Rugged laptops are a common choice of laptop for professionals who work in tough environments, where strength and sturdiness play a big role in choosing the right model.
But, even if you do not belong to professions where you have to work in extreme conditions, you can still opt for a rugged laptop for their increased durability. Especially for users who tend to move around a lot, where the risk of exposure to the elements is higher.
This is because while we take extensive measures to protect our laptops from software issues, physical threats do get overlooked. It is very easy to knock a laptop off of an edge, and even though it is not always catastrophic, sometimes the damages are very real.
The best rugged laptops are those that have an equally impressive exterior as the software internally, so it can perform well. So if you are curious as to which laptops fit these criteria, keep on reading.
|ASUS ROGZephyrus S GX701||17.3-inch PantoneValidated FullHD IPS||1TB M.2SSD||8th GenerationIntel Core i7-8750H feet|
|LenovoChromebook Duet||10.1-inch WUXGA(1920 x 1200)||64GB eMCPSSD||MediakTek1.2GHz Cortex A13|
|LenovoLegion Y7000||15.6-inch FHDIPS Anti-Glare||1 TB HDD +128 GB PCIeSSD||Intel Core i7-8750H|
|MicrosoftSurface Laptop 3||15-inchTouchscreen||256GB||AMD Ryzen 5|
|Samsung GalaxyBook Flex||13.3-inch FHDQLED Display(1920 x 1080)||512GB SSD||Intel Core i7-1065G7|
|AlienwareAW17R3-4175SLV||17.3-inch FHD(1920 x 1080) LED-lit Truelife Screen||1 TB HDD +256 GB SATASSD||6th-GenerationIntel Core i7-6700HQ|
|Dell XPS 157590||6-inch 4K UHD(3840 x 2160)OLED InfinityEdge||256GB SSD||9th GenerationIntel Core i7-9750H|
|HIDevolution ASUSROG ZephyrusG14 GA401IV||14-inch(1920×1080) FHD||2 TB PCIeSSD||AMD 4thGeneration Ryzen 9|
|Asus ZenBookPro Duo UX581||15.6-inch 4K UHDNanoEdge BezelTouch||1TB PCIeSSD||9th generationIntel Core i7-9750H|
|AlienwareANW17-2143SLV||17.3-Inch FHD||1 TB HDD||4th GenerationIntel Core i74710HQ|
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus S is a gaming laptop, which tells us that it comes with a large frame made for heavy gamers. In other words, the rugged frame and construction make it one of the sturdiest laptops out there.
With an aluminum chassis, you are ensured that the laptop will be durable, and won't weigh a ton at the same time.
Besides being heavy-duty on the outside, the laptop comes with a powerful Intel Core i7-8750H processor hailing from the 8th generation.
It also comes with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU which is one of the finest graphics cards in the market today. It provides intense power and the fastest graphics on the screen that is suitable for all the latest games.
You also get the Pantone validated FHD display with a 144 Hz refresh rate. Even if you want to use it for other purposes, the display will be unmatchable.
If you're on the market for a rugged laptop that is versatile at the same time and can be converted into a tablet, this is one option you should check out the Lenovo Chromebook Duet which is made from an aluminum alloy.
It provides strength and protects it from the natural elements up to a certain point, all the while ensuring that the laptop stays lightweight enough for you to carry on an everyday basis.
On the back, you get a fabric texture for the stand cover. While this does serve for design purposes, it also makes sure that the back is protected when you use the stand on various surfaces.
Once you are done using the laptop, simply detach the screen to use it as a tablet. Here you get a 10-point multitouch screen that lets you work on various things at once. It serves as the perfect tablet for artists and photo editors because now you can keep all those extra tools on screen and use them simultaneously.
Besides all the external designs you also get the MediaTek 1.2GHz Cortex A13 processor for a speedy performance as well as an integrated GPU that ensures colors and displays are precise and up to the mark.
One look at the laptop and you will be able to tell that this has been designed with rugged use in mind. The design comes with a thick bezel on the bottom only while you get thinner ones on the side so you can still view a wide and clear screen.
The body itself is made from aluminum to give it strength and sturdiness but making sure it doesn't weigh too much. Even though it is constructed in a hardy manner, it weighs 5.2 pounds and is 1.1 inches thin. This lets you take care of the gaming needs and take the device outdoors with ease when required.
On the screen, you get 300 nits of brightness. It lets you use the device in outdoor light without the screen becoming too dull to be seen clearly.
Because this is a gaming laptop you also get a backlit keyboard. Besides serving aesthetic purposes the backlit keyboard enables you to see the keyboard even if you lack sufficient light.
Key travel is only 1.7 mm which makes it comfortable to use so that you don't have to put too much pressure or have a hard time typing when you're not placed in an ideal environment.
Internally you get the processor 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor along with the 1 TB HDD and 128 GB PCIe SSD storage. These ensure a speedy performance and enables easy multitasking too.
Plus, the Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU has also been inserted keeping gaming in mind, and it helps to provide supreme performancewith bright and vibrant colors on the display.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 comes with a clean and elegant design constructed in an aluminum body. Its metal structure provides strength and durability and assures you that it will be a tough and long-lasting device.
With a 15-inch screen and weighing just 3.4 pounds, it is also easy to carry. Alongside that the 11.5 hours of battery life makes it even easier to carry on the go. This way you don't have to worry about charging it every few hours or even carrying a charger with you for that matter.
If you are keen on multitasking you will enjoy this laptop because it has USB-C and USB-A ports, includes an interactive touchscreen, as well as studio mics. These in addition to the 8GBRAM makes it easy for you to cover multiple tasks simultaneously.
None of this would be possible without a powerful processorfor which you get AMD Ryzen 5 processor along with the 256GB SSD which lets you work continuously without feeling any lag.
The Samsung Galaxy Book Flex features a beautiful Royal blue body made of aluminum with an ultra-slim design. If you work a lot outdoors under direct sunlight then this will be the finest and most durable choice.
It has a 360° design which lets you fold it to achieve a tablet when required, and it even comes with the Bluetooth enabled S pen which lets you turn the screen into a canvas.
We also love that it has a QLED touchscreen that ride is the brightest at the most vibrant colors at 100% color volume. This means you can have it out in daylight and still be able to see the screen at all its details properly.
It also boasts one of the most powerful processors, the Intel Core i7-1065G7 from the 10th generation alongside a 512GB SSD. These together make sure that performance at its optimum all through the 20 hours of battery life that you get.
One of the first things to decide on is the display size. If the main priority lies around portability only, go for screens between 13 and 14 inches. These provide enough space for work on-the-go, at the same time are small enough to carry.
If you need more space, then 15-17-inch screens will be better. These provide a good amount of screen space, and are still pretty compact when it comes to carrying.
Besides the size of the screen, you should also check that the display has a flat surface. If there are recessed areas, there are chances it could accumulate dirt or dust, which can eventually make their way in.
For storage, you have two options- the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and the Solid-State Drive (SSD). We prefer the SSD over an HDD normally because it provides a better performance overall and makes sure the laptop runs fast.
But the SSD also happens to be tougher, because it is less prone to damage. Meaning, if you store all the data in an SSD storage, it is less likely to get deleted or damaged after a mishap.
SSDs however, tend to have a lower storage space comparatively. To counter this, you can either back up data into another device, like a desktop, or choose a laptop that comes with both an SSD and HDD.
When hunting for the best ruggedized laptop, you need to check for a good chassis. Those made of thin plastic will not last one hard fall before it becomes shrapnel before your eyes. You should aim for a metal body that can withstand adequate pressure. This also goes out to students who tend to place books on top of their laptops.
You can also choose a metal chassis shrouded in plastic. It will serve you even better since the heat from the metal body will not get to you this way.
While this does not have much to do with the ruggedness, it has a lot to do with how a laptop performs, which too is important.
Given that rugged laptops are usually chosen by professionals, we shall assume more power is required. For these cases, one should go for either an Intel Core i5 or i7. The i5 proves to be a good processor that is adequate for students and professionals alike with a good speed and performance.
If the work demands more power, or usage of sophisticated software and applications, then the Core i7 will be able to meet the requirements.
A dedicated Graphics Processing Unit is not required for everybody, because the integrated GPUs are more than sufficient for day to day work.
But if you plan on gaming, using 3D models, animations, or anything that requires super-specific graphics on screen, only then will you need a dedicated GPU.
Rugged laptops are mostly required by people who use the device outdoors, which also requires a high battery life.
Even though the battery life will not affect the ruggedness, it will affect the actual work. We suggest looking for laptops with at least 8 hours of usage, if not more.
Common misconception suggests that the best rugged laptops are reserved for professionals working in hardy environments. But the risk of damaging a laptop at a coffee shop is no less either. You might mistakenly spill a cup of liquid on top of it, or happen to drop it, right?
Whether you label yourself as clumsy or not, having a tough laptop does no harm, but is a great protective measure to have. It is especially important for those who have to move around with their devices a lot, where the risk of damaging it externally is even higher.