The GammaTech Durabook series of laptops make great work computers with its tough magnesium alloy case that gives it a tough shock and drop resistant as well as featuring a spill resistant keyboard.
GammaTech is a computer laptop manufacturer based in Fremont, California that is the first manufacturer to offer ruggedized notebook computers to the mass consumer market. A ruggedized notebook computer offers consumers as well as government and businesses a tough computer design using government standards.
The standards are a simple set of rules for dropping, vibrating and pouring liquid on a laptop to show how tough it is, or what it has to withstand to be certified up to the government standards. Basically a laptop has to withstand certain tests like dropping from a specific height or shaking the laptop at a specific speed to test.
The standards are military in nature for use in the field, being a veteran who used some field equipment I can understand the necessity for these types of standards. Using equipment that has passed specific standards means you can be assured that your device meets the same standards the military and government is using.
Everyday happenings such as tossing a laptop into a truck cab or accidentally dropping it from the back of a truck onto concrete would be common place in the field for military use. In civilian use I can easily see accidentally dropping your laptop when carrying your gear to and from work or a job site.
Dropping the notebook and still having it work or shaking the notebook at a certain speed and again having it work is some of the testing it has to go through. Another test is pouring water on the keyboard and after pouring the water off the laptop once again it has to work.
The testing is not done on every computer but using common quality assurance standards, a certain number are pulled at random during manufacture and subjected to these tests. The whole process is fun and as a previous quality assurance inspector I can understand a lot of this process as well.
The Durabook D14 series of computers has some common characteristics such as the magnesium alloy case with four large rubber bumpers on the top corners and rubber covers over all the connectors. The four corners of the body of the laptop have rubber bumpers on the corners as well for protection that helps to keep the computer safe and scratch free.
The laptops are built with internal shock absorbers and cushioning in strategic locations such as around the disk drives and under the LCD screen for added protection. The optical disc drive even has a lock to keep it shut should you drop your notebook so it does not pop open.
The Durabook computers can be configured using your own specifications so the choice of Intel mobile and duo core processors means power for mobile computing. You also get integrated graphics according to the model you choose but these computers are not gaming laptops.
I did run some benchmark testing and found the computers are great for general computer use and special applications like Photoshop and Dreamweaver will work just fine. Gaming is out of the question for high end games or first person shooters but some games will run without problems.
I found Microsoft Flight Sim X ran fine at low quality settings and other games like World in Conflict also ran fine at low settings but not with anything higher in graphics quality. Gaming is more for the higher end systems that GammaTech sells but these are really not gaming systems, they are for tough work computers in the field.
GammaTech sells the business computers that are rugged for tough computers that can take some rough handling, these make perfect laptops for on the road use. I found the tough ruggedized case and extra internal protection would make a great laptop for uses on the road like sales, home inspectors and construction crews who make house calls.
Uses I can easily see for more home oriented users would be those that sell items as a part time or full time job on the road or at craft fairs, county or state fairs and for vendors. Those events that have people selling products or homemade items such as crafts or food at fairs would need a tough computer to protect their business interests from damage.
Just having been at a craft fair selling my wife’s crafts and some of my reviewed items that I am not keeping I can easily see the need for a rugged computer if you want to have a laptop on site while a vendor. Packing and setting up as well as getting to your spot often includes packing your stuff onto a rolling cart and crossing sidewalks, curbs and grassy.
A ruggedized computer would mean no worries for those important business files and securing those files is even easier when your laptop has a suite of protection devices and software. Durabook’s come with fingerprint scanners and personal lock files for protecting your laptop should unauthorized individuals attempt access.
You can also get extra features for your Durabook such as card readers, internal Bluetooth and even Microsoft Office or barcode scanning software. You can purchase all kinds of extras or features according to the laptop model you want and features you need.
I used the model I received for review for a month and had no problems what so ever as you would expect with anything I tried from gaming to general browser use. I installed a few different programs and used benchmarking software as well as games to check out speed and features.
The notebooks gave good benchmark scores but for gaming graphics there was a lower quality according to the benchmarks I used, Battlefield Bad Company 2 would not play at speeds you could even use. Other games like Flight Simulator worked just fine and games with lower graphics like card games or 2 dimensional games would play fine.
I had no problems using the various features and connectors like the card reader and extra HDMI connection to watch a movie or two on the external drive that GammTech provided. The model I was reviewing included an extra internal hard drive in place of an internal optical disc drive so an external optical drive was included.
The external drive worked fine as the computer is fast enough for these even with an external drive, the computer has the processor and memory to run many programs just not the graphics for gaming. GammaTech has some very good ruggedized laptops for business and rugged home use if you need a tough laptop and you can configure one to your specific needs.
Check out the ruggedized laptops at GammaTech for a tough laptop that is tested to military standards for drop, vibration and even waterproof protection. GammaTech has a Durabook computer with the specifications and features you need for business and home users that need a tough laptop.