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Getac upgrades its most popular rugged notebook with Intel 4th generation core processors and a range of ancillary technology improvements.
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

On October 1, 2013, Getac announced another major performance upgrade to its B300 rugged notebook computer. The newly enhanced B300, which is Getac's most popular hardened laptop, will benefit from Intel 4th generation ("Haswell") i5 and i7 processors, boosting graphics performance and efficiency over the previous generation of the platform. Additional upgrades and improvements in wireless communication and components keep this fifth generation of Getac's best-selling rugged notebook at the technological forefront and well equipped to provide maximum productivity even under the most extreme working conditions.

With these latest technology upgrades, the very mature 5th generation Getac B300 remains technologically a state-of-the-art rugged notebook geared towards demanding applications in security, law enforcement, government and military. Sporting an attractive industrial design and excellent ergonomics, this is a very serious machine that combines impressive performance with flexibility and long battery life.

Weighing under eight pounds in basic configuration, the magnesium alloy-bodied B300 comes standard with a sunlight-viewable 13.3-inch XGA display that has a strong 700 nit backlight (commercial notebooks generally have backlights of less than 200 nits). An optional display delivers a stunning 1400 nits, setting the industry bar in screen brightness. In addition, there is a "blackout mode" that instantly turns off all tell-tale lights in potentially dangerous situations. Further, customers may order an optional night-vision mode with software/sensor driven brightness adjustment in order to meet MIL-STD-3009.

But won't a 1400 nit backlight quickly deplete the battery? Not if the machine has a massive 96 watt-hour power pack and onboard software that continually adjust the backlight depending on settings and lighting conditions. Combine that with the advanced internal power management of the Intel third generation Core processors, and GETAC's claim of up to 15 hour possible battery life seems achievable. And that's despite the slightly higher 37 watt thermal design power of the new 4th gen Core i5 and i7 processors. Add a second battery pack of equal size into the unit's media bay and chances are the user will run out of juice before the B300 does (Getac says up to 30 hours).

The table below shows how consistently Getac has been updating the B300 since its initial introduction. The design stays the same to guarantee complete compatibility with all peripherals and accessories, but the technology is continually updated.

Getac B300 Generations
Generation 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Year 2008 2010 2011 2012 2013
CPU Core 2 Duo Core i7 1st gen Core i7 2nd gen Core i7 3rd gen Core i7 4th gen
CPU speed 1.6GHz 2.0/2.8GHz 2.3/3.2GHz 2.9/3.6GHz 2.9/3.6GHz
CPU TDP 17w 25w 25w 35w 37w
Graphics GM965 GMA HD HD3000 HD4000 HD4600
RAM 0.5/4GB DDR2 2/8GB DDR3 2/8GB DDR3 2/8GB DDR3 2/8GB DDR3
Std. HD 80GB 250GB 250GB 500GB 500GB
Opt. SSD NA 80/160GB 80/160GB 128/256GB 128/256GB
LCD nits 500/1200 700/1400 700/1400 700/1400 700/1400
Battery 7,650mAH 7,800mAh 8,700mAH 8,700mAH 8,700mAH
Battery life up to 12 hrs up to 11 hrs up to 13 hrs up to 15 hrs up to 15 hrs
Op. temp 32 to 131F -4 to 140F -4 to 140F -20 to 140F -20 to 140F

Despite it very rugged construction, the B300 offers flexibility and configurability thanks to a media bay that can accommodate either an optical drive, a second hard disk, or an additional battery for extended operation, or probably even customized I/O ports. For expansion there is a PC Card Type II slots and a 34/54mm Express Card (the latter can be exchanged for an optional Smart Card slot).

For connectivity, there are ultra-fast USB 3.0 and USB 3.0/eSata combo ports, IEEE1394a FireWire, two legacy RS232 serial ports, both VGA and HDMI video, audio, Gigabit LAN, and a docking port. And, yes, the legacy RJ11 modem port is also still available.

For wireless communication, the machine comes with an Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260, Class 1 Bluetooth V4.0, and optional GOBI 5000 for multi-carrier 4G LTE, and SiRFstarIV GPS with accuracy down to 8 feet.

Security is addressed via the Smart Card reader, a fingerprint scanner, Intel vPro technology, a TPM 1.2 module, various security software modules, and a slot for the simple but effective Kensington lock.

On the ruggedness side, the 5th gen machine can operate between -20° and 140° Fahrenheit (-29° to 60°C). Sealing is at the IP65 standards, and the machine fills MIL-STD-810G testing requirements for humidity, altitude, shock, drop, vibration and others. A variety of other regulations, including compliance with MIL-STD-461F (electromagnetic interference), salt fog, night vision, hazloc deployment can be optionally met.

The B300 is a unique machine insofar as it offers a combination of carefully balanced and optimized features that are usually not available in one unit. Innovative engineering and thermal design, combined with the advanced properties of the Intel 4th gen Core processors, allows performance, long battery life, excellent integrated graphics, and exceptional outdoor viewability all to co-exist in thoroughly field-proven design that, despite vastly increased performance over earlier generations, still does not need a fan. On top of that, the B300 offers connectivity and configuration options usually not found in such a rugged, yet quite compact machine that still remains completely compatible with all existing accessories and peripherals.

Specifications Getac B300
Status Added 10/2013
Form-factor Rugged notebook
OS Windows 7 Professional
Processor Intel Core i7-4600M or Core i5-4300M
CPU Speed 2.9GHz (up to 3.6GHz with Turbo Boost); 2.6 GHz (up to 3.3GHz with Turbo Boost)
Chipset "Lynx Point" Mobile Intel 8-Series
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4600
Standard/Max RAM 4GB DDR3, expandable to 8GB
Disk/drive Shock-protected removable SATA 500GB or optional solid state drives up to 256GB
Optical drive Media Bay can accommodate DVD Super-Multi drive, 2nd HD or SSD, 2nd battery
Card slots 1 x PC Card Type II, 1 x Express Card/54mm (or Smart Card reader), 2-in-1 memory card reader (SD/MMC)
Display type Transmissive TFT, 700 nits (optional: 1400 nits QuadraClear sunlight-readable display with touch screen); optional MIL-STD 3009 Night Vision
Display size/res 13.3-inch/1024 x 768 pixel XGA
Digitizer/pens Touch screen (opt.)/1
Keyboard/scale Waterproof backlit mechanical membrane keyboard; optional waterproof backlit rubber keyboard
Sealing IP65
Drop MIL-STD-810G
Temperature -20° to 140° F (-29° to 60° C)
Salt fog Optional salt fog resistance
Housing Magnesium alloy, sealed ports
Size (WxHxD) 11.9 x 10.35 x 2.36 inches (304 x 263 x 60 mm)
Weight Starting at 7.7 lbs. (3.5 kg.)
Power 8,700mAh Li-Ion ("up to 15 hours"), optional 8,700mAh 2nd media bay battery ("up to 30 hrs.")
Interface 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 3.0/mSATA combo, 1 x RJ11, 1 x gigabit RJ45 LAN, 2 x Serial RS232, dock, 1 x IEEE 1394a, audio in/out, 1 x VGA, 1 x HDMI opt. RF antenna pass-through
Communications Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260, Bluetooth 4.0 class 1; optional Gobi 5000, 4G LTE, SiRFstarIV GPS (8-foot accuracy)
List price Inquire
Web page Getac B300 page
Brochure Getac B300
Warranty 5-year bumper-to-bumper warranty standard

Getac US Sales Contact:

Getac US Office
Getac Inc.
Tel: +1-949-681-2900