Panasonic Toughbook 30
The name says it all. This is a combat-ready notebook built to survive just about anything, including spills, falls, and other tragedies that would kill less durable laptops. The Toughbook is heavy, weighing in at 8.4 pounds, despite its magnesium-alloy case, but with its shock-mounted hard drive and plastic bumpers at all corners and sides, the Toughbook is perfect for a small-boat environment. At 80 GB, the standard hard drive is small, but an optional 120 GB drive is available, and they're both easily removed, unlike either of the other laptops we recommend. The daylight-visible screen is a plus, as you'll be able to use this laptop on deck. There are only three USB ports. The rear panel, which is covered, like all the ports on this laptop, houses two USB ports, a port replicator, a VGA port, and audio-out jacks. Those still using RS-232 data input hardware (as older instrument systems and GPS units still use) will delight in the fact that there is also an RS-232 port in the back, also protected by a cover. The Toughbook notebook is not waterproof, but damp proof-it successfully resists moisture, such as rain and spray, but you shouldn't drop it in the water. The battery is designed for what Panasonic calls industrial applications, and lasts an amazing 8 to 9 hours.