Tom Wang, VP, GammaTech

There are probably no jobs tougher or more challenging than those found in the public safety sector. Serving and protecting total strangers can be very demanding, to say the least.

Chasing fleeing subjects, driving at high speeds over surfaces not intended for vehicular traffic. Rushing into burning buildings to rescue men, women, children, and all manner of animals. Venturing out to a crime scene, fire, accident, or to take care of someone who has fallen ill. No matter what the situation, speed and accuracy are at the forefront of what they do.

The extreme rigors of the various jobs performed by these individuals demand rugged, dependable, and portable notebook computers and tablets for use on duty. Mobile solutions built tough to take it on the chin and not back down. Mobile solutions specifically engineered to ensure the performance public safety workers need and the reliability they can count on every time they answer a call.

Toughness Is Key

One of the main differences between a rugged computer and the standard office variety is toughness. A rugged computing device is thoroughly toughness tested to meet or surpass certain standards.

For instance, meeting or exceeding MIL-STD-810G testing procedures assures the unit of superior drop, shock, and vibration protection. Likewise, Ingress Protection (IP) testing indicates its ability to keep water, sand, and dust from entering the device and doing some serious damage. Any public safety airborne unit will want the device to adhere to MIL-STD-461F, which tests for aircraft applications.

Since much of public safety work is done outdoors, temperature tolerance can play a vital role in the unit performing or not. Operating-temperature range and storage-temperature range need to be in sync with where the unit will be used and stored.

Be aware, however, that in selecting a rugged notebook or tablet, one size does not fit all. It is best to purchase a variety of products that are designed for specialized tasks, unique to a particular job or department.

Other Considerations

Some of the items that separate one rugged unit from another and should be considered in the selection process are listed below. Choices should be based on specific job needs.

* Powerful Intel® processor

* Small, lightweight form that can be easily carried or moved

* Large enough screen to be easily viewed

* High-definition display

* Touch-screen, sunlight readable panel

* Long battery life

* Dual hot-swappable battery packs

* Expandable memory

* Assorted wireless connectivity

* GPS capability

* Webcam

* High-definition audio

* Security features

* Warranty protection and other service protection

GammaTech Computer Corporation offers an assortment of notebook and tablet computers that can be customized to fit specific needs. Two of its most recent additions are the DURABOOK R11 rugged tablet, which at 2.73 pounds including battery is the lightest model in its class, and the DURABOOK R8300 fully rugged notebook, designed specifically for outdoor usage.

In a sector that goes full throttle around the clock, it only makes sense to use the most rugged, dependable mobile computers. And for those, it makes sense to choose a GammaTech product.

TomTom Wang is the Vice President at GammaTech Computer Corporation, a provider of the DURABOOK brand of rugged notebooks and tablets. He has more than 20 years of experience in the commercial and rugged computing industry, holding positions in product development, product management, sales and marketing. In his current role, Wang is responsible for the distribution of award-winning DURBOOK rugged mobile computers to North America.