Eagle Laptop from Rugged Notebooks Takes a Beating

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Eagle Laptop from Rugged Notebooks Takes a Beating

by Fahmida Y. Rashid

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Straight Out of the Box

The Eagle notebook's hard metal case is shockproof, and a rubber Guard Protection System protects the LCD. The protection makes it a little hefty in size and weight, though.

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The Eagle, Opened

The 14.1-inch touch-screen display is protected by the rubber protection system and can be enhanced with anti-reflective/anti-glare screen protector film. This test unit came with Windows 7 Professional installed.

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Dropping the Eagle

The Eagle was dropped on to the floor from a height of 15 inches six times: front, back, top, bottom, right and left. The screen was checked for scratches, cracks and dead pixels, but nothing was found. The battery remained at the same level, and we had no trouble working on the drive.

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A Higher Drop for the Eagle

After verifying the Eagle was working fine, the height was increased. The specs said the Eagle could handle drops of up to 29 inches, so this test looked at desk height, still with the laptop closed. We forgot to lock the DVD drive, so when we dropped it on the right, the drive opened. But everything still worked fine.

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Ports Are Protected

The Eagle was brought out into a severe rainstorm and got drenched. There are protective covers over each of the ports-the serial port, VGA port, Ethernet ports, power port, card reader and USB ports. Thanks to the metal casing and protective covers, the rain didn't hurt the notebook at all.

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Spilling Water on the Keyboard

The protective covers over the ports and the metal casing protected the notebook. The test called for pouring 100 mL of water all over the keyboard.

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The Water Goes Straight Through

The keyboard is designed with a channel so that all the water flows directly through and out of the laptop via a hole in the bottom. Of the 100 mL that was sloshed over the keyboard and then to the side, about 85 mL of water came right out the bottom. After the keyboard was dried thoroughly with towels, the Eagle powered on as normal and operated properly.

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Real-World Spill

For most folks, spills tend to happen while in the middle of typing on the laptop. Again, water was poured directly the keyboard while powered on, and this time all 100 mL of the water came out from the bottom vent of the keyboard. There was no problem surfing the Web with the wet keyboard.

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Real-World Drop

For most folks, the laptop falls while it's powered on and opened. We tripped over the power cord to knock the laptop off the table, but the power cord popped out, leaving the Eagle safely on the table. Even after it was pushed off the table, open and powered on, the laptop worked fine. The protective bezel around the screen came loose, but it easily snapped back into place, leaving it as good as new.

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Eagle: Passed

The recommended rugged tests didn't fit real-world instances (keeping it powered off? Please!), but even under semi-real-world scenarios, the Eagle emerged-with the bezel around the screen slightly askew-perfectly operational. The hard drive was scanned for problems at the end, but no errors were found. Not bad for a regular (not solid state!) hard disk drive.

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