpad T40 still works flawlessly after being bungied to the back of a motorcycle in rainstorms. Let's see how those models do in THAT test.

Re:The motorcycle-in-the-rain test (1)

Bryan Ischo (893) | more than 6 years ago | (#23423162)

They would do fine. These systems are much more ruggedized than your notebook so if yours could take it, they could too, and much more.

Can your Thinkpad withstand having a cup of coffee dumped directly on the keyboard? These systems can.

Re:The motorcycle-in-the-rain test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23425042)

The new thinkpads are indeed spill resistant... don't know about the old ones but they have always been great machines.

Problem with Rugged Notebooks ... False Security (5, Interesting)

piltdownman84 (853358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418838)

The company I work for has had trouble with toughbooks because people think they are alot more rugged than they really are. Employees have a real false sense of security with them. With the big macho 'Rugged Notebook' they expect it to be able to take abuse. What has happened in out experience is they still break when dropped from four feet onto pavement, and with a 'Rugged Notebook' they are more likely to be dropped because of the false sense of security. We have found that we are far better of with a really well built non-rugged notebook, like a t-series.

Re:Problem with Rugged Notebooks ... False Securit (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419638)

The company I work for has had trouble with toughbooks because people think they are alot more rugged than they really are.
I've dropped Toughbooks a number of times from around 4 feet to a concrete floor. Most of our have also extensively bounced around the back of a C17 in ugly parts world.

No issues.

Re:Problem with Rugged Notebooks ... False Securit (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23424078)

I have had my P3 1GHz toughbook for a long time. It has survived MANY drops onto hard and soft surfaces. It has survived extended use in the rain. I even ran over the corner of it once and no bending/issues.

The only issues it does have is the port cover hinges are very flimsy so most of the time those covers don't survive long.

but... (3, Funny)

wisdom_brewing (557753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23418990)

... will it blend?

Here, take this (1)

terbo (307578) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419242)

*smacks the author of this article square upside the head with his 10 year old toughbook*

What, no Trackpoint, (1)

donatzsky (91033) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419482)

only touchpads? I'd imagine that a trackpoint would perform way better than a touchpad when wearing gloves, for example.

Re:What, no Trackpoint, (1)

tuttleturtle42 (1234802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23421450)

I know at least on the toughbooks the touchpad that they use is specifically a pressure sensitive touchpad. You can even use them with a stylus if you're wearing that thick of gloves. This is so you can use gloves with it. There is also the fact that most toughbooks have touchscreens as well. In my experience I've not had issues with wearing gloves with the touchpad. An old laptop of mine I had tried using the trackpoint with gloves, and found it somewhat difficult, too much play with the lack of tactile feedback. While a trackpoint may be nice, I know at least personally, I've had no issues with the lack of trackpoint and gloves (on my CF-19, also using a CF-27).

He's not trying very hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23419524)

How about:
1) Clothes dryer - 30 minutes on high
2) Dishwasher - heavy duty cycle, with screen open?
3) Washing machine - Cottons cycle, hot water, bleach and fabric softener.

But does it run linux? (1)

rawtatoor (560209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419694)

Seriously, I have a toughbook cf73 (that cost a pretty penny) and that doesn't have OSS drivers for:
  1. Touchscreen (major reason I bought it)
  2. flash reader
  3. proprietary power management stuff

I mean, I would never run Windows, but it kind of sucks that I paid so much and can't even use a free (real) OS.

Re:But does it run linux? (1)

tuttleturtle42 (1234802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23422432)

That's surprising that the touchscreen doesn't work under linux. It must have something different than both the 27 and 19. The 19 has kernel drives for the touchscreen. The 27 there wasn't any drivers we could find for it, but it was a straightforward serial device (if you dump it to screen and touch it you get tx,y, let go rx,y (where x and y are the x and y coordinates))which did not take much work to get working.While its unlikely to be the same as the 27, for the 27 its just /dev/ttyS3.

Itronics (4, Informative)

Ceiynt (993620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419842)

I work for an ambulance company. We use the Itronics GoBook III. It's rugged and touted for use by Fire depts, Police, Military and Ambulance people, with some other as well. We have a fleet of about 30 of these books, and have yet to have a problem with the rugged parts. We do have issues with displays getting cracked, ports breaking loose, missing keys, things like that. We've had one run over by an ambulance(they are heavy), and it survived. It was misformed but usable. As for actual performance, good luck. Your top of the line electronics do not match well with survivability in rugged laptops. They do make fine weapons to defend yourself with if need be.

Re:Itronics (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23424948)

Jeez man you work for an ambulance company; those things must be loaded up with drugs and sharp/pointy objects; the best weapon you can find to defend yourself with is a freakin laptop??

What's the added cost to make them all tough? (1)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#23419860)

I'm sure it adds something to the cost of laptop to make it "tough", but is the real reason they're not all "tough" for a $5 upcharge is that makers want them to break (even after we buy their overpriced cases) so we come back and buy another one after trivial Newtonian physics has been experienced?

Why can't they make them all tough, or at least make "toughness" such a trivial feature that it doesn't require spending an extra $1500?

Re:What's the added cost to make them all tough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23424162)

A LOT of additional NRE goes into these things, and despite it being non-recurring, the volumes in this segment are so low that the NRE actually noticeably affects the end cost. In addition to that, the components themselves are required to be of higher grade in order to meet the environmental requirements. Magnesium alloy is more expensive than plastic. These aren't repackaged Dells. The BOM alone for one of these systems is probably at least twice the retail cost of a similarly specced non-rugged system.

My HP dv9548 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23420482)

Was on and running when I dropped it down a flight of stairs, it hit corner first and kinda spun end over end. I nearly had a heart attack because I'd only had it for about 2 weeks, but when I got down to it the only thing wrong was a single crack in one spot on the case that is only about 1/4 of an inch long...... I wanna see em throw those laptops down a flight of stairs, THEN tell me they're tough :P

Re:My HP dv9548 (1)

Bryan Ischo (893) | more than 6 years ago | (#23423214)

Your HP is not more rugged than these laptops. They would survive a fall down the stairs just fine. The author of the article was definitely lacking in imagination of ways to test the laptops, and it would be nice to see other tests, but don't delude yourself into thinking that a normal laptop can withstand more abuse of any type than these ruggedized systems.

Re:My HP dv9548 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23425114)

Not foolish enough to think that my laptop is stronger than a ruggedized one, just think that comparitively their Drop test was a joke.

Colby (1)

ChezWhiz (791043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23420490)

Not surprised the Panisonic passed. I seriously doubt the tests he performed measure up to the tests the DoD performs on the Panisonics.

Nifty study, but only 25 degrees? (2, Insightful)

Landshark17 (807664) | more than 6 years ago | (#23420740)

Why did he only test them to 25 degrees? I've had to take my laptop outside in colder. If I had to guess, I'd say the coldest I've taken my laptop (a Dell Inspiron 6000, hardly a tough laptop) out in is 10, and it's worked fine afterwards. If he's going to test the physical limits of these tough-books he should test them beyond everyday temperatures, especially since winter temperatures often get below 25 in many places.

Re:Nifty study, but only 25 degrees? (1)

skiddie (773482) | more than 6 years ago | (#23422032)

Because that's how cold his freezer got, and the reviewer was too lazy to go to a testing lab (or he didn't want his ice cream to get freezer burn)? I don't know as I DNRTFA.

Re:Nifty study, but only 25 degrees? (1)

Clanked (1156473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425976)

Our toughbooks work fine up here in Alaska. It was -45 out, and the thing worked just like it normally does. Battery life was a little lacking, but we had a generator. Its also the only laptop I'm able to use wearing gloves.

Really poor testing methodology (1)

TFoo (678732) | more than 6 years ago | (#23420758)

"To imitate the sudden freezing, thawing and overheating of a notebook, I put each system into the freezer at 25 degrees Fahrenheit and let it sit there for 15 minutes. After they were allowed to warm up, I put them into an oven set to 175 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes."

15 minutes at 25 degrees? Come on -- find me a laptop, rugged or not, that *couldn't* do this. What a useless test.

What about new Dell's? (1)

srg33 (1095679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23421076)

I'm not a fanboy. I'm a consumer.
Dell has 2?
Latitude XFR D630
Latitude ATG D630
They claim that "it meets the strict military standard, MIL-STD 810F"

Re:What about new Dell's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23425330)

I can claim to have a 12 inch cock... doesn't make it true.

Gobook III (2, Informative)

pdawson (89236) | more than 6 years ago | (#23421582)

Watch out for the Itronix Gobooks, we've got some of them deployed in our police cruisers, and the PC card slots are not well attached to the MB. With the celluar data cards installed there (due to needing ext antenna connector) we've destroyed 4 of 6 that way.

The Toughbook CF-27s we had before this survived years w/o a hitch, on the other hand.

nig6A (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23422790)

My Experiences (3, Interesting)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 6 years ago | (#23423998)

I'm a net admin in the Air Force currently deployed to Baghdad. Here on base we have various models of the Panasonic Toughbook and the Itronix.

When I first got here someone who worked flight line brought in an Panasonic that had fallout out of an airborn helicopter and onto the tarmac. It was all dented up and I could actually see the internal components. I plugged it in and the damn thing powered right up! I was shocked because this thing was beat up.

Oh Itronix... we seriously thought these things were made here in Iraq. What hunks of crap! I've had my share of experiences with them, all bad. They are slow, buggy, bulky, ugly... If price is not an issue definitely go with the Panasonic over Itronix. If I ever get a choice, I choose Panasonic over Itronix.

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