When we talk about computers, laptops, and tablets being rugged we mean that they are tough and able to withstand extreme conditions and hazardous environments. But some devices are more rugged than others, and you need to understand the differences to ensure you choose the very best model that will suit your needs or the needs of your company.
Panasonic devices, including the company’s high-tech Toughbooks, are manufactured in three different categories:
- Business rugged
They are all tough and hardy, but they won’t all stand up to the same extremes or intensities. So, the machine that a fireman or police officer will need in the field will be quite different to the sort that will suit a sales executive who spends a lot of time traveling. Both work out of their office bases, but they and their mobile devices have different levels of exposure, hazards, and danger to deal with.
If you have to function in any type of extreme environment whether caused by dangerous activities, severe natural conditions, or harsh weather conditions, it is essential to have a laptop that will be able to function anywhere and at any time.
Panasonic’s fully rugged laptops are designed from scratch and every single component is weatherproofed and sealed so that it won’t be affected by moisture, acid, salt, sand, or any other possible environmental hazard including extreme heat as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit and cold, even freezing temperatures. They are tested to the highest military standards and can be dropped from very high up without fear that they will break. Screens are designed for use at night and in bright sunlight, to reduce glare.
Rugged Toughbooks are designed for people who face hazards and extreme working environments on a daily basis. These include military and police personnel, emergency responders including EMS operators and fire fighters, all of whom need access to critical data as quickly as possible to help contain disaster zones and save lives.
Panasonic’s semi-rugged Toughbooks are adaptations of standard notebook computers to make them suitable for rugged use. The process the company uses is described as ruggedization and it involves swapping out the standard notebook case, hard disk drive, and keyboard for a tough magnesium case, spill-proof keyboard, and a gel-mounted or shockproof hard disc drive.
While not quite as rugged as Panasonic’s fully rugged, designed-for-purpose laptops, semi-rugged Toughbooks can withstand harsh conditions including very high and very low temperatures. They do though run the risk of decreased performance during exposure. For instance, the gel in computer screen might freeze temporarily, and if it does visibility will be affected for a while.
Since they are considerably less expensive than full rugged Toughbooks, the semi-rugged models are ideal for those who do a lot of travelling and are sometimes forced to work outdoors.
Business Rugged Toughbooks
Panasonic has a range of business rugged Toughbooks that have many of the features of fully rugged and semi-rugged Toughbooks, but they aren’t sealed and so aren’t waterproof. They do have magnesium casings and they will withstand a drop of about 18 inches (but probably not much more).
These machines are perfect for executives and others who travel a lot, but aren’t a good option for those who regularly use their laptop outdoors.
In general, Toughbooks incorporate game-changing technology and offer reliable solutions for both travellers and those operating in the field. When deciding which type to buy you need to assess the amount of time you or your employees spend in the field or on the road, and what hazards you or they typically face.
Mooring Tech has a selection of new and used Toughbooks to meet a wide range of needs. Let us know what your requirements are and we’ll suggest the most appropriate options.