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|GammaTech DuraBook S15C|
Laptop computers have a tendency to get pretty beat up. In May, the CRN Test Center reviewed the DuraBook U12C, a rugged notebook from GammaTech Computer Corp. that withstood everything we threw at it.
With a list price of $1,921-- about half that of a comparably equipped Panasonic ToughBook -- that sturdy DuraBook is likely to outlast conventional laptops even if they're not dropped. But while such machines might look at home on battlefields, construction sites or the corner garage, in the board room they stick out like a Hummer at a Maserati convention.
With the DuraBook S15C HD, GammaTech breaks the "bulky but durable" stereotype without breaking the bank. The $1,535 unit delivers an Intel Core i7 2.8GHz dual-core (2640M) processor, 4 GB of two-channel memory, 15.6-inch 1080p screen and a 60-GB solid-state drive, all in a magnesium allow case that looks like most any other laptop. And while it's no Maserati in terms of speed, GammaTech's latest DuraBook offers plenty to write home about.
Like the cereal that's good for kids without them knowing it, the S15C is loaded with hidden benefits. The screen and hard drive are mounted with an anti-shock design to protect them from drops, shock and vibration according to the U.S. Military Standard 810G method 514.6. The keyboard, touchpad and switches are spill-proof, and the unit's internal design prevents spillage from reaching critical components. Security features include TPM 1.2 encryption, BIOS-level administrator and boot passwords, a Smart Card reader and Kensington lock port.
The handsome black and silver magnesium alloy case is claimed to be 20 times stronger than ABS plastic, and is said to withstand 26 drops while closed from a height of 32 inches (the height of an average desk) onto plywood over concrete. We dropped the unit three times with no apparent damage, although the snap-lid did seem harder to open afterward. Curiously, the unit woke from sleep on its own each time it was dropped.