Getac X500 Mobile Server review

£12456
Price when reviewed

The 15.6in Full HD screen boasts Getac’s QuadraClear sunlight readable display technology. With a maximum brightness of 800cd/m2, it’s easily bright enough to be used in direct sunlight. The screen surround has a light sensor which automatically adjusts brightness or you can tap the function keys above the backlit membrane keyboard to change it to suit. A front facing camera is an optional extra, as is a resistive touchscreen which is suitable for use with gloves.

The case is bristling with ports spread all around its sides, and each is protected behind individual locking hatches. At the back are two USB ports (with the lower one doubling up for eSATA devices), HDMI, two serial ports, D-SUB, 3.5mm audio input and output jacks and there are also dual Gigabit Ethernet sockets, too.

To the right is the standard battery pack and further back is a hard disk bay with a shock proofed 500GB WD SFF SATA hard disk. Opposite are two more USB ports, slots for PCMCIA, ExpressCard 34 and ExpressCard 54 cards, plus a smart card reader and a multi-function slot for a second battery pack, DVD drive or another hard disk.

Getac X500

The review system came with Intel 802.11abgn wireless and Bluetooth, but GPS and 3G are optional extras. For additional security there’s a small switch inside the multi-function bay which disables all of the wireless communications devices.

Stereo speakers are mounted on each side of the carry handle, and the screen bezel sports an Authentec fingerprint scanner. Getac includes a utility for registering fingerprints and assigning privileges to each user.

With both battery packs onboard, the X500 will last for more than a few battlefield skirmishes. To simulate heavy usage we set Iometer running on all the hard disks and RAID arrays with an equal mix of continuous random and sequential reads and writes. In this test the pair of battery packs lasted 3 hours and 16 minutes. For light usage without Iometer running, we found the fully charged packs managed 4 hours and 25 minutes.

The X500 Mobile Server is an impressive piece of engineering, but the novel form factor sends the price soaring: the base unit costs £6,244 ex VAT and the 5TB RAID expansion unit adds a gob-smacking £4,136 to the total. Nevertheless, for those who need a truly go-anywhere server, the X500’s battle-hardened exterior is the perfect candidate for a wide range of outdoor scenarios.

Warranty

Warranty 5 yr return to base

Ratings

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency 1.73GHz

Memory

Memory type DDR3

Storage

Hard disk configuration 1 x WD SFF SATA HDD
Total hard disk capacity 500GB
RAID module Adaptec 6805 RAID Controller
RAID levels supported 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60, JBOD

Networking

Gigabit LAN ports 2

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