Rugged laptops with expansion slots – X500 and NotePAC

Laptop computers with expansion slots

“If you need a portable laptop-style computer with an expansion slot or two, there are not many options….

Portable video system for rugged deployment

Triple screen rugged laptop with video capture hardware

Common Features

  • Large laptop portables
  • Two PCIe expansion slots
  • Fast processing
  • Lots of connectivity

Two alternatives – X500 and NotePAC-III

If you need a portable laptop-style computer with an expansion slot or two, there are not many options…. There’s the Portexa NotePAC-PRO and the Getac X500 Server. In this article, we will look at the similarities, differences, and suggested applications. Disclaimer – we cannot sell Getac X500’s – but this will attempt to be fair and unbiased. Members of our staff have extensive experience using and modifying the Getac X500 and have a healthy respect for it.


Both systems are large portable laptops.

The X500 (Launched June 2011) is 16.1″ x 12.6″ x 4.6″ (933.2 cubic inches) and the NotePAC-III-PRO-V (Launched February 2019) is 16.75″ x 12″ x 4.5″ (904.5 cubic inches).

The NotePAC of course does feature a triple display monitor, so it’s not quite apples to apples.

The NotePAC-PRO has two PCIe expansion slots as standard, whereas the X500 is expandable using a ‘slice’ that replaces the bottom cover (the dimensions listed include the slice). The X500 slice can be PCI or PCIe, so if you need to support a legacy PCI card then the X500 is the one to choose.

Typical configurations of the NotePAC are considerably more powerful than the X500 and include an Nvidia Quadro RTX4000 graphics card in one of the PCIe slots.



X500 – 16.1″ x 12.6″ x 4.6″ (933.2 cubic inches)

NotePAC-III – 16.75″ x 12″ x 4.5″ (904.5 cubic inches)


X500 – Intel® Xeon® Processor E3-1505M v6 3.0GHz – Max. 4.0GHz
– 8MB Intel® Smart Cache

NotePAC – Intel® Xeon® Processor D-2183IT, 16
Cores, 32 Threads, 22MB Cache, 3GHz max, 2.2GHz base.


X500 – Dual Gigabit

NotePAC –

Dual LAN with 10G SFP+ LAN (Fiber)

Dual LAN with 10Gbase-T (RJ45)

Quad LAN with Intel® Ethernet Controller I350-AM4 (RJ45)

Removable drives

X500 – 2 Drives (six if no PCIe expansion needed)

NotePAC – 4 Drives


X500 – 15.6” (1920 x 1080) 


NotePAC – 3 x 17.1” for (5760 x 1080)


X500 – Intel HD 630 or NVIDIA Quadro P2000


NotePAC –  Aspeed AST2500 or NVIDIA Quadro RTX4000

“A major advantage of the NotePAC is the 144Hz refresh rate on all displays as standard which allows the use of 3D imaging for various uses including targeting”

Three screen laptop with PCIe expansion slots

NotePAC-III-PRO-V triple screen - 2 slot - Xeon powered portable. Now with battery option.



The Getac X500 has a 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) display with “Quadraclear” filters to give it some usability in sunlight. The NotePAC-III-PRO-V has more than three times the screen real-estate, with 3 x 17.1” FHD displays for a total screen area of 5760 x 1080.

1 comment

  1. What a reasonable comparison of the two units solely on specifications. I’d like to go with the NotePAC-III-Pro-V but appreciate your honestly pointing to the Getac X500 as the unit that supports PCI.

    The triple displays on the NotePAC is really compelling.

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