What to Know About Drop Tests for Your Device

For people who rely on mobility devices at work, the question over whether the device they use will be dropped is more a case of when rather than if. Drops are one of the most common causes of damage to business mobile devices and given their often non-traditional working environments, mobile workers are more likely to drop their computers during the course of their day than an office worker.

Consumer-grade laptops and tablets are not generally built to withstand a fall. Indeed, the cost of repairing the screen and replacing the hard drive, which tend to be the two things most in need of replacement after a drop, usually outweighs the cost of a new laptop. Even if the laptop turns on, there could be unseen lasting internal damage that manifests itself later on. It is better to anticipate the accidents rather than deal with the consequences of a damaged device.

So how can you be absolutely sure that the machine you’re buying will withstand the bumps and drops of a mobile environment?

Look to see if the device has passed the “Transit Drop Test: MIL-STD-810G Method 516.6 Procedure IV.” In this test, a device is dropped from various heights at 26 different angles (every edge, corner and side) onto 2-inch thick plywood over steel plate on concrete. The height at which the unit will still turn on and operate, generally between 12 and 72 inches, is the rated drop specification.

While MIL-STD-810G specifications allow for companies to use up to five devices to pass drop testing, Panasonic conducts all tests on the same unit to mirror our users’ true working conditions. If you are thinking of buying a laptop advertised as ruggedized, particularly if you do anticipate the laptop will have to deal with more bumps and scrapes than average you need to ask whether your device’s manufacturer will do the same, how many devices did it take to pass, and at what height was the unit tested?

To learn more about this test and other important rugged standards, read the full whitepaper.