Top Rugged Laptops
The best durable laptops
Rugged computers are specially designed to withstand water, gases, electromagnetic interference, vapors, dust, knocks and falls when used in demanding conditions. In addition to enhanced durability, rugged notebook laptops also need to have excellent communications options to be sure you stay connected no matter where your work takes you. When shopping for a durable laptop, warranty protection is a very important consideration, but the best rugged computers also provide top-of-the line processing power as well. You can expect these machines to be heavier than average laptops, but they can also withstand a great deal more exposure to the elements and need fewer laptop repairs despite heavy use. Professionals in fields ranging from construction and engineering to academic field work and the military can benefit from adding rugged computers to their technological repertoires.
Here are our picks for the top durable laptops:
The Getac B300 is many experts’ pick for the best durable laptop on the market. It features a comprehensive warranty that provides excellent protection, as well as very long battery life and near-endless customization options. This laptop is resistant to both dust and water, and it boasts the highest certification of any machine on the rugged laptop market: the coveted and rarely bestowed Class 1 Division II certification. It is safe to use even in the most hazardous conditions, and Getac provides outstanding customer support. The one knock against it is its lack of a built-in webcam, or the option to add one.
- Processor: Intel Core i7
- RAM: 2 to 8 GB (customizable)
- Hard drive: 250 GB
- Connectivity: 3 USB ports, 2 serial ports, HDMI port, external VGA, IEEE port, docking connector
- Customization: additional HDD, additional 250 GB of hard drive space, GPS, military connectors, additional I/O ports, touchscreen
Amrel ROCKY RT
The ROCKY RT is widely respected and comes in two models: an industrial version and a military version. It scores high points for durability, but it does not have the Class 1 Division II certification that the Getac B300 offers. However, it is considered an all-around solid performer, and scores particularly high points for its Alpha Start SLR display screen technology, which provides excellent visibility even in direct sunlight. The company that manufactures it, Amrel, also offers comprehensive customization options that allow you to build a machine that meets your needs, no matter what they are.
- Processor: Intel Core 2 DUO
- RAM: 1 to 4 GB (customizable)
- Hard drive: 160 GB
- Connectivity: 3 USB ports, 3 audio ports, 2 serial ports, 2 IEEE ports, keyboard and mouse ps/2 port
- Customization: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HSDPA 3.5G, GPS, resistive touchscreen, backlit keyboard, vehicle adapter
Panasonic Toughbook 31
While the Panasonic Toughbook 31 offers less in the way of customization options, you still enjoy plenty of flexibility. One of the biggest advantages of the Panasonic Toughbook 31 is that it is very affordable and no more difficult to buy online than a standard laptop, while providing excellent rugged capabilities. This machine is recommended for less strenuous conditions, but if extreme strength is the most important requirement, you might be better off with an Amrel or Getac product. It also has a battery life of just five hours, which is less than a full work day.
- Processor: Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5-520M or i5-540M
- RAM: 2 GB
- Hard drive: 160 GB
- Connectivity: DMI port, VGA output, serial port, 4 USB ports
- Customization: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, fingerprint reader, webcam, Gobi 3G, IEEE port, laptop case