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Rugged Laptop...

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I need a laptop with a good battery, 2 hour run time 10 hour standby. I would like it to have a 11n wifi adapter and a large HDD. It needs to be rugged, will be taken to job sites and travel in a work truck.

The work is home repair, roofing, flooring, remodeling and more.

If anyone here has experience with laptops on the construction site, please let me know what works.

I am also curious about Tablets that fit this scenario. Budget is negotiable, as long as it fits the needs.
 

tigger

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Look for a panasonic toughbook
 
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Look for a panasonic toughbook
Look for refurbed ones if the expense is too heavy. I used to deal with them and can hook you up with some reputable suppliers of refurbed units if need be.

Otherwise, be prepared to spend... they are pricey but they seriously can take just about anything. Even the "semi-rugged" ones are really, really frickin' tough.
 
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Found one, a cf-31 refurbished w/ an i5 and a 2 TB drive and Win10, under a Grand. Might pull the plug tonight, or wait until our meeting Sunday....
Just got off the phone we will be talking more about it on Sunday.

So, I am open for Suggestions until then, if not longer, depending on the meeting.
 

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Moved to general hardware for now as the BST sections is not for advice or discussions.
 
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I have been out on jobsite's for 40 years and it would appear that the construction of such a device requires that the chassis be made of unobtainium, componentry of an efficiency not available and at a cost you wouldn't want to spend. To get a laptop powerful enough to run CAD software for building plans, you need power... and power kills batteries. last time I went looking, what I needed was $12k. Today CAD can be done on rather mid range systems, so access point is much lower ($2500 - $3500). But small screens limit how productive you can be with them. You can view CAD drawings on a phone now but the small screen makes usage cumbersome.

Here's one for $3500 .... but it's rather weak hardware wise, tho you can address the battery issue with swappable spares.



 

FordGT90Concept

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I have a semi-rugged laptop of theirs from 2007. Still runs like a (slow) champ. :roll:
 
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trog
 
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I have a semi-rugged laptop of theirs from 2007. Still runs like a (slow) champ. :roll:
I have been told avoid on that company, but by people who were literally using their toughbook in a barn and thought the durabook was worse. Kinda an odd use case.
 

FordGT90Concept

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I wouldn't be surprised if Toughbooks are rebranded Durabooks. My guess is there's something specific they didn't like about the model they got.


Only reason why I know about Gammatech (now Durabook) is because I had to RMA my Systemax SR-15 and because the component that was broken (mousepad) requires modifying the ruggedness characteristics, it had to be shipped to Gammatech directly to service. Systemax informed me of all of this...only reason why I know about it: me -> Systemax (warranty repair) -> Gammatech (ruggedness repair) -> Systemax (QA on Gammatech) -> me.
 
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I like the toughbooks - what alot of the reviews don't talk about is how light they are - some of the docs at my old company used to use them, and you could quite literally dropkick one down the hall and it would be fine. they looked like chunky 80's laptops but weighed like an ultrabook. And since the newer models are basically ultrabooks in a hulled out chunky shell, they last something like 4-10 hours on battery, depending on the model.

But they are expensive... ours were about 3200 a pop roughly 8 hours on battery.
 
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I wouldn't be surprised if Toughbooks are rebranded Durabooks.
I've been inside both. They aren't.

"Matsushita electric" is all over toughbook components, which is strange considering they haven't called themselves that for a while. And they don't even use the same hinge system.

Well, that was the case at least when I got out of it about 2015... :laugh:
 

FordGT90Concept

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Matsushita is aka Panasonic. Yeah, when you dig, nothing is Panasonic, everything is Matsushita. I remember seeing Matsushita on a fan and I was all [jackiechanwtf.jpg], did some research, and they're one in the same.

Regardless, good to know they're different.


I wouldn't call my 2007 light. It uses magnesium alloy extensively but it's also got a lot of rubber and dense plastic too. The screen is glass. Newer models are likely lighter just because tech is smaller and more efficient.
 
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We won't be CAD drawing. Any drawings will be on paper. Laptop will be used for storing pictures, Looking up diagrams, and billing and contacting suppliers or dispatch. So, it doesn't need to be that awesome. Nor that expensive, Budget is around a grand and needs to last at least 2 years, trouble free.
 

FordGT90Concept

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Could just buy a cheap laptop and use the savings to replace it if/when it breaks.

Semi-rugged goes for about $1500 and that gets you drop, vibration, and spill resistance. Fully Rugged goes for much more than that and gets you salt fog, hazardous environment, altitude, electromagnetic, dust, and water resistance.
 
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Used to be that the biggest issue with durability was hard drive shock--ssds have solved that. So then the next problem is dust/debris/water. How much exposure to that do you need it to withstand?
 

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These 3 are what I have to present them with on Sunday.

Any thoughts?

 

FordGT90Concept

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First choice...I don't know the build quality of that particular model but some older Dells I have worked with are built like tanks. I doubt it would handle dropping very well...or spills...or really any scenario that requires ruggedness but if it is built the way I think it is, it should be a good business workhorse as long as it is treated good.

Second choice...I think the biggest issue is going to be performance and lack of keyboard. Depends if that's what you need or not.

The last choice... "new huge 2TB HDD" … it's clearly refurbished...as I was discussing before, refurbishing it may have reduced its ruggedness. I would be a skeptic on this one and, frankly, I wouldn't trust it in a business environment especially how they claim it has Office (probably pirate copy).


Of those choices, I'd probably go #1 and swap that HDD for and SSD and buy an extra and/or high capacity battery for it with the savings. If a beam or something gets dropped on it and it's destroyed, you won't feel so bad about losing a $600 machine versus a $3500 machine :roll:


My brother works in construction and he uses a Samsung tablet.
 
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Benchmark Scores World Community Grid is my benchmark!!
"Second choice...I think the biggest issue is going to be performance and lack of keyboard. Depends if that's what you need or not." @FordGT90Concept


I am thinking this would work well on the work site, they are doing Home Repairs and remolding and Roofing and Decks, and could fit in a pocket of a tool bag. Use would be to contact suppliers via e-mail, look up suppiers websites and be able to show pictures, to clients, or prospective clients, of work done, or to show them their website. It also has a flash and a Camera, unsure of the camera, but I assume it is at least 8MB.

It can function via 4g LTE and won't need a WiFi connection all the time, like the Lap Top. It is also a Win 10 OS, which will aid me, with training them, they are not computer savvy and using on OS versus using Android and Win 10. I know, doesn't sound difficult but, the 2 devices will talk to each other easily. Hot swap batteries, Bluetooth, screen useable w/ gloves, and operates to -20F, it is MN, by the way.

It is more a touch screen PC than a tablet. and has a vehicle dock and can use a bluetooth keyboard, if necessary.

Then, the Dell, M6800, which is not water proof or qualified as " rugged" can live a simpler life inside the truck or, at home or in the home office. It is also refurbished by Dell, and is said to be a very durable Laptop, tougher than the regular Laptops or Ultra Books out there. It has bluetooth able to load up to 3 ssd's and a 500gb micro ssd. It weighs 7 lbs, which means it should be pretty tough.

The Panasonic is sold by a seller with a 96% rating with over 300 reviews in the last year. His site has lots of Dell Toughbooks that they have refurbished and according to reviews he does it well. For under a Grand. It has a small screen but, is undoubtedly one of the top 3 toughest laptop's out there.

 

FordGT90Concept

"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
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Location
IA, USA
System Name BY-2015
Processor Intel Core i7-6700K (4 x 4.00 GHz) w/ HT and Turbo on
Motherboard MSI Z170A GAMING M7
Cooling Scythe Kotetsu
Memory 2 x Kingston HyperX DDR4-2133 8 GiB
Video Card(s) Sapphire NITRO+ RX 590 Special Edition 8 GiB DVI + HDMI
Storage Crucial MX300 275 GB, Seagate Exos X12 TB 7200 RPM
Display(s) Samsung SyncMaster T240 24" LCD (1920x1200 HDMI) + Samsung SyncMaster 906BW 19" LCD (1440x900 DVI)
Case Coolermaster HAF 932 w/ USB 3.0 5.25" bay
Audio Device(s) Realtek Onboard, Micca OriGen+
Power Supply Enermax Platimax 850w
Mouse SteelSeries Sensei RAW
Keyboard Tesoro Excalibur
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Benchmark Scores Faster than the tortoise; slower than the hare.
I think the tablet is probably the best option then, as long as they're not having to type much while in the field.

Rugged laptop screens don't get much bigger than 15" because bigger means less durable.
 
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