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To find the best rugged laptops, you’ll need to determine the features that are right for you and your setup, no matter if you primarily work at home or in dangerous locations. We recommend that you favor rugged laptops made from durable and long-lasting materials and those that feature high-grade processors and plenty of RAM. Make sure to also consider the form factor, as a light and thin laptop will be better for portability and transport. When buying a rugged laptop, always look for a powerful processor, a comfortable keyboard, and durable components.
After analyzing hundreds of reviews amongst a multitude of products with varying price points and features, we’ve determined that the LG Gram 17 is the best rugged laptop on the market today. Keep reading about this and our other top picks to learn more about the best laptops on the market today.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: Best semi rugged laptop, thanks to a military-grade construction, with a powerful Intel processor, 512GB of solid-state storage, and a battery that can last up to 15 hours on a single charge. Ready to buy this laptop now? Check out our guide to learn about the best place to buy a laptop.
The LG Gram 17 is one of the best rugged laptops, thanks to boasting a military-grade certification (MIL STD 810G.) The specs here are fantastic, with a powerful eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of dedicated RAM, and a speedy 512GB solid-state storage drive. We also appreciated the stellar integrated battery, which can provide more than fifteen hours of continuous use before needing to recharge, helping this model compete with the longest battery life laptop.
Though the 17-inch FHD display is gorgeous and the weight is under three pounds, this is a wider-than-average laptop, thanks to the aforementioned display. Additionally, this is a fairly expensive laptop, likely due to the advanced features on offer. For less expensive options, check out the best laptops under $500 on the market today.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: Extremely sturdy and durable design, with an Intel Core i7 processor, an NVIDIA graphics card, 32GB of dedicated RAM, and a speedy 1TB solid-state drive.
The Lenovo ThinkPad P52 is a fantastic choice for those looking for both power and durability, as this model features a rugged exterior and plenty of high-grade internal components, including a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA Quadro P1000 graphics card. We also appreciated the Full HD IPS display, the 32GB of dedicated RAM, and the whopping 1TB of solid-state storage. Speaking of solid-state storage, check out our best SSD laptop guide to find a laptop with even more storage space.
All of these advanced features do have a literal cost, as this laptop is on the expensive side. Also, this Lenovo rugged laptop is slightly heavy, clocking in at just over five pounds, though it is still one of the best rugged laptops on the market. A much lighter option is the best Windows laptop, weighing in at less than 3 pounds.
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: Made for absolute durability and encased inside of an ultra-rugged briefcase apparatus, with a high-end feature set that includes 8GB of RAM and a battery that can last for nine hours per charge.
The Panasonic Toughbook CF 33, like its cousin the Toughbook 31, is of exceptional quality, with an ultra-rugged design that finds the laptop itself securely encased in a nigh-indestructible magnesium alloy chassis while adhering to MIL STD standards. The specs are stellar, thanks to a powerful Intel Core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a fantastic battery that can last up to nine hours before needing a recharge. We also appreciated the Intel HD 620 graphics memory card, which should provide great visuals and assist with processing power.
Though this is a highly durable laptop with high-grade specifications, it is on the heavier side, clocking in at nearly eight pounds. Additionally, this is an extremely expensive model, likely due to the fact that it is one of the best rugged laptops. A less expensive model can be found among the best laptops for seniors.
Award: BEST MEMORY
WHY WE LIKE IT: Ships with 16GB of dedicated DDR4 RAM memory, making this laptop shine while multitasking, in addition to featuring a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and a long-lasting battery that can survive harsh conditions.
This Dell Latitude rugged extreme laptop ships with 16GB of dedicated DDR4 RAM, which makes short work out of multitasking and running intensive applications. The other specs are noteworthy, with an Intel Core i7 CPU and 128GB of speedy solid-state storage. We also appreciated the fantastic integrated battery here, which allows for up to twelve hours of use on a single charge.
The keyboard here on the Latitude 14 is not backlit, which could be an issue if you tend to use standard laptops in lowly lit areas as part of your work duties. Also, this is a very heavy computer, due to the durable casing, clocking in at 6.5 pounds. Alternatively, consider purchasing the best laptop for students that features a relatively light form factor, at three pounds.
Award: BEST SECURITY FEATURES
WHY WE LIKE IT: Rugged computer that is built for security, thanks to an included Kensington lock, with an integrated docking station port, a durable exterior casing, and 8GB of dedicated RAM for multitasking.
The Dell Latitude 5404 ships with some innovative theft deterrence features, including a Kensington lock and an integrated laptop docking station. The specs here are stunning, with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of dedicated RAM, and a speedy 512GB solid-state storage drive. We also appreciated the multitude of ports on offer here, which include USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, and DVI.
Though there is a multitude of connectivity options with this Dell Latitude 14 Rugged extreme laptop, this laptop does not include a webcam, so you won’t be able to video chat with friends, family, or work associates. Additionally, this is a fairly heavy Dell rugged laptop, at well over six pounds. Check out the best laptop brands on the market today to decide which model is best for you.
Award: BEST CONVERTIBLE DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: Efficient and fun 2-in-1 design, with a touchscreen display that allows this model to function as both a laptop and a tablet, with a high-grade feature list that includes an Intel quad-core processor and Intel HD graphics.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11E is great for those who can’t decide on whether to purchase a laptop or a tablet, as this model’s integrated touch display allows for both. The specs are decent, thanks to an Intel quad-core processor and a speedy 128GB solid-state storage drive. We also appreciated the light and thin form factor here, with this laptop weighing just over three pounds, despite being ultra-durable.
Though we appreciated that the 2 in 1 display rests on a hinge that can rotate a full 360 degrees, the screen size is on the smaller side, at just over 11-inches wide. Also, this laptop ships with just 4GB of dedicated RAM, which could impact multitasking. Consider instead the best Ubuntu laptop that boasts advanced features such as a high-grade seventh-generation Intel Core i7 CPU and 16GB of dedicated DDR4 RAM.
Award: BEST PORTABLE DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: Built for portability, weighing just 2lb, while still offering superior durability, thanks to a high-grade protective case that shines in industrial and professional settings.
The MobileDemand Flex 10B is compact and portable, weighing just two pounds, while still offering durability in the form of a protective case and an oleophobic scratch-resistant screen protector. The specs are solid, thanks to an Intel processor, Intel HD graphics, and 128GB of solid-state storage. We also appreciated the mounting hardware on the back and the fact that the display is touch-capable.
Though most of the specs here are high-end, this laptop does only ship with 4GB of dedicated RAM, which could impact multitasking. Additionally, the touch display is certainly on the smaller side, coming in at just 10.1-inches side. A better option is the best business laptop that features a full HD touch display, which allows tablet-like functionality and comes in at a respectable 14-inches of width.
Award: BEST SPILL RESISTANCE
WHY WE LIKE IT: Features a spill-resistant keyboard, in addition to being encased in a durable magnesium alloy case complete with a handle and a battery that can easily be removed.
The Panasonic Toughbook CF-54 is a great option for those who worry about spilled liquids, as it features a spill-resistant keyboard and a battery and storage that can easily be removed should a spill actually occur. This is a durable laptop that is encased in a magnesium alloy case that boasts an ergonomically designed handle. We also appreciated the specs on offer, such as 8GB of RAM, an Intel Core processor, and a speedy 480GB solid-state drive.
This is a heavier-than-average laptop, however, clocking in at just over five pounds, which could impact portability. Also, the battery life here takes a hit, due to the advanced components, and can only last around five hours before needing a recharge. Compare that to the best 2 in 1 laptop that has a high-grade integrated lithium battery, which can go all day before needing a charge.
Award: BEST VALUE
WHY WE LIKE IT: Value-conscious laptop with some robust features, such as being encased in a durable briefcase exterior and boasting a large 15.6” Full HD display and 8GB of RAM.
The Panasonic Toughbook CF-52 comes in at a value-friendly price point while offering features that line up with more expensive competitors, including a powerful Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of dedicated RAM, and a speedy 240GB solid-state storage drive. We also appreciated the large Full HD display, which clocks in at a generous 15.4-inches wide, and the fact that the internal components are housed in a virtually indestructible briefcase.
This is a heavier-than-average laptop, however, coming in at nearly eight pounds, due to the durable external casing. Additionally, the integrated lithium battery can only last a few hours before needing a recharge. Instead, consider the best netbook that has a high-grade lithium battery, which can last for more than a dozen hours and comes with a quick charger.
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: Budget-friendly laptop with some decent features, including an efficiently designed Intel Celeron CPU, a light and thin form factor, and a fantastic battery that can easily last all day before needing a recharge.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e comes in at a budget-conscious price while offering certain features in line with higher-priced competitors, such as a speedy and reliable Intel Celeron processor and a stellar lithium-ion battery that can easily last all day before needing a recharge. We also appreciated the light and thin form factor, as this laptop only weighs 1.5 pounds and is slim enough to fit just about anywhere.
Though this is the best cheap rugged laptop, some of the specs are on the lower end, as this model ships with only 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which could impact multitasking. Also, the storage is somewhat paltry, as this model ships with a tiny 16GB solid-state drive. A better option would be the best laptop with an i7 processor and 64GB of RAM.
To help narrow down to the above list, we thoroughly researched a multitude of top laptops, ensuring they were built with durability and longevity in mind. To that end, we liked truly ruggedized laptops that have been encased in some form of water-resistant metal or alloy, often with a tough and thick industrial rubber exterior and an accompanying ergonomic handle, offering multiple levels of protection.
As for specs, we measured efficacy based on how we would with any laptop. We liked computers with high-grade processors, often manufactured by industry giant Intel, and those with copious amounts of RAM for multitasking. We also liked laptops that shipped with large and speedy solid-state storage drives, as solid-state drives are speedier and more efficient than HDDs.
These are laptops, so battery life was extremely important as we conducted our research. We liked computers that shipped with well-made lithium-ion batteries that could allow for multiple hours of use before needing a recharge. Finally, we liked laptops with plenty of connectivity options, including USB C ports, HDMI ports, Ethernet ports, and full integration with modern Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards.