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Portables Displays Hardware

Dell's Rugged Laptop Doesn't Quite Pass 4-Foot Drop Test 113

narramissic writes "Dell's new Latitude E6400 XFR laptop is designed to withstand drops, dust and high pressure water spray. The company claims the laptop, which is intended for military use, can withstand rain and wind gusts of up 70 mph, and can work in temperatures from -20 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also work for an hour at an altitude of 15,000 feet and is designed to withstand drops of around 4 feet (48 inches) when not operating and 36 inches when operational. The LCD screen floats a little bit within the LCD cover so it can take impacts and shock, said Jeremy Bolen, a Dell spokesman. But watch as the laptop that Dell used to show these features wasn't able to withstand the rough treatment that was part of the company's demonstration."
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Dell's Rugged Laptop Doesn't Quite Pass 4-Foot Drop Test

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  • by Bicx ( 1042846 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @10:57AM (#27134747)
    Maybe this is considered just a semi-rugged class of laptop, because personally I would expect a "rugged" laptop to endure a much longer drop than that.
  • by N3Roaster ( 888781 ) <nealw AT acm DOT org> on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @10:58AM (#27134757) Homepage Journal

    Many years ago, I had a sales rep who sold me Nissan thermos bottles. During one of his visits, he showed me (not to try to sell it to me, but because he thought I'd think it was cool) a new titanium dent-proof bottle that was really light and marketed at cyclists. When it came to demonstrating that it was dent-proof, he took his sample in hand and whacked it three times on one of my tables. "Now watch, those dents will just pop right out." Well, by the time he left, those dents were still there. In fact, he recently sent that bottle to me. The dents are still there.

    Another sales rep was showing off glasses that didn't break when dropped. She demonstrated this by flinging the glass across the shop. While the glass didn't break, she did say, "One of these days I'm not going to get away with that."

    The lesson: shit happens in product demos.

  • by zooblethorpe ( 686757 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @11:33AM (#27135311)

    My company recently (against my advice) bought a shitload of Dell OptiPlex 700 series desktops. The damn things are wonky as hell. About 75% of them won't even recognize an inserted thumb drive without a complete reboot.

    What are you running on them?

    I had a small-shop custom-built job years ago with Win2K on it, and Windows would go belly-up hard-reboot with depressing and increasing frequency, necessitating a complete wipe every couple months, after which the reboot-X-days-later cycle would restart with X as a larger, though shrinking, number. Later I installed Red Hat on it with Windows in a VM (required for certain software, >sigh...<) and it worked like a charm. Turned out the mobo's SMART controller was borked in some subtle way that killed Windows, but Linux was smart enough to find the mobo error and work around it (confirmed in dmesg).

    I'm not saying your shitload of Dell OptiPlex 700 series desktops all have borked mobos, but maybe some BIOS setting or Windows driver isn't playing nicely?

    (Disclaimer: I own a Dell and have had generally good luck with it, but I'm no apologist. My own machine is a Dimension 5150, and I was bothered to learn that, despite a 64-bit CPU, the chipset is limited to 32-bit memory addressing. How stupid!)


  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @12:10PM (#27136043) Homepage

    Hahaha... or the story of Bill Gates demonstrating Windows98's plug and pray.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgriTO8UHvs [youtube.com]

  • by techess ( 1322623 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @02:33PM (#27138441)

    According to the audio w/ the video the reporter states that Dell would not let them show the damage. They also said that particular demo had been dropped over 100 times from the 4ft height which does seem pretty robust.

    I do like how the Dell seals up to prevent water/dust damage. It seems more robust than the Panasonic plastic tabs. Our students always manage to break those off when storm or weather balloon chasing.

  • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @03:37PM (#27139475) Journal

    Years ago, I worked at a garden supply and patio furniture shop. A couple of guys I worked with were carrying a glass tabletop out of a truck. When they nearly dropped it, they turned white as a sheet, than heaved a sigh of relief when they realized they'd caught it in time.

    The lady who ran the patio furniture section was there, and she laughed as they set the table top atop its frame. "Don't worry," she said. "It's shatterproof. I could jump up and down on this and it wouldn't break."

    A buddy of mine was there, and immediately said, "Do it." So without missing a beat, she climbed up on top of the table and jumped up and down on it, really slamming her feet down forcefully with every descent. No damage.

    She then climbed down, and as she was walking away, she grinned and said, "You didn't think I'd do it, did you?"

    "Nope." But he was suitably impressed.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI