Re: Long-lived "lap"-top?

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I settled on a hybrid approach, and bought two Toughbooks off eBay
shortly after this post.  Both had obviously been used in an office
and didn't
have any travel scars (really any wear at all) when I got them.  I
also got
my wife to copy her important data off to my desktop computer with
drives, so that has spared us a lot of the trauma.

Both Toughbooks came with power bricks, one lasted 8 months and the
is still going but getting flaky.  It's a lot better than the Dell's
(we went through
5 of those unique little buggers inside the ten-month window) but all
in all about
the same as for the IBM/Compaq.

4) The CF-47 (big one) held up for about 6 months, then started a
around the screen hinge.  After 8 months the power connector started
showing signs of being loose, and after 10 it was completely unusable.
Opening this one up, it is very connector-oriented, but the power jack
is soldered onto the mainboard.  It wasn't the solder joints that were
the jack itself was cracked internally.  It is an odd size so I left
it, not least
because the screen had become a bit flaky and that connection was
undoubtedly on the way out.

5) I used the CF-27 (little one, "rugged") myself for the 10 months
CF-47 worked, but once it became my wife's it lasted 7 months; the
connector started getting loose a month or so ago, but what killed it
dramatically and finally was that the PCB on which the hard drive
was mounted started to flex, apparently, and the connector itself
The sad part for me is that the CF-27 is actually really nice to work
on, the
power connector is internally plugged and everything is very
compartmentalized.  I may still get another one for parts and put it
together, but once it's broken and declared dead my wife doesn't trust

I did rebuild an Itronix GoBook II last year, but it was too bulky for
liking so we sold it.  I'm not sure how long it would have lasted: it
was well-
built, shock- and crumple-resistant, and so on, but the power
connector was
largely unreinforced, and the hinges seemed tight but a bit dinky; I
was really
worried that they would stop holding in place after a few hundred
screen raises/
lowerings, and I couldn't figure out how to tighten them up when that

So far the Thinkpad A20m was the longest-lived, so I'll probably wind
up as
JHEM suggested and look for something like that, even though they're
getting a bit rare.  I was only half-joking about the pallet of lease
returns, if only
we had a dock and room in the basement!  Perhaps I'll make a spot in
the coat
closet, I can put up "in" and "out" baskets with preformatted

Anyway, just figured I'd update everyone now that we've had some more
from our "testing," thanks to all for the help and suggestions.  If
anyone from the
Department of Defense needs a reliability tester before prospective
laptop orders,
let me know. =)


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