How robust does a laptop for education have to be?

Imagine. You're designing a laptop specifically for use in education. How robust do you have to make it?


Is this robust enough? The engineers at RM took theirs into the car park, and then drove cars over one, to see how much abuse it could survive. Three cars later (and car number 2 definitely looks like the one that should inflict most damage) it is still up and running. And just to prove it isn't a trick, they take it back into the office and plug it into a monitor too, to show it's still alive and well.

Pretty impressive. Might also match up to some of the abuse a student might cause a laptop.

Perhaps their "laptop drop" game isn't just for fun!

I know this isn't just an overnight wonder either. In 2003, I took a career break and went around the world with my family (4 people, 3 backpacks, 2 grown ups, 1 year - and a Tablet PC). For a year I had a Tablet PC in my backpack, and it took some pretty bad treatment - I even dropped it on the street one day, when I was carrying it in my hands, without a case. Somehow it made it through all of that, allowing me to write a website about our trip for our relatives and friends, and (more importantly) for my children to use it to keep up to date with their school work.

The Tablet managed to make it round a dozen countries, travelled at least 1,000 miles strapped to the tops of buses in my rucksack, on some very bumpy and dusty Asian roads, and was hauled through inhospitable conditions. That Tablet was made by RM, so I know that they've been making pretty robust mobile PCs for quite a while now!


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