Tech for people who work outdoors

5 must-have tech features for people who work outdoors

  • 22 Jul 2016

Getac outlines five essential tech features designed for outdoor environments that you need to consider when buying your next rugged laptop…

Whether you work in trade, logistics or the emergency services, your ground team needs rugged technology that can withstand changing environments and potentially hazardous conditions.

Maximum performance, best-in-class build quality and bright displays are all crucial for extreme working environments.

Compact and portable tech

Any device worth taking out in the field needs to be easy to carry and deploy with fast uptime and efficiency.

Self-contained units with little need for extra hardware are specially designed for use on the front line and can be switched on with the same ease and speed as any standard laptop.

With many rugged models available in the same sizes as standard devices, the only difference is the thickness of the actual machine, which should be larger to accommodate hard-wearing casings and additional internal hardware to give your device the enhanced performance it needs.

Connectivity

When you’re working in extreme conditions or are building out in the middle of nowhere, the last thing you want is to have to switch device or lose signal.

Many rugged laptops now support 4G LTE, the latest major version of mobile network technology.

4G LTE offers unparalleled bandwidth, latency and capacity, allowing you to easily switch carriers without having to change hardware, further breaking down the barriers of high-performance mobile applications.

Also, look for models that support the next generation 802. 11ac Wi-Fi, which is currently the fastest wireless connectivity technology available on the market.

Tech for people who work in hazardous conditionsTop-end hardware

A high-quality processor and sizeable storage capacity should be high on your list of priorities when selecting your next rugged laptop.

Something that has been built to handle the most complex processing tasks is ideal; for performance and efficiency, a 2.6 GHz processor, which offers Turbo Boost speeds of up to 3.4 GHz, will be able to handle those moments when you’re running your most processor-intensive applications.

From intricate mapping and live video processing to licence plate recognition, look for hyper-threading, a feature which allows you to run demanding applications simultaneously without compromising your system’s responsiveness.

Additionally, a hardware RAID controller (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) greatly improves performance and protects your data.

When you use a rugged laptop with up to five terabytes of storage, you can configure your device for RAID level 0, 1 or up to 5 for maximum capacity and performance – or even to mirror drives for maximum protection.

Finally, you should be looking for models that can offer up to 15 hours of battery life on a single charge. Even better: models with dual battery configuration provide up to a full 30 hours, allowing your team to do the job for the full shift or deployment.

Razor-sharp display

When working in harsh conditions, your rugged laptop needs a crystal-clear display for mapping, video applications, multiple monitors and more.

Besides looking for standard screen specs of around 15 inches wide with full HD 1080p widescreen display, you may want to consider an advanced QuadraClear display. These reduce the sun’s reflectivity and provide a more effective contrast rate than other displays on the market.

In addition, many new monitors are powered by LEDs meaning they provide an energy-efficient display that is mercury-free, durable and capable of outputting up to 1400 NITs of brightness consistently over time.

Tech for people who work in extreme conditions

Built to survive

As a benchmark, seek out models that have been independently tested and certified to meet or exceed IP65, MIL-STD-810G and MIL-STD-461 standards.

High-quality materials include magnesium alloy which often features on models that have been specifically engineered to protect the computer against drops, shocks, spills, vibrations and extreme temperatures.

Look for sealed designs: these systems often use copper pipe cooling systems to dissipate heat without the need for internal fans, meaning the unit can be completely sealed to protect the device against dust and moisture.

If it’s critical that you’re able to work in any climate, look for hard drives that are insulated inside a heating blanket. Some of the top models on the market are able to withstand temperatures between -29°C and 60°C using this technology, allowing your team to work uninterrupted.

If you need to use your rugged laptop in coastal environments, look for models that are treated with multiple layers of protective coating to shield it from salt, fog and corrosion.

For covert operations in the dark of night, the latest technology in night vision modes should allow users to wear night vision goggles without the need for an external filter.

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