Notebook maker Twinhead features a line of Durabooks for the more clumsy among us. Touting spill resistance and drop impact protection, we put the D14RI through the [H] Consumer wringer to see if it can stand up to Twinhead’s bold claims. Oh yeah, and there's video.
Occasionally [H] Consumer has the opportunity to get “previews” or “first looks” at products that are fresh and hot on the market. This oftentimes does not give us an opportunity to evaluate the full customer experience, but we think there is significant value in showing you just what’s up with a new or unique product on the market. So instead of rating these products as we normally do, we try to give you an inside look at the product, and we hope that we can follow up with retail products in the future.
This is our first look at a system from Twinhead. Like our Lenovo and Velocity Micro L80 previews, we won’t be putting the Durabook through our entire evaluation process. Instead we’ll give you an idea of what you can expect from this machine in terms of performance, and in this case, durability.
Unlike the conventional laptops and desktop replacement systems we’ve evaluated, like the Vicious PC Shogun III, Gateway NX860X, and Dell XPS M170 and M1710, the Durabook is not designed for 3D Gaming. Rather, it’s intended to meet the needs of people who require a more rugged solution than the fragile plastic enclosures so often seen on today’s systems. These folks may have jobs that require a lot of outdoor work or possibly a great deal of traveling. Laptops put into these environments need a different set of rules to operate under in order to still provide reliable and easily transportable computing power.
We’ll play a couple of our games on the Durabook, but mostly we’re interested to see how it performs in general usage and durability. We don’t normally do this in the course of an evaluation, but (with Twinhead’s blessing) we’re going to perform some possibly destructive testing on it. Twinhead makes some rather bold claims regarding what the Durabook can withstand, and we’re downright giddy to test these claims for ourselves.
There aren’t many competitors to the Durabook, and there aren’t a defined set of standardized production and qualifying guidelines to govern how durable these systems must be. We’re looking at this system in contrast to traditional laptops to determine if making the investment for more structural protection is worth it to the consumer.
* Retail model comes standard with 512MB