Sure, the Windows 10 April Update contained some tools that can help you concentrate and get work done, but what if you need a laptop that is just as hardy as your workload? Well, the best rugged laptops might be just what you’re looking for. We’ve gone ahead and listed all the best laptops that can keep up with the roughest lifestyles – the best rugged laptops can handle drops, knocks and extreme temperatures.
The best rugged laptops will have solidly built bodies that can withstand drops, or even pressure being placed on it – like if something heavy falls on it. They should also protect against liquid, dust and extreme temperatures. You should be able to take it anywhere on Earth.
Don’t forget, however, that the best rugged laptops need to actually keep up with the best laptops. So, we’re looking for laptops that aren’t just rugged, but feature powerful components as well.
So, if you work on a busy work site, or are constantly using your laptop while traveling, then buying the best rugged laptop for your needs is essential, so read on to find our top picks for 2018.
- Check out our overall list of the best laptop 2018
1. Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme
The very best rugged laptop
CPU: Intel Core i3-6100U | Graphics: Intel Graphics 520 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 14-inch 1366 x 768 | Storage: 128GB SSD | Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, optional GPS, LTE | Weight: 3.9kg | Dimensions: 356 x 246 x 52mm
The Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme is easily the best rugged laptop you can buy today, and while it’s been around for a while now, this is still a fantastically designed rugged laptop that meets military standard (MIL-STD) requirements. It has a rigid magnesium alloy build, shock-absorbent case, is IP65 certified against dust, sand and water, and can even withstand extreme temperatures. It also has some pretty beefy internals as well, and like other Dell laptops, you’ll be able to customise the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme so that it runs on the best components for your needs. If the Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme is a bit overboard for your needs, you may find the next laptop on our list more to your liking.
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged
2. Dell Latitude 14 Rugged
A fantastic rugged laptop from Dell
CPU: Intel Core i5-6300U processor | Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 M360 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 14-inch 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 128GB SSD | Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, LTE, Ethernet | Weight: 1.9kg | Dimensions: 347 x 243 x 44.4mm
Dell is a mainstream laptop manufacturer – but it still makes some of the best rugged laptops. The Dell Latitude 14 Rugged is a great machine that combines a tough outer shell with components that are quite beefy for the category – including an Intel Core i5 processor and dedicated AMD Radeon graphics. The display looks good, coming with a matte finish that makes it comfortable to use outdoors – which is probably where you’ll be using it. It’s the less ‘extreme’ version of the Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme which sits at the top of our list of the best Rugged laptops.
- This product is only available in the US and AU at the time of this writing. UK readers: check out a fine alternative in the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme
3. Panasonic Toughbook CF-33
Rugged 2-in-1 laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5-7300U processor | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12-inch 2160 x 1440 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, LTE, Ethernet | Weight: 2.76kg | Dimensions: 313.0 x 288.4 x 46.1mm
If you want one of the best 2-in-1 laptops, but don’t want something that feels like it’ll snap in half, the Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 is a great choice. This 2-in-1 has a flexibility that most of the best rugged laptops just don’t have. If you need something that’s easy to carry while you do stock takes and jot down notes, then the tablet mode works wonders. Then, if you need to write some documents, you can attach the keyboard to comfortably type away. Sure, it’s expensive, but it’s one of the only 2-in-1 laptops that can handle rougher work loads.
4. HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Notebook PC
A sturdy laptop
CPU: Intel Celeron N3350 processor | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 500 | RAM: 2 - 8GB | Screen: 11.6inch 1366 x 768 | Storage: 128GB SSD | Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, | Weight: 1.35kg | Dimensions: 207 x 302.4 x 19.9mm
At first glance you'd think that the HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Notebook PC is just an ordinary laptop, rather than a rugged one. However, it actually falls somewhere between the two. While it isn't designed for big drops and dangerous environments, it is built to withstand more knocks, drops and spillages than normal laptops. This is thanks to an industrial rubberised body, spill resistant keyboard and Corning Gorilla Glass 4 screen. While it may not be as robust as other rugged laptops, it is easily portable, and the screen can be flipped to turn it into tablet mode.
5. Lenovo ThinkPad 11e
CPU: Intel Core i3-6100U processor | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 | Storage: 128GB SSD | Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, | Weight: 1.5kg | Dimensions: 300 x 210 x 22.3mm
Just like the HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE, the Lenovo ThinkPad 11e is more like a standard laptop with some rugged elements. Still, Lenovo has put effort into the construction of this machine, so it includes reinforced corners and ports, and can withstand drops of up to 90cm. It also features military specifications which ensure that this is a laptop that can withstand anything you throw at it, including high pressure, vibrations, high and low temperatures and much more. It’s also affordable, while still offering plenty of power for everyday tasks.
- Don't need a rugged laptop? Check out our list of the best business laptops