Liquid spills are the second most common cause of laptop trouble
Taking for granted that a Fully-rugged designed for outdoor use would need some protection against water, you might be wondering why a lightweight mobile laptop used mostly in an indoor business setting would need a spill resistant keyboard? It is a fact, however, that liquid spills are the second most common cause of laptop breakdown.
Damage is likely to result if water spilled or splashed on to a laptop seeps in from around the keyboard and causes short circuits in the body of the unit. You are probably just as likely to use a Lightweight Business-rugged in meeting rooms or coffee shops as in an office. Liquid spills are evidently more of a hazard to such mobile computers than to a laptop that is intended for use on a desktop. That is why Panasonic has incorporated the spill resistant keyboard.
Water exits through bottom outlet in Drain-Through Design
* The photo shows a practical demonstration, using a Y7, of the drain-through concept.
Simply put, the spill-resistance concept involves laying a waterproof sheet under the keyboard to prevent water from seeping where it can do harm. Rather than allowing water to pool on top of the keyboard, the Drain-Through Design allows it to pass through and exit from the bottom of the body. The keyboard itself has a waterproof design and can withstand penetration by water. Seamless sealing technology protects the keyboard. By such means, the spill resistant keyboard decreases the risk of water damage to the computer.
The extent of the spill-resistance is limited to the keyboard. The rest of the exterior-side panels, battery compartment, speakers, and the DVD when open-are not protected. This is because the philosophy behind the spill-resistance design of the business-rugged is to, as far as possible, minimize damage if there is an accident. This is not the same as the Fully-rugged CF-30/19 concept; these models can be used even when it is raining.
Even so, to prevent seepage of water from gaps around the touchpad and optical drive, waterproof sheets are provided under the touchpad and under the lid of the optical drive. Moreover, a drain-away design has been used for the optical drive enclosure, so that water that gets in will not easily penetrate to where it can do serious damage.
To be on the safe side, if there is a spill, have the unit checked
Although the spill resistant keyboard does provide a degree of protection. If the computer is left in a wet state, the risk of breakdown is increased. After a spill, switch off the power immediately and wipe away any remaining water. Keeping the unit horizontal, slowly lift it and use a soft dry cloth to wipe away any water that has drained from the bottom outlet. Leave the unit horizontal until it is reasonably dry.
You may be tempted to tilt the unit, turn it upside down, or try and shake the water out it. Avoid doing these things. Be aware that if you tilt the computer the risk of breakdown increases, because water is more likely to penetrate into the electronics.
Furthermore, if you spill coffee, soft drinks, or similar liquids on the computer, the keyboard or other parts of the unit may become stained. Sugar and other substances may also cause corrosion, so liquids other than water are more problematic. Deal with such spills in the same way as directed for water and then have the unit checked.
Be aware that the spill-resistance of these products in no way guarantees that liquids will not harm them or cause breakdowns.