Getac B360 Rugged Notebook review

 
A Getac laptop isn’t something you buy just because it looks cool. The MIL-STD-rated clamshells are designed for utility and construction workers, law enforcement — people who need to have a computer on hand, but can’t worry about whether it’s going to break if dropped. As such, it does not deliver the kind of high-performance you’d expect to get out a $3,500 laptop. It does, however, have a shockingly bright screen made to compensate for outdoor lighting conditions and a solid chassis that protects it from falls, temperature, and other potential hazards. 

If durability is your top priority, the Getac B360 provides as much protection you can get in a thick, but not unwieldy form factor. But given the relatively low performance and extremely high price, it’s only worth considering if you’re sure you need specialized equipment.

Getac B360 price and configurations

With a rugged laptop like the B360 — or any Getac machine, really — you’re paying for durability, rather than power. It should come as no surprise, then, that the B360’s spec sheet doesn’t necessarily match its price point on paper.

We’re reviewing the $3,499 base model of the Getac B360, which features an Intel Core i5-10210U processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD, and 8GB of RAM. The fully specced-out model has a Intel Core i7-10510U Processor, a 512GB PCIe SSD, and 16GB of RAM. The maxed-out model also adds integrated 4G LTE support and integrated GPS, an upgraded webcam compatible with Windows Hello, and other upgraded features. A B360 with all the trimmings costs $5,699.

Needless to say, the B360 is a serious B2B product made for professionals who need a machine that can withstand harsh working conditions. Is there a gap between the specs and the price? Yes, there is. Do the B360’s protective measures make up for that gap? For the right person, most likely.

Getac B360 design

Like most rugged laptops, the Getac B360’s form and function are guided by its specific role as on-site gear for construction, law enforcement, and other fields. With a metal, indented top plate, thick plastic hinges, covered ports and exposed screws, it gives off a very strong “tech as power tool” vibe.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Though it is definitely a look, these decisions are informed by function as much as form. Three of the four edges of the laptop are lined plastic with plastic egress covers, which look like the computing equivalent of a utility belt, but also keep both liquid and small particles out. The front edge of the top panel features a large black clasp that keeps the laptop shut when it’s closed. Next to the carrying handle, there’s a series of indicator lights for functions such as power, battery, online connectivity, so you don’t need to expose the screen to check them.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

When you open it up, the inside of the B360 clamshell has a no-frills attitude. The legends on its keycaps are large, thickly drawn white-on-black symbols. The indented power and display buttons above the keyboard actually look like buttons, which I haven’t seen on a consumer laptop in years. As with all the features on the outside of the laptop, there’s a strong emphasis on simplicity and clarity that, I imagine, are meant to be helpful for when your workspace isn’t so stable.

But man, are those bezel thick! The 13.3-inch display is surrounded by 1.1 inches of plastic above the top of the screen, 1.4 inches under the bottom of the screen and 0.22inches on the sides.

Measuring 13.5 x 11.1 x 1.4 inches and weighing 5.1 pounds, it is considerably thicker and heavier than most consumer laptops in its class, such as the Asus Vivobook S15  (4 pounds, 14.1 x 9.2 x 0.6 inches) and the Dell Latitude 7310  (2.9 pounds, 12.1 x 8.0 x 0.8 inches) . Given the extra protection built into the B360 chassis, not to mention extra plastic molding and features like a carrying handle, it not only makes sense that the B360 weighs more. Carrying the B360 like a briefcase is the most comfortable way to carry the notebook while you’ll definitely notice if you’re carrying it in a bag.

Getac B360 ports

Thick enough to furnish ports across three sides, the Getac B360 has enough ports and slot to create a serious workstation when you have access to a larger workspace. On the left, you have a smart card reader, a holster for the laptop stylus, and a port to access the removable SSD. On the right, you have an SD card reader, a headphone jack, and a powered USB 2.0 port. On the back, you get the rest: Kensington lock slot, two USB 3.1 gen 2 ports, HDMI, VGA, Serial port, and power.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The interesting wrinkle for the B360 is that all of these ports are covered by a thick plastic shell, which protects them from liquid and particles when they aren’t in use. When closed, the covers offer effective protection from the elements: The ports are set inside the body of the laptop, and there’s a rubberized inner shell to keep anything from getting through. And they don’t open easily: The panels lock into place, and I couldn’t pry them open with my fingers when they were sealed.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Of course, there’s a tradeoff there: The covers aren’t especially easy to open. Sliding them forward and pulling them out can take a few seconds. Also, the covers are not removable, so you will have the covers sticking out the sides when you open them, which can make it harder to see and interact with the ports quickly. The back and side can feel very crowded when you have all the covers opened up and cables plugged in.

Getac B360 durability and security 

Here comes the fun part. The Getac B360 is designed to be extraordinarily durable. It’s received MIL-STD 810H, MIL-STD461G certification so it’s rated to work in temperatures as high as 145 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as -20. It’s also rated to survive drops  from six feet. It’s also IP66-certified, which means those port covers provide complete protection from liquid and particles that could damage the laptop.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

As a tech writer from the suburbs with no relatives in construction, I don’t have a means of testing these military grade extremes. However, I did casually knock the open B360 off various tables, desks, and counters in my house, which ranged from two to four feet. I also dropped it, closed, down a flight of stairs. None of these tests damaged the laptop’s exterior, or had a noticeable impact on its performance.

From a security standpoint, the base model B360 has three notable features. It has a Kensington lock and a Smart card slot, the latter  of which is virttually nonexistant on premium laptops. The removable SSD affords you enhanced drive security options if you want to remove and securely store it. The webcam also sports a physical webcam cover to keep potential Peeping Toms and Janes at bay. 

That said, security conscious users will likely want to spring for an upgraded version of the B360, as its more expensive configurations can offer more security options, such as RFID tracking, GPS, and facial recognition via Windows Hello.

Display

The Getac B360 has a distinctive display, designed for its specific purpose. The 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 capacitive touchscreen LCD display features a special “sunlight readable” mode. When activated with a button above the keyboard, the brightness is amped up to compensate for screen-obscuring sunshine. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Watching Chef’s Table on Netflix, the normally vibrant, detailed show looked relatively washed out. In a downloaded 1080p trailer for Bad Boys for Life, however, looked sharp and colorful, though maybe not vibrant as it would on other displays. Watching Will Smith and Martin Lawrence hang out in a neon-drenched bar, you can see strong details — the Heineken bottle in Lawrence’s hand, the stitching on his jacket, the wrinkles in his face. (Sorry, Martin). At the same time, brightly lit spots in the same scene look a little faded.

Seeing such lackluster colors while watching videos, I wasn’t too surprised that the B360 only managed to reproduce 58.5% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. The result was well below the 83.4% category average, but still better than the VivoBook S15’s 44%. The Latitude beat both systems with 77%. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The display has a reported maximum brightness of 1400 nits, far above what you can expect in most laptops. It easily surpassed the 381-nit premium laptop average as well as the Latitude and VivoBook S15, which averaged 277 and 248 nits, respectively.

The display works well as a touchscreen. I found the touchscreen to be fast and precise while using the stylus or my bare finger. It also worked well when wearing a thin covering, such as a disposable latex glove. 

Getac B360 keyboard, touchpad, and stylus

The keyboard and touchpad of the B360 are fine, but nothing to write home about. The membrane-based Chiclet keys have comfortable travel and don’t feel squishy when you hold them down. The keyboard is technically backlit, but the mild red glow seems like it only be helpful at night, when you need to maintain your night vision. On the 10fastfingers typing test, I scored 74 words per minute, which is lower than my 81-wpm average on my 2013 Macbook Pro.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The B360 has a small, wide touchpad, measuring 3.3 x 1.5 inches. The pad is slightly inset, so there’s a noticeable bump when you reach the edge of the pad, so you’ll never go off the side accidentally. The discrete mouse buttons work fine, but are positioned a little far off the touchpad — almost a quarter-inch below the bottom edge. I found the distance limited my movement when using any finger to click other than my right thumb. The pad itself is smooth and responsive, either with a single finger or using Windows 10 gestures. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Lastly, the B360 comes with a small hard-point stylus, that’s stored in a slot on the left side of the laptop. Connected by a rubber spiral cord, the Stylus is the most precise way to take advantage of the display’s touchscreen capabilities, especially in a work environment where you need gloves. Personally, I wish the cord had a little more give: You’ll feel some resistance as you move the stylus to the top-right quadrant of the screen. It doesn’t impede your ability to use the stylus, but it’s a bit of a nuisance.

Getac B360 audio

The B360 has two upward-facing speakers on either side of the keyboard. Sitting directly in front of the laptop, the sound coming from the speakers comes through. That clarity is relative, though. As with most laptop speakers,the soundscape feels a bit flat. Listening to “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé, I noticed a lack of depth in the bass. And Playing “The Wire” by Haim, some of the mids sound a bit muddled. It doesn’t help that the speakers’ maximum output is relatively low.

Between the positions of the speakers and its low maximum output, the speakers are not enough for many personal and professional use cases. The audio may be hard to follow in a noisy setting like af loud construction site,  even at max volume.

Getac B360 performance

The Getac B360’s 1.6-GHz Intel Core i5-10210U processor  performs admirably, but can’t necessarily compete with its non-ruggedized counterparts, particularly one with similar price points. The B360 performed well below average on theGeekbench 5.0 overall performance test scoring 3,237. That’s lower than both the Vivobook S15 (3,560, Intel Core i5-102110U) and Latitude 7310 (3,464, Intel Core i7-10610U). However, none of the notebooks managedl to clear the 4,041 premium laptop average.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

It took 19 minutes and 32 seconds for the B360 to encode a 4K video to play in 1080p using Handbrake. At 19:39, the Dell Latitude 7310 took just a bit longer but the Vivobook S15 was much quickerclocking in at 17:22, to beat the 18:39 average.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The B360 had its best performance during the File Transfer Test, its 256GB PCIe SSD delivering a rate of  372.8 megabytes per second which is slower than the 556.48 MBps category average, competitors like Latitude 7310 (836MBps, 512GB SSD) and Vivobook S15 (476MBps, 512GB SSD), and handily beat the general average.

Getac B360 graphics

Outfitted with integrated Intel UHD graphics, the B360 isn’t about to start tearing through AAA games. Still it has enough graphical oomph to get most tasks it will be used for done, G. The laptop attained 1,022 on the 3D Fire Strike benchmark which is achingly short of the sVivobook S15’s 1,119 (Intel UHD Graphics). Both scores look like rock bottom, compared to the 5,387 average. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Similarly, it didn’t perform very well in our gaming test. The B360 ran at 28 frames per second on thethe Dirt 3 1080p benchmark which is below the 64-fps category average and our 30-fps playability threshold. The Latitude 7310 did slightly better at 29 fps while the VivoBook S15 produced 37 fps.

Getac B360 battery life

The Getac B360 gets great battery performance from its dual 24 watt-hour batteries. On the Laptop Mag Battery test (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness), it lasted 11 hours and 19 minutes. That’s much longer than the 9:33 premium laptop average and gthe VivoBook S15 8:23. However, the Dell Latitude lasted slightly longer with a time of 12:18. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

In everyday use, I found the B360 could last for 3-4 days of daily, non-strenuous use for tasks like word processing and web browsing.

But the best part of this are is the swappable batteries, which adds additional charging options if you’re in a situation where you won’t be able to plug in for a long time.

Getac B360 webcam

The Getac B360 sports a 1080p webcam with a built-in sliding security cover. The webcam can both take photos and record video that look sharp and well-balanced. One key note: The B360’s display is so bright that it can affect lighting conditions while shooting. If you want to look good in your next Zoom call, make sure to turn off sunlight mode and drop the brightness down to 75 percent.

Getac B360 heat

Unsurprisingly, the Getac B360 handles heat very well. There was never a time when the laptop was uncomfortably hot. During long downloads, the dual batteries on the bottom of the laptop warmed up a little, but not in a way that would feel uncomfortable.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

That said, it is quick to start blasting its fans. You can expect to hear them blowing at full output after only a few minutes of heavy use, such as gaming or downloading a large file. Still, even at its loudest, I only felt a mild warmth emanating from the side fan.

Getac B360 software and warranty

The Getac B360 comes with a diagnostic app called G-Manager, which allows you to monitor processor performance, check the status of its dual batteries andadjust touchscreen-related settings, just to name a few. G-Manager is very useful: It’s clear, easy to read, and surfaces valuable information and tools.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

There’s also an Elan touchpad utility, ETD properties, which you’ll need to use to configure the touchpad. Quite frankly, I’m not a fan of having to use a separate utility to adjust these settings, but the app works as an alternative to the system-level utility.

All versions of the Getac B360 come with a three-year warranty, which includes tech support from company specialists and “rapid repair.”

Bottom line

The Getac B360 has different priorities than your average premium laptop. It’s made to endure heavy-duty conditions like construction, hospitals and even warzones.so  I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy a Getac B360 if another laptop will do. But if you do need a heavy-duty notebook that can take a beating and keep on working, the Getac B360 delivers the performance of a solid,mid-tier laptop. And with over 12 hours of battery life, it can put in serious overtime.



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About the Author: Chris Jenny

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