Getac S410, First Take: A tough, outdoor-friendly 14-inch laptop

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Getac's definition of 'semi-rugged' might be your average knowledge worker's definition of 'rugged' if the S410 is a representative example.

This is a 14-inch laptop in a solid chassis that's a minimum of 3.5cm thick and weighs at least 2.2kg. If you require extra graphics horsepower and opt for a discrete GPU (Nvidia's GeForce GTX), then the system will be 4.3cm thick and weigh 2.7kg.

The solid chassis is the key selling point here, and it is tough. There's no bending or wavering in the chassis, which meets MIL-STD 810G and IP51 standards. The latter rating signifies that the laptop is 'dust protected' and will come to no harm when used outside in the rain. All the connectors apart from the power input are under thick rubbery hinged covers; there are lots of these, so that no more than three slots are ever exposed at the same time. The hard drive has shock protection. The whole idea is that you can grab this laptop by its carry handle and throw it into the back of a truck and it'll be fine.

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The Getac S410's natural habitat is outdoors, or in challenging environments.

Images: Getac

Display options include 1,366 x 768 and full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolutions, with a 1000-nit option that's way brighter than anything you'll find from a traditional laptop maker, to enable viewing in bright sunlight.

The keyboard feels a bit more clunky than you'll find on a mainstream laptop, but that's appropriate for a system that needs to cope with gloved hands some of the time. Backlighting for the keyboard, like many other features, is a configurable option.

Ports and connectors are many and varied. Standard on all models are a 3.5mm headset jack, three USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port, RJ-45 Ethernet, HDMI, and a docking connector.

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Thereafter we are into options, which run to serial and VGA ports, a SIM card slot, an FHD camera, RF antenna passthrough for GPS, WWAN and WLAN, a rugged USB 2.0 connector, a rugged LAN port, and USB 2.0 with PowerShare. Dedicated GPS can also be fitted as an extra, and there's a multimedia bay that will accept optional Type II PCMCIA card, ExpressCard 34/54, super-multi DVD drive, or second battery modules.

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The S410's collection of well-protected ports and connectors are highly configurable. There's also a modular multimedia bay.

Image: Getac

A variety of processors is available, from a 2.3GHz Core i3-6100U right up to the 2.5-3.1GHz Core i7-6500U, and both SSD and HD options are on offer, the latter running to 1TB.

With so many options available there's a wide range of price points. My review sample comes in at £1,569, which a configuration that includes a 2.3-2.8GHz Intel Core i5-6200U (without vPro), 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, GPS, and 4G.

The review sample I was loaned was missing its stylus -- which sits inside a slot at the back bottom left side of the chassis. It's a fairly basic affair, designed for field-service-style data input rather than detailed pressure-sensitive work.

Quite clearly, the S410 isn't the kind of laptop most of us use in the office. But Getac is a highly regarded supplier to field service and other vertical sectors requiring tough laptops, tablets, and handhelds. The S410's three-year warranty suggests Getac is prepared to support its product through thick and thin.

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