What is MIL-STD-810g and Why Does it Matter?


Army officer using a military device with  MIL-STD-810G standards. These guidelines allow devices to work under extreme conditions.


Whether it be the Getac B300, the Panasonic Toughpad CF-20 or the Trimble Yuma 7 tablet, one thing all these rugged devices have in common is that they all comply with MIL-STD-810G standards.

MIL-STD-810G is a collection of performance and development guidelines created by the US Department of Defense for military devices and applications.

Military standard guidelines dictate what type of environment a device needs to be able to function in to meet compliance. MIL-STD 810G standards are the accepted guidelines for rugged laptops and devices because they need to function in the harshest work conditions.


What are the Mil Spec Standards?

Some of the tests a rugged laptop must go through to comply with MIL-STD-810G certification include:

  • Mechanical shock (device must survive mechanical shocks from sudden forces)
  • High/low pressure testing
  • Explosive atmosphere
  • Humidity
  • Fungus
  • Salt fog
  • Rain & water spray


Drop Test Standards

One of the most common drop tests used by manufacturers is (funnily enough) simply referred to as “the drop test”. This determines how well a rugged device handles impact from different heights while powered on.

This “drop test” includes eight different procedures. Each procedure tests different shocks and impacts to see if they affect the structure or functionality of the rugged tablet or laptop.

These procedures include:

  • Procedure 1 - Functional shock
  • Procedure 2 - Material to be packaged
  • Procedure 3 - Fragility
  • Procedure 4 - Transit drop
  • Procedure 5 - Crash hazard shock test
  • Procedure 6 - Bench handling
  • Procedure 7 - Pendulum impact
  • Procedure 8 - Catapult Launch/Arrested Landing

Here’s a video of Panasonic putting a Toughbook carrying out a 4-foot side drop test as part of their MIL-STD-810G standards testing:



Do MIL-STD-810G Standards Include an IPxx rating?

You’ve probably heard of IP68. The IP stands for Ingress Protection and determines how well a device is protected from dust and water.

IP standards are developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission so are not part of the MIL-STD-810G standards. However, it’s an important measure so see how dust and water resistant a tough laptop or tablet is.

The first number after ‘IP’ in IP68 is a measure of the quality of protection from dust (solids) - 1 is the lowest and 6 is the highest.

The second number shows the level of protection the device has from water (liquids) - 1 being the lowest and 8 being the highest. A device with an IP68 rating has the highest rated protection from environmental factors and can safely protect your device from dust and water and even survive immersion in water beyond 1 metre in depth.

IP68 protection is commonly used in new models of iPhones and Samsung smartphones. Some manufacturers are providing more than just IP68 protection and are choosing to include MIL-STD-810G standards to make their devices more durable and shock resistant.

It’s important to note that just because your rugged laptop meets MIL-STD-810 standards that doesn’t mean it’s completely waterproof.

The Panasonic Toughpad CF-20 rugged laptop has an IP65 rating, and is in the middle of the IP scale. This means it can withstand water protected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction. Only rugged laptops with a IPx7 or IPx8 rating can be submerged in water up to 1 meter.

The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-T1 Fully Rugged Android Smartphone is a great example of a device that incorporates both MIL-STD-810G standards and IP68 protection. This smartphone can withstand shocks, vibrations, dust and water, making it one of the most durable rugged smartphones available on the market today.

When choosing a rugged tablet or laptop, check the Military standards and the Ingress Protection rating to make sure it’s suitable for the environment you plan to use it in.

If you need advice about rugged laptops or have more questions about MIL-STD-810G standards, ask one of our experts by calling 1300 131 933 or contact us online.

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