Twinhead Durabook @ [H] Consumer

Discussion in 'Computers & Gadgets' started by Jason_Wall, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. Jason_Wall

    Jason_Wall [H] Consumer Managing Editor

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    A while back, we dropped a hint that we had a Durabook in house that we were doing our best to destroy. After a very long evaluation period, we're finally able to make good on our word and bring you what you've all been waiting for - video laptop demolition.

    As the holidays are approaching and it's time to spend some time with the family, this will be the last article for a couple of weeks. Look for our triumphant return after the New Year!

    As always, thanks for reading, and Happy Holidays from all the guys here at [H] Consumer.

    Please Digg this article here.
     
  2. Dynafrom

    Dynafrom Gawd

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    Happy holidays too! Great review!
     
  3. swatbat

    swatbat [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Pretty good review. Should have found like a dell b130 or something to drop as a comparision though :)

    Anyway the notebook did seem to hold up pretty good. I've seen a lot of machines over the years die off a single drop like the ones you put that sucker through.
     
  4. Seid

    Seid n00b

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    I was really amused at the spill testing. The video you guys took looked like the laptop was taking a piss. :D
     
  5. Viper87227

    Viper87227 [H]ard as it Gets

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    When I saw the video, the very first thing I thought.... "ITS PEEING!"


    Great review though. I bet it was a blast to destroy that thing. It would have been nice to see another notebook dropped, just for comparison sake, but I know that that would be expensive...
     
  6. Commander Suzdal

    Commander Suzdal 2[H]4U

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    I'm torn about the drop-testing performance. On the one hand, I can agree that few average consumers will punish their machines that way. On the other, Twinhead was claiming to meet a military specification. I'm guessing that 29 inches approximates the drop distance when you're carrying the laptop at your side while standing or walking, as a soldier would undoubtedly do fairly often. Also, you'd tend to drop it more frequently when getting shot at than you would while sipping a latte at Starbuck's.

    I think they royally fudged, either to the gov't if the gov't actually buys these, or to the consumer by claiming to meet a spec that they didn't expect anyone to put to the test.

    One possible out for them is that the plywood-over-concrete test might actually be more forgiving than the tabletop. If the table you were using had a hard formica-like shell, it could have significantly less give than raw plywood, which would be both more flexible as a whole and softer at the surface. Not by much, but little tolerances can make a big difference with high-speed, high-mass impacts. Kinda-like bullet-proof vests--no way you'd think that plastic cloth could stop a bullet, but just enough tear resistance coupled with just enough resilience and multiplied over many layers does the job.
     
  7. magoo

    magoo [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The sound of plastic and metal on plywood.........priceless.

    That video of water being poured on a nearly dead laptop........it sounded like crickets.

    Great stuff. Pretty manly laptop.
     
  8. whrswoldo

    whrswoldo 2[H]4U

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    Very nice review! It wasn't quite the Frisbee/Laptop I was expecting, but impressive nonetheless. :D

    I was much more impressed by its ability to have water poured on it than by its resilience to dropping. I'm afraid to get anywhere near my laptop with drinks, because I've had numerous keyboards destroyed by water, soda or (the worst) milk.
     
  9. pigwalk

    pigwalk [H]ardForum Junkie

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    How does it copare to the Panasonic toughbooks?
     
  10. Mohonri

    Mohonri [H]ardness Supreme

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    The drop tests are well and good, but how often does a laptop actually get dropped on a nice, long edge or nice large, flat surface? You have a much higher chance of dropping it on a corner, increasing the impact by orders of magnitude. It would be interesting to see how many drops it would take on a corner, even from a smaller distance.
     
  11. Modred189

    Modred189 I'm Smarter Than You

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    :::shudder::: the noises those laptops made when hitting the table were terrible.
    [H] needs to do this kind of thing way more often.


    Bring on the fire test!
     
  12. swatbat

    swatbat [H]ardForum Junkie

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    From working with both durabooks and toughbooks I would say they are about the same the semi-rugged ones which would be like the cf-51. Maybe a little better. Plus it is cheaper then the cf-51 which is always nice.
     
  13. tazzmissionx

    tazzmissionx Gawd

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    I have been out of the Army for 2 years, but I worked on quite a few Panasonic Toughbooks the two times I was deployed. They seemed to hold up well physically but hard drive failure seemed to be a constant issue with them.
     
  14. Mohonri

    Mohonri [H]ardness Supreme

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    It sounds like this type of application would be a great place to start putting flash-based storage in place of hard drives.
     
  15. Grentz

    Grentz [H]ard as it Gets

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    I have used tons of the durabooks including many different models....in my opinion they are awesome.

    I do like your review and agree with many points in it. The durabooks are simple machines, and in reality not meant for gaming/rendering/etc. They are meant for business users with Outlook, Internet Explorer, Office, etc.

    I really wished you would have shown what a normal laptop will do, from 3 feet most every laptop will get killed with only 1-2 drops. Not just an optical drive, but a cracked screen, killed hdd, etc.

    At least after 6 drops the machine was still mostly usable!

    Personally I have found the full size N15RI and N14RI to be a bit more rugged than the D series you tested. I have seen those models dropped from over 3 feet with no problems and have one myself that has been drop tested, stood on, and still is going strong after over 2 years of intense traveling. O and by traveling, I mean i use a strap connected directly to the laptop and carry the laptop with me (no laptop bag) :p

    Also for those interested, Core Duo ones are on the horizon and coming soon :)

    Good review guys and I am glad you took a look at the mostly overlooked durabooks!
     
  16. Jason_Wall

    Jason_Wall [H] Consumer Managing Editor

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    We would have liked to as well, but unfortunately we didn't have a spare laptop sitting around that we could destroy.

    They told us that they would have Core Duo offerings very soon back in August. Now they need to start thinking about Core 2.
     
  17. Ingonuts13

    Ingonuts13 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Pretty fun stuff. Your review was interesting to read and very informative were I to be looking for a unit with that kind of durability. Wouldn't it be nice if ALL notebooks had that kind of protection as a standard.
     
  18. foofighter06

    foofighter06 Gawd

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    Wow!!!!!!

    That was fun.

    Not gonna do it to my brothers e1705....but that looked like fun.

    Awesome that someone got paid to beat on a laptop.
     
  19. acaurora

    acaurora Limp Gawd

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    I think I can speak on behalf of all of us when someone with this laptop looks at another person with a regular run of the mill consumer laptop and says

    "Can your laptop take a piss? Cuz mine can!" :p
     
  20. mikeblas

    mikeblas [H]ard|DCer of the Month - May 2006

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    Er, "probably"? What did task manager tell you about the workingset for Norton Anti-Virus? From the screenshot, it looks like one of the svchost.exe instances is using the most memory, at 24,356 kilobytes. Next is RTHDCPL.EXE, at 19,452 kilobytes, which is the RealTek audio HD control panel. How much memory was Norton AV using? Was it actually more than the RealTek control panel?
     
  21. amdfan25

    amdfan25 2[H]4U

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    Nice test, these guys should give the Toughbook some competition. Just too bad they are kind of hard to purchase/find. It would be cool if you guys were able to get spare HDDs and see what would really happen say if you dropped them from a longer distance or multiple times. :D
     
  22. Jason_Wall

    Jason_Wall [H] Consumer Managing Editor

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    It's hard to say how much it was actually using since Norton hides a lot of its processes, but it looks like there are five listed processes related to Norton in the list - totaling around 20MB.

    We've empirically seen that Norton will slow down a machine, even if it's only installed.

    Regardless, that's one of the bulkier OS images we've seen.
     
  23. Grentz

    Grentz [H]ard as it Gets

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    NAV is a hog, case closed.

    Seriously, NAV is amazing at how much it hogs and like Jason said, it hides many of its processes so you cannot really see what it is doing to performance.