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Tough laptops don’t come cheap. But that high price tag gets you a machine that won’t give in to rain or a dunk in a river; a device that will fall from great heights without a drop in performance; a gadget that will keep going on no matter what you throw at it.

We’ve seen some of the toughest cameras you can buy The 5 Best Rugged Cameras That Can Take A Beating The 5 Best Rugged Cameras That Can Take A Beating When you want to capture life around you, you don't want to be thinking about whether it's raining, what will happen if you lose your grip on the camera or any such disasters. Read More , so what’s the best you can get when you look for the most durable, ruggedized laptops in the market today?

Dell Latitude E6420 XFR ($3210.50)

Dell has a reputation for making some fantastic laptops and it’s carried that over into the rugged market. The Latitude E6420 XFR is 14-inch, fully rugged laptop with a magnesium-alloy body, apparently made of ballistic armor, and is as rugged as they come. And there’s a touchscreen variant available too. Unfortunately, the battery life isn’t great, but something like BatteryCare Extend Your Laptop Battery Life With BatteryCare (Windows) Extend Your Laptop Battery Life With BatteryCare (Windows) Read More can help extend that.

  • Drops: Survives falls up to 6 feet while closed and off. Survives falls up to 3 feet while open and on
  • Resistance: Survives 5.8 inches of rain with 70mph winds, IP-65 Certified Ingress Protection water and dust resistant
  • Temperature: -29 to 63 degrees Celsius while on, -51 to 71 degrees Celsius while off
  • Pressure: Withstands 140 kg of pressure

Specs:

  • 14-inch wide-view LED (1366×768 pixels)
  • 2.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i7-2640M
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 128GB SSD
  • NVIDIA 4200M with 512MB DDR3
  • DVD Writer
  • Up to 6 hours of battery life
  • Windows 7 Professional

Panasonic Toughbook 31 ($4039)

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Panasonic has been making rugged laptops for over 15 years now and needless to say, they’ve perfected the art over time. The sixth generation Toughbook 31 is the toughest Panasonic has made so far. It matches the Dell XFR in most rugged tests, comes with a touchscreen and has a better-than-normal battery life to boot.

  • Drops: Survives falls up to 6 feet while closed and off. Survives falls up to 3 feet while open and on
  • Resistance: Survives 6 inches of rain at 70mph winds, IP-65 Certified Ingress Protection water and dust resistant
  • Temperature: -40 to 160 degrees Celsius while off
  • Pressure: Withstands 140 kg of pressure

Specs:

  • 13.1-inch XGA touchscreen LED (1024×768 pixels)
  • 2.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-3340M
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 500GB 7200 rpm shock-mounted HDD
  • Intel HD 4000 Graphics
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • Webcam
  • User-selectable antenna pass-through (Upper WWAN / Lower Selectable)
  • Up to 13 hours of battery life
  • Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8

Getac V110 ($3299)

What’s better than a rugged laptop? A rugged convertible, of course! The Getac V110 is a tough notebook with a swivel screen that can completely flip around and rest on the keyboard to be used in tablet mode. Plus, there’s a built-in stylus to get more out of the touchscreen and it matches the Toughbook for battery life!

Want to buy it? The Getac V110 is available from eBay.

  • Drops: Survives falls up to 6 feet while closed and off. Survives falls up to 3 feet while open and on
  • Resistance: IP-65 Certified Ingress Protection water and dust resistant
  • Temperature: -21 to 60 degrees Celsius
  • Pressure: Withstands 140 kg of pressure

Specs:

  • 11.6-inch multitouch TFT LCD (1366×768 pixels)
  • 1.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5-4300U / 2.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i7-4600U
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 128GB/256GB SSD
  • Intel HD 4400 Graphics
  • Up to 13.6 hours of battery life
  • Windows 8 Pro

Laptop Or Case?

All of the laptops we have featured here are all made to be rugged, but you do get rugged covers for some existing notebooks, just like there are tough cases for the iPhone The 5 Toughest iPhone Cases Money Can Buy The 5 Toughest iPhone Cases Money Can Buy Apple’s latest iPhone is surprisingly robust given its light weight but it’s only designed to survive minor drops in a friendly environment. Serious falls, dirt and water aren’t a factor, and that’s a problem if... Read More . But would you buy a case for a laptop or prefer a rugged one?

  1. james caleb
    April 23, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    can i get a rugged laptop to be used by kids between the age of 7-14years?

  2. nalk
    February 15, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    "3 feet while open and on" - My nephew has an older Thinkpad that survived this without a scratch. Those things are tough. Perfect for kids. :)

  3. Brian B
    February 12, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    I deal with CF-19's daily. Just deployed numerous FZ-G1's. One topic not discussed here is the screen functionality of the Panasonics in direct sunlight. Nothing compares. CF-19 is 6000 nit, FZ-G1 is 800 nit.

    Odds are if your reading this, your deploying PC's for outdoor use. If so, high nit is extremely important!

    blog.ruggedandmobile.com/tag/nit-rating/

  4. Victor O
    February 11, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    How about those industrial-grade military/NASA-tested ThinkPads?

    • nag
      July 19, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      of course but now its lenovo

  5. Anthony
    February 11, 2014 at 7:14 am

    standing on it or driving on it, compression strength is no big deal. I want to see how it handles drops and impacts when the lid is open.

  6. keith
    February 11, 2014 at 1:24 am

    been using toughbooks for years now wouldnt buy anything else

  7. Matthew H
    February 10, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    That Toughbook looks like a beast. If money was no object, eh? What a pity the screen resolution is so poor.

  8. Guy M
    February 10, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    These laptops are tough indeed, although unless you require IP67 ingress protection or you're on a rock climbing expedition, a lot of these ruggedized laptops are overkill.
    There are quite a few business class laptops that have magnesium or aluminum frames that make them very resistant to internal damage from even field use. Plus, if you can get one for about $500, it becomes almost disposable compared to the ruggedized laptops.

    I ran about 55 Toshiba's with oilfield workers who are notoriously abusive to their equipment. and the environment they work in is harsh in so many ways. Over a 2 year period, I only had 2 damaged to the point where they couldn't be used.

    If you can afford the rugged laptops...great!

  9. Scott H
    February 10, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    the toughbook 31 good got one but the Dell Latitude old laptop the non rugged one c640 are pretty tough though my one about and still using it running ubuntu 13.10 on it and part are dirt cheap

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