Next up in our series of reviews of the best devices suitable for field service engineers is Getac’s latest semi-rugged notebook the S410…
What the manufacturers say:
Raising the bar on the semi-rugged notebook class, the new S410 is more rugged, slimmer and lighter than ever before.
The all-new S410 boasts the latest computing innovations, including a significant CPU performance boost, enhanced graphics , and multiple options for greater flexibility. The S410 puts greater power and adaptability into the hands of mobile professionals across a range of industries.
Taking the S410 out of the box the notebook was light, compact looking and with a high build quality.
On boot up the device was quick to launch and I was very soon logged into the local wifi network and impressed with the speed of the connection and the responsiveness and control of the S410.
One thing that immediately struck me was the intelligent design of the built in carry handle which flexes out of the casing in a comfortable manner yet never got in the way when I was actually using the laptop. Although a relatively minor point, it is the close attention to small details such as this that I find are often key markers towards a well thought out device.
This device will never pass for a consumer notebook, nor does it want to, it’s a device built for business, that means business.
This device will never pass for a consumer notebook, nor does it want to, it’s a device built for business, that means business. Despite shaving off some 15mm in depth off of its predecessor (the S400) the S410 still has a sturdy compactness that has a reassuring, reliable feel to it.
This is a notebook that after an hour or so of getting a feel for it definitely seems suited for a life on the road, if not perhaps the great outdoors – but how do the specs stack up?
Processing power & memory:
In its highest configuration the S410 can certainly pack a punch when it comes to processing power, Top end specs come with an Intel® Core™ i7 vPro™ Technology, Intel® Core™ i7-6600U vPro™ Processor 2.6GHz, Max 3.4GHz, with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology and a 4MB Intel® Smart Cache.
The S410 also can boast up-to 16GB of Ram which would make it a lightning fast device within it’s category.
In short this should be more than enough processing power to really enable most field work to be easily accomplished quickly and efficiently, even with seriously heavy CPU intensive applications such as CAD based applications used in engineering etc.
In terms of storage space the S410 can also be specced up to 1TB so there should be plenty of file space available for even the most heavy duty file capture in the field.
The S410 is a windows machine and operates either on Windows 7 Pro or Windows 10 Pro – although given that the S410 can be configured with a capacitive multi-input touch-screen the better option would likely be 10 Professional which features some useful working functionality such as split screens to help improve workflows.
The Ins & Outs:
As you would expect with a notebook or laptop the S410 come awash with a variety of differing inputs and outputs.
- Headphone out/mic-in Combo x 1
- DC in Jack x 1
- USB 3.0 (9-pin) x 3
- USB 2.0 (4-pin) x 1
- LAN (RJ45) x 1
- HDMI x 1
There are also options for a whole host of additional ports within the configuration specs as well.
During testing it was on the 5Ghz band and was reaching speeds of 50Mbps although the technology is actually capable of receiving 867Mbps if you can ever find a connection fast enough!
The device also comes equipped with Bluetooth 4.2 which again is a solid, secure and fast connection for Bluetooth connections.
Being semi-rugged this is of course an area where the S410 is underwhelming compared to many of the devices that we get our HandsOn.
The S410 is tested to withstand 3ft drops to MIL STD 810G standards so it can survive more than the odd knock but it’s IP rating of 51 means that it’s not a device for the outdoors. Only partially protected from dust ingress and whilst it’s officially splash proof you wouldn’t want to risk spilling your morning coffee over it.
One thing in the S410s favour here though is that the device is vibration resistant so would be fine being dashboard mounted for long periods of time.
Where the S410 does shine is in the battery life department.
The primary battery itself (a Li-Ion battery with 11.1V, 4200mAh) should be able to offer up to 11 hours a day. However, with an optional hot-swappable battery, essentially the device is capable of continuing running perpetually.
First things first – I like this notebook. I really like it. It is fast, reasonably robust yet reasonably lightweight. Hell I even like the carry handle! And most importantly I can see how this device could easily be used by field based technicians.
I really like it. It is fast, reasonably robust yet reasonably lightweight. Hell I even like the carry handle!
For those field technicians that work in predominantly outdoor roles, where there is a danger of a device getting wet or dusty then sadly the S410 isn’t for you. However, given the processing power the S410 pack it could handle most applications and for companies whose field technicians work with high technology such as MedTec or IT infrastructure who want a reliable, powerful notebook that can take the odd knock here and there… Perfect.
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