Rugged computers go through a number of tests to ensure that they meet certain qualifications. These tests can be done in the laboratory, in a natural environment (field testing), or a combination of the two. Rugged computers are typically tested for drops, humidity, low and high temperatures, vibration, dust-resistance, thermal shock, water-resistance, and altitude.
For the drop test the laptops are dropped onto each face, edge, and corner in non-operating mode. Following this test, the computers are checked to make sure they boot up properly. The vibration test is conducted in both operating and non-operating mode. The rugged computers are clamped onto an aluminum plate and endure different frequencies of shaking for a total of one hour. For the water test, the computers are turned on and left open with the port covers closed. The rugged laptops endure streams of water for a total of 15 minutes.
For the humidity test, the rugged computers go through 10 days of temperatures being cycled from 86 to 140 degrees Farenheight, with a relative humidity of 95%. They are checked to make sure they are still operating near the end of the 5th and 10th day. For the dust testing the laptops are blasted with dust/sand coming from different directions.
In the high temperature test the computes are subjected to 140 degree farenheight temperatures in operating mode and 160 degree Farenheight temperatures in non-operating mode. In the low temperature test the computers are subjected to -20 degree farenheight temperatures in operating mode and -60 degree farenheight temperatures in non-operating mode. In the thermal shock test, the rugged laptops go through three cycles of extremely high (205 degrees farenheight) to extremely low temperatures (-60 degrees farenheight). This test is performed with the computers in both operating and non-operating mode. The last and final test is the altitude test. The rugged computers are tested at an altitude level of 15,000 feet.
Click here to view a list of fully rugged laptops.