Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Toughbooks Are Tough

In the past few months we've written quite a few blogs about the toughness and durability of Panasonic Toughbooks.  Generally these blogs center around the factory testing and how well the Toughbooks hold up to water, heat, cold, and drops.  These tests all center around things that Panasonic expects to happen to a laptop, as people spill drinks on their keyboard, leave it in their vehicle exposing it to temperature fluctuations, and sometimes knock it off the table.  But, how well does a Toughbook hold up to things Panasonic doesn't expect to happen?

Can It Take A Bullet?
Yes!  Back in 2003, a Panasonic Toughbook CF-M34 actually saved the life of a US military member in the 82nd Airborne Division.  The soldier was in Iraq when he came under fire.  He was carrying the Panasonic Toughbook in his backpack.  A bullet struck his backpack, passed through the screen and the keyboard of the Toughbook, and lodged in the solid magnesium-alloy casing...saving his life.  As if that isn't enough, the unit still functioned...minus the screen and keyboard of course.

Forbes magazine also did a little testing of the Panasonic Toughbook against firearms as well.  They took the laptop to the Jackson Arms firing range in South San Francisco to shoot it with a Ruger Mark III .22 pistol from 15 yards.  They removed the battery to minimize the mess.  They aimed, and put a bullet through the laptop. Then they booted it up, and theywere able to log in. The screen had a hole in it, but was still usable. 

Can It Survive A Fire?
Yes!  There have been multiple reports of Panasonic Toughbooks surviving a vehicle fire.  A recent one occurred with St. James Ambulance in Missouri.  In February 2011, the St. James Ambulance District was called to a motor vehicle accident. While en route to the scene, they experienced some mechanical issues that required the driver to pull to the side of the road. At that time, they realized that there was a small fire under the vehicle.  That fire quickly spread to the engine and passenger compartments, where the Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 was located.  
After the fire was extinguished, one of the crew members obtained the Toughbook from the ambulance.  After letting the water drain, he hit the power button to find the computer was fully functional with a few minor exceptions.  “The exterior was melted and the case was cracked in several places,” stated Bryan Lambeth, EMS supervisor and paramedic for St. James Ambulance District. “I truly didn’t have high hopes, but I hit the power button and the computer fired right up!”

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