GammaTech R13S Rugged Notebook


GammaTech R13S is one tough convertible laptop-tablet

The GammaTech R13S is a powerfully rugged laptop PC that can be easily flipped to become a tablet. That could be a real boon for agencies in which a tablet could be helpful at times but not often enough to warrant buying a bunch of slate tablets.

The R13S could function as a rugged laptop most of the time but could be converted to a tablet for activities such as filling out forms or working in the field. The downside to this multifunctional feature set is weight, as the R13S is 9 pounds without taking the power cables into account. On the plus side, the low government price of $2,963 is amazing for a rugged unit that can exist as a laptop or tablet.

GammaTech R13S Rugged Notebook

Pros: Good battery life; touch screen; converts from laptop to tablet.
Cons: Heavy; low benchmark scores.
Rugged level: A
Performance: B-
Ease of use: A-
Features: A
Value: A+
Government price: $2,963 as configured for test

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In rugged tests, the R13S really shined. We put it through the mil-spec drop testing in laptop and tablet format, and it came through without any damage other than a few cosmetic scratches. Seeing the R13S sitting glass-side down 48 inches above the drop zone was a little nerve-wracking. But it dropped, made a huge noise as it landed, and emerged intact. Don’t try that at home with a nonrugged tablet.

Battery life lasted a long time — 3 hours, 27 minutes —in our worst-case scenario testing.

The one disappointing aspect of the R13S was system performance. It scored only 313 on the PassMark Performance Test benchmark, which we thought was low for an Intel Core 2 Duo chipset. Anything better than 300 would be able to handle most office applications, but you need a bit more horsepower for advanced applications such as complex Adobe Photoshop editing.

Other nice features include a touch screen that does not require the use of a special pen, though it comes with one if you want to use it, and a backlit keyboard when running in laptop mode. 

The R13S is a very rugged laptop and convertible tablet offered at a great price. It could fit into an agency that needs rugged gear to perform a variety of duties and missions.

GammaTech Computer,

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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