Thursday, August 25, 2011
Ruggedized PC's For Your Next Expedition
Lets face it. In recent years our mandatory gear list for any expedition has expanded to include a number of tech toys. We now carry smartphones, MP3 players, tablets, and laptops with us when we head out on our adventures. Not only are they great for staying in touch with friends and family back home, they also allow us to get some work done on the road and even chronicle our expeditions. Just like our gear manufacturers, PC companies continue to improve their products as well, and as a result, we now have an interesting array of products that are available for us to take into the field.
Ben Rudolph, one of the writers at the Windows Experience Blog, recently put a number of these ruggedized PC's through a battery of interesting tests, including burying one in sand and pouring a cup of water over another. The results were quite interesting and may help you decide on the next computer you'll want to have with you when you set out on an adventure. Ben filmed his tests so you can watch him punish these computers on video. Unfortunately, I can't embed the video here, but if you want to watch him do nasty things to laptops, click here.
Included in Ben's tests were the Panasonic Toughbook 31, which many of you are probably familiar with, and the Lenovo Thinkpad X220. The Toughbook actually looks like it could survive a surgical strike from a cruise missile, although it does weigh in at more than 8 pounds, which is a lot of weight for anyone wanting to travel fast and light. That said, the laptop looks like a great Base Camp computer that could survive in nearly an environment. The Thinkpad was the laptop that was doused in water, and it was impressive how it kept running, even as liquid flowed out of its case. There were other PC's included in the tests as well, including ruggedized tablets that look like they offer a lot of potential.
If you're in the market for a new computer to stay connected while in remote places, you'll want to check out Ben's blog post and video. It is amazing how far this technology has come and how tough these devices are today.