Rugged GETAC M230 Takes Whatever Abuse You Can Dish Out

Rugged GETAC M230 Takes Whatever Abuse You Can Dish Out

by / April 8, 2008

Entering a room with my GETAC M230 rugged laptop got me plenty of attention. The second my co-workers and friends saw its armored exterior, they could barely resist the urge to test its durability. Prepare for a barrage of questions wherever you go with this thing.

As cool as the M230 made me look, I would only use this beast if my job required it. Weighing in at nearly 10 pounds, hiking through airports with it was a hassle. However, I'm told that was comparatively light: Another Government Technology editor once reviewed a 14-pound GETAC.

The M230 is well suited for military personnel in the field. Its fanless design prevents the invasion of dirt or sand, so it's ideal for soldiers in the desert or county inspectors on construction sites.

The machine held its own against my abuse. The M230 features a shock-mounted hard drive, and lived up to GETAC's claims that it could resist a 3-foot drop onto asphalt. Thick rubber pads protect each corner of the unit.

The removable, rubberized handle made the machine less awkward to carry than normal laptops. It sort of made me look like I was carrying an armored briefcase - hence the coolness factor.

The laptop's webbed rubber keyboard protected the machine from liquid, as did the rubber plugs covering the various ports for different cords on the back of the machine. The plugs sealed the ports well and were easy to pull out when necessary.

The computer's LCD monitor enabled me to see everything on the screen outdoors in direct sunlight, which is a challenge for government field workers. The machine also offers an optional GPS feature, which would be useful for a mobile worker without it in his or her phone or vehicle.

The machine's Intel Core Duo Processor also performed to my satisfaction.

The machine's wireless capability consistently delivered, but the sound quality from streamed video fluctuated. Sound at the M230's highest volume was muffled coming from the bottom of the laptop. The M230's video quality performed without freezing but was grainy and dim.

The machine can withstand extreme temperatures, from 4 degrees Fahrenheit to 131 degrees Fahrenheit. The battery lasts relatively long at two and a half hours.

Rating: Three out of five.


CPU 1.66 GHz
HDD 120 GB
Memory 2 GB
Display 14" XGA TFT LCD
Graphic Integrated in Intel 945 gm, 128 MB shared memory
Bay 1 DVD Dual
Operating System Windows XP Professional
Battery 7200 mAh
Options GPS, BT, MIL-STD 461E
Prices start at $3,795


Watch as Andy puts the laptop to the test! 

Andy Opsahl

Andy Opsahl is a former writer and features editor for Government Technology magazine.

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