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Portables Hardware

Durabook Laptop Marketing Claims 'Destroyed' 100

jkwdoc writes "The crew at [H] Consumer got a hold of a Durabook sample from Twinhead and got the green light to hold Twinhead to their word about what kind of abuse the unit can withstand. Twinhead originally claimed that their unit could survive 26 drops from 29 inches. A cracked LCD and busted hard drive later, they changed their tune. Complete with video!"
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Durabook Laptop Marketing Claims 'Destroyed'

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  • Marketing nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by udderly ( 890305 ) * on Monday December 25, 2006 @03:29PM (#17361006)

    Twinhead originally claimed that their unit could survive 26 drops from 29 inches. A cracked LCD and busted hard drive later, they changed their tune.

    Seriously, did anyone really think that *any* notebook could take that?

    • by Herkum01 ( 592704 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @03:34PM (#17361028)
      Yeah, but you know, if you don't expose their lies for what they are they will keep telling the same lie over and over.
    • by Erwos ( 553607 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @03:36PM (#17361038)
      Doesn't matter. _They_ claimed it could, thus THEY need to make it happen. Or change the claim, which is what happened.

      There are indeed some systems that could probably take that sort of punishment, though.
      • by udderly ( 890305 ) * on Monday December 25, 2006 @04:02PM (#17361120)
        I bet there's a *huge* difference between dropping the notebook flat and dropping it on a corner. It's still hard for me to believe that any notebook I've seen (including the Panasonic Toughbooks) could take repeated 30-inch drops on the corner of the case and still work properly. If anyone knows differently, I'd love to hear about it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jonored ( 862908 )
          I can't really say much for the newer models, but I'm typing this on a CF-27 toughbook that's dropped from my back (probably something like like 150cm; I carry it on a strap) onto a concrete floor; the paint scratched, and the floor chipped rather substantially. It takes a point impact to the center of the back of the screen, or being fully thrown into a brick wall to crack the screen, and the machine will still run afterwards, it'll just have a visible crack in the screen. Especially the older toughbooks a
        • They weren't dropping it on the corner though. Not any more than what was unavoidable at least.
        • by mpe ( 36238 )
          I bet there's a *huge* difference between dropping the notebook flat and dropping it on a corner.

          The original claim didn't specify "flat". Anyway what's the most likely way for a machine to get dropped...
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Thaelon ( 250687 )
            Four years of experience fixing college issue laptops says you're wrong.

            The three most common ways (in no particular order) for a laptop to be dropped are in fact:
            • spinning off of a table after someone trips over the cord
            • spinning out of the crook of someone's arm
            • while open and running, breaking free of someone's grip on the upper edge of the LCD and impacting on the furthest point from the hand as they walk from one place to another
            • impact while inside a backpack against whatever they threw it against before
          • The original claim didn't specify "flat".

            Neither did it specify "corner", which means that the statement is true if it works for "flat".
      • by multimediavt ( 965608 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @06:55PM (#17361780)
        FTFA:

        DURABOOK Rugged Standard All DURABOOK systems pass US Military and European Committee rugged feature standards to ensure its durable qualification. These standard test measurements include: DROP TEST - MIL STD 810F, Method 516.4, Procedure IV, 26 drops of 36 inches (29 inches for all 15" DURABOOK systems) onto plywood over concrete with unit off and display closed.
        Now, this is something that the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Military will not tolerate. The Durabook is *claimed* to meet MilSpec and I am curious to know how many of these things they duped the military into buying. I'll be very surprised if they don't get shut down for this. It's fraud, plain and simple, and although comical results were gotten at, the company has got some serious explaining to do! I have seen and played with MilSpec laptops and, frankly, I wasn't surprised by the test results when I saw the design. I was surprised that they claimed MilSpec. MilSpec portable computers look like the old Dolch [kontron.com] boxes that I don't think they make any more. Kind of like an old Osbourne system with a modern set of guts, but ammo box (or better) quality metal all around. I dropped that thing off a loading dock straight onto concrete (by accident, really) and it did dent on the corner, but everything worked peachy!
      • by Dabido ( 802599 )
        'There are indeed some systems that could probably take that sort of punishment, though.'

        Yeah, my Ex-wife did that sort of testing on me, and I'm only slightly damaged. '-)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fluffy99 ( 870997 )
      Panasonic Toughbooks supposedly meet the milspec. We've got a few at work and they are ruggedly heavy and have that nasty rubberized keyboard. Haven't drop tested any though.
    • by CdBee ( 742846 )
      My 366mhz Apple iBook "Clamshell", with its case made of rubber on thick ABS on a thick steel frame would take that and keep on running. it's fallen over 4ft while open and running (on one occasion only) and suffered no noticeable damage at all
      • by laffer1 ( 701823 )
        One fall is different that 20+. Besides, those clamshell models have problems with the hinges over time. You pay a premium to get replacements from anyone. My wife's original first gen iBook is still running, but its very fragile at this point. It does run OpenBSD well. It was almost ok with Mac OS 10.3, but the disk space requirements took up the whole drive.
      • Sig: I didn't support Apartheid in S.Africa so why should I accept it in Palestine?

        Because there is no Apartheid there. Carter's clumsy world-play fools only ignoramuses with an attention span measured in nano-units:

        "apartheid -- (a social policy or racial segregation involving political and economic and legal discrimination against people who are not Whites; ...)"

        There simply is not anything like this in the region called Palestine.

        • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

          Apartheid. The Dutch word for apartness. What is the wall for if not apartness?
          • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

            by mi ( 197448 )

            Apartheid. The Dutch word for apartness. What is the wall for if not apartness?

            There is nothing wrong with "apartness" in itself — one keeps one's saving account apart from checking without any moral concerns... Had Carter used "apartness" in the title of his recent inflammatory book, that would've been fine. But he used "Apartheid", which is very distinct from "apartness".

            Apartheid is disliked because it — in South Africa — kept citizens of the same country apart from each other based

    • by jonored ( 862908 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @05:04PM (#17361372)
      The one I'm writing on (CF-27 toughbook) wouldn't flinch even if it were on. You'd not want to do it on a table you care about, though, as it'll leave gouges in the surface; there's no plastic padding on the corners. A friend of mine was giving a presentation on a CF-26, and when asked if that was a toughbook, unplugged the cable, closed the hatch over it, threw the laptop against the brick wall, running, picked it up, plugged it in, and finished the presentation. Of course, that did crack the screen, but it was decidedly an out-of-spec event.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jacksonj04 ( 800021 )
      The ToughBooks I've used on sites before now take a serious beating. Drops off scaffolds, falls to concrete (corner and flat, open and not), kicks, and at least one which had a pile of bricks dropped onto it (Left a nice gouge in the shell, but worked perfectly). If the laptop is running or not makes no difference.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by neongrau ( 1032968 )

      Twinhead originally claimed that their unit could survive 26 drops
      (of water)

      from 29 inches.
    • That doesn't sound like very much to me, especially for a laptop made to be tough. The drop is less than 3 feet, and it's not repeated that many times.

      Sure, this would easily tear up most laptops, but they aren't made for it.
    • Well, my G4 iBook survived multiple drops from my bed and from tables, got dropped out of my hands (~1 m I'd guess), fell out of my backpack while I was standing on an escalator and once went flying down a staircase (about 6 m), landing on a tiled floor. No visible damage at all, still works perfectly. That last incident crashed the OS though.

      I figure I'm just lucky though.
    • by Khyber ( 864651 )
      Umm, yes, I knwo of a ntoebook that can take it. The guys from BellSouth here in Memphis have them. I've asked one technician just how tough it was, and he stepped outside with it, didn't close the lid, and slammed it down on my concrete pretty hard a few times. He picked it up, went right back to surfing the internet. Granted this thing looked like a brick, but it was fast, and immediately responsive after hitting the concrete.
    • by huckda ( 398277 )
      perhaps they meant 26 drops from 29 inches...
      but not in under 30 minutes...

  • RTFA (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 25, 2006 @03:33PM (#17361022)
    The testers were fairly impressed with how well this laptop took a beating. The title of this post is pretty inaccurate.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nasarius ( 593729 )
      Those two statements are not mutually exclusive. While they were impressed that it could survive a few serious drops with minimal damage, they also debunked the absurd claim of 26 drops.
  • by Danimoth ( 852665 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @03:33PM (#17361026)
    While it certaintly looks like it didn't live up to the full expectations, the damage taken was gradual. For the most part it was "optical drive came out, system still works." I wouldn't want to see what happens to my macbook pro in the same circumstance.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Howdy,

      I unfortunately dropped my PowerBook 15" top of 66cm (~26") tall washing machine to tiny and hard bathroom tiles (below it is about 15-25 cm concrete slab) floor about a year and half ago.

      It was running, lid closed when it happened.

      It all happened when on my way rushing to work I decided to I wash my hands before leaving house and save few steps not taking PB to briefcase waiting in the lobby and placed it top of the closed washing machine to wait. When I then tried to pick it up it just happene

  • by sulli ( 195030 ) * on Monday December 25, 2006 @03:36PM (#17361036) Journal
    These hardware review sites are awful, forcing you to tab through ten freaking pages just to get to the bottom line. Do they still get paid by the ad view rather than the click?

    On topic, forget these no name laptops that give away samples to shady review sites, Panasonic Toughbook [panasonic.com] is the real deal.

    • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @03:51PM (#17361072)
      These hardware review sites are awful, forcing you to tab through ten freaking pages just to get to the bottom line. Do they still get paid by the ad view rather than the click?

      I'll let you in on a little secret: when you read a review like this, jump to the last page: you'll find the conclusion there, which is usually about the only thing interesting in the article. And in the case of this article, videos as well, which is even better.
      • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @04:06PM (#17361138) Journal
        I'll let you in on a little secret: there are many videos, not just on the last page.
      • by sulli ( 195030 ) *
        Well now, don't want to jump to Conclusions [arizona.edu], now do we?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Babbster ( 107076 )
        IMHO, this complaint has become tiresome. The people generating these sites are trying to make money off doing so. Instead of trying to get people to pay subscription fees (and thus turn interested people away), they do so with ads, and they probably make some money off of views of the ads and can rotate different ads per load. Having to go to more than one (or 10) pages for an article with actual information generated by actual people getting paid for their work doesn't seem like a very high price to pa
        • Note: I intended to reply to the OP - too many "reply to this" buttons in front of me and I ignored that part of the preview page. :)
    • Do you mean the "real" Toughbooks or do you mean the Let's Note series (the silver ones)? for that matter, why did they call the Let's Note laptops Toughbooks in the US?
  • by Pretzalzz ( 577309 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @03:56PM (#17361090)
    Surely a reasonable person would expect the 26 drop number to be a mean time to failure sort of number. Otherwise you are left to think: "Oh, 26 drops is no problem, but that 27th is the real doosy".
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by punkr0x ( 945364 )
      No, if they are (were) claiming that it would survive 26 drops, then that should be the minimum amount of abuse that could break it. The average should be much higher.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No, a reasonable person would think that in all of their testing the 27th drop was the earliest it failed. That all of them are guaranteed to survive at least that much.
    • by jonored ( 862908 )
      It's more of a "testing is dropping it this many times" number; if the laptop fails within that many drops, it fails the test. It's the minimum for the machine to survive to be to spec. That said, apparently the actual test spec is for the packed condition, not the bare machine. So they weren't testing it appropriately, and it's built to be much wimpier than a toughbook, which is tested for a 90cm drop onto every corner, face, and side, onto plywood over steel over concrete, with the bare laptop, both open
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @04:16PM (#17361168) Homepage

    The MIL-STD-810F test, procedure IV [lambdapower.com], calls for 29 drops of the test article while in its shipping box without functional damage. Think of that as soldiers unloading a truck in a hurry. Or baggage handling at some airports.

    The operational tests are much milder. Procedure I, functional shock, is 40G for 11ms, 3x on each axis, with the unit running, without any operational glitches. Think of this as in use in an off-road vehicle bouncing over rough terrain, i.e. normal military usage. Procedure VI, bench handling, is a 100mm drop test in normal orientation, power off, 4x. That's just dropping it on a table from 10cm.

  • by EMIce ( 30092 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @04:18PM (#17361172) Homepage
    Summary

    Obviously, the Durabook didnt survive some of the abuse Twinhead initially claimed it should, but lets look at this in real-world terms.

    If you find yourself accidentally dropping your laptop 26 times from a height of nearly three feet, you should probably see a doctor. Most of us have probably sent our laptops tumbling only once or twice. Our first Durabook survived three very gnarly drops before something broke off completely (an easily replaceable optical drive faceplate), and at least 10 drops before we started to get some significant hardware failure. It took around 20 drops for the hard drive to fail. Thats some fairly serious protection, especially since the data on that hard drive is often worth more than the laptop itself.

    The second unit was more of the same. Although we saw some minor damage within the first 6 drops on both units, all of the essential hardware, including the LCD and hard drive, was still fully functional and the machines had no problem booting. This is a huge testament to the security a form factor like this can give the consumer.

    ----------------------

    So as far as hardened notebooks go, it fairs decently, but marketing's original claims were clearly out of whack with reality.
    • Most of us have probably sent our laptops tumbling only once or twice

      I've actually always wondered about that. Who are these people who drop their laptops? I've never dropped one in many many years with daily mobile use. And it's not that I'm overly cautious. Maybe it's because I don't use it while walking? That could get ugly. Anyways, I'm very suspicious of the manufacturer's claim that some 30% (don't recall the exact figure) of laptops get broken in the first year. The only thing I drop regul
      • TwinHead 15D. Cracked the case on the top edge of the lid, eventually killed the power socket.

        TwinHead warrantied it. The warranty service was slow (took nearly a month) but the repairs were effective.

        I drop the thing about monthly, typically off a chair onto the floor & while running. It runs Mandriva Linux 2007.0 well enough, except that sometimes the wireless card forgets to have an encryption key & forgets how to reinstall it again, & the mousepad is too easily made active (extra scrolling
      • by Fizzl ( 209397 )

        Who are these people who drop their laptops?

        Well. These happened to me in just two weeks.
        I drove to meet a client in another city. When starting my trip, I opened my laptop on the passenger seat and loaded up relevant maps in browser, which I could quickly retrieve if I got lost. I closed the lid and put down the cover of the laptop bag. 800km later, I parked my car, stepped out and grabbed the laptop bag by the handle, sending the laptop itself for a short aerial trick because the bag wasn't actually close

    • So as far as hardened notebooks go, it fairs decently

      If that properly wedged-in computer still needed FOAM packaging when shipped from the factory, I don't trust the hardened claims one bit.

  • by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @04:20PM (#17361182)
    These are the real deal.

    http://www.griduk.com/ [griduk.com]

    I've seen test videos and they are amazing. You can drive car over them and all that happens is the screen cracks, they are still useable. Also seen them dropped down a flight of concrete stairs and they still worked.

    • by Rallion ( 711805 )
      From what I've seen, a cracked LCD screen is anything but 'usable.' Those things do look ridiculously heavy-duty, but in my experience the screen is usually the weak point in laptops/notebooks. It takes way too little force to crack them, if the force is at the right angle -- drop an open laptop on the corner of the screen to test that, if you only get one crack on a standard, non-heavy-duty screen, it's a miracle that will STILL render it unusable -- and they're frequently the hardest (and often most expen
      • Should have been more specific, the screen protector cracked not the LCD. They are the toughest made since they are meant for industrial and military use. The downsides are they tend to be old technology and slower than newer machines and they are very heavy. They're more of a portable than a laptop. Also they are very expensive.
        • Industrial use? What industry requires a ruggedized laptop?
          • by Kalak ( 260968 )
            Mining is the first industry that comes to mind, along with construction, various research fields (where they are out in an actual field), and any industry where you could use a 4x4 truck.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by ozmanjusri ( 601766 )
              Mining is the first industry that comes to mind

              Yeah, we used to use a thing called a Husky Hunter [handheldsystems.com] as a datalogger in underground mining. One fell down an ore pass, along with several thousand tonnes of rock and was retrieved several days later. The screen and most of the keys had been abraded off, but by pushing the keystubs with a paper clip, we were able to retrieve the stored data (worth much more than the Husky).

          • by CRiMSON ( 3495 )
            Construction, Military, Oil drilling, Mining, Forestry, you get the idea.
          • by Klowner ( 145731 )
            local fire dept. got a bunch of those ruggedized panasonic laptops
  • This machine is HOT! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    From the article, they made the machine more durable by replacing plastic structural parts with magnesium parts.

    Given the apparent propensity of lithium ion batteries to catch on fire, I wonder if this is a good idea. I know I don't have any fire extinguishers that will put out burning magnesium.
    • by Redshift ( 7411 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @05:11PM (#17361412)
      It is much much much harder than you think to light a magnesium-cased computer: see http://www.simson.net/hacks/cubefire.html [simson.net]
    • I know I don't have any fire extinguishers that will put out burning magnesium.

      Try to ignite some magnesium ribbon sometime. It's not to easy - you basically have to *keep* it in a gas flame for a minute or so. No way a battery explosion will generate that amount of *sustained, concentrated* heat. Plus, magnesium ribbon is the pure metal. This is probably an alloy with components other than Mg that make it less inflammable.

      -b.

      • by IICV ( 652597 )
        It's not necessarily an explosion, as this video shows: http://youtube.com/watch?v=WeWq6rWzChw [youtube.com]

        Of course, it takes a minute or so for the fire to get hot enough, and maybe another before the magnesium really ignites. By that time, you've probably already called the fire department, so it's unlikely to be a real problem unless you're staring at the thing in awe. Burning magnesium is really bright.

        • It's not necessarily an explosion

          Seen the vid. More like a series of burps. I still doubt that this is the kind of concentrated heat that would cause an Mg frame to ignite. Tell you what: if you'll buy me this laptop, I'd be glad to perform some destructive testing in my remote lair on Atlantis...

          Burning magnesium is really bright.

          ... and it emits light in the UV spectrum when burning. "Warning: avoid looking at conflagration with remaining eye..." :)

          -b.

  • by Reverberant ( 303566 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @04:29PM (#17361220) Homepage

    ... back at my last job, one of my co-workers ordered a bunch of ruggedized WinCE boxes for a set of field measurements products. The units in question were supposed to survive a 4-ft drop.

    One day I was walking past his office and I saw that he received the units. I stopped in, and picked up one of the units. I looked it over, and asked if these were the units in question. He replied 'yes.' I then proceeded to drop the unit I was holding on to the floor.

    My colleague jumped up, yelling "what the h*ll are you doing?" I replied "the unit is supposed to be able to survive a 4-ft drop right? I wanted to see for myself."

    FWIW, the unit kept on ticking....

  • Anyone reading the article here on /. and comparing it to the 'Conclusions' as described on the linked site might have a problem wondering if they are talking about the same product! Yes, ya get attention and prompt ppl to read when the /. article exhagerates its commentary.. but its at the cost of credibility. Your conclusions suggest the product is at least very good for its intended purpose. The article here was , shall we say. considerably less positive!!
  • Tandy Model 10x (Score:5, Informative)

    by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @04:41PM (#17361268)
    Anyone remember the Tandy Radio Shack Model 100/101/102 "laptops"? [dentaku-museum.com] - they were small BASIC-programmable computers that same out in the 80s with an LCD screen right above the keyboard and no moving parts to speak of since programs were retained in RAM by a backup battery. We still had some of them going strong and being used for field work on automation systems in a previous job (after year 2000 :/ ). We had them literally fall down flights of stairs, and it didn't seem to have any bad effect. They just sort of bounced.


    If one wanted a "tough" notebook for field work, why not revert to that kind of form factor? Screen above the keyboard covered by thickish Plexiglas - no screen hinges to break and the screen can be thicker. All storage on a (say) 5 GB Flash ROM disc. No moving parts. USB ports or Bluetooth to connect external peripherals when needed. Slightly slower processor than top of the line for lower heat production - a fan wouldn't be needed. All powered by standardized LiIon or NiMH AA-sized batteries. You should even be able to use alkalines or NiCads in a pinch.


    -b.

    • Re:Tandy Model 10x (Score:4, Informative)

      by fishbowl ( 7759 ) on Monday December 25, 2006 @05:36PM (#17361496)

      >Anyone remember the Tandy Radio Shack Model 100/101/102 "laptops"?

      The Model 100 revolutionized jornalism. This was in no small part due to the fact that it ran on AA batteries -- available anywhere in the world, and that it was the first portable computer to easily combine a word processor and a modem, the perfect and obvious thing for field reporters. They were extremely reliable, and were a de facto standard for quite a few years.

      Except for certain PDA devices with keyboards, I have yet to see a portable computer that matches the battery life of a model 100 TRS-80 -- a Kyocera product, by the way. These machines were an absolute joy to use; but I'm not saying we were not painfully aware of their limitations.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by alnicodon ( 685283 )
        Lately I've bought an Alphasmart Dana, which looks like the Tandy you describe, and is a Palm system with a battery, changeable for 3 AA batteries, leaving you with a 25 hour autonomy. If that is not enough, you may still get; from the same manufacturer, the simpler "Neo" offers a whopping 700 hours autonomy, and 8 text buffers (no PalmOS this time), and some basic connectivity to a PC.

        http://www.alphasmart.com/products/ [alphasmart.com]

        Not exactly "feel the power" kind of stuff but imho, these do nicely match the portabili
        • by fishbowl ( 7759 )
          >Lately I've bought an Alphasmart Dana

          Very nice; I didn't know about these -- thanks.
        • Too large and bulky, IMHO.

          Slightly-used Psions are still readily available. The included EPOC (now Symbian) Office suite is damn-near as good as full-fledged desktop software, including full formatting, embedding drawings or spreadsheets into documents, etc.

          You can print ANYTHING directly from the unit to infrared or serial printers. There is even a 3rd party PDF printer (shareware), as well as a GPLd PDF viewer.

          As for durability, the (spring) hinges on the 5s have an unfortunate tendancy to break, but t
    • by shmelly ( 855824 )
      My wife is an ecology grad student and she uses these in the field to record butterfly behavior. Her professor tried a PDA solution, but the form factor, cost and complexity issues brought her back to the trusty Tandys. Some crusty (in a nice, techie way) guy keeps her fleet in repair for her via mail at a reasonable cost.
    • I wrote an assembly language version of Space War that used the system's RS-232 port to "network" two 102's together. When you cloaked your ship, the ship only disapeared on your opponents screen.

      -peace

      p.s. Both my 102's were stolen when I moved to NYC but a friend of mine just sent me a Model 100 so I'm going to poke around with some old software I wrote for it.
  • dell inspiron (Score:2, Informative)

    by delvsional ( 745684 )
    I dropped a dell inspiron of a roof once, and it ran fine with no damage whatsoever. granted it was in a leather laptop case(that wasn't zipped up). It rolled end over end down a steepish roof and fell about 20 feet to the ground. I was doing a site survey for wireless internet and it stayed where it was until I walked away.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have so far purchased 20 of these durabooks - we issue them to staff who work in the field, and aren't particularly carefull with corporate equipment.

    The Durabooks cost approximately the same as a similar 'non-hardened' laptop does, but are a far more rugged construction.

    They aren't competitors for the OpenTec Warriors, Panasonic Toughbooks, or Grid laptops. But they also don't cost the same.

    A typical Durabook will cost you AU$2,000 each. An Opentec or Panasonic will cost you around AU$8,000.

    You pay you
  • The experiences with this laptop should not at any time be considered representative of anything other than the quality of Twinhead's laptops. No conclusions should be drawn as to the quality or nature of the ruggedised laptop class in general. If the brochure of this laptop is full of lies about its durability, that should not be used as an excuse to rubbish, say, the Panasonic Toughbook range.

    (As far as my experiences with Twinhead are concerned, I'd be surprised if it worked when it arrived.)

  • I used to be a partner in a company that built clone machines. We decided to get our machine FCC certified. We contracted a testing house to do the measurements for us.

    Our machine failed pretty miserably.

    They had a bunch of copper mesh tape and grounding wires and all sorts of such things. We were able to modify the machine in order to meet the tests.
    According to the tech we were working with, this is almost universal, or was 15 years ago when I was there. Companies actually modified a single unit of ea

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