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Getac 9213

>> Saturday, October 24, 2009

Getac 9213 measures just 12.5 by 9 by 1 inches, and its 3.6 pound chassis offers plenty of relief to full time travelers. It's about a pound lighter than the Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch (4.5 pounds) and the HP Pavilion dv3z (4.6 pounds), but not nearly as cheap. More impressive, though, is that it weighs as little as the Acer Aspire Timeline AS3810T and still manages to incorporate an optical drive, unlike the latter.

Getac 9213's 13.3 inch widescreen clings to the old school aspect ratio (16:10), whereas most consumer laptops are moving to more movie friendly 16:9 displays as is common in HDTVs. As a result, Getac 9213's 1.280 by 800 resolution matches the one on the MacBook Pro 13 inch. It's a vibrant screen, at least more so than that of the Acer 3935 and the HP dv3z. The full size keyboard would've been perfect had it not been for one misplaced key the forward slash key, which is usually right next to the right Shift key, is placed beside the left Shift key here, thereby shrinking the latter to nearly half of its traditional size.

The rest of the keyboard is very responsive, and the touchpad and mouse buttons are tuned to perfection. Before you decide to try running Getac 9213 over with a truck, you'll need to understand the significance of the term "business rugged." A fully rugged laptop, like Getac B300, is completely certified under the MIL-SPEC 810F series, which means it was subject to more than 20 military tests involving vibrations, drops, shock, humidity you get the point.

A semi rugged laptop, like the Panasonic Toughbook CF-52, only has to endure a subset of these tests. Business rugged, meanwhile, is a loose interpretation of the MIL-SPEC series. Getac 9213's rugged qualities surviving 1.5 foot drops, water spills, and shock to its hard drive aren't nearly as tough, but it's tougher than the consumer products mentioned in this review and an incredible asset to have on the road. In order to achieve a thin, lightweight form factor, the 9213 opted for Intel's ultra low voltage (ULV) chipset.

The ULV platform eliminates clunky fans and has huge benefits in power savings. In speed, however, the Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 (1.4 GHz) trails many of its consumer counterparts. Its equivalent to the processors found in the Lenovo Thinkpad X301 and the Acer AS3810T. Luckily, the 9213's 3GB of memory can help offset some of its performance woes. In video encoding tests, Getac 9213 finished in 1 minute, 48 seconds just 32 seconds behind the Acer 3935 (1:16) and the MacBook Pro 13 inch (1:16).

Cinebench R10 and Photoshop CS4 scores were more in line with the ULV-powered Lenovo X301 and Acer AS3810T. If you constantly work with huge resource suckers, like large Powerpoint, Excel, Photoshop, or video files, this laptop is probably not for you. The processor's power savings somewhat make up for its lack of speed. Even though Getac 9213's 58-Wh battery (6 cell) is average in capacity, the system accrued 5 hours, 4 minutes worth of battery life in MobileMark 2007 tests.

That's more both than the MacBook Pro 13 inch (4:44) and the Acer 3935 (4:50). Against the AS3810T (8:40) and the X301 (5:37), however, Getac 9213 had some trouble keeping up. Rooted in the ruggedized way of life, Getac knows better than to rest on its laurels. Getac 9213 is an ultraportable that blends the company's strengths durability and an excellent user experience with a fashion statement based on current trends and some handy business features.

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