Ruff PC – They Ain’t Skeered!

A bit of background: The Thinking Blog and RuffPC are sponsoring a free laptop giveaway contest. The rules and such can be found through the link above. Originally, I thought, “yeah, this would be a cool thing to win…” so I checked it out. I’m glad I did. These machines are some of the toughest and coolest computing devices I have seen since my days in the USAF. I would certainly still like to win the laptop, but I would write this review regardless. So enough about the something for a (little bit of) nothing. Check these guys out….

UPDATE: Go to The Thinking Blog and vote for Wordout!
Just click the link above and it will take you to the voting page. It’s free and it will really help me out! No registration, no email required, just your vote for Wordout, Entry #33!
To see the Entire Video Parade on RuffpC by Wordout, click this link!

UPDATE: The Thinking Blog and RuffPC changed the rules of the contest AFTER THE CONTEST WAS OVER! Wordout won the laptop according to the original rules, but I never was acknowledged as the winner, and I never received the laptop.
Just so you’ll know.

The New Site

First off, let me say that the site over at RuffPC is extremely easy to get around in. There’s a video that should play on their front page that I couldn’t get to work in my Firefox, but the site has only just gone public and, from experience, I know there are things that can take a bit of extra time. I’m certain, after looking through the rest of the site, these guys will soon have it all working for all of us.

The new site may have just gone public, but these guys have obviously been at this for a good while. Just look at some of their long list of customers:

US Air Force, Navy, Marine Corp and Coast Guard, Department of Defense (China Lake), U.S. Geological Survey, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research, Lockheed Martin, Rocky Flats, Honeywell, Boeing, and NASA.

These are just a fraction of their listed clients, and the entire list is impressive.

Extreme Machines For Extreme Conditions

But it’s not just the list that grabs your attention. Looking through their product page, you’ll find a portable pc for nearly any purpose. The RuffPad series includes a couple of models perfect for inventory management and similar tasks. They meet military standards for drops, vibration and temperature extremes, and are impervious to dust and water immersion. The RoughNote series are small pc’s with specs equal to or better than any I’ve ever seen, designed to meet or exceed the same military specs as the RuffPad. The RuffNote Scribe sports an Intel Centrino CPU, up to 1GB of RAM and a 120 GB hard drive, all in a small tablet form. Especially inviting is the RuffNote Tablet, a convertible laptop/tablet pc with a display that swivels 180 degrees and locks into place to make a large-form tablet.

As good as the smaller devices are, the more familiar laptop-styled models, the RuffBooks, are the real eye-catchers. The RuffBook Spec and the RuffBook Tech appear to be targeted at business users who might need a traveling laptop. Each features the Intel CoreDuo processor with 2MB L2 cache, 512 MB DDR RAM, 60GB shock-mounted hard drive, CD-RW/DVD-RW, and meets the same rigorous military standards as the hand-held units.

With a name like “Junior”, you would expect less features, but the RuffBook Junior is, as they proclaim, “the ultimate portable mini-notebook”. Do you need a machine that keeps working in temperature extremes? How about a laptop that doesn’t freak out in a pouring rainstorm? Or a dust storm? Check out the Junior.

But maybe you need a laptop with a bigger display. The RoughBook Max is probably what you’re looking for. With a larger screen size, the ability to switch between WLAN and optional 3G communications standards, and a built in TPM 1.2 chip, the Max is a secure and versatile machine. Or maybe you need the RuffBook Pro, with added security features such as a fingerprint scanner. The Pro also has the 3G as a standard feature.

At the top of the line is the RuffBook Ultra. The Ultra is simply a dream machine, in my opinion. It features all the great innovations I’ve mentioned above, plus EMI protection, expansion bays, and what appears to be every input or output connector you will ever need. Multi-layered security, hot-swapping batteries, removable hard drive… what more could you ask for in any laptop?

Final Take

My final take on RuffPC? I love what these guys are doing. Everything has daylight readable screens (Notice the image quality in their outside shots?!). Everything is designed to be water resistant, dust resistant, and drop resistant. There’s no sacrifice on performance either. They have desktop-style features in a compact package. Geez, most even come with carrying handles! What is there not to love?

These guys are not for everybody. They’re probably not even for me (unless I win the contest), but they make some of the best pc’s I have ever seen. They are pricey, but for the person who needs to know that their machine can take some abuse, these are the “go-to guys”. From temperature extremes to vibrations, drops, spills and even submersion in water for 30 minutes, these machines can handle the “tuffest” abuse you can throw at them.

With A RuffPC Laptop, I Can Rule The Galaxy!

I am Jon, and I am impressedconsidering legal action.

this post edited: added RuffPC video