And that's worth paying MORE THAN DOUBLE the cost of the Dell? Man, I forgot what it's like to be a 1L in waiting. Simple advice - go with the Dell and the 4 year warranty. Or something else like a Thinkpad. What if something technical, not involving any physical force on your part, fails inside your Toughbook? Will the $3000 seem worth it then?
I have no intention of deliberately abusing my laptop, but getting a more rugged laptop means that normal use will have less chance of breaking it. For example, my last laptop had a cracked case around one of the hinges, but I don't ever remember dropping it from a table or anything like that. It was just a cheaply-made laptop and couldn't handle being picked up and put down while in a laptop bag over and over again. I'm sure that the hinge wouldn't have cracked with a Toughbook, because Toughbooks are designed to withstand much higher stresses, so my light stress would have been much less likely to hurt it.
That said, I am very aware of the price and the fact that I could get three cheapie Dells for the same price, or two good ones. I am still seriously considering different options.
Panasonics aren't especially more reliable than Dells.
Do you have personal experience with Panasonics, or know someone who has? If you do, please share
That's one of the things I was really trying to get at with this thread. I would be especially interested if someone had a story of someone with one of these models who had the thing break on them under typical use, or where parts just randomly fail. I haven't found any personal stories anywhere from people who've had a Toughbook just break on them.