Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Mon 14th Jul 2008 20:28 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems A lot of manufacturers have notebook computers that they consider ruggedized in some form or another, but it's not always clear just how much they can take. Panasonic gave access to their testing facilities in order to see some of what their notebooks go through. Some tests include temperature shock, drop testing (from various angles), a 360-degree shower with pressurized water, and more. In addition to describing parts of the test process they got some video of a Toughbook 30 standing up to a few drops and a lot of water.
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out and about
by stabbyjones on Mon 14th Jul 2008 21:57 UTC
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Give it to an electronics tech on the field and you'll see just how tough those things can be.

Tough is an understatement really, short of just pouring petrol on it and lighting it up i was amazed how much punishment they can take.

The workshop had a bet on that we could drive over it and it would still work. unfortunately the owner (who bought them) didn't want to risk it.

Reply Score: 1

For real
by bolomkxxviii on Mon 14th Jul 2008 22:39 UTC
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At first blush it seems these things are way overpriced for their specs. But then you find out that toughbook isn't just a name. These things are created for a special market. In that market they are exactly what you need and worth every penny.

Reply Score: 3

Oh there's daddy's favourite
by jabbotts on Mon 14th Jul 2008 23:34 UTC
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A friend lucked into a good deal on two CF25s and I paid half. The first time you read your email in the rain, your hooked. The introduction to friends was to start it booting or defraging then toss it spinning onto the ground and jump on it a few times. The look on people's faces is priceless.

The cf27 I treat much better and other than the battery, it keeps on chugging.

Reply Score: 2

by hraq on Tue 15th Jul 2008 02:24 UTC
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Are they military certified.
Do they work after Electromagnetic catastrophies.
Do they resist heat, water emersion, sand particles. Do they have sun light chargers in their covers...
We need more articles about that please.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Amazing
by joekiser on Tue 15th Jul 2008 03:06 UTC in reply to "Amazing"
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"Are they military certified."

Yes, we used Toughbooks extensively in Iraq earlier this year. They started replacing Thinkpads a few years ago, about the time that the buggy T4x line came out with the loose GPU problem, where solder connections would break under normal use causing spontaneous freezing and reboots. These things can withstand anything...I've seen them slammed against walls, dropped, full of sand, and they still run fine. I think all the Toughbooks come with a touchscreen, which was very practical for the software we were using. We found a CF-25 that we ran Ubuntu on for awhile, but the touchscreen didn't work. Driver support from Toshiba sucks though; I had a CF-73 whose XP install went apeshit, and it took days navigating through a Japanese website to find drivers. The Thinkpads are still used, just in controlled (indoor) environments. As a side note, some of the hardware being used in Humvees is running a custom version of RedHat, with fvwm95 as the window manager.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Amazing
by evangs on Tue 15th Jul 2008 06:15 UTC in reply to "Amazing"
evangs Member since:

Are they military certified.

Quoting the relevant bits:
Early in the war in Iraq, a firefight broke out in a neighborhood that had supposedly been secured by coalition forces. As bullets whizzed by, a U.S. soldier did what came naturally: He held up his laptop computer, a Toughbook 72 from Panasonic Computer Solutions Co. (MC ) Unlike most plastic-covered laptops, this "semi-rugged" model has a hard magnesium shell and steel-reinforced innards. The improvised shield did the trick. "There's a bullet lodged in his hard drive," marvels Maria Leadingham, who manages technology for the Civil Affairs Psychological Operations Center at Fort Bragg, N.C.

I guess it's safe to say, the tough books are really tough ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Amazing -
by jabbotts on Tue 15th Jul 2008 12:50 UTC in reply to "Amazing"
jabbotts Member since:

The semi-rugged business line is built to lower specs than the fully rugged lines which are certified with whichever mil### it is. The details of the mil standard are either linked from the website or easy to find.

It was a while back now but I believe it specifies time in rain, size of vehicle that can run over it, sand and dust, drops from chest height. I think the cf25 is even rated to stop a 9mm though the laptop may not survive and I wouldn't want to have reason to test it myself.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by jollyx
by jollyx on Tue 15th Jul 2008 06:41 UTC
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Well, how it seems, for now the Toughbook of Panasonic is the AK47 in this area ;)

Reply Score: 2

The worst stress test
by eantoranz on Tue 15th Jul 2008 15:43 UTC
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The worst part of the test was definitely: "Here is an example of a Toughbook 30 dropped on its side and then successfully booting into Windows."

The test was not dropping it and surviving.... if it boots g├╝indous, its bullet-proof. :-D

Reply Score: 2