Elonex Soliton Safari – Semi-Rugged Notebook



View All

Key Features

  • Review Price: £1169.00

As technology gets cheaper, smaller and lighter it gets increasingly incorporated into our everyday lives. Laptops, in particular, face a new challenge because of this: durability. It’s no good having the latest and greatest notebook if it can’t withstand a few knocks, the odd coffee cup rested on its lid and once in a blue moon a short tumble to the floor. Certainly, build quality plays a major part here, but if you know your next machine is going to be in for a tough time it’s going to need more than that. The term that used spring to mind here was Ruggedised, which generally meant a heavily reinforced machine twice the size, weight and cost of the more vulnerable device it was replacing. Thankfully, we now have Semi-Ruggedised machines – a rather self explanatory name – that provide a half way house between the indestructible and highly destructible and Elonex was keen to show us their interpretation.

The Elonex Soliton Safari lives up to its name by measuring a reasonable 33.3 x 27.6 x 3.6cm (WxDxH) and weighing in at a cartable 3.1kg while featuring a magnesium alloy chassis. The benefit of using a magnesium alloy – much like Apple does with its iBooks – is that not only does it look and feel great, its incredibly strong yet lightweight. In addition, Elonex has equipped the Safari with a spill proof keyboard, heavy duty locking DVD tray and even a set of lid hooks at the side of the screen to replace the usual central clasp which has always been a traditional weak spot.

Perhaps most importantly, the Safari’s specification has passed Military Standard (MIL-STD) 810E certification which includes a test where each face, edge and corner of the laptop is dropped a total of 26 times from a height of 36 inches. So ultimately, even the clumsiest among us should be safe.

The internals of the Safari are nothing to be sniffed at either. A Pentium M 1.6GHz Dothan chip with 2MB cache sat at the heart of our machine, backed up by 512MB DDR RAM, an 80GB Hitachi ATA100 4,200RPM hard drive, ATI Radeon 9700 graphics card with 128MB VRAM, and while our review model featured a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive all shipping models will come with a DVD writer capable of 4x DVD+R, 2.4x DVD+RW, 2x DVD-R and 2x DVD-RW as well as 16x CD-R and 10x CD-RW.

Connection options are also plentiful providing three USB 2.0 ports and single serial, FireWire and S-Video Out connectors. There’s a Type II PC Card slot, a modem socket, 10/100 Ethernet port and integrated 802.11b/g wireless networking.

If I can nitpick these specifications, I would pick out the RAM which only runs at 266MHz whereas it would have been nice to see some faster 333 or 400MHz memory installed. I haven’t mentioned the 15 inch display either which, though bright and clear, is limited to a slightly disappointing 1,024 x 768 native resolution. A memory card reader wouldn’t have gone amiss either, but of course this would be another point of entry for dust and water, so it’s understandable why Elonex would shy away from such a feature. All in all, at the quoted price these are not major downfalls.

More from TrustedReviews

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’


Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors


Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer


These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3


Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones


It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites


New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money

Essential Phone

Andy Rubin’s Essential phone coming to UK, likely as a network exclusive