Getac K120 G2 ruggedized laptop review

Getac makes a wide range of computers made to work in the types of environment that can often spell doom for the delicate electronics inside of modern systems.

While they’re unlikely to win any style awards, they are constructed to handle all manner of abuse without succumbing to water, dust and the clumsiness of those using them.

At the most extreme end of its rugged PC range is the K120, a system built to handle most things, and Getac just revamped it internally to handle greater workloads and more demanding tasks.

For those curious about its predecessor, here is that review.

Let’s see if the latest K120 G2 fixes some of the issues with the previous iteration.

Getac K120 G2 (2021) Rugged Laptop

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

Price and availability

Getac sells all its equipment through a global reseller network, so interested parties should start with the Getac website, where they can be directed to one in their region.

Once in contact with a reseller, they can tailor the K120 G2 to the customers’ precise requirements for CPU, memory, storage and accessories.

Our review hardware came with a Core i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD NVMe storage, and for such a system, the price is £3403.64 in the UK. The entry level for this hardware is £2212.18 for one with a Core-i5 processor and minimal RAM and storage.

But for the higher specification machines around $4,000 or the exchange equivalent in your local currency should be a ball-park sum, with extra batteries, options and accessories on top of that.

Optional features like the keyboard dock, extra batteries, more memory or storage could easily double that spend.

Getac K120 G2 (2021) Rugged Laptop

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

Design

To the casual observer, the older K120 and the new K120 G2 look almost identical.

There are changes, the details of which would bore most people to tears, but evidently, the design team at Getac is under the impression that, like an ancient shark, the K120 has reached a point of the evolutionary apex.

Getac K120 G2 (2021) Rugged Laptop

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

Spec sheet

Here is the Getac K120 G2 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7 Max. 4.7GHz with Intel Turbo Boost TechnologyGraphics: Intel Iris Xe GraphicsRAM: 16GB DDR4 (option for 32GB)Screen: 12.5″ IPS TFT LCD FHD (1920 x 1080) 1200 nits LumiBond display with Getac sunlight readableStorage: 512GB NVMe SSDTablet Ports: 1x 3.5mm audio/mic jack, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), M.2 2280 NVMe SSD slot, 1x LAN RJ45 1GbE, 1x SD Card Reader (optional), 1x HDMI, 1x USB 2.0 (can be swapped for optional RS232 serial port).Keyboard dock ports: 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x Serial port (9-pin D-sub), 1x SD Card ReaderConnectivity: 10/100/1000 base-T Ethernet, Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200, 802.11ax, Bluetooth v5.1, Optional Dedicated GPS, Optional 4G LTE mobile broadband with integrated GPSCamera: 8MP FHM Rear webcam or Optional Windows Hello face-authentication camera (front-facing).Weight: 1.7kg (3.75lbs) tablet only, 3.13kg (6.9lbs) with Optional Keyboard DockSize: 340.5 x 307.5 x 47mm (13.40″ x 12.10″ x 1.85″)

What Getac created in the K120 G2 is a super-tough tablet solution that integrates to an equally robust keyboard dock to produce something that looks and largely works like a laptop. Or a tablet, depending on your needs.

It is probably technically possible to buy the tablet portion of this system without the keyboard dock, but we’d imagine most customers would also want that part.

Because the keyboard dock contains lots of ports, augmenting the substantial number on the tablet portion, and you can also further connect the system to a vehicle mount or charging base with it.

What’s interesting is that aside from ports, the keyboard dock doesn’t contain anything critical. Therefore disconnecting the tablet doesn’t create a technical problem, as we’ve seen with other hybrid designs where the keyboard includes batteries, storage, or the horror show Microsoft created by putting a discrete GPU in there with the Surface Book.

All the battery power and core systems are in the tablet, so detaching that only disables the ports on the keyboard dock.

With only the space available in the tablet to hold batteries, that choice might have easily impacted the potential operating life of the unit away from mains power. However, Getac designed the two batteries in detachable modules that can be hot-swapped without shutting the system down.

That could allow the system to operate for extended periods, potentially indefinitely, with a sufficient supply of extra recharged batteries.

What’s fascinating about the K120 G2, is that if you strip away the substantial protection from damage and the environment, it’s a practical high-performance hybrid laptop that would neatly fit many data capture roles in the great outdoors or an industrial context.

Getac K120 (2021) Rugged Laptop

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

Options

Getac aims to give its customers precisely what they want, and the K120 G2 has plenty of options and accessories to satisfy them.

Our review system used an Intel Core i7-1165G7, but you can choose the even more powerful Intel Core i7-1185G7 vPro CPU if you need its grunt, or even take a more modest Core i5-1145G7 or Core i5-1135G7 if battery life is more important.

Memory of 16GB of RAM is standard, but the systems can come with 32GB. And, internally, the PCIe NVMe drive can be 1TB in capacity.

All K120 systems come with a 12.5 inch IPS TFT with 1080p resolution, and this 1200 nit Luminbond display is also a capacitive multi-touch panel. Getac offers an option to enhance this further with a dual-mode touch sensor that allows the screen to also operate as a digitizer, and a stylus is included to use with that.

Other options include 1D/2D imager barcode reader, RS232 serial ports, Windows Hello face-authentication camera (front-facing). An RF antenna pass-through for GPS,

WLAN and WWAN. A dedicated GPS, and 4G LTE mobile networking, also with an integrated GPS.

And, if those options weren’t enough, it can also be fitted out with a contactless HF RFID/NFC reader, Smart card reader or fingerprint scanner.

Getac K120 (2021) Rugged Laptop

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

Accessories

To go with the K120, Getac has a great range of accessories made to work with this system. These include docks for a vehicle, the office and the standard keyboard dock seen in our images.

It also makes a custom carry bag, shoulder strap, shoulder harness (handsfree), and a rigid handle.

But, the most valuable accessories are probably those to do with charging the removable batteries. Two designs are offers, one that can charge two batteries at once and another that can handle up to eight.

Extra batteries come in the standard 2100mAh (min. 2040mAh) capacity or high-capacity 3450mAh (min. 3300mAh) modules.

With all these choices, the K120 is a truly go-anywhere design that can be tailored to its mission very succinctly.

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