Design and Build Quality
The overall build quality here is something to rave about. It's tough as nails without being a "ruggedized" machine. It won't take the beating of a Panasonic Toughbook, but aside from field users who take their notebooks into construction sites or jungle environments, the rigidity here should be plenty to withstand normal bumps and bruises.
It's not the thinnest 14" machine on the planet, but at just over 1" thick, it's not awful. There's enough room for an 8X dual-layer DVD writer, a 34mm ExpressCard slot, eSATA port, four USB 2.0 sockets, a Mini FireWire port, 56k modem, VGA/DisplayPort video outputs, an Ethernet jack and an SD/SDHC card slot.
The frame is all-business. There's hardly any styling cues to speak of, but that's intentional. This is a business machine on the outside with the heart of a performance rig. That's half of the intrigue, in our minds. It's built like a tank, and as far as tough rigs go, this is as "beautiful" as they come.