Why Are Some Laptops More Durable Than The Others?

stock-photo-28452676-a-businessman-lifting-a-computer-monitorThere is nothing worse than buying new gear that malfunctions shortly after you purchase it. Many toys that I buy for my son barely make it home from the store in one piece.   In general, choosing a laptop is all about performance, storage, speed and the various features. Durability becomes an essential factor when it’s likely that the laptop is going to be subjected to a lot of bumps, spills and knocks during travel or any such similar situations. If you buy a laptop, you are going to want to keep it for a few years at least. Durability is most definitely a critical consideration in such scenarios.  Just like men, some laptops are more rugged than others. In both cases it is interesting to learn what makes some different from the other.

The term rugged generally means it’s ready to overcome obstacles and face challenges over and above what a regular and standard device would.  How can the ‘ruggedness’ be measured or calculated?

The US military, which cares about how much abuse a device can take, has set a standard – MIL-STD 810G – as a guide to determine how rugged or durable a device can be. It consists of a set of 28 tests that include anything from exposure to extreme temperature to gunfire. The tests vary on the device to be tested. Factors include size, weight and the intended use of the device. Laptops, when tested, go through eight to eleven MIL-STD such as such as extreme temperatures, rain, humidity, sand and dust, immersion, shock, solar radiation, etc.

A frequent sentiment on the internet – Mac laptops are pricier, but they last longer. But where does this assumption come from? During comparison of two systems, concerning processor, storage, design, etc., you will still encounter an experience in which Mac seems to last longer than some others.

Most laptops are fairly delicate instruments, but some are more designed to withstand pressure as opposed to others. When I did my research for buying a new gaming laptop, I noticed that the design of gaming laptops often are more durable than on other laptops. After more research on the subject, I noticed some laptops have the ability to survive even after they fall on concrete.  Part of the difference is in the overall construction of the system.

  • Metal casings tend to be stronger than the plastic ones
  • Traditional hard drives can be damaged if jostled around too much
  • Solid state drives have no moving parts and therefore, are less likely to break
  • Some hard drives are gel-mounted or protected by shock-absorbing dampers
  • Keyboards can be designed to withstand spilling of fluids.
  • Ruggedized laptops are often made up of magnesium or aluminium alloy. These materials are more durable than plastic. Such laptops also claim to be damage free if they are dropped from a height (max. 30 inches).
  • Some have sturdy internal frames and wear-resistant exteriors
  • Some devices sport carbon-fibre reinforcement frames, break-resistant screens and other enhancements that keep them going for years

Some devices are built to survive everything from semi-rugged environments to the wear and tear of travel, business or otherwise, while they stay looking good and performing flawlessly for years. They ought to be built to withstand life. The right design enables the laptop to run more smoothly, throughout the lifetime of the system.

Martin Fraley

Helping developers, IT professionals, students and technology enthusiasts with SQL and a better laptop based workplace.

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