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Panasonic Gets A Run For The Money

Watch out, Panasonic. The Durabook wants to play.

When GammaTech Computer Corp., Fremont, Calif., (formerly Twinhead) offered its newest semirugged laptop, Durabook D15-TS, for review, some comparisons were inevitable. Since the CRN Test Center recently hammered on Panasonic Computer Solutions Co.'s Toughbook Y7 to prove its ruggedness, it was only fair to subject the D15-TS to the same treatment.

The Ingredients:

Company: Fremont, Calif.
(510) 492-0828

On performance, the Durabook blew the Y7 away, scoring 2691 on Geekbench, the benchmarking software from PrimateLabs, compared to the Y7's 1780. The Durabook comes with the Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 processor at 2.40 GHz and 2 Gbytes of memory. The review Durabook unit was priced at $1,818—that's a better processor and more memory for less money. The D15-TS features a 15.4-inch widescreen WXGA LCD with up to 1,280-x-800 graphic resolution. The on-screen graphics are driven by Intel Graphics Media Accelerator GMA X3100, which supports up to 384 Mbytes of shared memory. There are three USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire IEEE 1394 port, a Type II Express Card slot and an RS232 serial port. It also has a smart card reader, Webcam and Bluetooth support. Solution providers can offer the Durabook-branded notebook to customers, or rebrand it under GammaTech's white-box program, under which partners can request customized features. The D15-TS has a drop- and spillproof magnesium alloy case, antishock mounting to protect the LCD display and hard disk drive, and a spill-resistant design. Being jostled around in a backpack with sharp objects didn't damage it. When placed under 30 pounds of weight, it was fine—no dents in the case. The screen was damaged only when the closed notebook was tossed to the floor, but the notebook worked fine when attached to an external monitor.
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