Behind the rubber seals, you'll find the various connectors and interfaces. On the left is the removable optical drive and battery. The right side is home to the hard drive bay, a pair of USB ports, PC Card and ExpressCard slots, memory card reader, four-pin Firewire port, external aerial connector, Wi-Fi switch, microphone and earphone sockets, and Ethernet and modem jacks. On the back is the power socket, an extra USB port, docking connector (behind its own slide) and a pair of serial ports.
At the back, the docking connector is protected behind its own slide
All of this protection ensures that the B300 complies with the US Defence department MIL-STD-810F standard and the IP54 ruggedness standard. What this boils down to is that it's resistant to dust, water spray, humidity, shock, vibration and can operate in temperatures from -20° to 60°C.
From a technical point of view, one of the most impressive things about the B300 is the lack of any ventilation. This laptop packs in a pretty hefty Intel Core 2 Duo processor, which can get pretty hot at the best of times. Judging by the feel of the entire case after a few hours use, it seems that Getac uses the chassis as a kind of heat sink. It doesn't get dangerously hot or uncomfortable to use, but it does get pretty warm after a while.
As well as the 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo L7500 CPU, the review-unit B300 packs in 2GB of DDR 2 memory, a 120GB hard drive and an Intel 965 integrated-graphics chipset, dynamically sharing up to 384MB of system memory.
Benchmarks run at 1024 x 768
The specs deliver pretty much the performance we were expecting, scoring around 3160 in PCMark 05. Obviously for this price, you could purchase a much more powerful machine, but it would lack the robustness of this model.
@AC1 and AC2
"It sounds like it's got an ordinary hard disk. Wouldn't a SSD be more rugged?"
That might be the case, but a lot of this kit is designed to work with datalogging equipment etc. which probably works better with older H/W (hence the serial ports)
"for that sort of money you could buy three or four standard ones, and replace your lappy every year when it gets trashed."
Picture the scene, your in your tent in the arctic wastes, and your cheap laptop gives up the ghost. Who's going to courier you a replacement?
Another possible reason for using the case as a heatsink might be to keep the batteries warm and prolong battery life.
Very nice, but...
for that sort of money you could buy three or four standard ones, and replace your lappy every year when it gets trashed.
I bet it wouldn't survive the abuse I saw one laptop receive, it was an architect's Tosh Libretto (ancient Eee-pc alike) that had a trowel's worth of wet plaster, along with the trowel, dropped on it from about 20 ft overhead. I don't think it worked too well after that...
It sounds like it's got an ordinary hard disk. Wouldn't a SSD be more rugged?
I've fooled around with a Panasonic Toughbook before, so I know where I'm coming from when I say that you'll want to not bother with the optionals except for the second battery. Laptops just *love* to suck the life out of your batteries.
Take it or leave it; it's just too expensive compared to a 900$ Toughbook.
What about the important tests?
Is it proofed against
* marmalade in the usb port (small child)
* coffee on the screen (reading el Reg)
* paperclip in the network port (slightly larger small child)
* the cat using it as a warm sleepy place
* beaten with a wooden spoon (very small child)