Rich in York, PA asks:
“I’m employed by a constuction company as a foreman and I’m often working remotely at job sites. My boss suggested I purchase a rugged laptop. Can you tell me what features make it different from a regular laptop?”
Rich, a rugged laptop is a really great suggestion for the construction environment you are typically working in. Some rugged laptops are suitable for dirty, dusty, noisy or wet environments. Often used by the military and other professionals who don’t have the luxury of working in a clean, temperature controlled office, these devices can withstand a lot more abuse than the typical laptop.
The ruggedness built into them comes from special sealants, shock absorbers and other modifications that add physical bulk and expense to the average laptop in addition to protection and functionality.
The Department of Defense created a series of standard test methods, MIL-STD-810G, to determine a product’s ability to withstand the conditions a laptop could encouter on the battlefield. These tests range from exposure to extreme weather conditions to drop tests to a ballistic shock. How well a device can take all of this increases its “ruggedness” score.
While shopping for rugged laptops, you may also notice certifications such as IP54, IP65, etc. This is an International Protection rating, otherwise known as an IP Code. This rating measures a product’s protection against the intrusion of solid objects and water. The first digit refers to a product’s level of protection against solid objects, from something as small as dust particles to your own fingers. The second digit indicates the level of protection from water, from droplets to full immersion.
Laptop vendors use tests like these to classify their products as semi-rugged or fully-rugged.
A semi-rugged laptop is the ideal choice for the frequently mobile office worker. Also known as business-rugged, this should be all you’d ever need if you’re looking for a little bit extra in the durability department. A fully rugged laptop has many features business travelers don’t need and will burden the mobile office worker with an overly heavy and pricey device. Some of the features you will find in a semi-rugged are a thicker case, gel-mounted hard disk drive and a spill-resistant keyboard.
If you are frequently outside in a harsh environment, you may want to go fully rugged. These laptops are specifically engineered for functioning well in less-than hospitable areas that might have a lot of dust, sand, dirt and other debris in the air, like a construction site!
Typically, fully-rugged is really only necessary for police, firefighters and the military. These super-tough computers can withstand loud noises, immersion in water, temperature extremes, high vibration and low pressure, which permits them to operate in high altitudes.
Dell, Panasonic and HP and all have rugged versions of their laptops available.
For more information on rugged laptops and other types of hardware, Call Teltek!
Teltek is proud to offer IT services as the fourth component to our multi-systems approach as your single source technology services company. This Managed Service Provider (MSP) offering completes our longstanding goal to provide our clients with a one-call resource for all of their business technology needs. IT outsourcing, remote back up and disaster recovery, helpdesk support, computer network relocations, security products and server/desktop virtualization are just a few of the services available.
As a Microsoft Certified Partner and Dell Registered Partner, Teltek has the knowledge and resources necessary to keep your computer network and IT infrastructure current and functioning efficiently with the personalized service Teltek clients have grown to admire. With office locations in Baltimore, Bethesda and Westminster, Maryland, we serve clients across MD, DC and VA.