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Comparison of Rugged, Convertible Laptop/Tablet PCs

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July 28, 2011 4:26:19 PM

I am in the market for a rugged, convertible laptop/tablet pc and I am SO tired of researching, comparing specs etc and I would really just appreciate some true advice from some REAL people. I had my mine set on the fujitsu T901 or the Lenovo x220 but then I really couldn't see spending $2000 when there were other brands out there, so I figured I would seek out some further advice before making my decision.

I'd like to stay as low as possible, seeing that this is DEFINITELY and unplanned expense.when it comes to price, but I also know what I want in general.

It will be used mainly for LOTS of web-surfing, emailing, data researching (having to have lots of internet tabs open at once and speed is a definite concern as I get VERY inpatient); also will be used to house and edit TONS of photography; for keeping notes/syncing with my blackberry (which I'm wanting to get rid of soon*ps.any tips for good smart phones ;-) *); paying bills and keeping finances; video chatting with relatives who are overseas (therefore if I got the lenovo I'd have to use an external camera for sure); I also really like/want the bi or tri directional hinge on the display; and I normally have access to a plug only because the laptops I've had have an awful battery life, so battery life isn't #1 concern but definitely the longer the life, the better.

I also swore off pc's seeing that I have been through 3 in 4 years now, awful luck/service/computers; so I guess I am asking opinions on MAC vs the convertible tablet pc. I just LOVE the convertible option seeing that I was also looking at tablets for a future purchase. I've also heard of "build-your-own" options, would that be a cheaper way to go? and if so, what company's should I use?

Now that I have asked a million questions, haha, I am planning on making this purchase ASAP since my current laptop is awful, so any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
a b D Laptop
July 28, 2011 9:15:51 PM

What do you mean by bi/tri directional hinges? And what do you mean by convertible tablet PCs? Also, what's your definition of "rugged" (ie, whats your intended usage?)
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July 28, 2011 9:39:00 PM

For example, the Fujitsu T900; "You have the option of using a stylus or the lightest touch from your fingers, to effortlessly navigate around your display. To get
the most from your dual digitizer functionality Fujitsu provides the exclusive Touch Launcher which can be customized to launch whatever you want by simply
touching an icon on your screen. It has a 'BI-DIRECTIONAL DISPLAY HINGE ALLOWS FOR EASY SHARING OF THE BRIGHT LED BACKLIT 13.3-INCH WIDESCREEN LCD.'
Rugged: MIL-STD-810G7 Built Tough MIL-STD-810G tested for various demanding environmental conditions, functional shock, vehicle vibration, vibration integrity, altitude, low (cold) and high (heat) temperature, humidity, and transit drop.

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a b D Laptop
July 29, 2011 2:11:54 AM

Well, as Apple doesnt make any tablet computers, you're going to be stuck with a Windows machine. I don't know of any "rugged" tablets like the T900, but Panasonic makes the Toughbook line of hardened regular (non-convertable) laptops, which seems to be what you are describing. The Toughbook line also includes a few tablets, but they're not the laptop kind: they just have a screen, and no keyboard.

If you're willing to drop the rugged requirement, then the Lenovo X220 series are quite good, as well as being quite a bit cheaper than the Fujitsu Lifebook series. (the x220 can be customized to come with a webcam, so you'll be good on that too)
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July 29, 2011 4:07:36 AM

See a friend of mine just ordered a Lenovo and said that he has always had one and that they are "tough" but not "rugged." The rugged feature is definitely just a major LIKE when it comes down to it, but when I priced it the lenovo it really only came out a couple hundred dollars cheaper (which I guess does matter). I have looked at Panasonic and they actually now have one with a keyboard if I'm not mistaken, but their prices were even higher because you can not order straight from their site. Any tips of sites to find Panasonic from or as I mentioned previously, would it be better/cheaper to build-your-own?
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a b D Laptop
July 29, 2011 5:01:03 AM

You can't really build your own laptop like you can with a desktop. the best you can do is go on a website and customize the components you want in it.

As for the toughbook convertible, i'm not aware of one :S If you want to buy them... try Amazon?
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