The Pioneer Dreambook Tough V10 laptop, available from PIONEER Computers Australia , combines adequate processing capabilities and connectivity options with a rugged design. It is robust, has effective hardware and offers good battery life. The Pioneer Dreambook Tough V10 is a unit worth considering for people who need their data to survive a drop from a table.
The notebook has a rugged magnesium alloy casing that meets IP54 (Ingress Protection) standards, which means that the unit is protected against dust and splashing water. Due to all this protection, the Pioneer Dreambook Tough V10 weighs 2.2kg without the power supply, and 2.75kg when it's included.
The review model came with a 320GB hard drive that spins up at 5400rpm, providing ample storage. The laptop also has a free-fall sensor that protects data from being lost by parking the hard drive's read/write heads.
A 1.2GHz Intel Core Duo U2500 CPU and 2GB of DDR2 RAM runs under the hood and the Blender 3D benchmark returns a time of 3min and 2sec. In ‘iTunes is testing’, where the 53min of WAV files were converted into 192Kbps MP3s, the Pioneer Dreambook Tough V10 completed the task in 2min 41sec.
While these results mean that hardware-intensive tasks such as video encoding and 3-D rendering will be slow, basic office tasks such as spreadsheet manipulation and multitasking will be easily executed.
Gamers hoping for a notebook that can handle a 1m drop (playing Counterstrike as they snowboard down the slopes?) will need to look elsewhere, as the V10 only achieved a 3DMark06 score of 107.
The Pioneer Dreambook Tough V10 offers battery longevity and the heat emissions are low. After several hours of data-crunching, the Pioneer Dreambook Tough V10 never got uncomfortably hot and lasted 3h 56min in the battery rundown tests.
The Pioneer Dreambook Tough V10 has a 10.4in, 180-degree rotatable display with a native resolution of 1024x768. The touch-sensitive screen allows the use of fingers or anything else with a point to move the cursor around the screen.
On the keyboard important keys such as control, alt and backspace have been shrunk, and accessing them will take getting used to for touch typists. The left and right-click buttons below the touchpad have been rubberized to increase their durability.
The Pioneer Dreambook Tough V10 has a Gigabit Ethernet and an 802.11 b/g wireless that provides network connectivity. A 56Kbps modem is also present. For users wanting to use wireless peripherals such as headsets, Bluetooth connectivity is available.
The left side of the unit is where most of the ports live. Protected by plastic covers are two Type II PC card slots, a 56Kbps modem, Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports and the AC port. On the back of the device is a male RS-232 port, a VGA port and a mic-in port. Firmly secured with latches on the right-hand side of the laptop, is the 320GB hard drive and the battery.