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They don’t make them like they used to

Image of man shooting laptop with gun.

Tommy Jordan shows us just how strong today's laptops are by shooting it at close range with his pistol. Image courtesy Tommy Jordan.

On 7 February 2012, Tommy Jordan, an IT worker and slightly annoyed father, in North Carolina, punished his daughter’s continual disobedience and unruly behaviour on Facebook by shooting her laptop with his pistol. The video of him doing this went viral recently.

It made us here at iSGTW think about how tough the toughest laptops are. In 2008 and 2009, Panasonic and Motorola both released their most rugged laptops.

These products were designed with the emergency services, military and police in mind. People on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean decided to take these laptops through a set of insanely unfair challenges.

In the US, one laptop suffered being chewed on by a white tiger, plus taking the weight of a 10,000 pound (4,500 kilogram) Asian elephant, and being shot at from 15 yards (14 meters) away by a 0.22 caliber (0.56 centimeter) barrel pistol.

In the UK, further tests were done by the Channel 5 technology show, The Gadget Show.

Image of 2 men and 2 laptops covered in sand.

In 2008, a Uk technology program on Channel 5, The Gadget Show, pushed Panasonic and Motorola toughbook laptops to their limits. One example included covering both machines with tonnes of sand. Image courtesy Channel 5.


These experiments pushed both toughbooks - and presenters - to their limits of endurance.

This included burying both laptops in 10 tonnes (10,000 kilograms) of sand, firing 350 liters (93 gallons) of high-pressurized water at them, and using explosives to blow them 20 meters (22 yards) in the air.

All of this testing was done so that a fireman could always send an email, even while saving people from inside a burning building.

Unfortunately for Tommy Jordan's daughter, not all laptops are this tough. Her laptop did not survive an assault of nine close-range bullets from a 0.44 caliber (1.12 centimeter) barrel pistol.

 - Adrian Giordani

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