Ruggedized Computers

Discussion in 'Equipment & Survival Kits' started by puppytree, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. puppytree

    puppytree Guest

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    Does anyone know of a minature ruggedized (water proof, drop proof) laptop that can be used for communicating with GPS, Wi-Fi, etc for the emergency kit?
     

  2. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    My laptop is made by Asus, known as the eee. The model I have is the 701 which is now "out-dated" .. but, I love it anyway. You can read more about the laptop which runs SSD (Solid State Drive) for the hard-drive meaning no moving parts.

    The wireless in it is great, has several USB 2.0 ports and a built in SD card reader.

    More info can be found at: www.eeeuser.com
     
  3. Smithy

    Smithy Outdoorsman, Bladesmith

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    Honestly, your best bet is a Blackberry or other smart phone, that will do phone, email, web, and documents. Even if the phone network is down, you still can store an amazing amount of information on them (some have up to 8 GB sd cards now), and they're lightweight and rechargable by hand-crank chargers. For weatherproofing, I reccomend either a simple o-ring sealed gear box (Plano Guide Series 3645 Waterproof Stowaway Accessory Box - Dick's Sporting Goods) for rugged storage, or if you're on-the-go and need to use the device in bad weather, something like an AquaBox.
     
  4. Fn/Form

    Fn/Form Function over Form

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    There's a whole world of ruggedized computers out there. Everything from mil-spec PDAs to full-powered laptops. Each has their respective limitations, and most are pretty pricey.

    I use a Toughbook on patrol. The magnesium case is the heatsink. When they get hot they slow waaaay down; it is a self-protection feature. No fans = no ports for water to get in and short things out. But it also means lesser cooling performance in some environments. Might be important for some people. The Toughbook and other rugged books (GETAC, Rugged Notebooks, DuraBook, Itronix, Motorola, etc.) are also way out of my price range.

    I wanted something more compact. PDAs were still pretty pricey, tho Trimble, GRETAC and others had some around $1000. Many incorporate a GPS receiver or allow one to be attached, some retaining waterproof rating. I found the PDA screen size was limiting for all around use, and not much full-feature software support for the operating systems.

    I also found something that fit between a PDA and a laptop size. A touchscreen tablet by Mobile Demand. Again, pricey, but last I saw they were selling older (slower) refurb model for around $700. Runs Windows XP, I think. Should be compatible with USB devices like GPS dongles. It was the only affordable (for me) thing I could find. Would still like to get one, but have some other priorities.

    Search for vendors that sell more than one brand, as they price compete with each other.

    Some links to start:
    Rugged Laptop & Rugged Tablet PC Computers Online - GroupMobile.com
    Rugged Laptops ¦ Rugged Notebooks ¦ Laptops and Notebooks ¦ OC Rugged Laptops
     
  5. stompk

    stompk Member

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    I just got home from Iraq and saw every computer there is fail there.
    My personal opinion is buy any computer you like and put it in a pelikan case (or otter box). That should protect it just fine when it is not in use. the rest is up to you :)

    oh, and you'll save a ton of money too. also, if you look at most "ruggedized" computers, they are less powerful than their less rugged brothren. weird.

    anyways, just a thought.