Friday, September 30, 2011

What does Rugged Mean?

Mobile computers presented for sale to law enforcement are considered ruggedized. Does the standard police force need to spend the kind of money that buys a rugged laptop? When you talk about new rugged laptops like the Panasonic Toughbook line of ruggedized mobile computers cost of ownership for a brand new CF-31can be anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000. If you have 25 police cars to outfit and your budget is slim, the cost is obviously a barrier. So question becomes – How do I outfit my vehicles with mobile technology that will still be usable after 3 or more years?

A rugged laptop by definition can mean a multitude of things to different people. Panasonic feels that a rugged laptop meets certain standards. Their rugged line of notebooks meet military standards – MIL-STD-810G and MIL-STD-461F. You read all of the specifics on the Panasonic website, the Military standards are located here.  In a nutshell here is what Panasonic has to say about these standards and their notebooks:
"Panasonic engineers continually work to ensure that Toughbook® products can withstand hard knocks and harsh conditions every day—and over the long term. Toughbook computers include many features that make them more durable and longer-lasting than conventional computers. They range from magnesium alloy cases and shock-mounted hard drives found on all Toughbook computers to the covered ports and fanless design that make fully-rugged Toughbook computers one of the most reliable in the industry. "
I have been selling the Panasonic Toughbook line of laptops for a number of years.  There are a things that you do not want to do with your Toughbook.  You do not want to drop it intentionally, dip it in a vat of liquid, or sand blast it.  I have some bad news.  The notebook will not withstand that sort of punishment.  Now I will say that they are definitely better built and can withstand the rigors of police work.  I have dropped these laptops and they do hold up well on impact.  Some repairs are required in most drop cases.  Overall however, the fully ruggedized Panasonic Toughbook line of laptops are definitely a much better choice than the standard laptop.  So they are the definite notebook of choice in a police car.
The question of affordability still means that budgets will be taxed when purchasing brand new rugged laptops.  I would like to suggest that by purchasing a refurbished Panasonic Toughbook that is 2 to 3 years old you can easily outfit all your vehicles and go easy on the budget.  With an average cost of $400 to $800 a used refurbished ruggedized police laptop gives an alternative to purchasing just standard laptops that would not last as long in a police environment.
With the refurbished laptops going easy on your municipal budget and outfitting all of your vehicles with units that have the capabilities to withstand the abuse of the law enforcement environment, mobile computing suddenly becomes an efficient, affordable and effective solution. 


  1. I really appreciate sharing this great post. I like this blog and have bookmarked it.

    Problem Solving Techniques

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.