KELTEK Blog

How Toughbook® Stacks Up Against the Competition

Posted by Brandon Sjullie on Jan 23, 2020 10:28:13 AM

Panasonic has a long-standing reputation for excellence in its product lines.  Innovation and research have been a core component of Panasonic's legacy in their line of Rugged Laptops and it is one of the main reasons Keltek distributes Toughbook® laptops to the Midwest's public safety officials.  

When it comes to competition in the rugged computing industry there are a few key players including; Dell, Getac, and of course Panasonic. Let's see how Panasonic's Toughbooks®️ stack up against the competition!

Durability

To be in the category of a rugged laptop the device needs to fit a military standard 810G which is used to gauge the durability of rugged laptops. This standard is a set of protocols that the U.S. Department of Defense uses to assess mobile computers. The 810G standard uses a variety of tests, including 48-inch drops, sitting in extreme temperature (high and low), and tests for resistance to moisture and humidity, also altitude and vibration. Toughbook, Getac, and Dell also all have models that pass both the IP65 standard, and 810G.  

 

Size and Vehicle Mounting

No one likes lugging around a heavy computer, weight is an important factor when considering the daily transportation of your device.  Panasonic's Toughbook 20 and Dell's Latitude 12 7000 Rugged Extreme both came in weighing below 4 pounds. Although, Dell's rugged models have not passed the same quality standards as the Toughbook models, as discussed in the durability section.  Getac's models came in the heaviest with their largest at 11.46 pounds. 

If your department decides to update computers, you'll want to be sure your vehicle's docking and mounting is compatible.  At Keltek we use Havis and Gamber Johnson products for mounting and docking solutions. Toughbook and Dell's rugged models have a fair amount of options from Havis.  I was unable to find Getac's 500 series from either distributors website, they did provide other rugged Getac models.  

Side by Side Comparison

Panasonic Toughbooks

Advantages:

Disadvantages:

  • More expensive than Getac or Dell 
  • Small spacebar not ideal for fast typing

Getac Rugged Computers

Advantages:

  • Cheaper than the Toughbook®️
  • Longest battery life in industry (B300 Model)

Disadvantages:

  • HDD not SSD for storage
  • Heavier and bulkier than Toughbook®
  • Relatively low screen resolution

Dell Rugged Computers

Advantages:

  • Cheaper than the Toughbook®️ & Getac 
  • Ports and connectors protected by hinged covers 

Disadvantages:

  • Complaints about unresponsive touch pads
  • Adding more storage is expensive
  • No Thunderbolt 3 port (Latitude 7424 & 5425)

If price isn’t an issue, then the Panasonic Toughbook's are the obvious winner. With a long standing reputation in Public Safety, Toughbooks generally come at a higher up front cost, but the total cost of ownership is less when investing in one of these durable, reliable devices. 

If you haven't heard - Panasonic is discontinuing the CF-31, if you have any questions about the End of Life on this product please feel free to review this bulletin.  For more information on Toughbook options see the guide below! 

View The TOUGHBOOK Family Quick Reference Guide

Topics: Computers, Technology, Products