To assure that Toughbook® mobile computers can handle wild temperature swings, Panasonic subjects them to a battery of tests. Fully-rugged and the ultra-mobile-rugged Toughbook U1 are MIL-STD tested as follows:
High Temperature and Low Temperature tests are conducted in accordance with >MIL-STD-810G, Method 501.5 and Method 502.5, Procedures I (Storage) and Procedure II (Operation). For the High Temperature test, Panasonic sets the operating temperature at 140°F and the non-operating temperature at 160°F. For the Low Temperature test, the operating temperature is set as low as -20°F and the non-operating temperature is set at -60°F. In addition, Panasonic also tests in accordance with MIL-STD-810G, High Temperature Method 501.5 Procedure III (Tactical - Standby to Operational). To pass both series of tests, Toughbook mobile computers must continue to operate during the operational test and to boot and operate following the non-operational test. Panasonic's internal tests go beyond MIL-STD tests by testing the units at even higher and lower temperatures. Furthermore, Highly Accelerated Life Tests (HALT), a stress testing methodology used to obtain product reliability information, are conducted during this stage. By subjecting Toughbook computers through hot and cold temperature cycles over a several week period, Panasonic engineers can observe the units' performance over its projected, full life cycle. If any of the unit's components fail, the problems can be addressed before manufacturing begins.
The Thermal Shock test is performed in accordance with MIL-STD-810G, Method 503.5, Procedure I. Panasonic sets the high temperature non-operating temperature at 200°F and the low temperature non-operating temperature at -60°F. Three cycles are performed (high to low = one cycle). To pass, Toughbook computers must continue to boot up and operate following the test exposure cycles of thermal shock from 200°F to -60°F. A new test that was created with MIL-STD-810G, Panasonic also tests its fully-rugged and Toughbook U1 computers for freeze/thaw tests in accordance with MIL-STD-810G, Method 524, Procedure III (Rapid Temperature Change).
Computer Vs. User: One reviewer noted, "It's fair to say that in extreme temperature situations, the user will fail before the [Toughbook] notebook."